Her smile glistens at me, with gemstones on her teeth. A colourgon blending into eyelids. Naezrah Desir is the Make-Up artist who instruments her living avatar. We drift through her representations of emotive looks. A space, where she expresses her feelings in colors and pigments. Magnifying characters through fiction, nature and mythology. A fairy and nymph series with Kellan – ´the fairy of immortality and peace´, who was gifted with psychokinesis and telekinetic abilities. With a voice beyond Make-Up, Naezrah uses her platform to start conversations and elevate BIPOC and LGBTQAI+ artists in the industry.
If you got a stamp when landing on earth, like in a nightclub, what would it be?
A star with one planet tugging on the rings surrounding it. Together glimmering in rainbow iridescent UV light.
What materials and textures do you like to sense?
Knits are soothing to touch. I have shaggy blankets that I take with me. Even watching materials in Claymation movies lets my mind be quite. I remember observing nature for the first time. The air and trees after the rain, finding the smell of freshly cut grass and pulled soil.
What fascinated you as a kid?
The idea of space, time and the universe and the fact that humans exist. Wandering through etymology and mythology. Not the Disney way, the actual way, like people going and looking for supernatural beings. My family members have said they have seen merpeople, from where we are from, in Haiti. There is a bunch of worlds over there. I would like to meet a vampire and werewolves.
What is a habit of yours?
As I sleep in the day and I am awake at night. I have a social anxiety, so I like to swing back and forth . Fidgeting and consistently moving – rubbing my hands on my legs or just playing with my fingers. You can´t see it, but I am doing it right now.
What does culture mean to you, how do you connect to your own?
Culture is the present and the past. An archive for history and a time machine for things that keep me grounded. My home Haiti was named by the Taino people. The word arises from Ayiti, meaning ‘Land of Mountains’. In my Haitian culture, it is ingrained in us to not back down. Haiti was the first black republic to win freedom over slavery. If you look into anything that Haiti has gone through, they kept their resilience. Over and over, we don’t give up.
What are the present beliefs in your culture?
While the Catholicism is strongly represented as the official religion in Haiti. The culture is taking pride in having a freedom of allowing several religions. Even though, it is fraughted upon with assumptions, voodoo is still a recognized religion over there: A close practice with the principal that everything is a spirit.
What navigates you?
Sounds navigate me. Having synesthesia, I see colors when I hear music. When I listen to something upbeat, I see pinks, oranges and yellows. Sad lyrics can amplify in greens and blues. Emotions through colors and words through lines. Shapes are the scale of how I am feeling. A circle, for when I am feeling whole and hopeful. A triangle, for when I am feeling at peace with something.
How does Make Up smell?
Rain with a hail of skittles and Starbust. If you put your headphones on to Entangled by Lorn, you can hear the sounds, describing my journey. The way I got into Make Up was tough, people were bullying me in the internet. If I would have paid attention to what comments had to say about me, I would not be where I am today. Not backing down and knowing I can get better. The LGBTQIA+ community was one of the very first communities to welcome my art and myself.
Which organisms reflect your art?
A blob, traveling and learning. Reacting to certain textures and surfaces. Finding its way out of any labyrinth with the ability to shape shift. This field, that I am in, often feels like I am not seen. Making a path for myself, understanding that it is not just for me. For people that look like me, that are being told, that they can´t be as creative and edgy. If you are that black, dark skin person you can do all these things. We are on a floating rock in space, so do what you wish now.
What do you want to be heard?
Stealing from the black culture is a heated topic. My work gets stolen all the time and I am never credited for it. It will get copied and go viral via another white creator. You can´t wrap your head around it. It doesn’t make sense, comments like “That’s just not going to work for that skin tone”. It’s very hard to gain momentum. So I create to encourage black Make Up artists, especially darker-complexioned creators, to be seen. For an equal representation in this industry: