So You Wanna Be A Pro Artist 3: How

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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.

So You Wanna Be A Pro Artist How

Your next step in becoming a makeup artist is to learn makeup. I’m sure some of you think you know makeup but chances are if you’re just starting out you do not, at least not to the extent necessary to work on the high-end projects you are currently coveting. This is not to discount whatever level of experience you may already have, but it is to say that there’s a reason the people who get hired for those high-end projects are the ones who get hired. As the old adage says, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and for the aspiring makeup artist that first step is becoming good (if not great or excellent) at the craft of makeup. The best way to go about doing so depends on the individual but there is one question that comes up over and over again: To School or Not To School – That is the question.

Disclosure # 1 – I used to be very anti makeup schools.

Disclosure #2 – I now teach at one.

How did that happen? Well, I tell you, despite the fact that I started my workshops as a reaction against makeup schools, I ended up teaching at one because of said workshops. The reality of the matter is that everyone learns differently. Some people can watch something once and they’ve got it. Some people can read and study and then go grab a friend and just practice until things start to look right. Others need lots of repetition along with a watchful eye to guide them in the right direction. Again, becoming an artist is non-linear so whatever method works best for you is whatever method works best for you. There is no right or wrong, better or worse. It is essential to find the method best for you, however, because pursuing the wrong method may impede your progress or halt it altogether.

Another reality is that not everyone starts his or her career at the same skill level or with the same skill set. Some people are very naturally talented and it’s just a matter of some practice to refine their skills and further develop their talent. Some people have never touched a makeup brush before in their lives when they decide this is the profession they want to pursue. Still others are honestly not naturally talented, but have the love, passion and desire to succeed in this profession and are willing to do what it takes to become a good makeup artist.

How do you know what kind of learner you are? These are the three basic kinds of learning types:

Visual Learners – those who learn by seeing
Auditory Learners – those who learn by listening
Kinesthetic Learners – those who learn by doing

Many artists think they’re visual learners but when I start working with them, they actually turn out to be Kinesthetic learners. Makeup is in your hands, literally. You have to DO makeup to become good at it. I’ve run into a few very very talented souls who can truly look at something once and just do it cold, but most of us will need some level of hands-on practice and repetition in order to become skilled in our applications.

Thus for those of us who learn by doing, lessons, workshops and schools are our best bet for learning makeup. Which one to choose is individual and there are pluses and minuses to each choice. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of each choice:

Lessons
Pros
• Individualized attention
• Customizable to your specific needs
• One-on-one just you and your teacher
• Teachers will often let you work from their kit (I do in my private lessons)
• GREAT for those already doing makeup who want to learn new skills or go in a new career direction (i.e. a bridal artist who wants to start doing photographic makeup)
Cons
• Some students feel more comfortable having other students working along side them
• Seeing other people’s work can inspire or instruct your own work
• Shorter instruction period (1 day vs. several weeks or months)
• No one can fully learn makeup in a day. Student will need a support system to be able to continue to practice and learn in order to continue as an artist.
• Will eventually need to get your own kit in order to continue
• More expensive than workshops
• There are no standards of who can teach. Teacher may be a successful working artist or they may not. Research is vital.

Workshops
Pros
• Get to work along side artists who are also just starting out.
• Get to see how makeup looks on different face types.
• Can learn from each other’s mistakes and successes.
• Most workshops have a smaller class size.
• Generally the least expensive education option
Cons
• Have to follow a pre-set curriculum.
• Will likely need to bring your own kit and tools. (I provide some basics in my workshops but it’s better if you have some makeup as well and you do need tools)
• Shorter instruction period (1 or 2 days vs. several weeks or months)
• No one can fully learn makeup in 1 or 2 days. Student will need a support system to be able to continue to practice and learn in order to continue as an artist.

Schools
Pros
• Get to work along side artists who are also just starting out.
• Get to see how makeup looks on different face types.
• Can learn from each other’s mistakes and successes.
• Most good schools have teachers who are working professionals.
• Most good schools include a full kit for students to get started as part of their tuition, or have one available for purchase.
• Most good schools have classes on business development and portfolio development in addition to makeup application.
• Longer instruction period: Most school courses are anywhere from one week to a few months depending on the program you take
Cons
• Most expensive option.
• Longer time commitment
• There are only so many good schools thus you may have to relocate for a while.
• Not all schools use a hands-on class model. Many do mostly discussion and a little hands-on work.
• Not all schools are certified for secondary instruction (very important).
• THERE ARE A LOT OF BAD, DISREPUTABLE SCHOOLS

That last Con was my most prevailing reason for why I was so anti-schools for so long. There are a lot of baddies out there. A. Lot. Of. Baddies. In fact there are more bad schools than there are good, in my opinion. In my next segment we will discuss what to look for and how to find a good school, and why I chose to teach at the school that I did.

Next Installment: Good Instruction – Picking a good school.

Previous Installment: Now Why

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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