In such a collaborative field, like our industry, new working relationships are forged everyday. It’s rare and amazing to see when two artistic forces come together and forge a long term partnership, elevating both of their crafts together as one. Talented hair artist Cameron LeSiege and skilled photographer (and often times, beautiful model) Daryna Barykina are exactly that team. The two have been working together on a majority of their projects since they met, and have recently embarked on a new adventure, launching a magazine. Iridescent Magazine is their brainchild, a print and web source promoting professionals from all avenues of the beauty industry. With the release of the second issue just ahead of us, this was the perfect time to catch up with Cameron and Daryna to pick their brain about their creative process as well as learn a bit more about what drives Iridescent.
Can you give us a bit of background on the two of you? How did you meet and how did this partnership come about?
Daryna Barykina: My name is Daryna Barykina, I am 25 years old, and I was born in Ukraine. In 2010, I graduated from Kyiv School of Photography. While preparing myself academically for my career in photography, I concurrently successfully completed my Masters Degree in Business Administration at Ukrainian–American Liberal Arts Institute Wisconsin International University (USA). In 2011, I relocated to Florida, where I started my career as a beauty and fashion photographer.
Cameron and I met at the Paul Mitchell School 2 years ago. I was working on a competition entry for one of the makeup artists, while Cameron was styling the model’s hair. He impressed me with his famous faux bob technique and that was the moment I realized that we should work on a project together. Our first collaboration was my personal project “Stigma” dedicated to female (and not only) stigmatization in contemporary society.
Cameron LeSiege: My name is Cameron LeSiege and I have lived in Jacksonville, Florida my whole life. I’ve been a hairdresser for 7 years, an educator for 3 years, and most recently, a beauty editor for Iridescent Magazine. Daryna and I met a couple years ago when I was entering a national photo stylist contest for Paul Mitchell. I was fascinated by Daryna’s skill for photography! From that moment on, I was very insistent we work together more frequently.
Who influenced you the most in your careers?
Daryna: Undeniably, Cameron has influenced my career a lot. Knowing his skill range always motivated me to create stronger and more creative concepts. His powerful will to be the best he can be, always moved us forward as a team, and very soon we caught ourselves discovered by very influential people in the industry. He was never afraid of a challenge; the toughest projects make him the most inspired, which is the biggest support for me, as an artistic director. Cameron was a part of every bit of my success.
My husband Alex also played a big role in my career. Being behind the scenes, his help may not be as visible, but very often unnoticed things create the biggest impact. Alex built me up from the inside, being a safe harbor, and the tallest mountain when I needed it. He always had faith in me, in my success. He is the person I can ask for an advice and share my thoughts without being judged.
Cameron: My parents played a huge roll in helping to financially support me through school and in the earliest stages of my career. Chris, my husband, has always been the voice of logic in many of my big decisions. Daryna helped me to realize my love for editorial work and I owe most of my portfolio and professional recognition to our collaborations. Our friendship has certainly changed the course of my career path and future.
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What inspired you to start a magazine?
Daryna: This is a story I have not told anyone before, but at the time, I was going through a stressful period of revaluation and validation. I knew that I had to keep myself busy, but could not motivate myself to pick up a camera. One day, I was looking through my inspiration folder and thought, how great would it be to have a source where professionals from all over the world could share their work, inspiring up-and-comers; maybe even guiding them, giving the insight into an editorial and commercial world. It was something that I desperately needed at the time. I thought, “What if WE create a source like that in a form of a magazine?” I immediately shared this idea with Cameron, we decided on the content and started gathering it. A few months later, we released our premiere issue.
Cameron: I have to admit that I am highly motivated when it comes to having fun, and starting this journey with Daryna and Iridescent Magazine has been more fun than I could have imagined! I get to create magic with my team of best friends and artistic geniuses. The magazine also allows me to share my passion for the industry with my students and help other talented hair artists to gain exposure.
How would you describe the Iridescent brand and aesthetic?
Cameron: I think Iridescent is fun, youthful, ambitious, encouraging, and tasteful! These are all words I would use to describe our team as well. The magazine is a true reflection of who we are as people. Iridescent features high-end creative content from the best professionals all over the world gathered in one place.
How are you using the world of digital to your advantage in growing your brand?
Cameron: The Internet is everything to us. We look to social media such as instagram and Bangstyle in order to find content for Iridescent in addition to promoting our brand and collections.
Daryna: We hand pick the content for each issue and very often we find our contributors through Instagram. We enjoy this social network, since it helps us stay connected with the contributors after the issue is out. Also, it has proven itself in finding us sponsors and partners.
What areas do you find yourselves always turning to for inspiration? Is there a theme or subject your excited to explore in a future collection?
Cameron: I look at what’s happening in fashion, movies, television, music, etc. No matter where the inspiration comes from, I believe it is important to create a unique character or emotion that is clear in the final image. Putting together a collection of images is the same as telling a story. There are no themes or subjects off limits for the future and I’m excited to play more with hair color in upcoming collections.
Daryna: For me, uniqueness of the personality was always a number one trend and inspiration. I create work always thinking of the character. Whether it is a collection, editorial piece or ad campaign, it is always about someone and for someone. In the nearest future, Cameron and I will surprise you with an interesting rebellious collection. We even suppose it may blow your mind.
What advice do you have for an artist looking to jump into doing editorial work?
Cameron & Daryna: FIND A SUPPORTING TEAM – Right after birth, ideas are very fragile and weak to be shown to a ‘stranger’. The ‘Stranger’ may laugh at it and the idea may die. If you share your “baby” ideas with people who support you, your idea will grow strong and turn into an awesome project.
YOUR FANTASY IS YOUR ONLY LIMIT – Start with a theme, imagine an ideal implementation of that theme and try to execute it as precise to that ideal as possible. Set high goals and you will get high results.
QUANTITY TURNS INTO QUALITY – Work a lot. Always work a lot. In the creative sphere, quantity of trial and error turns into quality.
CREATE AWESOME FROM NOTHING – make yourself step outside the boundaries, utilize well-known subjects and transform them into something new, display them at the angle no one has seen before. Make cheap things look expensive, turn simple into minimal. Don’t let limited sources discourage you; make them help you get discovered.
Hair/color: Cameron LeSiege, Photo/model: Daryna Barykina
Do you have any rituals before or during a shoot to ensure its success?
Cameron & Daryna: There are only 2 rituals in our routine: Preparation and preparation. I mention preparation two times because there are two prep types that we go through every time. Creative preparation, and professional preparation. Creative preparation is idea brainstorming - working with the mood boards, searching for props, models, and wardrobe. Professional preparation is testing the techniques that will be used at the day of the shoot: hair, makeup, and lighting. Only thought-out projects turn into success.
There is also a little ritual that we do, most likely, subconsciously. The night before the shoot, we text each other, saying how thankful we are for each other’s skills and time that is going to be put in the project. And lastly, how happy we are to work on this project together. We remind each other that we are the Dream Team.
Who is the quintessential Iridescent reader?
Cameron & Daryna: Our reader is an up-and-comer of the beauty industry, regardless of their age. A person who is competitive, creative, and always on the lookout for trends as well as inspiration.
We also think, that Iridescent magazine serves as a good tool for established professionals world wide, helping them communicate with each other through their works and interviews.
What characteristics are you looking for in the collections and artists that you feature?
Cameron & Daryna: Since our goal is to inspire, we are looking for a tasteful, very creative and immaculately executed work. Styling, makeup, model, wardrobe, and photography should all be on an equally high level. These collections should be an example of the best in the industry, something that younger professionals would look up to. It is essential for the collection to have a message. There is so much joy and fulfillment for a reader when he/she can understand what an artist is trying to translate through their collection, what character they had in mind when designing the styles.
What's the funniest thing that’s happened on a set?
Cameron: There are always funny things happening on set! Most of the time, I am the one laughing hardest while the ridiculousness goes unnoticed by Daryna, who’s full focus is through the camera lens. During our most recent shoot, something so funny happened that I almost peed my pants. Daryna asked a model to waddle back and forth (like a duck) to make the hair swing with her. When the image showed on the computer, I swear it looked like the dead girl from the movie The Grudge. The model's hair was in her face, mouth wide open, and eyes rolled to the back of her head.
It was the craziest looking image I have ever seen from our years of working together and she had no idea because she was still busy capturing shots of the waddling model. I couldn’t help but laugh hysterically and Daryna had no idea what I was looking at on the screen. I think my laughing must have been a little annoying because she said “You’re laughing now, but I promise the images will look great,” thinking I was only laughing at the model waddling and not this horrifying image stuck on the monitor.
Where would you like to take Iridescent down the line?
Cameron & Daryna: We would really like for Iridescent to appear on the shelves in major bookstores and be accessible for everyone.
Be sure to Stalk Cameron LeSiege to stay up to date on all his and Daryna's gorgeous creations, as well as check out Iridescent to find out how to get your work featured in the next issue.