artist interview: alex no

At freshlyWORN Magazine, we receive all sorts of submissions; some of them beg for a second, third and fourth look… Alex No was one of those contributors. We received his submissions and were immediately impressed and excited about sharing his work with the world. Prolific, creative and daring, we needed to know more about this unique artist and publish his fantastic works. Here is what we learned:

In a few words, tell us a little about yourself.
Alex: I am a designer, stylist, make-up artist, decorator, performer, stage-manager and androgynous model.  I was born and currently live in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. I have attended college and have post secondary education, along with a number of supplementary courses in different fields.  Hobbies include literature, cinema (mostly art-house), creativity and human nature.

DTN Creative Team was launched in April 2008 by me and in August 2008 Raisa Kanareva joined the project. Prior to 2008, Raisa and I created a few editorials together after discovering that they have the same aesthetic views and ideas about the creative process. This launched DTN and the main activity unfolded on the dark stage and most of works were increated in an alternative and gothic style. Most shoots were darkly styled and most early work included shocking club performances. Later, in 2010-2011 years, our creative team began experiment with other creative styles and directions, such as fashion,  art fashion and podium shows.Currently Raisa and I are a operating as a successful and well-coordinated team, managing to advance far beyond the dark, gothic scene and now create in many areas simultaneously.

How long have you been a model, makeup artist and stylist?
Alex: It is terrible to admit, but my experience in MUA and styling isover 10 years and about 6 years as a model.

How did you get into modelling, MUA and styling?
Alex: It’s been so long and happened so naturally, that I did not notice it happening. Meeting my collaborator Raisa (photographer and retoucher) also played important role and together we have created a great number of different projects and implemented many crazy ideas 🙂

What does modelling and creating a fashion editorial mean to you?
Alex: This is not only my favorite type of work, but a way of life.
It is an opportunity to change the world and make it a bit prettier, maybe…

Is there a model or makeup artist you particularly admire?
Actress and model Tilda Swinton, models Andreja Pejic and Lea T. Valter Torsleff and Adrien Lebreton are not so widely known, but I like them very much too.  As for makeup artists, I want to mention Kabuki,  Alex Box; the works of Pat McGrath for John Galliano shows are really magnificent.

Living in Russia presents some very real difficulties for modelling, MUA and styling passion. How are you coping with these societal and political issues?

Alex: Unfortunately in Russia is not the best place for the development of the fashion industry.  The largest fashion weeks in Moscow and St. Petersburg are now gone. Besides, in Russia there is no serious and respectful attitude towards creative professionals. Most people do not even realize that modeling/styling/design is not only a fun, but it’s a job!

Economic crisis, inhumane laws, including against LGBT-people, the expansion of the Church in different areas of public life and the growth of aggression in society does not allow for the flourishing of creative professions. Many people who don’t like these issues and changes in the country are now leaving or going to leave. It is extremely difficult to maintain an optimistic attitude. Let’s just say: not all creativity is banned, there is still some areas for creative work and access to regular customers.

As for personal creative development, this is quite difficult. From time to time I have a creative idea of bright new project, but then it becomes clear that to show something like this to the Russian public is not a good idea (taking into account our new laws and a state of mind).

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Alex: In USA or Canada. May be in Germany. But definitely not in Russia.

What is happiness to you?
Alex: Happiness is freedom.

It’s applies to the most simple, everyday things –  freedom to be creative, to have the opportunity of professional development and tolive without fear. For example: I don’t want to be afraid to dress “wrong” or to hold hands with my boyfriend.

With Love, Alex No ☺

Over the next 3 weeks, freshlyWORN Magazine is pleased to feature six new editorials from this unique and exciting artist. Follow our Facebook page for updates.

Follow Alex’s work online at Instagram, 500px and vk.com.