Queer Couples In Love: Devi & Joey – Artist & Muse

Celebrating love in the queer community, we bring you another edition of Queer Couples in Love. Devi and Joey are a creative Los Angeles couple living in the Echo Park area. You’ve probably seen Devi’s styling, custom designs and makeup in various fashion publications and music videos. A few months ago Devi styled the Adore Delano cover of Alternative Press Magazine. Together they make a great artist and muse team creating truly unique works of art.

Both

How did you meet?

We met on the lovely “dating” app known as grindr. Haha…but depending on who we talk to, we also say Stories Bookstore in Echo Park, which is where we first met in real life.

Do you often work on creative projects together?

Yes, this is a love/live/werrrk situation. We definitely do our own things, but very much enjoy our impromptu late night, D-I-Y, photo sessions in our echo park apartment, or creating stories out in Joshua Tree desert.

How does your collaborative process work?

Basically, we work with what we may have in the moment, and when of course time allows. Unlike actual styling jobs, which involve intense preparation and sometimes limiting creative perimeters, the collaborations between us consist of basically putting crazy things together organically. It’s a very intuitive and improvisational thing that’s just fun for us. It’s a sort of magic, really. Sometimes one of us is really excited about a particular garment, makeup look, or we are simply trying to communicate a message that feels important to document.

What does it mean to you to be a queer couple in 2018?

We know nothing else but to be here and be queer, and we are loving it! “Straight” people and “normal” people are queer to us. Queer is the new normal, at least in the bubble we’ve created around us and the community we keep.

We believe that being queer in America is a beautiful gift we give to our lineages and to all people of the world. Simply put, queer people are true warriors.

What is one issue that you are very passionate about?

One constant issue on a local level is that Echo Park is turning into a tourist attraction. There’s a lot of duck poop everywhere now because people think it’s cute to feed these birds Cheetos and whatever junk humans eat.

Also people drive too fast on our street…we definitely need more speed bumps to save lives in this neighborhood. We are starting a petition ASAP! Will you sign it?

Devi

Tell us more about your custom clothing design process, how did you get started?

It’s been a long time coming. After years of working as a professional stylist, it’s a new and exciting endeavor to make my very own original pieces. I hope to have a capsule collection in the near future.

The styling profession has allowed me to learn about clothes first hand…the quality level of a garment, fit, fabrics, silhouettes, without ever having to open a text book.

My first custom design job was for the rock band Empire of the Sun. I made two silk garments for the guys’ Two Suns Music Video, and I fell in love with the experience. As far as my process goes, I build the vision and concept with the client. It all starts with a mood board, then a drawing, and of course a series of decision making until the last stitch. I am blessed to have people I can turn to for construction help (which is my main struggle at this time). This year I’ve made a number of costume and fashion pieces for my editorial work, music videos, and for my own projects. It’s so much fun and every piece is a heartbreak to part with.

Tell us more about how you got started doing makeup, what are your main makeup inspirations?

My humble beginning with makeup started in high school, where I would throw a little cover up on paired with a heavy set of black-lined eyes, with products stolen from my mom’s vanity. She’d leave for work and I would run to her makeup bag and then later in the day my girlfriend at the time would add glitter and lots of lip gloss to my look, all to be washed off (as much as possible) by dinner time with my family.

I used to throw underground parties and loved playing with makeup when I was around 19 years old. I had a cute kit of things by then, which were all stolen one Halloween night at my event. I was broken! Traumatized from this experience, I stopped buying makeup for years after that. It wasn’t until early 2017 last year that I became obsessed, and slowly began building a professional kit.

Inspired by all the beautiful children of the internet, as well as the great modern masters Kabuki, Alex Box, Kevyn Aucoin and Pat McGrath. I’ve started experimenting with my own face and on friends.

Do you have any advice for younger aspiring queer stylists/makeup artists?

My advice for young ones would be to use your intuition on your journey. Have an open heart but trust people very selectively.

Just do what feels right in the moment. If your gut says NO, listen to that voice.

Stay out of the boxes that you, yourself and others will put around you. Learn the history of your craft, take risks consciously, and always always always build contracts for your services!

You’re known for your non-traditional, creative style of editorial and drag-esque make-up. Where do you pull your inspirations from? How has queer culture inspired your make-up artistry?

I’ve always surrounded myself with queer folk. I’m a freak, and I love freaks. Having worked with a wide range of musical talents from independent to A-List, I’ve realized that most pop artists pull so much inspiration from the underground freaks, and rely on us stylists to pull the vision together.

Inspiration changes moment to moment. I pull inspiration from the obvious icons, but most importantly the underground icons – Nina Hagen, Judy Blame, Grace Jones, Dolly Parton, Kate Bush, Bjork, Divine, just to name a few. Having practiced Hinduism for some time now, I’m heavily influenced by East Indian Culture, Mexican/Chicano/Latino/Cholo/Pachuco aesthetics, African, European, and of course the wide range of people I encounter every day in Los Angeles.

When I think about perfect art direction, from casting, directing, storytelling, wardrobe design, Pedro Almodovar comes to mind. He’s my favorite, and it was a dream come true to tell him so in person.

Photography

Lloyd Galbraith

www.lloydgalbraith.com

Hair and Makeup

Calvin Chen – @pinkslutskill

Taylor Kim  – @itsteacake

Designs

James Dii – @jamesdii

Custom Leather Jackets and Styling

Devi – @i_am_devi_

Set Design

Talon Mckee – @hallowedtalons

Talent

Devi  –  @i_am_devi_

Joey Cresce – @scorpionseason

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