This past week we sat down to interview make up artist Gloria Noto. Gloria is well known for her makeup artistry and has an extensive portfolio. When she is not doing makeup, she is busy working on her blog Set Daze and is also Editor in Chief of The Work Magazine. In our first installment, we sat down to ask her questions about her life, passions and projects.
1) First of all, what brought you to Los Angeles?
Well, I am from Detroit and I dropped out of Art College, because I didn’t think I could be a fine artist, or furniture designer for my profession. I knew I enjoy doing makeup, and I knew I could make a career out of it. So, I began to do that in Detroit, and quickly realized that there isn’t much opportunity as a makeup artist out there. So I had to choose a bigger city. I went back and forth between New York and LA, I even considered Europe. And I was like- you know what? I want LA because a) when I started looking at apartments in New York I was like screw this, what do you mean broker- I need 10 grand to move to New York!? I wanted a change of pace, a change of weather… some sunshine… because New York and Detroit have similar weather so I was like.. I’m going to do it. I’m going to be a medium size fish in a big pond as opposed to a microscopic fish in an ocean, which New York is.
So I moved out here, and I remember thinking- what did I do. There were fires happening all around me, and I had 1000 dollars in my bank account thinking that would be plenty because Michigan is so affordable, and I was just a 21 year old kid. I quickly ran out of money, but I had a job lined up at a makeup store- thank God. So I got on my feet pretty quickly, and just went for it.
2) What is your favorite part of LA?
It took me a couple of years to really enjoy it, and I think I am still discovering things. I think I am in a place right now where I have finally found a home. I have moved around almost every year for the past 9 years. Now I am in Silverlake, and I love my neighborhood. I love the weather, I love the routine that I have- waking up and it is generally sunny out. And going outside, being active. The food. The very friendly faces. People are generally pretty friendly and open to learn about you and discover and talk. I would say just that sort of community and atmosphere.
3) We know that besides your makeup artistry you have some side projects…coud you tell us more about your project “Set Daze”
So Set Daze came about when I was sort of like... well now what do I do with my makeup career? Obviously the machine of it is going, I have my agents, I have my clients, This is really cool and really good. But now what? I am always asking myself what more can I do? I was kind of feeling in a little bit of a creative rut. I am notorious for my very clean, beautiful, fresh look. Which I love doing. But I was like- alright- do I remember how do use color? So, what can I do to put my practice into a creative outlet? Also, I am very also into reviewing products and giving my opinion, for what its worth.
So I talked to my agents, and they were like... look you know we think it could be really great if you started a beauty blog. Um, and I warned them, look it’s going to be a little different than these other beauty blogs, its not going to be super sweet and like. " this is how you do a smoky eye" that’s just not how I work. I may have a little bit of an attitude with it, but still have fun. So I started Set Daze.
I came up with the name because I work so often that after a while, that different sets become a daze. Sometimes I’m like- what did I do yesterday? I can not remember what I did yesterday! Why do I know that person? Why do they know me? It becomes a blur! So crazy enough, the name “Set Daze” was available online and I was like... MINE. That's perfect, it’s meant to be. I started collaborating with a photographer friend, Eddie and his wife Sissy, who is a stylist. I asked him if he would be interested in taking editorial portraits for a blog that are specific to a different sort of inspiration each time. And, thus Set Daze was born and on that I do fun looks as well as I discuss things I have done in the past, maybe editorials I have done in the past, and the products I have used in those because I think people are always really curious about that. it is more of a fun creative site.... oh also, I would like to create a Set Daze book of all of the best looks that I have done. I think maybe at the end of the year.
4) That’s not your only project right? You have Work Magazine too. Please tell us more about that!
Yeah, Work Mag started... coming up 6 years ago. We have six issues now... crazy! Basically what came about with Work Magazine was that in my career I don't always have, necessarily the biggest opinion on the things I would like to do or see or art direct. I’m a makeup artist, not an art director. But I enjoy art directing and curating. I also feel that I have a very good understanding eye to things that are interesting and different and things that people may be curious about seeing themselves.
Also, I think that Los Angeles has this really interesting thing happening and it was happening back then, and it is really starting to take off right now. There is a sort of a renaissance happening, there are a lot of underground amazing artists that are coming up above ground to be recognized for their work. I think that this is a place almost as if what New York was in the late 70s, early 80s. There is a lot of opportunity here and a lot of need for that opportunity. I think that that the idea of what "LA" is… the superficial Ugg wearing, botoxed-up, tacky sort of idea of it has dwindled quite a bit and I wanted to bring those artists that I knew to the spotlight, and to have them be recognized.
This kind of was happening, I started right when print had quote unquote "died" you know? All the magazines- all the big magazines were shutting down- Vogue was potentially shutting down. People were like- you’re going to do this now? Well- I think that like the economy crashing- when something crashes it leaves something more for something else to come up. I thought that was my opportunity to be like - look- this is really an opportunity for us to flourish, and I... want to be in the mix of it all. I wanted to help, I wanted to be a platform for something.. so .. I started Work Magazine! We do one issue a year, its a conceptual art magazine, and we kind of just put in whatever I want, and hopefully other people enjoy it. If not- that’s cool too. We do events in between launches. We do art events, fashion events, music events, wine events, punk rock shows, zine events. We just are trying to bring people something that they haven't done before.
Join us on Thursday when we continue this interview, and shift the focus to her makeup artistry. Gloria shares some makeup tips and tricks.