Sunday, October 13, 2013

Answers to a young, aspiring Makeup Artist

I was recently emailed by a young, aspiring makeup artist. She asked if she could question me about certain choices, and ask for advice. I was humbled, and honored to be sought out for this, so of course I wished to be of any help I could. Here are her questions, and my answer- very informal.
Her questions to me:

How did you know that you wanted to be a makeup artist for a profession?
what steps did you go to get there? Did you go to Cosmo school or makeup school? What do you recommend? As in school wise? Should I move to the west coast or east coast?
who influenced you?
what tips/advice would you give a starting out make-up artist in the real world?
Did you shadow people often?

My Response:

I didn't so much choose to be an mua, until I was already doing it- LOL I was the person who everybody asked to have do makeup. I worked in a salon and was getting bookings and referrals. Then I started getting more work outside of the salon. I had actually developed my own line of makeup- and was doing private consults as well. and it kept growing- and I just loved it!
For me the steps started very early- I was a dancer and was doing a lot of stage makeup by 10 years old- and all through college I danced, it was my minor- so I have always done/wore makeup- and even helped others.
I went to cosmo school for nails- and am licensed. i did that after my daughter was born so I could work 2 days per week. There is no license for Makeup in my state. If you have an interest in skincare as well, or ever want to work in a spa, or salon- you will need an esthetics license. If you wish to freelance it may not be necessary BUT you should educate yourself by taking classes with real, working pros! people who you see their work when you open a fashion magazine- they do teach as well- many of them! that, to me is the BEST education money can buy! If you want to do special effects or more prosthetics etc you really should go to school. there are several good ones in California- and 1 -Joe Blasco in Florida- really not much more anywhere else.
Again where to live- is based on what TYPE of makeup you desire to do- movies, or fx- California is busiest- and North Carolina also having a strong movie market! If you want fashion and editorial nothing beats NY. but there are pockets everywhere for all different types of makeup work- and, of course bridal is everywhere!
Starting out- MAKE connections Good ones! Look at the actual work of anyone teaching a class- or seminar etc- and if they have amazing work- they are a good mentor- as they will offer REAL advice. But, understand they will be in great demand- so don't lose hope if they can't personally take you under their wing. Go to trade shows like Makeup Show Imats, etc meet your peers- that is where you can most likely find a good mentor. Offer to assist- which will mostly be unpaid- but you will be paid In experience!
You must test, test, test. find amazing people to work with and always strive to work with people you feel are better than what you already have in your portfolio. pay them if need be- and that can be hard. But it is better to pay an amazing photographer and/or model to get pics for your port, than it is to buy a crapload of expensive makeup- I can make a model look amazing with dollar store makeup- but I can NOT make a photographer  take a better picture- or even more, EDIT it well. nor make a model emote,pose, look and better. Just a few months ago I offered to hire a very busy photographer because I wanted to shoot with him. i think I surprised him, he looked at my work, and instead he came back to me with a paid test. So I got to shoot with him, And ended up with a job. But it took awhile to get there, and had my port not been where it is, and I not wiling to PAY to get what I needed- that never would have happened.
In the very beginning shoot a lot with a lot of people to gain the experience of what happens, how things work, what you like, what you could have done better, etc. As you build you port and are getting pictures that are port worthy- then you start being more choosy about your tests. Before you say yes you ask yourself- what is the concept? is the model good, agency or agency stats?  does this fill a need in my port? When it's a concept/look you don't need then this test doesn't benefit you- you say no, or offer a rate.
I would love to shadow more, actually, even now- there is ALWAYS something to learn! I bet I could learn something from you, by watching you. That is how this industry works- since it is artistic we all have these insights/inspirations that live in us- and we get to bring it forth in our work where other can see it- THAT is what makes an artist! and it is unique to each of us.
Who influenced me??? there are so many- I adore Roshar- he is so different from me in style and he literally blows my mind and takes my breath away with his amazingness. I was just introduced to someone this past week who was from my market and doing work that I didn't think existed here- Liz Margin- major campaign stuff back in the 90's the stuff I grew up looking at in high school and college and is still just as gorgeous and relevant today! Dick Page- blah everything stunning!!!! met him and got to ask him questions at the NY makeup Show this past year-just wow! I also really love James Vincent- because he is not only an mua- very edgy and rock/punk style- BUT he is instrumental in trying to bring accessible education and connections to the mua community- and i LOVE him for that! he's sweet and nice and very generous in that way.
and current working artist friends- again soo many AND for all different reasons!
Ok i hope i answered everything you have asked- there really is so much more- and if you have any further questions I'd be happy to help if I can! Keep in touch and let me know how it's going, what decisions you've made.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the info was very helpful. I'm a working makeup artist and hairstylist currently but still in the very early stages. Finding it hard to break out as I live in a small town so was looking for some tips! 💗