While planning creative photo projects and trying to knock out some personal 2019 resolutions, I am trying to be consistent with blog posts and share more awesome moments from my career, as well as showcase amazing crew that I am fortunate to work with. And on that note, let's kick ass in 2019! This year is going to be amazing, so excited to see what makeup and hair jobs I get to do this year! Let's book already!
Last April, I worked on a commercial with Originator Studios for Blytzpay. A really cool app to easily pay your bills online. In this commercial I got to transform the lead singer, Corey of Croy and the Boys from a hipster- esque and overwhelmed bar owner into a rockin' winning at life bar owner. You might also recognize the band members of Black Heart Saints, (who were also transformed) from a geek-like band into a rockin' sax playing heavy metal band. I cannot begin to tell you how much fun I had on this job. From creating the characters with Derek to applying the makeup and hair changes. Watching the finished product makes me giggle still, it was so much fun. Love the crew at Originator Studios, always a pleasure to be trusted on commercials! It was released in November, and I am so proud to share!
Location: Spiderhouse Ballroom
Director: Derek Gildersleeve
1st AD: Willie Rockefeller
DP: Andrew Scott Baird
Production: Kari Burke
1st AC: Jacob Berardi
Gaffer: Ben Oliver
Key Grip: Drake Howard
Sound: Richard Hamilton
DIT: Matt Pearson
Prod Design: Matt Dayton
Assist MUAH: Kate Kubala
Key MUAH: Jessi Pagel
The Iron Orchard is listed as one of the top 10 films by Austin Monthly, at this year's Austin Film Festival! I finally get to see all the hard work we put into this film. There are 2 dates this film is screening, October 27 at Galaxy Highland, and October 30th at the Paramount. Both nights will be epic! Austin Film Festival schedule - AFF Schedule. And, I have finally added behind the scenes photos from the feature film to my website. Enjoy!
I have been working hard this year on lifestyle campaigns, beauty and corporate photo shoots as well as commercials. Check out the link below to see more additions to my website! Don't forget to take a peek at video snippets of music videos and commercial work.
Last summer, I had the opportunity to work on a Feature Film as the Makeup Department Head. It was a period film, based on a book called "The Iron Orchard" published in 1966. The story was set in the late 1920's to the 1950's. Having a hefty cast of men and women that spanned the 30 year time frame, I knew it was going to be an exciting challenge. We filmed during the month of June mostly in Big Spring TX, with some dates in Midland and Austin, TX.
Taking on a film set in this time period, with this amount of talent and a small crew was a life, as well as a career changing experience. I was responsible for designing looks with the Director - Ty Roberts as well as coordinating with the Hair Department Head - Ashley Rihel, Wardrobe Designer - Juliana Hoffpauir, and at times the Art Designer and Practical Effects Designer. As I type "looks" mind you, this includes beauty, spfx, dirt, creating crude oil, synthetic sweat mixed with natural sweat, making sure the talent is properly protected from sun and wind, and dealing with slight aging. Because we were filming 80% of the movie outdoors, that meant their skin has the opportunity to become more dry or oily. All of those details need to be recorded into a continuity bible, (books) with descriptions, photos, drawings and product listings. Having a second pair of hands as my Key Makeup Artist - Cassie Cole, made it a lot easier to handle, but we could have used more help, (this is a common indie film occurrence).
You may be thinking, this all sounds like a lot of work. Why would you take on this challenge in West Texas with the summer heat indexing at 118 degrees at some locations? Well, I love a challenge, and I have been collecting vintage makeup for 22 years now, including beauty advertising. I am a makeup geek and a vintage beauty lover. I was so excited to rock this movie.
Then we began to create a beautiful film. So much happened in the next 5 weeks, a book is needed to tell the stories of just awesome, fun, stressful and life-changing things that happened, but I digress. I walked away from this movie the proudest I have ever been of all of projects. I hope you enjoy the trailer. I haven't had the opportunity to watch the film yet, it has only screened at the Dallas International Film Festival earlier this year. Hopefully y'all can watch for it this winter!
I want to thank the entire cast and crew, for making this experience so rich and so memorable. Especially the late night Karaoke singing, (until we got kicked out) every weekend we were off work. I still have some blackmail videos stashed away, teehee. Check out our IMDB listing, because without them, this film would not be possible. THE IRON ORCHARD
I also want to thank my awesome makeup/skin care sponsors that helped us with our product needs:
Make Up For Ever
I have been busy planning and executing shoots with some amazing photographers, models and wardrobe stylists this year! I am so grateful for my uber talented friends and colleagues! Instead of the normal addition to my portfolios, I added an album for the newest releases of my makeup and hair work. Here is a peek at a few favorite images. To see the entire set, jump to my portfolio website. Thanks to the teams; Todd White, Rossi Saenz, Robin Huneycutt, Ainsley Joseph, Emma, Hannah, Mandi Summers and Shelley Riley! Enjoy everyone.
Each New Year's Day, my Texan grandma Lynette made us eat one Black Eyed Pea each for each year we had been alive, for luck and properity for the new year. I couldn't stand the way they tasted. So, as an adult I searched for different recipies, to not only continue the tradition, but to enjoy it as well. I found the Hoppin' John Stew recipie from IbelieveIcanfry.com. Along with my family tradition, this adds even more yummy goodness for prosperity and luck. Happy New Year everyone!
Traditionally, in the South, you HAVE to eat pork, black-eyed peas and collard greens for a good year. The peas (which are actually technically a bean) represent coins, and the collard greens represent paper money. Cornbread always appears with beans & greens, and is often said to represent gold."
I like to prepare my black-eyed peas and collard greens just before bed on New Years Eve; I use a large slow cooker, adding smoked sausage as my pork. Nothing beats waking up on New Years Day to a house smelling of collards and peas, and having a hearty meal ready to serve.
Slow-Cooker Black-Eyed Peas & Collard Greens
1 lb dried black-eyed peas
1 large bunch collard greens, trimmed and cut into pieces
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 lb smoked sausage, cut into rounds
4 cups (1 quart) chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
First and foremost, sort and soak your black-eyed peas. Since I'm using a large slow cooker with a removable crock, I soak my peas in it. Just cover the peas with several inches of cold water, and let soak 8 hours or more. Since I prepare this meal just before bed, I soak my peas for 8 hours prior to cooking. .
Use a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. If you do not have a large slow cooker, simply reduce the recipe.
After soaking, drain and rinse the peas and return them to the slow cooker. Prepare your onion, celery and bell pepper; add to the slow cooker.
Slice your smoked sausage into rounds and add it to the slow cooker. If you don't want to use smoked sausage, you can substitute a ham hock, leftover Christmas ham, or even a ham steak, cut into pieces.
(I use Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage, it's amazing)
Next, add the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, salt and pepper.
It may seem there is not much room left for the collards! Trim your collard greens; remove the thick stem from the center, and cut the greens into squares. Wash, drain and add to the slow cooker; these will wilt down considerably when cooking, so don't worry about the slow cooker being filled to the brim. (Do NOT put the stems in the garbage disposal. Trust me on this one).
Cover the slow cooker and set the timer (if your slow cooker has one) to LOW for 8-12 hours. I find that 10 hours is just the right amount of time to cook everything without it becoming mushy.
Once cooked, the peas and greens can be kept warm in the slow cooker all day. If desired, you can serve this (and the pot likker) over cooked rice. I prefer a simple skillet cornbread instead.
As a creative makeup artist since 1999, I have had the pleasure of working on some very artistic projects. Some being my own art direction, and some visions coming from stylists, photographer, models and brands. Late in 2016 I was so fortunate to be able to work with Robin, the owner and creator of Magnolia Pearl, a beautiful and fashion clothing store based out of Fredericksburg, TX.
Robin's vision along with her designs were immaculate. The hair styling and sculpting I was able to do along with the makeup was so invigorating.
I cannot express how exciting this job was. I am so thankful I got to be a part of this collection. Enjoy the photos. Makeup and Hair by Jessi Pagel Diaz, assisted by Ashely Watson-Rihel.
Models, Callisto, Eugenia and Inna.
During the last weekend of Austin's ACL Music Festival, Other Voices came to Austin to film a 4 day music show. I was fortunate to have been the lead makeup artist/hair stylist on this show! We had such an amazing time, with acts like Dale Watson, Wild Child and Cage the Elephant.
Other Voices had three hosts; Alejandro, Austin's local musician "Shakey Graves", MayKay from Ireland, (and the band Fight Like Apes) and Huw Stephens, a welsh radio presenter currently on BBC Radio 1 and Radio Cymru.
During the day, they interviewed the musical acts around some Austin hang outs, favorite food spots and bars. Then in the evening, Other Voices created a MAGICAL space where the various acts preformed for a select 30-50 people at Arlyn Studios. It was SUCH an amazing show to be a part of. The crew from the Emerald Aisle were so splendid and very hard working. I'm so glad I got to experience the show.
There have already been a number of news articles about the show filmed in Austin, TX. I really am super excited to see the end result. Other Voice's Austin will release early next year on Ireland's channel RTE2. I have to find an app so that I can watch too. Be sure to look them up on their site www.othervoices.ie They will be uploading snippets from performances.
In the meantime, here are some photos you can enjoy by Rich Gilligan. Makeup and Hair by Jessi Pagel Diaz.
Even though the weather doesn't agree. Fall is nearly upon us. A photo shoot I developed finally came together into a webitorial for Influential Magazine. I'm really happy it got accepted, and very proud of the makeup and hair work I executed. Our wardrobe stylist had to back out because of work a couple of days before the shoot. I had to find someone to cover her and execute the style I wanted to portray. She kicked ass and pulled from a few local vintage stores.
We didn't end up with exactly what I envisioned. But I do love the end result. It has a great back to school, grunge feel to it. I hope you enjoy. If you would like to check out the magazine here is a link to the feature: Goodbye to Summer
Photographer: Jag Visuals
Wardrobe: Laura Hamilton
Location: St. Elmo Soundstage
Models: Alyssa & Kienna with Brown Agency
Makeup & Hair: Jessi Pagel Diaz
Fitness Month was an unexpected but welcome turn this month! After not being very motivated myself, fitness wise, I landed three fitness jobs right after eachother.
This Spring/Summer 2016, I am excited to see the Academy Sport + Outdoors Running Ad Campaign I worked on. We shot 17 models on day 1, (I literally had 2 hours to get their makeup & hair styled with 1 makeup assistant). TALK ABOUT QUICK AND PRECISE! Then on day 2, we had only 8 left. It was awesome working with the creatives at Academy. And the photographer Matt Jones is truly talented. Here is one photo from the Academy Sport + Outdoor social media feed.
Talk about motivation! Watching the talent run for 2 days was pretty awesome. That will power I do have towards work, but not really for the gym. Be sure, I will watch for those Academy Running Ads, in store, in the mail, online and in their weekly email sales.
A couple weeks later, I got called to work for a communications company for Six Pack Shortcuts. An Austin-based YouTube Channel and web presence dedicated to health and soon-to-be personal success of people. SUCH A GREAT GROUP! Check out their You Tube Channel at http://www.sixpackshortcuts.com.
While working, one of their staff exclaimed, "Jessi, Look!" There I watched a very muscular guy arm curl another muscle man laying as straight as a board. It was a pretty entertaning day to say the least!
The next day I was very fortunate to work with Larsen & Talbert Photography! I worked with them 13 years ago, on an Andre Agassi shoot in Las Vegas. It's so amazing that the industry led us back together for another sports related job!
This time, we worked for Runner's World Magazine. I was makeup and hair artist for 2 model/athletes for the April 2016 Cover and an editorial story. Cannot wait for this magazine to release! Thad and Lisa were gorgeous, and I was so happy with some unedited images I took a peek at. Here is a photo that Tracy Talbert took on her phone of Lisa and Photographer Michael.
As a result, I got very motivated to get back into a fitness routine. Starting yesterday at Tod Pilates North. And yes, I am still sore! Hopefully after yoga today, I can get some muscles to relax.
I wouldn't have these amazing jobs without my friend and collegue Amy Whitehouse from 1 and 4 Productions. She is my biggest influence and so lucky to have her as a friend. If you need an amazing producer contact this wonder woman!
It's that time of year, when I remember the jobs I worked on. And the people, the moments that touched me the most. I was fortunate to meet and work with Lizzie Velasquez for a editorial spread for People Magazine this year. I was familiar with Lizzie's story but naively walked into working on such an important campaign, (and wished I was better versed with her story). She suffers from a rare congenital disease which, among other symptoms, doesn't allow her body to accumulate fat. She was inspired by bullying to become a motivational speaker. Even from posts on instagram, facebook and twitter showcasing her story and her beautiful soul, she fights daily. A fight that I have, like many others dealt with in life. But she is making such a huge impact on the world, with others in various global campaigns to fight anti-bullying. I am so lucky to have met her, worked with her, and continue to help spread her infectious love. From the bullying she encountered as a child, to late teens. Her words to these bullies is simply to love them. It's so easy to lash back at the world, at people for making you feel lesser than. Especially seen online. When people like to act differently than normal, or have other identities to do so.
Lizzie's strength was so eye-opening. While we were taking photos, strangers would come up to her crying, thanking her for helping them, their children and the for helping make our world a better place. She also has a documentary out called "A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story. It was absolutely amazing. More people need to see this documentary. More people need to love each other. Myself included! I falter, I fight negative thinking every day. I know the rest of the world is as well. It's just weather people want to realize it or not.
Be sure to check out her Video Blog Page here Lizzie Velasquez.
Jessi Pagel is a makeup and hair artist working in commercial, lifestyle, corporate, editorial, tv and live events. This blog has everything from how-to's to the adventures of her life and works in progress.