Please briefly tell us about your background. Who is Wilfried Michalak as an artist?
From an early age, Wilfried Michalak is passionate about art in all its forms. Indeed, he had a very artistic background, he studied literature, visual arts, art history, theater, fashion history and makeup. He loves fashion, he learned by himself to compose clothing looks and highlight the overall beauty of people. He synthesized all his knowledge to create his own universe.
How hard has it been establishing yourself in the industry and what are some of the largest things you've faced
Make-up artists are often the fifth wheel of the carriage. There is often no budget for them. They have to impose themselves in order not to be paid at a discount. I stand for a just remuneration. I think you need to have at least a second string to your bow to be able to bounce back on this one in case of a hard blow. Mine are art direction, look after composition and makeup.
Tell us more about the dress look. What inspired you?
I wanted to create a sophisticated, chic and elegant look with a touch of glamour. I hope that the first word that comes to the viewers' mind is "elegance". I believe that the magnificence of a clothing look results in the harmony of details.
With the lockdown period that we have all known, the Covid-19, what was your motivation to keep your creative spirit?
During this period of confinement, I wanted to maximize my creativity, so in march 2019 I created “FANTASIA, Spooky Dreams.” This photography project is the perfect alchemy between fantasy, mythology, and history. I am the art director and creative director of this one, I created the themes, chose the models, composed the clothing looks, did the makeups and chose the locations. I work on this project with a professional team.
What is the best piece of advice you've ever gotten and do you follow it?
“Work hard and persevere, it will pay off one day!” is what my sisters have always told me. Everyone has their own experience and moves at their own pace. Move forward and always surround yourself with positive people who will pull you up. I listened to everything they told me, I apply it all today.
If you could say one thing to someone younger who looks up to you, what would you say? Don't be afraid to fail, we learn by making mistakes. Everything is good to take and to learn. A sentence from Nelson Mandela sums up my state of mind “I never lose. I either win or learn.”
Who were your biggest influences?
In makeup, Danessa Myricks and Pat Mc Grath are the makeup goddesses. In style, the French image consultant called Cristina Cordula and Tan France are my biggest references. In designers, I love Thierry Mugler, Balmain and Isabel Marant. As for the artistic part, I love the French artists called “Pierre et Gilles.”
What's been the biggest highlight in your career so far?
The biggest highlight is when international magazines like your publish me. And I am very honored. I'm glad that my work as an art director and makeup artist appeals to you and your readers.
What are your future plans/goals for the next couple of years?
I have a lot of creativity and imagination, so I wish to maximize them and materialize them. Later on I would like to train in image consulting, create a makeover studio and have my own showroom.
Where can our readers keep up with your work and get connected with you?
To see my latest news follow my Instagram account @wilfriedmichalak.
Art Dir & MUA & Cr Dir: @wilfriedmichalak