Growing up I always envisaged a Hollywood career in the spotlight, from childhood to my teens my weekends consisted of drama school and musical theatre. It was the place I felt most at ease and where I could truly be myself. I guess I didn’t realize it at the time but my love for makeup was born there. As passionate as I was about performing, in my later teens to early adult years my ambition to perform professionally waivered. What did I want to do with my life?
Upon graduation the only thing I knew I didn’t want to do is go to University, I knew I personally would be wasting my time as there was nothing that interested me enough to dedicate so much effort (not to mention money) too, so I worked full time in hospitality.
While working for just over a year I realized I craved creativity, this lead me to researching a career in Makeup, I didn’t know it at the time, but I was about to embark on the best journey of my life.
What I love most about being a Makeup Artist is there are so many different paths you can take throughout your career, you meet incredible people and I still get to perform in my own special way.
From where I started to where I am now, Makeup Artistry for me is a journey, not necessarily a destination.
Learning to drive
The course is the easy part, your teacher is always there showing you the way, but what happens when you’re ready to drive solo?
Getting your license
You now have your creative license, but what happens when you take the wheel? Where do you go? Where do you turn? Which road do you take?
Here are some of the things that the manual doesn’t always tell you..
1.Plan your journey; do your research
Whatever style of artistry you’re into (Bridal, fashion, Film & TV, Theatre, SPFX etc) research people in the industry and read about their careers and experiences, if there is an option to contact them then do it, ask them questions or even ask if you can assist them, you just never know they may say yes.
2. Practice makes perfect
My first paid job fresh out of my course was my cousin Ebony. She wanted to give me some practice and encouragement so she asked me to do her makeup for a wedding she was attending (bless her). Practicing on people is the only way to keep learning different skin tones, face shapes, skin textures, eye and lip shapes etc. Even if it is not paid to start with, these are all invaluable, I don’t know anyone that would turn down a chance to be made over by a trained artist even if they are fresh out of a course or just excellent at doing their own makeup.
3. Work on a Makeup Counter
While this is not essential, it’s very good experience and a chance to get a foot in the door and see how it works. Working on a makeup counter can provide you with expanding your makeup skills, interacting with customers and fellow artists, using new products, and company training and development. These are also great places to start building your makeup kit as the discounts can be quiet juicy.
4. Put yourself out there; Social Media
Just about everyone use’s some form of social media (yes my dear Nana is on facebook) Social media is a free platform for advertising, so why not use it to your advantage? Post up your work (Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc.), join forums and networking groups with like minded creatives, it’s full of potential clients and contacts, with a click of a button you never know what can go viral.
Are there fellow experienced artists out there that you would love to get some hands on experience with? Just ask! Whether you’re cleaning brushes, packing kits, grabbing coffees or doing some hands on makeup, Makeup Artists always need assistants, this kind of experience is priceless, if you don’t ask you wont receive.
6. What Inspires you
Whether you love watching Youtube, reading magazines, books, or blogs or simply scrolling through social media to get your inspiration, never stop. There is an endless world of content out there especially in our tech savvy society.
7. There’s no such thing as a bad experience
It’s not always going to be smooth sailing and why should it? Everyone goes through bad experiences but these only make you a stronger person and better artist, it’s usually the bad experiences we learn the most valuable lessons. Keep going!
8. Never Say Never!
Never give up or say “I am never going to be good enough”, a creative career is not an easy one, but It’s a highly rewarding one, Remember it’s a journey not a destination, when it’s not going right – go left!
Got any tips to share? I would love to hear them!
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