Artists to Watch: This Season’s Favorites



Social media has influenced the way we all live our lives, and not to prove boomers right, but it's more popular among millennials and Generation Z. I have plenty of favorite creators to watch on social media platforms throughout all artistic communities. 

My favorite makeup artist has to be Dailyn Robaina, a 19-year-old makeup artist and future student at Cosmix School of Makeup Artistry located in South Florida. She has worked with people like Hidaya Hijazi (sister of YouTuber Zane Hijazi) and won the South Florida Cappie for Hair and Makeup for the 2018-2019 season. 

Robaina got into makeup accidentally in her sophomore year of high school. “I’ve always loved painting/drawing and one day I saw a makeup post that I loved so much I had to do it on myself,” she says, “I enjoyed using myself as a canvas and started building upon my skills from there.” Robaina uses makeup as a creative outlet to express herself in a way she wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Because she turned her passion into a career, Robaina has made many connections and friends. When it comes to makeup, Robaina likes that she is able to create anything that sparks her interest. She even stated, ”It’s so fun being able to create characters from scratch and watch them become a realized creation by the end of the application.” However, makeup does have some downsides, one of her least favorite things being how expensive it can be. She has been able to combat costs by being gifted almost all her products by loved ones. Robaina also uses social media to the best of her abilities; “people reach out to me all the time asking to get their makeup done which then leads to more jobs because they tell their friends about it. Posting frequently and interacting with other artists also allows many more people to see my work and interact with it,” she noted. When she began her makeup career she had plenty of support from her family, especially her mother. Another advocate of Robaina was her high school drama teacher, Sarah Amengual, who first helped her find her passion and gave her the constructive criticism she needed. When Robaina graduates from Cosmix’s masters program, she plans on working in the special effects industry; “my dream is to be a successful makeup artist and work with a musical artist I love or on a television show/movie making monsters and crazy characters.”

What makes me fall in love with Robaina’s looks is the fact that you truly see the growth. If you scroll down her Instagram you can see her oldest looks, and sometimes she’ll even redo them because she learned a new technique that enhances it. Also, she is not afraid to humble and let people know that she’s still improving. On day 24 of her 31 days of Halloween series, she did a makeup look based on Jason Vorhees and commented, “This was originally going to be a two-part post (accompanied by a Freddy Krueger makeup) but I couldn’t quite get down the burn makeup for Freddy, so hopefully by next year I’ll be able to do that!” By including that in her caption, Robaina proves that not afraid to let her audience know that she doesn’t know everything yet which I find refreshing as you don't see a lot of authenticity on social media (especially in the beauty community). 

If you want to further your knowledge in makeup and special effects, Robaina suggests you follow Mimi Choi (@mimles on Instagram), Zorin Blitz (@zorinblitzz), Abby Roberts (@abbyroberts), and Lex (@madeyewlook). She also recommends looking into the SyFy show “Faceoff.”

One of my favorite photographers that I’ve been exposed to is Kannetha Brown, a photographer, cinematographer, and student at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Brown has been able to work with Composer Johan Lenox (who has worked with Kanye West and Travis Scott, among others), numerous Project Runway alumni, designer Mae Horak, and many more. Her work has been published by magazines such as Ferocé, Visual, and Elle, and has been mentioned by companies like VSCO and Polaroid.

 Brown has said that she has “a strong focus on preserving intention and artistry in digital filmmaking and photography.” She first got into photography from platforms like Tumblr and Instagram. Brown“admired grungier, more emotional and sullen photography I found from art students and fashion photographer Jorden Keith.” Photography was a happy accident, as she started by taking senior portraits of her friends for her school’s yearbook. “I ended up really liking taking pictures and pursued photographing my friends for a little less than a year to develop my skills. I think this is hands down the easiest and most important way to teach skills in any art form— especially photography and filmmaking. The things I’ve learned from just pursuing photography on my own were really important for my growth. Stuff about growing up and criticism, security, et cetera,” Brown explained. She has used social media to its full potential as it’s how she’s able to show her growth, skills, and reach out to people for opportunities. Brown has mentioned “Without Instagram no one would know who I am and how I might stand out from another candidate for a job. Not to mention the work I see from other photographers as well on here— it’s inspiring.” She hopes to be able to create advertisements using video and photo as her mediums in the fashion and beauty industries. She also plans on taking over the music and film industries by creating album art, shooting and directing music videos, and doing photography for films. 

Kannetha Brown is my favorite photographer because her work ethic is beyond compare and her photography is haunting, playful, editorial, and timeless while still being so cohesive. While I spent some time in Boston, I was able to meet and hang out with Brown and her intimidating and professional online presence is not what I was met with. She’s a wise, funny girl who truly just loves what she does. I saw her run back in forth from her studio space to her dorm just for a small prop or different shoes because she knows that even the tiny change makes a difference. I personally can’t wait to see what she accomplishes later in time as she is merely nineteen years old and already so amazing.

If you want to get into photography- either viewing or doing- she recommends looking at the works of Petra Collins and Jordan Keith.

As this is the first article of my Artists to Watch, I want to be able to  highlight Pace students as I may continue with this “series.” The first student I want to call attention to is Kyle Mogg, a freshman at Pace in the International Performance Ensemble. 

Kyle Mogg has been on social media since his sixth-grade year. “I first shared an account with my best friend until I finally convinced my mom to let me get one on my own for my twelfth birthday,” he stated. Mogg has used social media as a creative outlet to share the art pieces he loves. He also uses it in a positive political way as an agent for social change and to learn about race, gender, and queer problems that are going around both domestically and globally. On the other hand, it also has disadvantages. “It has [had] a negative effect on my body image and [that of] many others,” he commented. 

Since I lived in South Florida for the last half of my high school experience, Mogg was brought to my attention from his participation in South Florida’s theatre community. My Floridian friends told me he is as talented as he is handsome- and he is very handsome. I don’t know Mogg on a personal level, but he has a reputation for being beautiful inside and out. When I finally followed him on Instagram, I saw he was going to the same university as me and was happy I would see a familiar and handsome face around campus.

People I recommend following after him are @handsomegirly, Maia Brown (@maiaxbrown), and Francesca Teng (@edenoftheearth). 

My favorite underrated band is Spitphyre, made up of Michael Simon (bassist), Jon Thomas (lead singer and rhythm guitarist), Nick Spataro (lead guitarist), and Jake Valoice (drummer). Both Simon and Thomas are first-year students here at Pace University majoring in Arts & Entertainment Management. They’ve performed at Pleasantville Music Festival, Debonair Music Hall, and the Knitting Factory. 

I was able to get an exclusive with Michael Simon and Jon Thomas. They’ve had Spitphyre’s account since October of 2017, but both Simon and Thomas have had Instagram since 2011. Social media has gotten them numerous performances and introduced them to Groove Internationals, a booking agency based in San Diego, that got them the gigs. Having social media platforms got them a lot of messages from people promoting their band, shows, and singles. Simon stated, “Social media influences the way we write [our music] because through social media you listen to other music and it makes you want to try new sounds.” Simon’s inspiration included childhood stars like Ross Lynch and Drake Bell as well as his bass teacher, Frank Coda. While Thomas’s main inspiration was his guitar teacher Dylan Keehan, who is “the reason he performs as he runs and open mic night in Nyack, New York and encourage[s] [him] to play songs with his band and [make] music my [his] drug of choice.” They hope that their band takes off in a way that’s profitable to give them financial stability in the future. Simon wants to be able to pay off his and any of his family’s debt. Thomas wants Spitphyre to be his career and to be able to survive and make a living off his dream: music.

What I admire most about Spitphyre is the general sound and reputation of their band. Their sound is personally for me as it gives off very Indie with a Classic Rock edge to it. It’s music that anyone can enjoy and relate to. If you’re happy? Spitphyre. Angry at the world? Spitphyre. Want to dance? Spitphyre! Their music is well-thought-out and perfectly hand-crafted for the sound they’re trying to convey. If you want to see them live, come to their show December 15 at 6 pm to Midnight at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door! 

If you want to get into more bands after getting into them, they recommend Quadio (@quadio), Tearwaxies, Cheap 52 (@cheap52official), and The Violetts (@the.violetts). 


Their Social Media

Dailyn Robaina: @dailynrobaina on Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok

Kannetha Brown: @kannethaa on Instagram

Kyle Mogg: @kyle_mogg on Instagram

Spitphyre: @spitphyreband, @jonthomas_music, @mcihael_si on Instagram