Liz Dungate's website reads "welcome to my world" in small black text against a plain white background. A simple statement, it invokes a curiousity to explore. Clicking to her blog, you are greeted with Dungate's friendly smile and a behind-the-scenes look at her work and play. Photos and commentary, written with honesty and a sense of humour, paint a picture of a passionate artist who loves what she does.
With a list of skills in makeup, hair, prop design, and Art Direction, this is a versatile creative professional who has amassed over 1000 photo shoots in her career, working in both corporate creative services and fashion (TLC and Wedluxe to name a few). Walking through the building blocks of her personal history Dungate stops and observes, "You never really notice you are doing all these things and then one day it's actually all very comfortable."
A comfort around art started at a young age where she excelled in charcoal and oil painting. Encouraged by family to pursue the arts, dabbling in theatre sparked an interest in set design and costuming. Eventually a diploma in Graphic Design and Communications proved to be a viable way to blend a creative nature with making a living. Each work experience fuelled the next; from learning about layouts and flow at a newspaper to storyboarding and vision at a design firm. Working in small teams required multiple hats. Organizing photo shoots, and touching up hair and makeup were necessary parts of the job that rounded out her ability to bring a creative concept to fruition.
Dungate expanded her creative outlet to personal projects with production experience and the help of photographer Fred Fraser, whom she met at the design firm. The source of her inspiration is none other than Craigslist: a whimsical and wonderful world of vintage finds from dressers to dolls, tables to toys and the usual suspect, chairs. "I do have a bit of a chair fetish," she laughs. With a do-it-yourself approach to her work this artist paints or reconstructs furniture to build a set. Models get styled with playful accessories - once a necklace was fashioned from plastic trolls and a pair of eyeglasses was dressed up with alphabet letters - and when possible, the bigger the hair the better. "It's exciting and fulfilling to be this creative. "This work is an artistic expression and I like to spice things up."
To pick a favourite photo shoot is difficult, but there is a common thread to the experiences that stand out. Dungate genuinely acknowledges the collaborative efforts that go into making a shoot successful. Prior to beginning production, each person must be passionate about the concept. As an Art Director, she can define the shape but each supporting role must fill in the corners in their own way. Such was the case with a shoot titled Exercising Restraint. In development for over a year, the concept was a model posed with ropes and bars in Victorian/fitness-inspired clothing. When the team finally came together ".it was such a beautiful experience and although I had a vision in my head of what it would be like, each individual contribution added something a little bit different than I had pictured."
For Liz Dungate, there is nothing better than working with fun people on creative shoots. We look forward to following what comes next for this imaginative artist. For makeup and hair bookings contact Judy Inc. or visit www.lizdungate.com for more information.