Jon Hennessey’s makeup career is a globe-spanning trek and a who’s-who in the world of Fashion, Entertainment and Advertising. See what this influential MUA has to say…
How and when did you get started in the beauty industry?
It feels crazy to say it, because in some regards it still feels relatively new, but it’s been 18 years since I first picked up a brush. I was inspired by a girlfriend who was, and I’m sure still is, an incredible artist and translated that talent to her own face every day…brows in particular, she set a high benchmark. Around the same time, likely while waiting for her to finish her makeup, I started flipping through a few of her issues of Vogue and came across an article on Stephane Marais. The feature was on Stephane’s concept sketches and the realization of those images on a 3 dimensional surface. Between those 2 influences, I walked away with a clear vision of how I wanted to make a living.
Who has inspired you throughout your career? What inspires you?
As Artists, our creative output is defined by our creative input and our sphere of influences. If you look exclusively to one source for inspiration, your work will be one dimensional. If I honestly listed all of the people who’ve inspired or influenced me over the course of my career, it would sound like the world’s longest Academy Awards acceptance speech. Here are a few… my son Jude, my daughter Edie, Stacey Thomas, Jason Stafford, Lucyanne … The last three names are really the reason that my career kicked off and has evolved the way it has. I owe a lot to them.
What inspires me now? … the individual.
What is your signature look?
Either “Blue Steel” or Richie Tenenbaum…or if you’re referring to makeup, minimal product with maximum impact.
This I could go on about for ages. I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished with NOBASURA. The company came about out of my own needs as an Artist. I was looking for representation which I felt actually represented the way that I conduct my own business. In the city, as a Makeup Artist, I was often the common denominator on a variety of different projects or sets. I had the opportunity to collaborate with a multitude of talented artists in each category (hairstylists, stylists, photographers etc.) and came to the realization that I was working in a seriously fragmented creative community. So, I set out to change that. I took the opportunity to start to pull together Artists from each category who had very little, if any, previous interaction and provide NOBASURA as the umbrella under which they could gather.
With the brand, I never wanted to be locked into any type of expected agency structure or visual presentation. We’re all Artists, we all have different messages to convey and I wanted NOBASURA itself to be a creatively malleable entity that could continue to evolve based on either our needs as industry professionals or creative interests. As of today, we represent a variety of expected categories, but we also represent a conceptual artist named “the dark” who creates street installations…Tomorrow it could be someone working in Origami.