By now you have chosen your makeup artistry path, started to build up your kit, and have begun applying for jobs! First off, congratulations! Like we have said before, beginning the makeup artist journey can sometimes be scary and stressful. We are excited that you have taken the jump! Now we are going to help you figure out how to plan realistic goals.
A good rule of thumb in this industry is this: It is going to take you two years before you see the bigger jobs coming in. This rule applies if you went to a makeup school or not. HOWEVER, there is always an exception to every rule. What you get out of this industry, in terms of work, is what you put in to it. A lot of people think "Ok, I went to school and now the jobs will come!" and stop there. They are waiting for that director or fashion makeup artist to call and beg them to be their assistant. That doesn't work. So what do you do? You make goals!
YOUR FIRST SIX MONTHS IN THE INDUSTRY :
This is the time to really build your presence!
Build your website! So many new artist rely solely on Instagram to promote themselves. When you are applying for a job, and you can send them to your website, it really does show professionalism. It also helps you stand out because you have several different social media platforms!
Make business cards! When making business cards, keep it simple! There are several websites where you can custom make your cards. Do your research, compare prices, AND KEEP IT SIMPLE!! Don't over crowd your card, but still make it stand out. Pick a color or picture that represents you or your art, and go for it! Make sure to include your name, website, email, Instagram, and Facebook page. Make sure that these are all your professional domains, not personal. If someone is looking to hire you, they want to view your work. Whether you want to put your phone number on your card is a personal choice, but make sure to put at least one way to contact you on there.
Start meeting photography students, film students, and fashion students. You are starting out in your career, so why not network with others who are starting out? Depending on which direction you are wanting to go in this industry, start reaching out to people that you admire their work. If you are wanting to do Film, go to your local film schools and ask if you can leave your business cards or if you can talk to the students. If you are wanting to do Editorial, reach out to photographers that you admire and ask if they would be interested in doing a test shoot. You can also look for local photography schools and bring your cards there. No job is too small when you are starting out.
YOUR FIRST YEAR IN THE MAKEUP INDUSTRY :
Now that you have your website, and have started networking, you should be on your way to making a nice portfolio! But now what?
Work on your resume! Even though this is a field in the arts, a resume is so important! Along with seeing your work, employers, producers, and designers want to see that you have actually done what you say. The more credits you can put to your name, the more likely you will get that job! Have different sections on your resume to include TV, Film, Commercial, Print (when you are published in a magazine), Music Video, and Runway. If you do not have anything to fill out for a particular section, THAT IS OK! This is to help you see what area you need to focus on.
Take risks. What we mean by "taking risks" is that you should apply for jobs and push past the fear! Here is an example. You are scrolling through your preferred site for jobs, when you see an ad that states the following. "We are looking for a makeup artist who can complete a smokey eye look, but needs to have very crisp line work for lips. There will be 4 talent, 3 females and 1 male." Let's say that you are confident in your line work, but you have only done a smokey eye once or twice. Should that stop you from applying? No! Apply, and if you get the job, PRACTICE!! The only time that you should not apply to a job is if you KNOW that you are unable to do it. For example: If you have never applied a bald cap, but the job requires you to make and apply one, you should pass on that job but learn how to do those kind of tasks.
Plan one big milestone you want to reach in your first year. Is your milestone working on a short film? How about booking a paid photography makeup session? How about being able to work one wedding every month for the last six months of the year? When you plan a milestone, you will start to push yourself to achieve it.
YOUR SECOND YEAR IN THE MAKEUP INDUSTRY :
Get sponsored by a makeup company! By now, you should have a very nice portfolio and resume. You have worked on enough faces that you are confident in color matching, as well as handling the different skin types. You may have even gotten to work on an actor or actress that is well known. Take this opportunity to reach out to makeup companies that you love and see if they have a sponsorship program! Each company will have different rules/requirements for sponsorship, but give it a try!
Work at least one BIG job. Apply for a fashion show that has a high status, not necessarily Fashion Week but something close. There are MANY shows through the year, find the one you want to work and go for it. Apply for a non union feature film. Indie films are becoming popular, so jump on the opportunity! Ask a makeup artist that you admire if they are ever looking for an assistant, and then work a job with them.
Do a photo series and make a coffee book! A coffee book is where you have done a series with a photographer and you have the physical book of your work. This is a great goal because 1) You will have a physical book of your work which most artists will not have, 2) It is cool to have a book of your work!
AFTER BEING IN THE INDUSTRY 5+ YEARS :
By this point in your makeup artist journey, you have hopefully been able to do MANY amazing things. But, at this point in your journey, you may feel like you are in a makeup rut. Here are a few goals to help you moving forward!
Work for yourself. You have been working long enough that Freelance work is something you can face with confidence. This is the time, if you haven't already, to begin a Freelance career.
Don't be afraid to be creative! What often happens in this industry, is that we find our niche and we stay there. We find that we do the same kind of makeup, over and over. Break out of the rut! If you are a Bridal artist, but are wanting more of a challenge, this is the time to reach out to a photographer you have met in your journey and set up a shoot! What will this shoot be? Think avant garde, think fantasy, think opposite of natural makeup! If you are used to doing film and tv, where you are doing more natural looks, apply for a fashion position or special effects makeup job! Change it up. Don't get bored.
Work toward a position that does not feel like work. One of the things that led each of us to work in the makeup industry is creativity and passion. It is so important to never lose that spark! After working 60 days in a row, after doing the same makeup for a week straight, it can be easy to lose that fire...so what can you do? Work toward a position that gives you control (or at least as much control as possible). For film and tv, work toward being Key Makeup Artist for a production. You get to create the looks for each character, head a team of artists, and choose which face you want to paint for that project. If you are working with a makeup company, work toward becoming the Director, Traveling Artist, or other high position you admire. Continue to encourage the fire and passion that brought you to this industry.
Each member of our team, here at Poise Makeup Professional, has had a COMPLETELY different makeup journey. We have wonderful artists who specialize in bridal, who specialize in editorial, specialize in film, and even artists that do special effects makeup. Even with the different directions, we all agree that passion and creativity are crucial to a successful career. We each are passionate about our craft, and love helping to support other artists.
Feel free to come in to our studio to meet with our team, talk about the makeup journey, and talk about how Poise can be part of your artistry!
Poise Makeup Team