Monday, March 16, 2015
How to Be a Professional Working Makeup Artist
The makeup industry is saturated with tons of talented people from YouTube gurus, to Instagram glamazons to industry working makeup artist. What is an industry working makeup artist? I consider it to be professional makeup artist working in film, television, editorial. A makeup artist that actually gets paid living wages and does not work for free. There is a big distinction between makeup artist that win Emmy's and makeup artist that have 20K followers on Instagram. So how did they get there?
1. They figured out what kind of makeup artist they wanted to be
Refining your skills as an editorial makeup artist is not the same as runway makeup or the same as bridal makeup. Of course there are elements that overlap each other such as matching foundation, or color theory, but succeeding in each field takes different approaches. If you want to succeed in bridal you need to have strong relationships with the best wedding planners, a portfolio full of bridal clients, the ability to apply makeup to photograph flawlessly, and to apply makeup in a way that will last the entire day. If you are looking to be a makeup artist in runway you need to work well in team settings, be creative, and be extremely efficient. The plan of action is different for each field, the people you need to build relationships with is different, and the makeup knowledge you need to acquire is different for each field. Now do you understand why it's so important to know what kind of makeup artist you want to be? Otherwise you will spread yourself thin, and not create any real waves in your ideal niche.
2. They learned to sell their best product - themselves
In our industry we need to network with clients, celebrities, wedding planners, creative directors, other makeup artist, cosmetic lines, and more. You can be the best blender of eye shadows, match foundations flawlessly, but if you don't know how to sell yourself, it's all for nothing. What do I mean by sell yourself? I mean learn to highlight your best qualities, do you make people feel comfortable? Are you considerate of others? Are you a team player? What do you think people say about your work when you leave the room? Are you upbeat and easy to work with? Sometimes this will make the difference between you booking a job or loosing it to someone with less experience but a better attitude. I feel like this was more natural for people to do 20 years ago or longer. Why? Because technology was so different, people interacted in person on a regular basis. Whereas we are quick to shoot a text or email, and interacting with people is now more of a treat. So learn how to have presence, how to be better at having conversations, how to tell a compelling story, how to have tact, how to have better relationships, and when to be quiet. One of my favorite examples of someone who has mastered this is Kevin James Bennett, he has taught workshops, presented makeup products on QVC, and even in his writing you can get a feel for his unique charm.
3. They gained knowledge in other areas
-How to run a business legally (taxes, LLC's)
-The importance of budgeting
-How to influence people
-How to be organized
-Have great time management skills
-Have leadership skills
-Delegating tasks to others
-Be a problem solver
-How to say no (graciously)
-Listening to others
-Pick up the phone
Modern skills to master:
-How to blog
-How to use social media to market your services and network
-Basic photo editing
-How to add text to images
-Basic web design or at least how to update yours
-How to create videos
-How to edit videos
-How to collect subscriber emails
-How to setup email newsletters
-How to text
4. They created profitable makeup kits
They created makeup kits to service all their clients needs from the most pale actress to the darkest actress they could apply foundation without having to worry if they had the supplies to create the look they wanted. Products are purchased to be used on clients and not to have every color or product in a "collection" you aren't a pokemon collector, you don't need every product or shade. A makeup artist knows, that you can mix and combine colors to create the perfect color or shade. Most makeup artist manage to really keep their kits pretty small and light weight. Remember you have to carry this thing around, up stairs, and sometimes out doors.
5. They gained knowledge
Most iconic makeup artist had no choice but to assist and do it for free. It was considered to be a privilege and honor to learn our trade at the hands of an industry working makeup artist. Now there are hundreds of makeup schools, workshops, online resources, and more. Make sure that any route you take you learn from the best in your field. They might not have the most Instagram followers but they probably have Emmy's, did makeup for your favorite movies, and hardly wear makeup, imagine that?
6. And gained even more knowledge
Their education never stopped, they continued to attend classes, workshops, and seminars. They evolved as an artist with the industry never losing sight of who they were. They taught other artist their techniques and read books. Like I've mentioned before learning from a makeup book has been one of my personal secrets to success.
7. They practiced, practiced, and practiced
They say you become a master when you have clocked in 10,000 hours in a field. So what are you waiting for? Give make overs to family, friends and anyone you can get your hands on. Try to expose yourself to different face shapes, races, ages, weight, etc. These are all learning experiences and each person's unique attributes will make you a better makeup artist tomorrow.
8. They never gave up
I once heard a saying "The only way to fail is to quit, otherwise you've just learned thousands of ways to not do something" in makeup it is the same. Every experience teaches you something - a new method of application, how to deal better with people, or how to better prepare for a job next time. Our industry is an over saturated one, and not everyone makes it. Those who stand the test of time make it, because they never gave up.