To me, an artist is someone who takes an idea and runs with it. That person could be a chemist, an architect, a biologist, a chef, a painter, or a dancer. After years of trying to define myself by the kind of art I do, and needing to be freed of that, I came to the conclusion that the beauty in having no limitations in terms of defining who or what artists are, is an art in and of itself.
My career in makeup artistry began on a whim after years of dance and theatre training. I knew I needed a job to pay my bills after I got my Bachelors Degree and after a year spent at The Neighborhood Playhouse School For Acting in New York City. I had been experimenting with doing makeup on friends for their acting headshots and realized that perhaps there was a career there. I made a decision to pursue it and signed up for my first makeup class with Ilana Harkavi, the founder and creator of Il Makiage cosmetics.
I fell in love with makeup immediately. The colors and their ability to transform faces was magical to me. I couldn’t believe how beautiful this art form could be. I was hooked.
A year later Ms. Harkavi hired me to work in her shop as an intern to continue learning and also help her sell products. After 4 months of working with her, I knew I was serious about a career in makeup.
I decided to attend the makeup school, Delmar Academy, in London. So I left NYC and I spent the next 6 months in the UK. And within a few months of my return to New York, I got a job with MAC Cosmetics at Henri Bendel.
At that time, working for MAC was a competitive and coveted position, after all, it was the makeup artist brand. There was nothing else like it on the market. Spending every day there working with the incredible team of artists I had the honor of being a part of, allowed me to experiment with color and texture and begin to find my own individual style. I learned an incredible amount about pigment, the science of product development, the fashion industry and painting in my time with them, which I am grateful for and still continue to draw inspiration from. But I knew that in order for me to not get stuck behind the counter forever, I needed something more challenging to push me forward out of retail, and that after 4 years it was time for me to continue on my journey.
I took the plunge and began building my portfolio, working with photographers and models for free, cultivating relationships with people in the industry. After about two years of that and waiting tables, doing small editorial makeup jobs at various publications and small independent films, I realized I needed to be practical about how to sustain a life as a freelance artist. So I began assisting on weddings as the second makeup artist. I learned from my mentors how to use an airbrush machine, how to apply individual eyelashes and how to run my own business. After about a year or so I stopped assisting and began to build a brand for myself doing makeup for weddings, events, and private clients.
It has been over 10 years of running my own business with a few stints at salons around NYC and a two year freelance job with another makeup brand, Nars Cosmetics. I continue to learn, not only about makeup artistry, but about the fact that any creative endeavor is forever changing and evolving, and devotion to your craft is truly the only way to get you closer to the magic of that first hook.
About 2 years ago, I went back to a creative medium I had been toying with while at school in London; Body Painting. I have always been fascinated by what a complete canvas the human body is. How the skin as canvas can change the texture of paint by increasing the temperature of the body through movement. I have been exploring the idea of mixing mediums to create a new way to see the idea of movement and color while at the same time experimenting with photography and light to see where these shapes and textures can go. Working with dancers has enabled me to return to my dance training roots and tap in to a new kind of abstract art that inhabits every art form that has influenced me. Most importantly graffiti and street art. Only time and more exploration will tell what else I can discover, and what all of this work will ultimately bring. But in the meantime what I have found at the core of all this work is beauty.