OXFORD, Miss.-Madison Barker photographs Madison Brock, Miss Mississippi Teen USA 2013, for The Mad Moxie Series: “Angels Among Us”. Photo taken by Maggie Durnien on December 7, 2014.
Madison Barker, of Jackson, Miss., isn’t your average 17-year-old. She is a force of character with determination, and a lot of nerve. With mad makeup skills and a gift for applied art, Barker proves that The Mad Moxie movement is here to stay so get mad or get out of the way.
“I’ve always been fascinated with makeup ever since I was little,” said Barker. Barker a self-taught makeup powerhouse got her first bit of makeup in the 6th grade from her mom and it has been history ever since.
Drawing inspiration from the cinema and “life in general,” Barker comes up with a vision and goes for it. Making her own props and doing the hair, makeup and photography herself makes her quite the quadruple threat. While fans and followers of her work often only see the final product as a post on social media, for Barker it is the process that spurs her forward. “First it starts out looking like nothing then it turns into something very different,” said Barker.
Barker calls on her friends to help model her looks and it turns out they love her ideas as much as her friendship. Model, friend and Oxford high school sophomore, Sara Caroline Bridgers, says, “Her personality is contagious and it’s hard to leave her without being in a good mood. Her designs just get better and better every time I model, so I’m always excited to see what she does next.”
Madison Brock winner of Miss Mississippi Teen USA 2013 is an old friend of Barker’s and can’t help but rave about her. “I had chances to work with really amazing photographers and many talented people during my reign, but for Madison to only be 17 years old is what makes this story and these pictures so fascinating, and very different than anything I’ve ever been a part of,” said Brock.
When viewing her art, Barker’s main goal is to make friends and strangers feel a spark of creativity mixed with joy. “I just want to make people happy,” said Barker. It comes as no surprise that when she is creating Barker is at her happiest. “As an outlet, I absolutely love doing art all the time,” said Barker.
“Art has always been a way to express what I am going through,” said Barker. Barker, who in school struggled with Dyslexia and Social Anxiety has already received her high school diploma from the Ole Miss Independent High School. Barker worked hard to get her diploma doing two to three lessons in one subject a day and doing at least three subjects a day.
Since day one Barker’s mom, Holly Barker Clay, has always supported her. “Anything and everything I have ever done, I love my mom,” said Barker. She appreciates how her daughter uses her creative abilities to promote positivity. “What started out as a journey, has become an adventure,” said Barker’s mom.
The adventure continues for The Mad Moxie movement. This past weekend Barker and her mother attended a face-casting workshop hosted by Ben Rittenhouse, an Emmy award winning makeup artist, in Nashville at the Academy of Makeup Artistry. After seeing her portfolio he couldn’t help but to be impressed and urged Barker to take his five-month class beginning in January.
As for the future, it is no surprise Barker plans to continue to be a moxie of the arts. She sees herself as a licensed cosmetologist and makeup artist graduate from whatever program she chooses. “I will have some IMBD credits for movies that I’ve worked on and when I build up enough credibility I would like to open my own school in the South for makeup artistry,” said Barker.