Following creative makeup artists is our guilty pleasure when it comes to Instagram. One of these addicting accounts is Anna Semenova (Meder) of @medermakeup, a Saint Petersburg-based makeup artist and influencer who stuns with her colorful, out-of-the-box makeup looks. Ahead, we chatted with Anna about where she pulls inspiration from, her creative process and how she makes her own makeup rules.
Iuliana: Hey Anna! How are you? Excited to interview you today! For those who are not familiar with who you are – tell us a bit about yourself.
Anna: My name is Anna Semеnova. Most people don’t know my real last name, because I work under the second name Meder. I live in Russia, in St. Petersburg. Since childhood I have had many interests: gymnastics, journalism, fashion design and modeling. I’m a big fan of everything new, so I took on everything at once, but after a long time, I still understood what I want to do and directed all my energy into creativity, or rather experimental makeup. I call myself a madness taster.
Iuliana: Your Instagram page looks surreal! When and how did you get into the beauty industry, and what do you love most about it?
Anna: At the end of last year, I decided that I wanted to show the world my works. I was very inspired by high fashion, I often watched shows. I wanted to combine fashion, drawing and the different objects around me into a single whole. I think that was the starting point for shaping me and my style. What I love most about the beauty industry is freedom. I can do what I want. I can see that diversity. I see people coming out of their comfort zone and creating unforgettable works!
Iuliana: I’m wondering how’d you come up with connecting plants and embellishments with creating pieces of art, as shown on your social media page.
Anna: I’ve had a love for plants since I was a child. I planted a small garden in my yard 14 years ago. I was helped by a very good woman. With my works I show the immense beauty of our nature and my view on the various objects and objects around us. One day I looked at a bouquet of blue chrysanthemums and realized that they would wither soon, but what if they were immortalized? What if we gave them a second life? That’s how my first work with fresh flowers came into being, and then a series of works called “Reborn”. Working with live plants is something sacred to me. I feel united with them. In addition to working with flowers, I like to draw different patterns, which I like to complement with rhinestones, as well as working with different objects to show their volume and shape.
Iuliana: We love your creativity. What inspires you to create your looks?
Anna: I get the most inspiration from nature and its inhabitants. Our planet is so unique. And coloring animals, the same chameleons or spiders, for example, is one big inspiration! But I’m also very inspired by paintings by artists such as Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Malevich and Kandinsky. I often flip through a book with their works and always admire it as if I were looking at something for the first time!
Iuliana: Take us through the process of creating a new look — where do you start?
Anna: I can give you an example of working with plants. I always work with newly harvested plants. I collect them in my garden or on the street, depending on what I liked when I walked. I choose the right background for them because there has to be harmony, there has to be a sense of unity and as soon as the background is ready, I start to put the plants on. Then there’s my not-so-favorite part, this picture of the look. It’s so hard to convey how the work itself looks in life, so I also approach it carefully. That’s how my work is born.
Iuliana: What is your definition of beauty?
Anna: For me, there are no standards of beauty. I don’t care at all about who and how they look or what their looks are in fashion. I believe that beauty always comes from the inside and radiates from the outside.
Iuliana: How would you describe the creative scene in Saint-Petersburg and what are the opportunities like for makeup artists?
Anna: There are many opportunities in St. Petersburg to reach your potential. Indeed, many people go to Moscow or St. Petersburg to prove themselves, as it is more real here than in small towns.
Iuliana: In what ways do you think social media has transformed the beauty industry?
Anna: I think that social networks have greatly influenced the beauty industry, both in positive and negative ways. If we talk about the negative key, it is a lot of photos with retouched faces and bodies. Many people look at these photos and start to look for flaws and think that they do not fit into what most people think is “beautiful”. But there is another side, positive. The side where people show themselves as they are. They tell us what they live with and what they have to deal with. I think that’s the side of freedom. The side where people can feel free to be who they are. That’s the freedom I’ve talked about in my work. We don’t need boundaries; we’re made to break them down!
Iuliana: What’s the most memorable project you’ve got to work on?
Anna: Soon I will have a professional photo session where I will work as a makeup artist. For me it is exciting, but madly interesting!
Iuliana: Do you have any advice for aspiring makeup artists who’re trying to break into the industry?
Anna: Let me write some words that I address directly to them.
«Never doubt yourself, even if you’re told you’ll never achieve anything. You can all do it! It will be difficult, but you will succeed if you work hard and love your job with all your heart! Always go your way and choose what you like. Be free in your creativity. Be honest with yourself! »
Thank you so much for the interview!
Follow Anna on Instagram here.