It’s always said ‘What’s in a name’. Well, if your name is Preetisheel Singh and Mark D’Souza, then, everything about you and your work lies in your name itself. This duo of Preetisheel Singh and Mark D’Souza of ‘Da MakeUp Lab’ have already conquered Bollywood with their work in the field of prosthetics and makeup in such a short span of time. After having won the prestigious National award for makeup for Nanak Shah Fakir, the successful duo went on to win hearts with their impeccable works in the form of Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s look in the Sridevi starrer Mom, the much talked about ‘pregnant’ Akshay Kumar promo for The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’ amongst other things. The duo’s future works can be seen in Phantom Films’ Bhavesh Joshi, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati, Umesh Shukla’s 102 Not Out and Sriram Raghvan’s Don’t Shoot The Piano Player and also Sunny Deol’s son’s launch film.
Satish Sundaresan of KoiMoi met up with Preetisheel Singh for a super cool interview. Here are the excerpts:
Tell us as to how is the make-up and prosthetics industry changing in Bollywood? Where on one side, the international artists are called up and on the other side, there’s your team who are getting international quality from Mumbai?
Preetisheel Singh: ‘Makeup’ and ‘Prosthetic Design’ is a new thing for Bollywood. People never knew something like this existed. But, in the last few years, the industry has started accepting this as a very important aspect of filmmaking, which has made our lives very easier. Although big companies are still approaching international artists, we, as a company and as industry professionals, are trying to spread the word and also come up with quality work and are trying to make a difference in the makeup and prosthetic industry.
Has it become sustainable to make a career and living out of make-up as a profession?
Preetisheel Singh: Definitely. As long as we are passionate with our work and keep pushing ourselves to the edge with creativity and innovation. As a ‘Makeup Designer’, I learn every single day. And that’s what gives me a good night sleep every night.
Were there any problems which you had to face initially while pursuing a career which is not so orthodox?
Preetisheel Singh: My family has been the most supportive. Being an engineer, it was a very tough decision for me to get into makeup industry. But, my passion for the movies was way too stronger than reality. It was hard in the beginning only because prosthetics was new and as I had mentioned earlier, the industry didn’t need ‘Makeup Designers’. It was a fair struggle for me but that phase made me even stronger. My first individual project Nanak Shah Fakir says it all. And the country was kind enough to appreciate me and my talent with a National Award.
So, which was your first major break-through assignment, that helped you get noticed and more work?
Preetisheel Singh: Not one, but a few. They included Nanak Shah Fakir, Bajirao Mastani, and Haider, for which again, I got an IFFA.
How do you prepare for a project?
Preetisheel Singh: Whenever I get assigned for a project, I first read the script, study the characters, do my own research and then design every character based on the script. These designs can be in the form of photoshopped images to sketched-out drawings. Post that, I share the designs with the director and lock the same. During the look tests, I brief my team and also give them a practical experience, so that it is easier for them to execute the same on set.
What advice would you give to aspiring make-up artists?
Preetisheel Singh: Be enthusiastic, inspired and keep pushing yourself to the edge. Treat every day as a new day in your journey and remember ‘practice is your key to perfection’.
Who or which film has been your ideal and for what reasons?
Preetisheel Singh: Working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali sir has been a treat. He is a perfectionist with whatever he does and that has helped me a lot as an artist. Bajirao Mastani was my first film with him. And, now with Padmavati, I am sure you will again see the magic.
What has been your biggest inspiration till date?
Preetisheel Singh: Fantasy based movies is what has inspired me from day one and they keep inspiring me till today. I want a day to come when the west talks about the makeup and prosthetic industry in India with high praises.
How do you see competition coming into the industry?
Preetisheel Singh: I don’t see competition because I am competition! (Smiles confidently). I want to become an inspiration for all the aspiring artists. I want to show them the way to success. I want to make our country proud and that can happen only with our work.