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Lighting a spark under the Parisian perfection of Malaika MARIEJEANNE | #MemberSpotlight

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A professional e-commerce and fashion photographer with over 10 years of experience in the creative industries, we shine this week’s member spotlight on the Parisian perfection of Malaika MARIEJEANNE.

A master of lighting, set design, model direction and art direction, Malaika calls herself a creative, passionate and sociable team player with a keen eye for aesthetics and detail.

If her portfolio is anything to go by then we certainly agree.

How did you get into the industry?

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After my Graphic design, communication and art studies, I started to assist my photo stylist friend Marz Atashi on her fashion shoots. She’s always shot high fashion with talented and big name photographers so was a natural fit for me. 

I then started to make "backstage" style videos, but not in a traditional way. In fact, it was more filming like it was a movie. Creating a story. It was through this work that I initially get discovered by magazines and brands.

Where are you based now and who do you work for?

I’m based in Paris. Right now I'm working on my 1st Exhibition "DISTANCE PROCHE" with my stylist partner Ludovica Moccia, and God it takes time! But nothing worth having ever came easy. It will debut on the 9th of April on the digital facade of @EP7paris for 2 weeks.

For the launch party, we will invite the public to enter and discover our unique universe that exists between fashion, art, dance and and live music shows.

If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?

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Something creative: either a singer or comedian. My two other passions inlLife.

Can you explain your creative process? What makes it unique?

I see myself like a modern painter and I love to work in teams, especially with talented stylists.

With "Ludovica," our creative process varies, but it’s always based on fashion: We start from an idea that we discuss and debate, highlighting the art direction and the way we want the project to go. 

For our art series "Distance," we wanted to express the distances and the prejudices in society that increased after covid. Our editorials, meanwhile, « Nouveau western » are more a research in style, colours and lights.

I guess what’s make us unique is that we dare to express authentic messages via fashion - which is mainly perceived like the temple of superficiality. But to us it's the opposite - it’s a bold way to spread messages.

We dare to bring our concepts to life whatever other people think: For example we have an Art Direction about the Inner Child we have purposed to production agencies, but they refused it as I guess the subject is too innovative/ spiritual right now for them. But We are persistent and i’m sure we will touch people hearts with it !

How would you describe your style?

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My aesthetic is based on colours and studio lights. I have a « Clean » aesthetic in opposition of trash. I love also retouching in order to create visual FX or emphase a certain pic. I love colours and I guess it’s a great thematic way to make think people and remove prejudice. 

Which individuals do you gain inspiration from? Do you have any heroes in the industry?

Of course. I love Nan Golding ( the first Influencer before IG), Yinka Shonibare MBE, Guy Bourdin, Jean-Paul Goude and Daft Punk as for me they were the first true visual and music artist.

What tips would you give to aspiring creatives looking for work?

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Take time to define your style and personality. I know I lost some time when I first started out as I wanted to shoot everything 

What tips would you give to other professionals to get more clients?

NETWORKING. LEVEL UP. CHALLENGE YOURSELF

What kind of tools/kit/software could you not do without?

My creative brain, a digital camera, photoshop, Polaroids.

What’s your secret to staying inspired and motivated?

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Enjoying life. Inspiration comes from my experiences in Life. I also love loooking back through archives of black culture, which is gravely underrepresented still ion today's society. Even colour palettes can inspire me a lot.

What’s the work achievement you’re most proud of?

My first exhibition, I've dreamt of it my entire career.

What is the one thing that you would change about the industry?

Less ego. 

Any websites, books or resources you would recommend?

creativepool.com, of course. I wont recommend any art books though, as the choice depends of the influences of the individual. But I will recommend the Taschen book store and any museum library if you wish to find interesting food for the eyes! 

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