One thing that I find really prevalent these days with artists that are making the move into the freelance realm after working at counters, salons or in the process of building their book is the incredible amount of excitement for the gig without the full understanding of the responsibility that comes with paid gigs. Don't get me wrong collaborations and private clients come with their own set of responsibilities - but the anti is upped when it's a larger scale gig..
We all start the journey working on free test shoots, free editorials or smaller jobs that are one- on- one with a model or a singular client. With these types of gigs as the artist you may have the freedom to help concept the makeup looks and no hard time constraints in which to execute them.
As you grow there may be times when opportunities arise outside of your realm of experience, and you will accept gigs believing that your "good makeup skills" will carry you through.. The reality though is that business is business especially for your clients who are laying down the bucks. When they hire you for a catalog, lifestyle shoot, an editorial, commercial or video you have a responsibility ethically and professionally. Your responsibility is to deliver the makeup looks that your client needs within the parameters that they set.
These are the instances when many artists learn major lessons the hard way because they lack the understanding as to what their client needs or the experience to execute it. For instance, say your client wants clean but edgy editorial makeup, but they still want it relatable for their conservative demographic and bonus because it took longer than expected to do the wardrobe fitting with the model you now have only 20 minutes to get it done. Yikes!
This is crunch time, get it done time, no excuses. Especially when there is a budget involved. If a client tell me that we need to be done with makeup in five minutes on a look that should take 20 more minutes to complete, I rely on my skill set and put it on turbo speed.
This is when experience and sharp skills make you indispensable to your client…and if you want to get hired again, you need to understand what the client is all about… I can say for certain that my catalog clients don’t want the same look that an editorial client would. And my commercial clients certainly don’t want the same thing as my runway clients… It's important to use different techniques for different clients rather than a 'one face fits all philosophy" that too many artists are learning from social media. Here’s where good artistry and quick thinking are essential.
In the last week I worked with two very seasoned photographers for the first time that told me that when they moved to my area they almost gave up on finding good makeup artists because no one was doing what they asked for, instead they were just doing their own think… and it didn't entice them to rehire anyone they had already worked with. So what’s an artist to do?
If you aren’t getting paid gigs regularly
Evaluate your book - if it's not solid enough to get paid work -keep working on it
Work on your speed as much as possible - invite friends over a few times a week to practice different looks on them. Set a timer for 20 minutes and make sure you don't go over.
Stretch your skill set by practicing different styles of makeup - editorial, runway, catalog and commercial.
As always, I would love to hear from you… I love your feedback, your comments and your suggestions for upcoming content! Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org