FEATURED MAKEUP ARTIST INTERVIEW
1.What do you hope your contribution to the project says to the viewers?
First of all, I have to say I am beyond excited to be featured in the September beauty issue of Tantalum Magazine! With this project, what I really hope to convey to the viewers, whether they are creative in our industry or avid lovers of fashion & beauty, is to be fearless. As artists, we cannot be afraid of trying new things, and just going for it! If we let fear hold us back, it means stagnation or plateauing. Going into any project, you simply cannot be afraid to explore, as that’s the only way to grow. We can all get into a comfortable pattern, of doing the same things again because we love it, but I committed to my artistry, and I've become very comfortable in being uncomfortable, constantly trying new things, experimenting and working with new people. You need to keep lighting that “fire” - the passion for creation. If I let fear get to me and keep doing the same things over and over again, the artist in me will surely die - sorry to be melodramatic here, but it's simply the truth. If I let my fear get to me, I might as well pack my bags and quit!
2.How has working with a team benefited you aside from strengthening your skills?
Doing hair and makeup is not really just about hair and makeup. What I mean is, we as hair and makeup artists are just a part of the team in the creative process, and it doesn’t matter if you were a “rock star” with your hair and makeup – if what you did doesn’t go with the clothes, the lighting, the overarching artistic vision, it’s a bad photo, and you should remove it from your portfolio. I believe a hair & makeup artist is only as strong as the team.
3.What is some good advice for Makeup Artists striving to work in this industry?
Other than being fearless, I feel that you need to have strong work ethics and professionalism. After 4 years of college, I dove headfirst into this industry I have so much love and passion for. I typically work 60-80 hours a week on my business. You simply can’t be ‘successful’ (whatever success means to you personally!) by sitting around waiting for things to happen. You have to go out there and get it!
4.What do you find to be the most rewarding and difficult when working with a team of artists to meet a common look?
I feel that searching for the “right” team to flow together is the most difficult part at the moment! Which is why when I finally find a team, it’s like a miracle, like the sea has parted for me, or something! When a team can communicate openly to achieve a common look, and when everyone is on the same page, it’s definitely the most rewarding, because it will reflect in the final product: a strong image! Finding the right team and working in a team also means knowing the teams limit and of course, your own limit. I knew that for this project we have a tight timeline, with a goal of 6 looks and water splashing and some of the look changes required complete removal of the eye makeup – I decided I needed to bring on a second artist as an assistant and I’m thankful for my friend and colleague Julie Dy for her help on this project. Part of being a good team member is knowing when to lead, and when to follow. It’s a tremendous reward to work with Laura, Alanna, Julie, and our model Caina.
5.How do you plan for the unexpected?
The best way to plan for the unexpected is to always expect the unexpected. A million things could happen to potentially jeopardize a photo shoot – a freak accident causing the model to be late and we need to shoot with natural lighting, a snow storm happened and the clothes did not arrive in time. As a hair and makeup artist, you need to think quickly on your feet – be very observant of what is happening on set, and adapt your art to go with the flow! To do so, you also need to “do your homework” and keep an archive of ideas; save your ideas because you never know when you need to use them. I LOVE planning in advance, but I’ve learned to change and adapt on the spot.
6.What do you feel is a common mistake Makeup Artists make?
Personally, I feel it’s feeling they have enough experience, but find themselves making mistakes on a job and possibly losing the client forever, and you won’t even know which mistake you made. There is a difference in being confident in yourself and proud of your work, and being over-confident in your level of artistry. Every artist develops at a different pace, and yes, a lot of it is “who you know” and your “luck,” but that’s not everything. I was very lucky to have met Liz Yu from Yaby Cosmetics at the very early stages of my career, who urged me to contact every artist in town and ask to assist them to gain valuable experience! I believe that ‘learning’ never stop. This is my fifth year in this industry, but even if this where my thirtieth year, I hope to keep learning.
7.What advanced classes have you taken that you feel has helped you the most?
The classes offered at The Makeup Show have been very valuable to me. They are the ‘free’ ones you can attend when you buy your ticket to enter the show. The ones about advanced techniques and artistry (the “hard skills” all artist needs to learn) have been helpful, but most importantly, the classes about growing your business, “setiquette” (set etiquette) has been tremendously helpful! Assisting senior artists are also, in my opinion, a type of advanced class every artist should take.
8.What do you say to those who don’t feel education is important throughout their career?
They will eventually realize at some point, they need education, and hopefully by then it’s not too late. This applies in all businesses and professions – if you don’t evolve, stay up to date to the latest, how can you keep up with what current clients are looking for? That sounds like a formula for any type of business going bankrupt, so yes, education is important!
9.How do you keep your style fresh?
In addition to the usual homework of following Style.com, Models.com and studying the runways and current advertisements, I find inspiration in many things: museums, art shows, music/lyrics, concerts, movies, TV shows, works of fiction, philosophy and critical theory. Inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere! I have been doing ‘art’ since I was 3, and had a habit of keeping an artist workbook. A few years ago they would be physical books with blank pages that I would fill with my visual ideas and research, but now it’s all on my computer and all these folders and subfolders fill up my desktop, which drives my husband crazy even though we don’t share computers.
10.What would you say you have learned of most value through your experiences as a Makeup Artist?
I have always been a go-getter and super eager to make things “happen” for my career. This is a personality trait…and I’ve been this way all my life. But in my career as a makeup artist and this industry in general, I know that it’s a “winners-take-all” market, and I have to remain positive yet realistic, which means re-defining what success means for me. What I’ve learned (or am still learning), is to be patient. I’ve been told “This career is not a race!” and it’s been valuable to keep reminding myself that as long as I keep moving forward in some ways, I am ‘successful!’
11.How would you describe your style?
I am drawn to super clean and classic looks. Think of your Ralph, Salvatore Ferragamo, Anthroplogie, J-Crew, Tommy Hilfiger, Levis, Tory Burch, Hugo Boss for Men. If I had a choice in the matter, that would be my default style of choice!
12.How did you get your start in the editorial world? How hard or easy was it for you to build your career?
Test, test and more tests. I can’t imagine anyone telling me it is “easy” to build your career in the editorial world in 2013! I have heard from one of my mentors, who started her career in the late 80s, after working on an indie film with no previous experience, the floodgates opened and she was doing major magazine covers and advertisements. Times have changed since the 90s, and I would love to have existed in the “good ole days” of the 90s I keep hearing about, but the reality in 2013 is different, and we just have to accept it and try, try …try again.
13.What has been the most amazing opportunity you have had in this industry so far?
I am responding to these questions that I’ve never had the pleasure to respond to before! I feel pretty amazing right about now! Truly though, it is amazing to me to look at all the obstacles I had to overcome in my journey as an artist so far, and I am just grateful to be working and making a living as an artist, as it has always been my dream. The last thing my parents had wanted for me is to become an artist…I did it anyway!
14.What colors are you in love with right now?
I’ve always liked the pastel colors and neutrals, and shied away from brighter hues, but I’ve been in love with orange/corals/taupes lately (are you surprised?) Exiting my comfort zone, I started to love bright colors. It’s bold, it’s confidant, it’s fun!
15.What inspires you?
At this current moment? My family – mom, dad, big sister, my husband, and last but not least, my diva cat, Skyla.
16.Next BIG goal?
I am sure many makeup artists can relate to this one – my next BIG goal is to do a beauty ad. You did say BIG right? It has been on my ‘list’ since the beginning! When it’s my time, I feel it will happen! Right now I just have to be patient and keep going!!!!!!
Model: Caina @ Scout Model & Talent
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