INTERVIEW: Emmy-Winning Makeup Artist Raven Discusses Her Journey Through Drag

Painted with Raven is a contest collection on Wow Presents Plus in its second season. Hosted by Ru Paul’s Emmy-winning make-up artist and right-hand wo[man] Raven, the collection is all about creating stunning work with up-and-coming make-up artists.
Drag queens are like superheroes with secret identities behind their fabulous costumes. In Raven’s case, her not-so-secret identification is David Petruschin, born in Southern California. Today, Raven’s flown removed from her desert residence and traveled worldwide, creating fabulous appears alongside the way in which. She’s turn out to be associates with the queen of all drag queens, Ru Paul, and now has her personal collection, Painted with Raven, that opens the door for different make-up artists to indicate their abilities.
PopAxiom spoke with Raven about changing into a make-up artist and going from David to Raven.
Inspired
“I understand how to click on the hyperlink. I overlook that the digital camera is on. I don’t have my microphone prepared. I’m nonetheless studying.” We had technical difficulties beginning, all on my finish.
Raven’s story begins in Victorville, California. “When I Was a child, I beloved enjoying with make-up. I beloved doing my sister’s make-up. I used to be a boy within the 80s and was not imagined to put on that. Everything was very — blue is for boys, pink is for ladies. You solely noticed a man sporting make-up as a result of he was in a rock band.”
“I knew I needed to do it,” she says. “I’d watch my mother placing on make-up. Anytime something got here up like Dynasty, the sweetness and make-up, it was so enthralling.”
In secret, younger Raven “began enjoying with it myself. In highschool, I’d do my buddy’s make-up. So I knew I’d like to be a make-up artist.”
“It wasn’t till I began dabbling in glamour boy make-up, simply earlier than I acquired into drag, I believed, I need to do my make-up,” she explains. “I like doing my very own. So it went from drag to getting on Drag Race to portray the Queen of Drag Ru Paul actually quick.”
Raven doesn’t take with no consideration the wild change in her life. “I went from desirous to do make-up to portray the one that impressed me to start out doing drag and doing my make-up.”

Journey Into Drag
What was the educational course of like for changing into a drag queen? “I really feel like I’m nonetheless studying. I really feel like individuals ought to all the time be studying. You ought to all the time obtain new software program or improve to a brand new model of your self.”
“I keep in mind going out to golf equipment earlier than I began doing drag, and I beloved watching drag reveals; the viewers responded and the way stunning and glamorous all of it regarded.” But again in time, issues have been completely different. For instance, “… the sources there at the moment are didn’t exist. You couldn’t discover tights in a bunch of various colours, cosmetics, wigs, costumes, or jewellery. You needed to be very self-sufficient and be capable to make the most of what was inside your radius.”
Raven’s early reveals as a backup dancer have been a part of the educational course of. “I’d watch what everybody was doing and needed to do it. But it wasn’t till I noticed Chad Michaels, who received All-Stars 1 … I knew that’s what I needed to do. In the present, I watched him go from Celine Deion, then about 20 minutes later, he got here out as Cher, which is his factor. Twenty minutes later, he got here out as Marilyn Manson.”
“So, on my journey, it’s been completely different variations of myself,” Raven explains all these variations of herself. “There was the gothic darkish princess model, the glamazon, the membership kitty model. I really feel like I’ve all that stuff, and I can pull that out from time to time. I really feel like I’m not only one sort of queen however somewhat little bit of every little thing.”
Raven’s philosophy for versatility is straightforward. “Why not? We’re enjoying costume up. So why not be something you need to be? You’re given this physique, and on official papers, you may have a sure title, however for those who can spend a few hours dressed up adorned as one thing else, it’s enjoyable, it’s releasing.”

Becoming Raven
“There’s not a lot of a distinction,” Raven says about herself and the person behind the masks. “It’s somewhat little bit of a personality. There are other ways I carry my palms and act and stroll. It’s an extension of who I’m. Ru all the time says, ‘drag reveals who you’re.’ There’s that little little bit of a diva or a bitch or previous girl inside you that whenever you get in it, it comes out, and also you exude that. I really feel that Raven isn’t one factor; she’s every little thing.”
But there’s a ritual to bringing Raven to life. “The course of is the invoking of the spirit. I like to provide myself 4 hours to prepare. I don’t essentially want it, however I similar to that. I take my time. I perform a little this and sit again a minute as a substitute of feeling rushed. I can take into consideration issues. I’ve a formulation for the way in which I do my make-up. I really like the method of entering into it.”
“It’s all the time laying proper beneath the floor,” she says about all of us and that liberated alter ego. “Once you placed on these lashes and excessive heels,” she snaps, “it comes proper out. I’ve seen even the straightest of males placed on the costume and make-up, and there’s somewhat ‘swish’ within the step. Drag offers you a way of empowerment.”

Wrapping Up
Raven’s acquired a protracted listing of [super]heroes. “There are so many greats. Madonna has all the time been. Cher, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Liza Minnelli, Judy Garland, the entire greats.”
“The motive that these persons are the homosexual icons lots of people say they’re,” she says concerning the super-list, “is as a result of they’re drag. They have been placing up all of this gaudy stuff, lashes, heels, make-up to exit and do these reveals that made numerous drag queens say, ‘I need to do this.’ So to be somebody that others need to impersonate, I say, makes you iconic.”
Raven’s inspiration attracts “… from the 20s, 50s, 60s, eras from way back. You take a look at them and know what period it’s as a result of it’s so distinct. Everything was so polished, and it’s come round once more. The inflow of the sweetness business the place now everyone seems to be doing somewhat little bit of contour, spotlight, lashes, and lipstick.”
“Because we went via a spell the place it was simply sweatpants, sweatshirts, and trucker caps for everybody,” she reminds us, although not disparagingly. “Not that it was lazy, it wasn’t that little further the place you see each lady sporting lashes, even males. People are going out into the world and have purchased themselves a few little trinkets they placed on.”
It’s been one dynamic journey from mere mortal to pull queen. “I went from being a stifled child rising up within the desert considering that is what the remainder of my life can be prefer to my early twenties realizing there’s an entire world on the market. I’ve turn out to be the make-up artist for the primary drag queen on the planet and compete on her present. I’ve been given my very own present now too!”
“I needed to journey the world and present the world what I do,” she provides with a giant smile, “I’ve been in a position to see the way in which completely different cultures do drag. All this stuff we do right here however of their approach.”
More is to return from Raven as she considers the long run. “I feel the following step can be collaborating with somebody on a make-up line.”
“Painted with Raven season 2 on Wow Presents Plus” is the place you’ll find Raven for now. “It’s an incredible experience. Eight fabulous artists from everywhere in the nation. Each brings their experience and studying from the opposite alongside the way in which. It’s an incredible factor to observe.”
Is Painted with Raven in your watch listing?
Thanks to David Petruschin and Metro Public Relationsfor making this interview attainable.
Find extra interviews from Ruben R. Diaz!

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