northern soul….

Nicki Donohoe is one of Sheffield’s most recognizable faces. You speak to anyone who works in the creative world and they know Nicki. She has, through her own sheer determination and natural talent, carved her own path in the creative world leaving many in her wake. Nicki visited us recently for her cover shoot and she kindly gave us a little insight in the world of a hard-working, authentic modette…

Nicki DonohoeAM: Great to see you Nicki! Have to say you are looking fab! Did you need to do much preparation for today’s 1960’s mod/ ‘Peggy Moffitt’ inspired shoot?

ND: Hiya, and thanks that’s very kind of you to say! No I didn’t to be honest; everything I have on is what I wear day to day. In fact I wish I’d brought more!

IMG_8437 caAM: You are a professional Make-up artist by trade; who or what inspired you to venture in the cut throat world that is modeling?

ND: I’ve been a Make-up Artist for many years, I did a favour for a photographer who wanted a short bob hairstyle, which I had at the time, and he took some shots for his website. I was encouraged to send them to a local model agency. Luckily they must have wanted some new faces as 2 days later I was filming a TV advert for DFS! It was all a bit of a whirlwind and very surprising to me- I never thought for a second that they would be interested.

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AM: That’s a very modest response there Nicki. Do you find you prefer one of your creative jobs over the others?

ND:  I’m not sure I would say I prefer a particular thing. I’m constantly aware of how lucky I am to do more than one thing professionally. However, as doing make up is my actual trade and passion, I might have to say that. I still love it so much, even after all these years. It never feels like work.

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AM: Have you always been inspired by the 1960’s? How did your ‘style’ come about?

ND: From as far as I can remember yes! I inherited my mums 60’s Sindy dolls when I was little and I just loved their clothes. I remember spending hours and hours designing clothes and colouring them in. Remember those big scrap books? I used to ask for them for Christmas and then spent every spare hour drawing clothes. I wish I’d kept them! I used to copy the models from my mums Freeman’s catalogue and re- do the clothes they were wearing. That then transpired into make-up when I was about 12 and I got my first make up kit.

My style as such has always been different. Some liked it some hated it. I used to love picking pieces up from vintage shops. A few years ago you could get some amazing things!! Of course I stood out a bit but I was never bothered about getting teased.

Nicki Donohoe

AM: Does your taste in music/ films follow your taste in fashion?

ND: Absolutely yes! I’m pretty eclectic, but everything I tend to listen to has a certain vibe to it. I love Motown and Northern Soul…. any kind of soul! I also love Reggae and Ska, but I’m partial to a bit of Tame Impala; Moon Safari is still a favourite album. Stone Roses are my favourite band and I like some 80’s too. I also watched Disclosure the other week and I thought they were great. But I go back to soul every time. Film wise, 60’s films are just awesome – even if you watch it just for the clothes! My favourite film is ‘Blow Up’.

Nicki Donohoe

AM:  Do you still get nervous during photo-shoots? Or have you got used to the pressure and expectations?

ND: Not really – I get excited! The fact that it still excites me is definitely a good thing! Then it’s taken over by ‘I need to do a good job’. Not so much nervousness but perhaps anxious. Again I like a good challenge. Especially as a creative! A learning curve is never a bad thing.

Nicki Donohoe

AM: Do you have any modeling/ creative ambitions yet unattained?

ND: Creative wise yes, I want to do more things. I’m lucky I get to do amazing jobs! And I have a few regular clients which I cherish. I was helping out on This Is England HMU team and I loved that, so maybe becoming more involved in TV/film in the future would be good.

AM: You travel a lot in your jobs. Do you see yourself ever making a permanent move away from your Sheffield Roots?

ND: I do travel a lot but I always love coming home. I love Sheffield and I can’t think of any reason why I would want to leave.

Nicki Donohoe

AM: One last thing Nicki. You always seem to have a stylish haircut; what would you consider to be your favourite hair style?

ND: I have to say the Pixie hair- cut. I think anyone who pulls off a great pixie is good in my book!

Nicki Donohoe

Thanks Nicki it’s been fabulous chatting with you! We look forward to catching up with you again real soon!

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or checkout her work on her website

Make up, Hair, Styling: Nicki Donohoe

Images: Lance Burkitt © ascendance magazine