Hard Graft

February 10th, 2016

February 10th, 2016

De María, Creative Director for Graftobian, creates the kind of work which lingers in your memory.  Her use of colours and range of projects, aided by the versatility of Graftobian’s product lines, creates stunning body and face art.  We were lucky enough to get to know this painter a little better.

De Headshot

WP:  What first sparked your interest in make-up?

DM:  I have always been passionate about art and painting.  When I was a child, I remember spending lots of hours drawing and colouring my notebooks.  Years later I got into University to study Fine Arts.  This was in the nineties, and drag queens were at their peak in Spain.  I think that first time I saw a Drag Queen show with all those colours, the glitter and big wigs, was when I realised that what I wanted to do was painting and create characters who could move and dance!

WP:  Where did you train or study?

DM:  The years I spent at University studying Fine Arts were really useful when I started to work as a make-up artist because make-up is definitely an art discipline.  At the beginning, when I started to do make-up, I was totally self-taught.  Around that time I started to work in some performance shows to practice.  It was when I moved to Barcelona that I started to study professional make-up.


WP:  What does your role as Creative Director of Graftobian entail?

DM:  I am Creative Director at Graftobian, so my main role is to develop concepts, ideas and organise collaborations with the Graftobian philosophy in mind.  Every season we try to grow developing, new and innovative projects that fit with the essence of the brand.  The most important side of my job is to manage the professional Graftobian team and generate a big union between us.  Real inspiration and creativity comes from teamwork.

WP:  What is your signature look, if you have one?

DM:  I think my signature look is the use of colour.  There is always a pictorial side in my personal make-up projects.  Painting has always been very important for me, but, instead of a canvas, now I use the skin.  I always work with the idea of creating new concepts, new mixtures, new textures.


WP:  How do you continue to challenge, push and inspire yourself if you are feeling short on ideas?

DM:  Inspiration comes every day from anything…  Any experience you live can be a starting point.  Although it is true that creativity doesn’t exist without working hard, there is not a magic recipe.  I am lucky because I am very passionate about working and working, I am happy when I have to research new textures, colours, impossible mixes…  this is, in fact, the real creative process.


WP:  What are your top 5 product picks from Graftobian?

DM:  I am totally in love with the Glamour Creme HD line and GlamAire for airbrushing, the finish on the skin is magical.  To work with Graftobian products has seen a big change in my work.  And I have to recommend FX Aire for airbrush artists, the intensity of the pigment, the ease for creating effects and the texture is unique.

I love the artistic make-up Pro Paint colours that allow me to develop great tonalities, which I can also mix with other pigments and airbrush.  I am very passionate about the Metal Powder products, since the first time I used them I realised they are unique!  You have them in gold, copper and silver.  We love them and you can find these metal effect very often in our works.  Apart from all of these wonderful products, I recommend our Luster Box for every professional make-up artist.  It is indispensable!  With it I can create a huge number of finishing touches – it’s ideal for beauty and for artistic make-up as it contains pigments in two textures, powder and cream.

WP:  Which products from other brands could you not live without?

DM:  I think the new pigments line by Pat McGrath, Phantom002 and Gold001 are amazing.


WP:  Whose work do you admire?

DM:  Definitely Pat McGrath, she is always a big inspiration for me.  She is a make-up genius and the work she does is so innovative and surprising.  Also I like the work of Isamaya Ffrench, Val Garland, Peter Philips, Pep Gay

WP:  What do you hope 2016 will bring?

DM:  We have big projects planned for Graftobian this year.  We hope to continue growing as one of biggest professional make-up brands in Europe throughout 2016.  We will be attending two big make-up shows in different countries where make-up artists will have the opportunity to get to know our brand and our talent team.


WP:  Do you have any tips for how to shoot and style great make-up looks for editorial?  What should new artists bear in mind?

DM:  I think an editorial is the perfect place for a make-up artist.  In an editorial you don’t have limits and you can work with freedom and experiment new things.  Furthermore, you have to work with a team – the photographer, the stylist – in order to create the concept, but the objective is always the same: to look for beauty and to get a stunning result.

WP:  Best piece of advice you have received from another MUA?

DM:  Even the best make-up artist knows when it is better not to put on make-up.  This is the best piece of advice I’ve ever received.




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By Deborah Murtha

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