It’s been a few weeks since I started my Livin’ the Dream journey, and so much has happened.
This past weekend, I attended The Makeup Show in New York City, which included educational seminars for both technique and business. I learned that in hiring a makeup artist, personality and professionalism are just as important as skill. One panelist even said, “I can teach anyone technique. If I don’t want to hang out with you, I’m not hiring you!”
Part of my strategy now is to take jobs that may not involve makeup, but will introduce me to photographers, directors, and other people in the industry. That way, when somebody needs a makeup artist, I’ll be a known entity.
The biggest struggle I had at this show was fighting my own shyness. I was so afraid of introducing myself and making a bad impression, that all too often I shied away from conversation and ended up making no impression at all.
What I really need is tools to help me tell my story–a portfolio, for one thing. Once I can illustrate what I bring to the table, I think I’ll have a much easier time introducing myself to new people.
I still have a long way to go before I’m Livin’ the Dream for real, but I’m well on my way. Moving
forward, I’m going to focus on a few key steps:
- Build skills. Playing around with eyeshadow and fake blood in my bathroom on weekends isn’t going to cut it. I need to dedicate real time to this pursuit and surround myself with people who can help me succeed–not just makeup artists, but the models, photographers, and hairstylists who will help me create the impactful final image that will show off my skills in the best light.
- Move to where the jobs are. You can be a great makeup artist anywhere in the country. But to have the best chance of success, I need to place myself in the path of the most jobs. For special effects, that place is undisputedly Los Angeles.
- Build a portfolio of work I’m proud of, a professional website, a social media presence (I’m currently active on Tumblr and Twitter), and a personal story that quickly shows people who I am, what I do, and why they want to work with me.