Mimi Choi Brings Fear to Life with Her Makeup Artistry

Mimi Choi has developed a unique career specialty with her jaw-dropping, mind-bending makeup art. Over the years, she’s learned to use fear as inspiration for creativity. She’s garnered a massive following online with over 900k followers on Instagram. Her work has been featured in Paper Magazine, Popsugar, MTV UK, Huffington Post, Nerdist, Allure, Buzzfeed, Teen Vogue, Yahoo!, InStyle, and Cosmopolitan.

Mimi has a condition called sleep paralysis, which causes her to have frightening hallucinations. These hallucinations are her biggest artistic inspiration for her work. “When I hallucinate, I see things that I’ve never seen in real life. For example, I’ve seen people chopped up, people with no faces, people shattered into a million pieces floating, 1,000 spiders crawling all over the wall in my room, all in front of my eyes. And I’ve seen these things since I was four years old. As long as I can remember.”

For Mimi, her work is therapeutic. “As soon as I started doing makeup and I paint these things that I see my head, I don’t dream about about them anymore. For example, when I drew spiders inspired by the hallucinations of spiders that I see, I’ve never dreamt about spiders ever again…it’s also a blessing in disguise to have sleep paralysis because I end up seeing things that nobody has ever seen before. It’s all in my head. It’s Mimi Choi’s visions. So it has actually helped my art become more unique and shocking.”

Mimi has been a professional makeup artist for five years. She only started painting illusions on the face around four years ago, after graduating from the makeup program at Blanche MacDonald school in Vancouver. She found herself so happy spending hours working with shading, shadow, and precise details to create unique and shocking looks. “I’m going for super hyper-realistic, surreal looks. Looks that are different. One element I’m always looking for is shock value and also to be unique. I always strive to create something that nobody’s ever seen before.”


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