Quite simply, the "three "A's"-
1. Ability-It goes without saying that a great makeup artist needs to possess amazing skills, technique, and that great creative eye, together with a thirst for ongoing education and a thirst for knowledge that is never satisfied.
2. Availability- The makeup artist must be flexible to the needs of the project, even if it interferes (which is almost always does) with personal plans. The artist can expect to work long days/ weekends, forgoing other activities in order to make the project come to fruition.
3. Affability-You can be the greatest artist, with the most flexible schedule, but if you are difficult to work with and not supportive of and pleasant with the crew and talent, you will not be welcome in this "small" industry. Everyone wants to work with an artist who brings life and humor to the job, making the creative process even more fun for everyone!
How did I know that I wanted to be a makeup artist-
In short, I never had that lightbulb, "Oprah" moment-As I said on my website video, being a true makeup artist is something that you just feel compelled to do; you don't need to question it, you don't know why-you just have do it. Others may ponder their life decisions-I have no idea why, but I found myself in a situation which I fortunately pursued, with no specific plan, that led me to my journey to become a professional makeup artist. While I knew that I didn't want to continue practicing law, I didn't really have any idea what I wanted to do and was not even thinking of switching careers. In short, I was living and enjoying each day, one day at a time. Several years ago, I was asked whether I wanted to help out with my daughter's school play. The "mommy committee" assigned me to makeup, just because no one else wanted to do it; from that moment forward, my entire life changed. I discovered that I had an untapped, untrained gift. I just assumed that everyone knew how to age a face! I was so surprised; I had to find out what was going on with me! Why did I suddenly become so obsessed with the art of makeup?! My friends and family thought I was just going through some kind of crisis! Why would a successful corporate attorney even entertain the idea of exploring makeup artistry?! While I still did not even think about makeup artistry as a profession, I immediately, and instinctively, enrolled in and attended a makeup artistry program, then offered at Columbia College in Chicago. I even took one of the courses twice, just to get more out of one excellent instructor. Without any further thought, I started freelancing, barely supporting myself; the only law I was practicing then related to setting up my business as a freelance media makeup artist. Although money was tight, I didn't really focus on the present; I had the confidence to know that, whatever happened, I would be fine. I just concentrated on what needed to be done to pursue a successful career in the industry. I focused (and continue to focus) on becoming a better artist, building a portfolio, and advertising. I am so fortunate that now I am able to pursue my passion and work as a freelance media makeup artist. I am so proud to be in this creative industry; I love to be included in our community and am blessed to be able to mentor others so that, they too, can pursue their passion in makeup artistry.
Is there a project that I am especially proud of
I am beyond proud of the state-certified, MAC approved school that I founded three years ago, Make Up First® School of Makeup Artistry! When Columbia College closed its program, approximately five years ago, there was a void in our city that needed to be filled. I started with two students, and have now trained over four hundred students who come, not only from Chicago, but from all over the Midwest. We even train students from countries all over the world who come to Chicago specifically to attend the School. It is a surreal experience for me! The School offers a broad, art-based, hands-on training program with the best instructors, all currently working in their respective fields. We offer a balance of course work in, among other things, Beauty as well as Theatrical Makeup. We are always expanding our workshops, special events, and welcome special guest artists from both NYC and LA, which events and workshops are always open to the public.