"You will never fail no matter what you do because what you learn from trying is so valuable."
Words: Nelli Mooney and Myles Sexton
Images: From Myles' social media & website (individual photographers noted in caption)
Image source: mylessexton.com
Myles Sexton is a Canadian Model, Makeup Artist & Creative Director of NORDmagazine. He advocates for HIV/Aids & Sobriety: "I wanted to free myself of my internalized shame and help others in the process". Myles' work has been featured in Vogue Italia and his clients have included Nelly Furtado and Winnie Harlow.
Thank you for taking the time to "sit down with us" (irc due to the time difference between us!) and share some of your amazing experiences with our readers. First of all, how are you? What's going on with you in terms of creativity? Honestly I am doing pretty wonderful I feel like creatively I’ve been given the opportunity to really work on my craft for the last year! Which never would have happened if there wasn’t a pandemic so I guess it’s one silver lining during all this every changing environment.
I'd like to know a bit more about your background. You grew up in Nova Scotia and now you live in Toronto. What inspired you to leave and chase your dreams? Nova Scotia is a pretty rural place and not much work there financially when it comes to being a model. I really wanted to give it my all as a model and make up artist so I felt like Toronto would be the best next stepping stone in my career at that point 11 years ago.
Photographer: Nick Merzetti
How did you get into modelling and makeup artistry? Modelling was something I wanted to get into because at the time I really didn’t see myself reflected in the ads I would see in magazines. I really got inspired to become the role model I wish I knew existed at that time. I sent my photos to a local modelling agency in Halifax Nova Scotia and to my surprise the agent wanted to sign me this was really the beginning of my modelling career. As for make up, I got into that really in high school. I was terrible at fine art but always wanted to be an artist make up ended up being me medium and my armour. I used make up to express myself and protect myself from others around me! With my full face on I felt empowered to face my day and all the bullying that came with it.
Model: Winnie Harlow. Image source: mylessexton.com
Are you self-taught (mua)? Yes, I am a self taught make up artist. I ended up going to school for make up after doing it for a while but to be honest the only thing I really learned was some speculation effects techniques.
Your celebrity clients have included Nelly Furtado and Winnie Harlow, to name a few. Where do you aspire to go next, in terms of your creative career? I am excited to just peeling back the onion I call it to reveal new deeper layers of myself and my creativity. With the rise of Tiktok and other social platforms it is such a exciting time to be a creative and put your voice out there in the world to inspire others.
MYLES X GORM GARMS Myles featured in a cover editorial for OSSMA Magazine, images by Alyssa Lancaster
You are super passionate about travelling. Can you tell us about your favourite ever country, area or city you have visited? This is one of the hardest questions to answer because just like people cities and countries are all so unique it’s impossible to pick a favourite. What I will say though is I love traveling to places with lots of untouched nature.
Myles in Mexico. Source: mylessexton.com
I love that you advocate for both sobriety and HIV/AIDS. Could you tell our readers how that journey started for you? When we think about soberity & HIV & AIDS, there is still so much stigma that surrounds all of them. I felt it’s my way of reclaiming my power was to become an advocate. I wanted to free myself of my internalized shame and help others in the process. The more we normalize and educate the safer place we create for all.
Your work has been featured in Vogue Italia, Elle and Fashion Magazine. What did you learn from those experiences? From all these major moments getting featured by these huge influential magazine I realized that when I believe in myself, in my craft and creativity anything is possible. We are always going to be the hardest obstacle standing in our own way!
Left to right: Designer Adrian Wu. Image source: mylessexton.com. Myles wearing David Dunkley Fine Millinery, image by Lane Dorsey. Image by David Phelps.
What does 'creative expression' mean to you? I think I live every moment of my life through creative expression. It was the way I could be vulnerable before I could say it with my words.
Have you got any advice for our readers who are aspiring creatives?
You will never fail no matter what you do because what you learn from trying is so valuable.
Myles Sexton | @mylessexton | mylessexton.com
Do you have someone creative in mind who you think should feature on our Creative Spotlight? Or would you like to feature on our blog as a guest writer? Comment below or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.