Friday, May 23, 2008

9 Questions with Jon Hennessey

When you were a young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I think for a lot of kids, there tend to be leanings toward “hero” jobs…firefighters, policemen/women, I wanted to be a baker. I have a 4 year old son who wants to be a T. Rex, but he’s more likely to be IN T. Rex. He’s a creative little boy.

How did that transpose into makeup artistry?
My motivation for wanting to be a baker was that I really liked cakes and I wanted to eat a lot of them. It’s tricky to draw that connection to makeup artistry. I still like cakes and now I can afford to buy them from nicer places.

What are the things about working in makeup that you love?
Even on the most simple, straightforward projects, there is a way to approach the creative process in a different way.
I travel for work.
My clients often become friends.
I make a living as a painter.
I’m fortunate enough to be able to share my experience with other artists.
I learn something new every day.
My job is to participate in the creation of beautiful and/or thought provoking images.
The answers to this question could be pages long. I love what I do for a living.

What are the challenges you face working as a freelance artist?
Any time that you place the word “freelance” in front of anything, the potential is there for your anxiety level to rise exponentially. There is a popular misconception relating to and glamorization of the title “makeup artist”, but I suppose “makeup artist, promoter, marketer, accountant, cold caller, researcher, teacher-student” is a bit too long for a business card. I’ve met a lot of talented artists who didn’t know the first thing about marketing their businesses, or even see it as a necessity and ultimately wonder why things haven’t evolved for them professionally. ART&COMMERCE said it best….with the whole art and commerce thing. This also applies to when you’re represented by an agency. The relationship with your agent should work as a partnership, with both parties working actively to promote the business. Just because you’re rep’d doesn’t mean that you put your feet up and wait for the phone to ring. It’s a nice thought though.

Do you have a signature style?
I think so, but I often think that it’s easier for someone else to identify what that is. It’s easier to see in a visual than to write about, but generally, I lean toward something that’s very simple in appearance even if it takes me 2 hours to arrive at it. I approach each job with ideas, not plans.

Do you have a project that you’ve done that you are especially proud of?
Hands down, the project that I’m most proud of is NOBASURA. In January of this year, I opened NOBASURA Artist Management Inc. in order to be able to bring together the most talented group of individuals that I could find. We rep a small group of artists working in the categories of hair, makeup, styling and photography and I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have all of these friends and collaborators in my life. NOBASURA is a tree with deep roots and long branches, we officially rep 8, but have a flow team and network of hundreds.

How do you continue to grow your career as an artist?
If you always consider yourself a student, then you never plateau.

What should someone who is looking to develop a career in makeup know before getting into the business?
Art is the hardest way to make an easy living.

Jon Hennessey is a Vancouver based makeup artist, the owner of Nobasura agenc, ywas profiled in the Winter 2008 issue of On Makeup Magazine, a special guest artist at Evolution Spring 2008, workshop presenter at The Makeup Show NYC and will be a featured presenter at the soon to be announced The Artist Summit program produced by The Powder Group.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

9 Questions with Sandy Linter

When you were a young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was young, I lived on Staten Island. I didn’t know what I wanted to be, but I needed to move to New York City. I became a secretary, but spent every day in the bathroom making up my friends.

What was your first memorable work as an artist?
I got booked to do a big sitting with Polly Mellen at Vogue. The model was Karen Graham. The photos turned out amazing. I remember looking at them for the very first time. I was so happy. And then the bookings just kept on coming in! That was 1974.

What makes you a good makeup artist?
I have always felt that people are attracted to someone who enjoys what they are doing; someone who cares about satisfying the client. I love what I do and I try my best to satisfy my clients, so I believe that makes me a good makeup artist.

How did you know that the makeup artist industry was where you wanted to be?
I knew I would never be happy doing anything else. In all these years -- over 35 -- it has never once entered my mind that I should do anything else. Not once.

What are the things about your work that makes it the most interesting to you?
I love the instant gratification you feel when you know that you've made someone look and feel better. I really enjoy teaching women how to do their own makeup. I also like teamwork; that is why I've always attached my name to a salon. For my entire freelance career, I have been with at least five, maybe more, of the top salons in the city.

What are the challenges you face working as a freelance artist?
The biggest challenge of being a freelancer was waiting for the phone to ring. I like to be busy. Not too busy. But as a freelancer you can’t really control that...

What would you do differently if you were starting over today?
If I were starting over I would have learned how to network more effectively. When I first started out, the industry was tiny! I was one of five professional makeup artists in New York City, so my phone was ringing all the time. But when the 80’s rolled around everyone knew how to do makeup and was a makeup artist, so I lost a lot of business because I wasn’t networking like I should have – I didn’t even have a business card!

What advice would you give an artist just starting out?
I would tell a new artist to be humble.

How do you continue to grow your career as an artist?
I was lucky with my career. I was talented, but I wasn’t a business person. I just let the calls come to me instead of seeking out who I wanted to call me. What resulted were Vogue covers one day and underpaid catalogues jobs the next. I have learned that in order to grow my career I need to have more direction and be more proactive to get the things I really want and deserve. And so far it’s been really working in my favor.

Sandy Linter is represented by Bryan Bantry, is currently the Lancome Paris Beauty for All Ages Expert and works out of the Rita Hazan Salon in NYC. She is also one of the most inspiring and genuine people we have ever had the good fortune of working with. It was an honor to have her with us as a Keynote speaker at The Makeup Show NYC and to have been able to feature her in the Spring 2008 issue of On Makeup Magazine.