From aliens to flames, Janina Zais is using heads as her canvas.
“Even as a child I was painting little teddy bears,” says Janina Zais about her early beginnings with the paintbrush. She was inspired by her father, an artist, whose varied work included decorating coffins. Her mother, meanwhile, signed her up with ballet classes when she was less than three years old, which also brought her a step closer to the work she does today. “We performed on really big stages and had to help do our own make-up every time,” she remembers. The older she got and the more theater performances she participated in, the more Janina’s dream took shape — even though being a hair and make-up artist was a bit beyond her imagination at the time.
“It didn’t take me a long time to do my own thing,” says Janina. After training as hairdresser and going to make-up school in Hamburg she touched down in Berlin a year ago, kind of by accident. Not a bad place to experiment and give things a try, it’s the people here who inspire her, her friends and her surroundings. “I felt creatively unchallenged in the industry,” admits Janina “I knew that something had to happen but couldn’t say exactly what it was.” With hindsight, it appears that Berlin was just what she needed.
Janina is a self-described perfectionist. What seems to be ‘perfect’ in the eyes of most people is not good enough in hers. “It’s up to you,” she says. “All you need is to hustle your ass off every single day.” Of course, you need a bit of luck and have to know the right people, too — but still, she says, remember to not give up that easily. “For a long time I really had problems to find my own creative language,” Janina adds. “But in the end it’s about finding something that is zeitgeisty.”
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Photos: Janina Zais