Gee Pikinga

Gee Pikinga

SRA's leading Fashion tutor

Gee is a highly qualified and experienced makeup artist (and hairdresser). Having successfully taught the Fashion component of our part-time classes for some time with great flair, Gee now teaches both our full-time and part-time classes in Fashion.

How did you come to be a tutor at SRA? What path brought you here?

Having enjoyed the past years as a Retail and Freelance Makeup Artist specialising in Fashion Photographic, Fashion Runway & commercial beauty, a teaching role was something I had been wanting to sink my teeth into for some time. I was very pleased when I learned a position had become available at SRA as many of my very talented friends and colleagues have studied here.

What are you known for professionally? What is your signature look?

Not so much a signature 'look', stylistically I'd say my signature would be my 'fluidity' and ability to adapt.

Fashion and Beauty go hand in hand, and in a metaphorical sense I believe Fashion to be like water.

Water can manifest in different forms. It can move slowly. It moves quickly. It can follow the path that has been made for it and can be channeled by those that wish to control and harness it. But water is resilient and can create its own direction and change its course to fit the conditions, much like Fashion.

As a Fashion Makeup Artist my strengths are my ability to change. No one person is the same and I believe that this should be the case for every makeup. As artists in the industry I believe it to be our responsibility to influence the direction our art-form is heading. We must never get stuck on one destination and one way of getting there. To not only follow trend but design and invent them. Never be a "repeat offender". Our makeup brushes should be telling a different story with every face we 'paint'.

What’s the one problem you are best at solving for your students?

Being that I am still on this journey, as a Makeup Tutor my hopes are that I can aid my students in developing their own aesthetic and help them to bring their wildest imaginings into living forms of art. To help them develop a very self-critical editing eye. To nurture them to let their inner-genius flourish unashamedly.

Who have you worked with in the past? And what have you done for them?

I have worked for MAC Cosmetics, for whom I was a Freelance Artist and Retail Artist for a number of years

I have worked for Television Production companies such as TV3 and Cinco Cine Productions.

I've worked as a Promotional Artist for brands such as KMS California and Tresemme, and as a Freelance Artist for Smashbox Cosmetics for Fashion Runway and Television.

What are you most passionate about professionally?

My profession is my passion. But what I am passionate about in the profession itself is that each artist be respected and treated fairly no matter their level of expertise and be allowed to grow. And that each individual artist respect the art-form.

What most excites you about your work & the contribution you can make?

I guess the most exciting thing about the contributions I make to the art form is, whenever I have my work photographed, published or live and breathe on a runway, these moments are captured and immortalized in time and will continue to live after I'm gone.

What are you passionate about personally?

So many things. I am very active in my support of Human Rights initiatives. I have a fondness for helping others wherever I can. We as people need to be more supportive of one another. We never know when we will need it ourselves.

What do you really enjoy?

Spending time with my family, friends and creative individuals. I have loved films, television and documentaries since I was young and still do. But one thing I can not live without is music. I love music and have performed in previous years in stage productions, bands and choral groups.

What can’t you stop talking about?

Fashion. It is the music in my head. The fabric of my being and everything I love. It is of the utmost importance.

Where can we find you when you’re not working?

I know it might sound cliche but I like to shop.

On the rare occasion I am not at work or working on projects and I have several days off, my friends and I also like to go on road trips to idyllic places to disconnect. I find that there is no better way to unwind from the hustle and bustle of busy city-life than to spend a couple of days near water and landscape, something New Zealand has an abundance of.

What’s your favourite way to spend a weekend or a Sunday afternoon?

Sunday is what I dub my 'Fun day' because I am most likely to be on location shooting Beauty and Fashion with my very talented friends and networks. A workaholic to the core, my ideal weekend is spent creating beautiful things. Be it beautiful images with creatives, or playing with fabrics and making garments in my friends sewing studio. My hands always want to busy. I am always looking for creative outlets. I believe that our conceptual imaginings should always manifest and see the light of day before the moment passes. 

How long have you been doing what you do?

I have been a Professional Makeup Artist and Hairdresser for eight years now.

Any awards or medals? Personal okay, too.

I was a Finalist for Industry Makeup Artist of the Year in 2013

What is your top make-up tip?

What you put under your makeup is as  important as the makeup you apply.

Clean work is good work.

ALWAYS sanitise and dry your brushes thoroughly between EVERY makeup application.

A clean and organised kit makes for a clean and organised Makeup Artist.

Always edit your work during the process. 

Always leave you work area spotless, especially on location.

... and if nothing else remember to always to BLEND, BLEND, BLEND!