For many, being a make-up artist seems like an easy and fun occupation. While, the fun part might be true, there is nothing easy about building yourself up as a go-to make-up artist. One can spend up to ten years in the make-up industry and still remain unknown and unsuccessful. So, like any other potential career, mastering the art is just the first step. The path towards becoming a thriving make-up artist takes time. Similarly to the fashion industry, the make-up industry is particularly competitive and requires upmost professionalism and quality. As a beginner or professional make-up artist, it is good to remember that your reputation rides on your work and that there is no room for mediocrity. Here are a few steps to help you in your journey to become a sought after professional make-up artist.
Step one: Perfect Your Skills
Any well-established artist will tell you that practice and continuous learning is what differentiates between an average make-up artist and an exceptional one. As a make-up artist, your profession is one where you need to know your art inside out. You are working on people’s faces, bodies and your clients put their absolute trust in you. As a result, you can never practice enough. By practice, we mean use yourself, use your friends, your family members, even dolls and if possible volunteer your services as much as you can. We can’t stress enough just how transformative practice is for an artist.
Moreover, although beauty school is definitely not a must for success, if you can afford it, don’t miss the chance. There are several things you can learn in school that you can’t pick up on YouTube, blogs or books. In addition, school teaches you more than make-up and beauty, it teaches you professionalism, marketing, ethics among others. It’s false to assume that being a make-up artist is inborn and school is a waste of time. On the other hand, never underestimate the power of passion and what YouTube or the Internet can teach you about beauty and the make-up industry.
Step two: Find your style
What do you envision yourself doing ten years from now? This is an imperative question for any make-up artist, seasoned or beginner; it helps shape your style and approach. While it is possible to specialize in everything, having one or two specialties is more advantageous. Moreover, as you determine your specialty, study your surroundings and your market, like any other business it is beneficial to know your competitors or what is needed in a market. For example, in Kenya, you need to ask yourself where make-up artists are needed or in high demand. Fields such as Special FX, fashion make-up are skills that are still unexplored but that have a growing need. As the local film industry grows for example, you want to be that one artist who can transform a beautiful girl into a monster, or whatever else would be required for the movie or show.
However, the market shouldn’t be your only determinant of specialty, your passion should also play a part. Thus, if you love weddings and know you can excel as a make-up artist for weddings, then by all means, do it. In fact, there are so many more fields from makeovers, magazines, photography, salon, theatre, you really just need to research and find your niche. Moreover, like Kavengi, you can also decide to think outside the box and create an unknown style.
Eventually, as you find your niche, it will also help you build up your make-up kit, a kit that will include all the tools you will need to provide your services. Find out Suzie Wokabi ‘s top 5 tools are and what Kavengi uses.
Step three: Market yourself
Once you have developed your skills, created your portfolio and found your style, you don’t need to wait for an agent to market you, you can market yourself. In fact, thanks to the internet, self-marketing has become extremely easy an efficient. Basically, all you need is a social media account and some online connections and you are set to go. The make-up industry world has changed drastically with the presence of social media, with a blog, an Instagram account and a YouTube page; you can accomplish wonders and get your name out there faster than ever before. Still, it is not as easy, you need to have an established network to create traffic and buzz about your work.
Furthermore, what is often ignored but is important is acquisition of business cards. Although, it might cost you some money, print out business cards. Business cards make you easier to contact and give you a look of professionalism, so hand them out to whomever you can.
Being a make-up artist is like running a fashion business and like any other business, there are several aspects to consider.Read the following links to help you understand the world of business, fashion and beauty.
- FASHION IS A BUSINESS; THINK LIKE AN ENTREPRENEUR
- CHOOSING A BUSINESS NAME; TIPS AND GUIDELINES
- FINANCIAL SENSE; MANAGING AND PLANNING YOUR FINANCIAL GOALS IN A FASHION BUSINESS
- MARKETING YOUR FASHION BRAND
- WAMBUI MUKENYI ON WORKING SMART IN THE BUSINESS OF FASHION
Ultimately, it takes time and patience to build up your reputation but the make-up industry is growing, especially in Kenya, so don’t be afraid to follow your dreams.
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