main image | photographer Tolu Olaku @thelensofthebeholder | studio @2trakent | HMUA @trinaydidit
It’s late Friday afternoon, and, as it’s coming up to dinner time, we talk food. I mention that I fancy a goat roti, or maybe oxtail from Calabash.
Faith gets all excited as we chat Caribbean food and asks if I’ve been to D Roti Shak.
Ah, no. But after this recommendation; I’m there!
I met Faith earlier this year as I was searching for a model for my latest collection.
She was the first model to respond to the posting, and unlike so many responses, she had included all the necessary info (take note aspiring models!).
As a designer, you know that when someone responds with all the relevant information, they know what they’re doing!
And it’s only recently that Faith has started to work and collaborate with other Black creatives in Vancouver, “Knowing that there are others who have come from similar backgrounds as me… when I do a shoot with them…I still can’t explain it…I love working with Black creators!”
“It’s that feeling of being a part of something bigger than you; of community; of belonging. It definitely feels good.”
“I think everyone really wants to (connect). I’ve noticed in the past few years there’s this ‘wanting’ and no one really knew where to start.”
This is a common thread that’s emerging from the Black creatives that I’ve been talking to. A lack of community and awareness of each other, but slowly this is changing, the more we work with each other.
“Especially now, in this climate, there’s a push for us to band together. It’s necessary.”
Faith has been modelling for the past 2 years and in her time within the Vancouver fashion scene she comments that she always brings her makeup to each shoot. “…foundation, concealer, powder…”
Reflecting on one of the first shows she did, “I was offended by the way they let me walk on stage. All the other girls had makeup that looked gorgeous.”
“It’s hard to talk to makeup artists when you’re in a show. You don’t want to come across as hard to work with, or rude. It frustrates me. It’s rough.”
“Beauty schools don’t teach it [make up for BIPOC]. It’s not in the curriculum. That’s institutional racism. They don’t even consider us.”
On the flip side, Faith recalls modeling for a make-up artist who was working on her portfolio and the MUA hadn’t worked with a model with skin as dark as Faiths’ and so she didn’t have the necessary products in her kit. “But she made it work. She went out of her way to make the products that she did have, work for the look. That’s what a MUA should do.”
“It’s interesting to talk about creativity as I’ve never considered myself to be a creative person up until a year ago, so I’m still navigating my own way. Talking and explaining this process helps me to understand myself more.”
Figuring out how to put your creative thoughts down on paper is hard and knowing what to keep and knowing what to remove.
“I never knew there were so many different ways to put your vison on paper before you actually do it!”
We talk about having the courage to put our creations out into the world for others to see.
“I never realized how tough that could be. I post at 5am and constantly check to see who has liked it! When someone I look up to creatively is saying, ‘This is a really cool concept!’, it’s validation. That network is important when you put things out into the world.”
Styling is just one expression of creativity for Faith. Referring to a recent shoot that is yet to be released, she notes that she put her idea out into the world, and a photographer was into it.
Faith organized the clothing, the make-up, the hair. “I just put it together and trusted myself. That shoot helped me to navigate this process.”
“I love styling, but I hate being behind the camera. I don’t wanna be behind the scenes!”
Faith has some incredible projects out now and also coming up, some of which she added her creative perspective to.
“I would much rather take a job with a friend who has a really cool personal project, than a paid shoot.”
Keep up-to-date with her work on Instagram