Creative Interview with Make Up Artist Jo Franco
This week our Creative Interview series saw us catch up with the charming Jo Franco.
Dallas based Jo is a super talented make up artist working mainly in fashion, editorial and advertising. He also takes commissions from private and bridal clients.
Jo has a background in art and drawing and is a storyteller by nature. He draws inspiration from concepts and people to help him express his creativity. His approach to beauty is understated and organic while always aiming for an ethereal and unforgettable finish.
You can see this approach and how he interprets it in some of his work here.
Laundry caught up with Jo in between photoshoots in Dallas.
Three words to describe you?
Dedicated, creative and complex.
Three words to describe your work?
Effortless, tasteful and conceptual.
When did you decide you wanted to be a make-up artist?
My roots in makeup reach far back to when I was kid. I enjoyed drawing, painting and playing with my mom and sister’s makeup. As an adult, I came to realize that in order for me to be happy and successful, I had to do something that made me feel alive and excited. Otherwise I will suck at it. So, I guess I would have to say that I decided to be a makeup artist the moment I knew there wasn’t anything else that I loved more. I’m in love with what I do.
Who is your favorite make-up artist?
I admire the works of artists like Christian Schild, Dominique Samuel, Fumiaki Nakagawa, Lottie, and other local and international artists. I can appreciate a bit of everyone's aesthetic. For instance I love the sensuality and allure That Charlotte Tilbury gives to women. Robin Black's minimal yet very well put together beauty looks and I always get so inspired with Pat McGrath's epic creations.
What else inspires you other than make-up artistry?
I'm deeply inspired by fashion and art. I have a background in drawing and painting which I don't get to do much these days. I’m more of an introvert, therefore I draw inspiration from my moods, feelings and thoughts. A lot of my inspiration comes from nostalgia, memories, situations and people. I'm very conceptual and love to analyze and interpret things. Fashion is another way to express moods and feelings; colors, shapes, textures, details and most importantly the way they make someone feel and look are extremely inspiring to me. Fashion is most definitely an art form that can create high impact and make a statement. We can see it, feel it, smell it and wear it. Some of my favorite designers range from “edgier” luxury brands like Saint Laurent, Givenchy and Tom Ford to sharp elegance like Dior, Céline, Chanel and Delpozo or embellished femininity like Elie Saab or Marchesa.
What music do you listen to when working?
It's noisy enough inside of my head so I'm perfectly fine with silence. But I find most of the people I work with enjoy some sort of background noise. In which case I'm open to whatever fits the mood and/or taste of the team. However, if I had to choose my play list usually consists of 90's and 2000's pop and rock and roll.
What inspires your work?
Concepts, symbolism, people, exquisite beauty and storytelling. I'm very inspired by women and the idea of a strong female lead; a beautiful, majestic heroine or the sultry, enchanting vixen. I love organic, effortless, classic beauty with a breathtaking, unworldly and angelic feel. Subtle details, pops of color, minimalism and elegance. Nothing overly made up or busy. An individual’s unique features, their eyes, lips, facial structure and skin can bring a lot of inspiration as well. When I was a child, I was more of a loner. I created characters and stories, a practice I still do today. Storytelling and concepts will always help inspire my work.
What city inspires you the most?
The city that inspires me the most is Paris. To me Paris is high fashion central and it's the perfect mixture of elegance and effortless beauty. Women are naturally beautiful and look fresh and youthful. I see the city as enchanting, romantic and chic.
What do you dislike about the make-up artist industry?
I find that the key is not really to do what you love but to love what you do. It’s not an easy industry, definitely not as glamorous as you'd think. But you can complicate your life as much or as little as you want. I find that as long as I do my job to the best of my ability, respect my work and the work of others and I am impeccable with my word, I will be successful and fulfilled. None of these things require talent just a good attitude.
Where can we see your work?
What future projects are you working on?
I'm currently exploring a darker more deconstructed, grittier version of my own work for personal projects and to incorporate some aspects of it for the season. I love all things ethereal, understated and exquisite. I'm all about the subtleties but I also love contrast and a bit of an edge. Perfection as a standard according to someone else, is not as interesting as something that’s unconventional and unique. I'm partial to flawed beauty; a dark secret, decadence, corruption of innocence. Think of the concept of pretty girl with hidden past or a night out wearing a beautiful dress in a forbidden place.