By Margarita Hirapetian
Tajah “Taj Mirage” Ramsey creates magic. Her work is utterly riveting and will transport you to another realm where beauty, art, and whimsy collide. In addition to doing intricate body painting, Tajah also creates feathered wings and headdresses, floral arrangements on models’ bodies, and generally brings to life a world of absolute enchantment. She works with close friend Nicole Sims and refers to their art as Mirage Magic. They often showcase their work on runways featuring models in their elaborate creations that would truly make the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show look completely amateur. In fact, Tajah’s use of wings was inspired by Victoria’s Secret Angels, although honestly she takes it a few steps beyond for something truly magnetic.
Tajah and Nicole’s work is also impossibly complex, and we can only imagine all the time, energy, passion, and commitment that goes into creating each design. If you follow their Instagram (@mirage_magic), you’ll get a taste of the beauty painstakingly created by them, although we recommend seeing them in person if you can. Tajah describes her work as a “mirage,” hence the name of her brand, and says, “Beautiful ideas cannot exist in the physical form unless we envision them, believe in them, and then, create them. My work is like a mirage -- it exists only in my head where I can picture it perfectly, but I choose to share it with the world by turning those thoughts into pieces. I am a body artist who loves to celebrate the shape of the body. I use my work to accentuate the body’s composition so the art and the body becomes one.”
Tajah began her career as an artist by doing henna for her friends for her Coachella-themed birthday party back in 2014. Later she began doing henna for various birthday parties and events. At one point, people began asking her to do “white henna,” which she proceeded to research and realize “it wasn’t really a thing.” But ever resourceful, she started painting with white body paint instead. She says, “I continued to explore the body paint aspect and I decided to incorporate it into CCSU’s fashion show because I was on the school’s Eboard at the time. I had my own scene and my art caught a buzz. I did my first body paint photo shoot with BeyondxSelfish and that collaboration inspired me to do more shoots with my body art. Since then we have worked together to create various projects. I then started to explore 3D body art and I found myself inspired by Victoria’s Secret angel wings. From there my art really grew.”
Inspiration for Tajah comes from her own imagination and she uses those mental images to bring her art to life. She says it also helps “to have the magic of my closest friend to help me create these ideas, and we feed off of each other’s ideas and art.” Having a collaborator you really connect with sounds like a dream. Especially when you can easily create such magic together! Still, creative blocks can happen, Tajah admits. When she’s overwhelmed, she can hit a wall, and she also happens to currently be in grad school while working at full time and part time jobs. You can see she has a lot on her plate, and yet she can still find the time for her art. She says, “I like to keep busy and use my weekends and free time to create. But I get past being overwhelmed by listening to various artists that get my creative juices flowing. I also find myself researching influential artists to help me look at art differently and expand my mind.” Another challenge she faces is balance. It can be difficult to travel so much to showcase her work at shows and photo shoots, but she says “it always comes together because of the support of those closest to us.”
A lot of Mirage Magic’s creations revolve around flowers, and Tajah explains that the use of flowers were inspired by her mother. She says, “When she was diagnosed with cancer I created a painting for her with a woman holding a sunflower that covered her face. The idea of the painting was based on a song by New Birth called Wildflower. My mom always told me that she felt she was a wildflower and from there I wanted to bring the Wildflower woman to life. They symbolize the essence of a woman and her natural beauty and resilience.” In fact, the models covered in Tajah’s floral creations look extremely powerful and strong, so this statement holds a lot of truth. It’s also so rewarding for Tajah when she sees people’s reactions to her art: “Seeing people’s faces light up or watching someone cry tears of joy because they love what we’ve done, there’s no greater reward.”
Don’t forget to check out Mirage Magic’s exquisite work on their Instagram (@mirage_magic) to help you get inspired too!