Sunday, December 30, 2012

Who Are You? Imitate,Then Innovate

I speak with a lot of young women and men that aspire to be makeup artists. I ask them about their influences, motivation and background. Sometimes I can already envision them working on set. While other times, I wonder if their real motivation is the perceived glitz & glam. 

If you have the passion and focus, everyone will see it. Determination & passion radiates. You have to be willing to find yourself and create your signature.

At the 2012 Commencement for the University of the Arts, writer Neil Gaiman said “Most of us only find our own voices after we've sounded like someone else.”  

True. We’re all clueless how these businesses work. After speaking with Crystal Wright, she told me how she modeled the Crystal Agency after industry veterans like Cloutier. She took the blueprint then customized processes to fit her business.

We imitate, then innovate.

Research: Google industry vets, study their work, study their influences. Read about the history of your craft. Dissect work that you love. Break down websites. Read books that help  expand your mind. I love reading O Mag. Every month, I read it from cover to cover. Question your beliefs. If you do all of this stuff, your brain cells should be popping like oil in a hot frying pan.

Sometimes its just a matter of slowing down and being patient. Think about what you are doing. Stop falling into the same old routine. Every client is different. The more work you do, the more skilled you become.

Make your own rules.

As we sit here, we find ourselves getting lost in the YouTube Bermuda Triangle. We land onto Lisa Eldridge's island by way of Lachlan Bailey. Lisa Eldridge proves to be our new makeup BFF4L.  She's simply marvelous darling!

Lisa Eldridge says if you master one area, then it becomes easier to do different kinds of work. This works because you have a built a strong reputation and people know your work. Stop whoring yourself out like a prostitute. Test, test, test and test some more. Build your portfolio. Stop selling yourself short by spreading yourself too thin. Focus on one thing. Embrace your future. Create a book that makes people drool.

Thanks for listening. I have work to do!

Drops mike...exits stage left...


Freelance Notes: Handling Bad Energy on Set

Today I worked on a photoshoot with a client who ‘tried’ to drain the life out of me.  I worked on a 4 hour shoot  that felt more like 10 hours. Nothing was good enough: the hair, makeup, wardrobe photographer! I went home exhausted. I did my job; but, geez why do I feel so bad.

Bad energy is contagious. Leave it at the door.

Some clients may have no sense of self. They want to be like everyone they see.

It doesn't matter how matter how many hair extensions, contours/highlights and designer outfits are worn. If your clients doesn't feel beautiful inside, all your compliments will fall upon deaf ears.

So many images of exotic, toned, tanned people flood our daily receptors. Some people can't discern and have no gauge for their own beauty. They sit in your chair and tear down themselves into shreds. Their negative energy tries to penetrate your core. Hours of self doubt and hatred linger in the air. Put up a shield!

You have to put up your personal shield and limit your energy from becoming immersed in the tragedy sitting in the chair. Layers of personal experiences have made this person the way they are. Manage your stress level and personal involvement by:

  • Keeping their opinions at bay
  • Take it light. Some people just don't know better. Its not your job to entertain them with a 15 minute dissertation about self esteem.
  • Remove your emotional self.
  • Remember this is a job.You are a providing a service. Do your job well.
  • Remember this person is not your friend or family. You are not obliged to spend the holidays with them.
  • Thinking happy thoughts: babies, puppies, ice cream (lol)

Find a feature that inspires you and FOCUS on perfecting it.

I began with contouring and highlighting my clients skin because I could not visualize the face shape that I wanted. Once I finished I moved onto the eye area. I wanted to elongate her eye with liner and lashes. I made that my focus and tuned out everything else, except the photographer.

Its so important not to let people take control of your energy when they are not personally invested. Its like polluting the environment. Take control of the situation by mentally removing yourself.