So You Wanna Be A Pro Artist 2: Now Why

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The “So You Wanna Be A Pro Artist” series is original content conceived and written by Tania D. Russell, all Copyrights reserved.

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Now that you’ve gotten it in your head that you want to become a professional makeup artist, the first question is pretty much the same for everyone; Now What?

Well, “Now What” depends on a few things, but let’s take a step back for a moment. Let’s start with a fundamental question: Why do you want to be a professional makeup artist?

I’m always a little bit amazed when I work with new students who have no clue – nay have never even put any thought to – this basic question. Basic though this question may seem, however, it will be your guiding light throughout your career. As with any serious endeavor, the better you plan the better your result. “It looks like a fun thing to do” may be a truthful answer, but it’s probably not a good enough answer to sustain building a career. While your answer may change as you reach different stages of your career – this will be the question that guides your choices and decision-making throughout your career. Whatever your answer, it needs to be adequately compelling to make it worth your while to do the work and make the sacrifices necessary to be a successful artist. Yes my friends, hard work and sacrifice. Don’t believe the hype, being a working makeup artist is NOT easy nor is it for everyone. I know this reality first hand not only through my own experiences in becoming and staying a working artist but also through the reality that very few of the aspiring artists with whom I started back in the day are still in the business. VERY few. This is not to discourage anyone, but in order to be successful I believe you also have to be realistic.

Therefore, in my opinion, the first question when embarking on the journey of becoming a professional makeup artist is not “Now What?” but “Now, why?” Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when developing your personal “Why”:

1) What is it that you like about makeup? If your interest in makeup has to do with product and “glam”, being a TV makeup artist would likely be highly unsatisfactory to you. Likewise, if your love is in characters and stories, the print advertising and catalog work that I do would probably have you yawning.

2) What do you expect from being a makeup artist? Expecting glamour and glitz and for everyday to be like an episode of the Rachel Zoe Project? Well good luck with that because it rarely happens but there are aspects of the industry where it’s more likely to happen than others.

3) What do you expect from any working situation/career? Do you want stability? Want to know where your next check is coming from and when? Want to work in a familiar environment with people you know? Want routine? Congratulations, being a freelance media artist is not for you! 😉 Well, not entirely, but knowing those elements of your personality will help you decide what segment of the profession you should probably aspire to work within. I can tell you now that if you want any of that, you do not want to be a freelance media makeup artist like me. If you want anything approaching security as a media makeup artist you should probably focus on getting in the Union and trying to get in the television circuit (more on that later).

Fortunately there are lots of ways to be a working artist. Further, unlike a traditional career path, the path of an artist is non-linear. There are a lot of different yellow brick roads that lead to the Emerald City. You just need to put in the thought and do the research to find the road that works best for you.

Once you’ve had a moment to think about the Whys you’re in a better position to start thinking about the next step: How.

RESOURCES For This Section:

Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Life by Shakti Gawain – a classic amongst classics in the self-help realm, pre-dating “The Secret” by at least 15 years.

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2016: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard N. Bolles – This has now become a whole series of books. While this does speak to traditonal jobs, non-traditionalists will find it’s approach to finding what you truly love to do useful as well.

Next Installment: How

Previous Installment: Getting Started

The “So You Wanna Be A Pro Artist” series is original content conceived and written by Tania D. Russell, all Copyrights reserved.

© 2010 – 2016, Tania. All rights reserved.

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