HOME OF INTERNATIONAL AWARD WINNING CELEBRITY ARTIST JOE PLATIA
As a child, I was probably the only kid on the block with a drafting table and a full arsenal of art supplies. At the time, I was heavily involved in pen and ink renderings and charcoal drawings. With the support of my family and art teachers, I have to admit I was quite spoiled -- particularly by my teachers. While most kids would be in the front of the classroom making clay crafts, I would be in the back of the room creating whatever I wanted. I would re-create album covers in pen and ink, make photo copies for a nickel and proceed to sell them for a quarter so I had extra lunch money, particularly on pizza day. I must admit that some of my teachers were not as fond of my gift as my art instructors; I would often create not-so-flattering cartoon images of some teachers and leave them under other students' desks. (You didn't hear that from me.)
After high school, I began doing freelance art work such as T-shirt designs and company logos, but I never really felt that was the path I wanted for myself. About four years ago, my father Joe Sr. approached me with an opportunity: We had a vacant store front that had been a hair salon, and he offered me the chance to take on the shop as my own business. I wasn't sure if this was a good idea because if an employee called off, I would have to close the salon. So I reluctantly enrolled in Allentown School Of Cosmetology in Allentown, Pa. After getting comfortable in my new surroundings, I began to excel in my chosen career. After just six months, I was named "Northeast Student Of The Year." Two months later, I received the "Southeast Most Promising Student," a memorial award named after Carl Reese. After roughly three years in the industry, I received 28 International Awards in makeup artistry and hair styling. About 5 years ago, I managed to arrange an interview with Playboy magazine. But my portfolio was greatly lacking content, and I couldn't afford to hire a photographer for the amount of work I needed to produce. I began attempting my own digital photography and, quite to my surprise, the images were pretty good. Then I started drawing my backgrounds on all my images to make them more vibrant and eye-catching. Upon embarking on photo retouching, I realized that I could not only do hair, makeup and photography, I could do what I love the most -- my artwork. I then needed something more powerful in my imagery, so I decided to expand my makeup application to full body makeup (bodypainting). I can now capture some of the most unique and vibrant images with a fashion that would typically be impossible to create on a reasonable budget. When creating a fashion that costs about $3 a bottle, you're free to be as creative as you desire. I can see full body makeup being a very big part in the future of commercial fashion photo styling because of its limitless possibilities. It could be used in music videos, fashion magazine covers, even daily salon services for someone who wants a crazy pair of stockings or a painted accessory for a night on the town. The limits are only to one's imagination.