What it took to sell out...

" Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time "

- Thomas A. Edison - 

I loved this quote so much I put it in my book 'Makeup Artist Bootcamp'. I never anticipated how applicable it would become for me.

2016 certainly looked like a brilliant year for me from the outside. I saw the launch of LAUD Magazine with the rest of the team and I finally published my three books - Makeup Artist Bootcamp Book One, The workbook, and WE THE PAINTED (the soft cover)

My first unofficial launch of the books at Cameron Jane Makeup School

My first unofficial launch of the books at Cameron Jane Makeup School

Today... it's official. I am SOLD OUT of the Makeup Artist Bootcamp Book One!

For those who are still waiting on their copy with their Hard Cover of WE THE PAINTED... do not fear I have put your MUA Bootcamps aside (if you ordered the duo).

And yes... The Hard Covers are coming. 

No one is in more anticipation than myself.

I am anticipation a short turn around for the second print of this book.

I am anticipation a short turn around for the second print of this book.

For those who haven't met me (or ordered the Hard Cover and checked their junk folder)... it's time you knew the story behind the publishing of the books... and the reason for the delay.

Of course there are some details that remain private for legal reasons... however... I never anticipated the journey for these books to be so much like a plot from a crazy Hollywood movie.

Would have I done it all over again given the chance? Yes... this education is something that I am in love with and really works for those who use it. I would have made a few changes however.

In short... leading up to the 2015 IMATS... Myself and LAUD Magazine had a stand booked on the advice from my 'publisher'. Why is 'Publisher' in inverted commas? Because this 'Publisher' that I had a contract with for pre production, production and post production decided to take their payment in full yet deliver on only one point of a four page contract. 

Three days before I was due to go to print... they dropped in the final budget for the books which exceeded the initial budget by some peoples yearly wage (even though it was contracted to a capped amount), said I had approved everything, offered no alternative, and said their job was done.

Three days before I was supposed to go to print... I was left with an unfinished PDF version of my book and an AWOL 'Publisher' who then moved interstate. After 5 months of legal action (which was mainly this person avoiding actually answering the lawyer) I got a response of:

"Becca doesn't have the money to sue me"

I knew in that moment I had been conned. 

I had a stand at IMATS with no product yet to sell. I had been in pre sale on the 'publishers' advice for 6 months already... and I was now in a massive debt with my investor and had no way to pay it back apart from freelancing. I had a 'publisher' who did do some layouts for me but didn't actually complete any points of their contract. Correction... ONE point of the contract which was to provide creative advice which they did in fact do... even if they didn't complete the work. The layouts were incomplete, still full of spelling errors thanks to the 'copy editor' I don't even think was a real person. 

I have never been more devastated.

What makes it worse is I have known this person for 20 years. How did I not see this coming? I had worked on these books for 3 years already at great sacrifice to other things... and just when I thought my dreams were about to come true... the rug was pulled from underneath my feet.

There were a few tears... and lots of wine.

Then after some time I was clearly able to think about what my next move was... (as well as cancel my plans to move to America and relocate again to Sydney to go into damage control)

I knew that this 'publisher' was laughing with all my money and it was true... I didn't have the money to sue them. It was enough that they drew out replying to my Lawyer so I couldn't pay any more of the bills. It was one of the most horrific experiences. I even asked them just for the InDesign files of the books so we could get the books completed by a professional... OH... this was due to the fact their business was wound down by the government (during my pre production in which they never disclosed)  and was actually illegal to do business with them anymore. Even if I WANTED them to see it through to the end I couldn't.

Can you even imagine what this was like?

So. One night i sat down with a piece of paper and I actually did a few exercises from MUA Bootcamp around this predicament. Sure... it was quite an intense period but I couldn't afford to buy into the drama anymore. I had to make a decision. This 'publisher' had put me in a huge amount of debt with nothing to show for it, my USA plans had to be paused and I had to relocate back to Sydney and somehow reignite my career there. 

I had two choices... 

Let this destroy me... or turn it around into a great experience.

I had a long hard look at whether it was time to throw in the towel and just work out how to pay back my investor... or think creatively about how to achieve my goal of publishing the books. And just like magic I started getting feedback from artists whom had done the live MUA Bootcamp.

One in particular got to me:

I read over the testimonials and the new ones coming through... and I realised if I gave up on the books... I would be giving up on the opportunity for more artists to say things like:

There is an activity in MUA Bootcamp called 'Milestone mapping' which is a way of breaking down huge goals into bite sized pieces that makes anything manageable and achievable.

I milestone mapped 'publishing my books' . 

What I didn't have was:

- A publisher

- Money

- An edited book

What I DID have was:

- My original manuscript

- My original photos

- The knowledge that this training method works

What I needed was:

- My books-re graphic designed.

- My books re-copy edited.

- A printer to print the books.

So I knew what I had to do! Get to work.

I had the time, a computer and brains in my head. I put aside all mind chatter about my own limitations like 'but you're a makeup artist not a graphic designer'... and focused on what was important. The books.

This year I have spent most days and night teaching myself InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop and have done the graphic design and publication of my books myself. In the process I realised that my books hadn't been copy edited... merely text left out of pages that didn't fit into the 'publishers' version of the book. I paid good money for that. I had to let a lot go in the process.

The printer who prints LAUD Magazine heard my story and offered to be my printer and I couldn't be more grateful. The trips I made to the central coast to test print and do final, then final final, then final final final were countless... and I was more determined than ever to have the books looking perfect! We were a small yet tight team all committed to triumph!

There were many unbelievable hurdles.

I couldn't give up.

Like the time I spent months working and got 2/3 the way through designing in InDesign and like MAGIC! All files were wiped from my hard drive and external storage. VANISHED. Who knew you couldn't open a file from Dropbox and work from that directly. Thanks Adobe for the tip! (did you notice my sarcastic font there?)

I had many many 3am bed times, 16 hour days and somehow had to squeeze in freelance work to pay the bills. I have had 5 days off in 2016 and 3 of those were after the books were published. In between all that I had understandably curious people wondering where the hell their books were ... and all I could say was production issues. 

I had days where after a test print I realised I had to colour balance over 300 step by step images.

After a test print of WE THE PAINTED I had to make an emergency flight to QLD to alter the colours on the art images and then the next day drive to the printer for more tests. This was after I thought we were ready to go. 

After months and months of hard work (on top of the 3 years it took to create the content)... ONE DAY before I was due to launch the books at Beauty Expo 2016... I got to see the books in real life! Talk about cutting it fine. Here are just some of the images of the process:

Many days/nights spent at the computer redesigning the books called for many provisions to be made...

Many days/nights spent at the computer redesigning the books called for many provisions to be made...

I actually learnt most about InDesign via Youtube tutorials! Much better then the alternative of giving up. I grew to love working in this programme... most of the time LOL. 

I actually learnt most about InDesign via Youtube tutorials! Much better then the alternative of giving up. I grew to love working in this programme... most of the time LOL. 

I worked so hard I even worked on layout in carparks waiting to pick up friends... no time wasted!

I worked so hard I even worked on layout in carparks waiting to pick up friends... no time wasted!

I used the book I was reading at the time as a mouse pad whilst in the car... Thankyou Daniel Flynn from Thankyou water! You book kept me going through the plethora of tough times in more ways than one! (Highly recommend anyone in business or wanting to start a business reading this)

I used the book I was reading at the time as a mouse pad whilst in the car... Thankyou Daniel Flynn from Thankyou water! You book kept me going through the plethora of tough times in more ways than one! (Highly recommend anyone in business or wanting to start a business reading this)

Not everything ran smoothly. In fact... there were moments I thought I was cursed and I would never get it done. Quickly got rid of those thoughts though. Goonies never say die.

Not everything ran smoothly. In fact... there were moments I thought I was cursed and I would never get it done. Quickly got rid of those thoughts though. Goonies never say die.

Scattered in between the momentous task of redesigning the books... I was also able to celebrate the launch and a further 2 issues of LAUD Magazine... a project we are so proud of. The team were so supportive of me doing my duties as Beauty editor, freelancing as well as redesigning the books... they are amazing xx

Scattered in between the momentous task of redesigning the books... I was also able to celebrate the launch and a further 2 issues of LAUD Magazine... a project we are so proud of. The team were so supportive of me doing my duties as Beauty editor, freelancing as well as redesigning the books... they are amazing xx

There were many moments I thought I was done. This was one of them. This image is of the test prints I did of all three books + thermal bound at office works for final checks. It was also at the same time as a LAUD deadline. You can imagine my disappointment when I discovered this many edits:

There were many moments I thought I was done. This was one of them. This image is of the test prints I did of all three books + thermal bound at office works for final checks. It was also at the same time as a LAUD deadline. You can imagine my disappointment when I discovered this many edits:

More edits. New logo needed. More wine was had.

More edits. New logo needed. More wine was had.

In fact... I was to go on and have 3 weeks worth of final edits. For those in design you would feel my pain. At least I was doing it all myself this time (I had already gone through this process with the 'publisher' so this was second time lucky)

In fact... I was to go on and have 3 weeks worth of final edits. For those in design you would feel my pain. At least I was doing it all myself this time (I had already gone through this process with the 'publisher' so this was second time lucky)

Yet more edits.... this time I was closer than ever (to insanity of publication - you decide )

Yet more edits.... this time I was closer than ever (to insanity of publication - you decide )

More edits... this time colour perfecting.

More edits... this time colour perfecting.

But there was a moment after months of tireless work (and at 3 am) I finally was able to send my 3 completed files to the Printer. Even then after all the false completions I wondered if this was the end?

But there was a moment after months of tireless work (and at 3 am) I finally was able to send my 3 completed files to the Printer. Even then after all the false completions I wondered if this was the end?

But we got to the official test print phase and be it a year late... this was a beautiful sight to behold!

But we got to the official test print phase and be it a year late... this was a beautiful sight to behold!

I couldn't really hold my excitement. This was the impossible becoming a reality.

I couldn't really hold my excitement. This was the impossible becoming a reality.

Touch it Becca... it's real!

Touch it Becca... it's real!

Wrap around covers of WE THE PAINTED waiting to be trimmed...

Wrap around covers of WE THE PAINTED waiting to be trimmed...

Makeup Artist Bootcamp getting trimmed before the launch the next day.

Makeup Artist Bootcamp getting trimmed before the launch the next day.

Going through the proofs was so exciting but nerve wracking... had I done enough? Was it perfect?

Going through the proofs was so exciting but nerve wracking... had I done enough? Was it perfect?

They were real! I had done it! Every one of these books were in the hands of a Makeup Artist about to kick some ass of their own. I had the shoes to match.

They were real! I had done it! Every one of these books were in the hands of a Makeup Artist about to kick some ass of their own. I had the shoes to match.

These have all now found loving homes!

These have all now found loving homes!

Trish Lee taking a moment in the chaos to appreciate the fact that all of our hard work was FINALLY paying off.... this was the first time my books saw the light of day! The books wouldn't exist without the support of Trish and LAUD Magazine. xxxx

Trish Lee taking a moment in the chaos to appreciate the fact that all of our hard work was FINALLY paying off.... this was the first time my books saw the light of day! The books wouldn't exist without the support of Trish and LAUD Magazine. xxxx

Talking about MUA Bootcamp for the first time since the books release at Beauty Expo... the lovely Sheri Vegas from Makeup Weapons volunteering to do Milestone Mapping with me on stage x

Talking about MUA Bootcamp for the first time since the books release at Beauty Expo... the lovely Sheri Vegas from Makeup Weapons volunteering to do Milestone Mapping with me on stage x

After Beauty Expo... I was able to send out my first shipment of pre orders... I took this video with Beyonce's 'Survivor' playing in the background. Never a more fitting song for the past 12 months. No hard covers yet... but I had just climbed a HUGE MOUNTAIN ( and about to get a huge mountain of an Australian Post bill )

After Beauty Expo... I was able to send out my first shipment of pre orders... I took this video with Beyonce's 'Survivor' playing in the background. Never a more fitting song for the past 12 months. No hard covers yet... but I had just climbed a HUGE MOUNTAIN ( and about to get a huge mountain of an Australian Post bill )

After many sleepless nights and mountains climbed... we deserved this! And flowers in the background from my lovely parents x

After many sleepless nights and mountains climbed... we deserved this! And flowers in the background from my lovely parents x

Beauty Expo, Face2Face Awards and my 2 stage presentations complete and I hit the road for an Australian Book tour! Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide and Newcastle. It couldn't be the official book launch as The photographer of my art work, Chris Fatseas was in London... But my suitcases were packed and I hit the road for 3 weeks. Half way through I realised the prices the 'publisher' had set were wrong and I was basically paying people to take the books... but I had already learnt to roll with the punches and just put the prices up so I wasn't going backwards. No one said anything worth doing was easy.

Beauty Expo, Face2Face Awards and my 2 stage presentations complete and I hit the road for an Australian Book tour! Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide and Newcastle. It couldn't be the official book launch as The photographer of my art work, Chris Fatseas was in London... But my suitcases were packed and I hit the road for 3 weeks. Half way through I realised the prices the 'publisher' had set were wrong and I was basically paying people to take the books... but I had already learnt to roll with the punches and just put the prices up so I wasn't going backwards. No one said anything worth doing was easy.

My favourite Melbourne minion and Melbourne makeup artist, Emily, knowing all too well the real story behind getting these published.

My favourite Melbourne minion and Melbourne makeup artist, Emily, knowing all too well the real story behind getting these published.

I started seeing everyone's social media posts whilst on tour and it then occurred to me... people were reading the books! I had been so focused on getting them to print I had forgotten they were real and other people were reading them. Funny and proud moment.

I started seeing everyone's social media posts whilst on tour and it then occurred to me... people were reading the books! I had been so focused on getting them to print I had forgotten they were real and other people were reading them. Funny and proud moment.

I held free info nights in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney about the course which turned into such amazing MUA get togethers and networking nights. So much love in the room! Here we are in Melb at Beauty Edu x

I held free info nights in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney about the course which turned into such amazing MUA get togethers and networking nights. So much love in the room! Here we are in Melb at Beauty Edu x

The Info nights also turned into book signings which was such an awesome moment... the reality of the books were sinking in now.

The Info nights also turned into book signings which was such an awesome moment... the reality of the books were sinking in now.

The LIVE MUA Bootcamps were amazing as for the first time I had the books to refer to... including the long awaited workbook which has 12 months worth of self mentoring space.

The LIVE MUA Bootcamps were amazing as for the first time I had the books to refer to... including the long awaited workbook which has 12 months worth of self mentoring space.

Australian Tour done and there was more to do, Including travel to Jakarta to speak at IMAE in which I just returned from yesterday.

Yesterday I also realised one thing... I HAD SOLD OUT OF MY FIRST PRINT RUN OF MAKEUP ARTIST BOOTCAMP.

I did this with no distribution only word of mouth and a link on my website.

I had lived off the smell of an oily rag for a year. Sacrificed my social life. Dealt with the stress of people asking where the books were. Dealt with the knowledge a friend had taken all my money without even getting close to finishing the job and there was little I could do about it. I lost friends from that. ( They were a convincing manipulator of the truth and I can't blame those closer to her then me taking her side of non truths. I could show them the contract and all the evidence but what would that give me? Just more drama. I would rather focus on the good and believe in Karma )

I believe in Karma and I also can see the big picture:

I now have my own publishing label (The Green Brush Project has been transformed as the mentorship is now built into MUA Bootcamp)... I can design my own books and love every minute of that process.

For this I am grateful for that horrific experience... as I got to publically demonstrate the philosophies of MUA Bootcamp works. Mastery comes in repetition and actions taken every day in line with your goals makes impossibles become realities.

What an amazing story I now have to tell! I also have become one of the best testimonials of the work.

I also mention this in the imprint page of MUA Bootcamp:

I of course could not have done this without the support of my friends, LAUD Magazine and my family... especially Trish and Donna who are the two angels of this work. 


So if you are someone who has been waiting on their HARD COPY version of WE THE PAINTED... so patiently. I thank you for your support. The covers have been held up in customs (for reals! It's crazy...) but I am assured they are due any day. Once I individually customise them I have the goal of having them to you by Xmas. It's my mission to make sure this will happen. 

I will forever be grateful that your support has been part of this long and crazy journey! The inside pages have been printed since August... and no one is more eager to see them in completion than me!

 

The next round of MUA Bootcamps shouldn't take long as all the work has been done already.

 

I am so grateful to have sold out in Four months. It gives me confidence the work is as valuable as I think it is. 

So thankyou for everyones support. I can't wait for round two!

IMAE Indonesia this weekend!

Just as Sydney is recovering from IMATS... Jakarta is gearing up for their very first makeup trade show. EVER! IMAE will be held at Kartika Expo Balai Kartini Dec 2-4 and I am looking forward to travelling over to be a guest speaker both as a Makeup demo on stage and a private mini bootcamp class for the first time overseas!

On Saturday I will be on stage at 3-4, I will be talking about the creative process behind beauty editorial - I will be taking the visiting makeup artists through the creative process behind a beauty editorial for print. From concept, to mood boards to makeup application, get an insight into the world of creative beauty editorial. 

For the first time I will be sharing the original mood board I also created for my book We The Painted as well as a mood board I created for an upcoming shoot in Issue 6 of LAUD Magazine. So fresh we only just shot it! I will also be recreating one of the covers of LAUD Magazine. Hope I can fit it all into an hour!

On Sunday I have a private class called 'Building a Makeup Artist' which is essentially a mini MUA Bootcamp and portfolio building class. We will talk all things about building strong fundamentals as a makeup artist for longevity, confidence and creativity. I am excited to bring this to Indonesia and also each artist will receive my book Makeup Artist Bootcamp... this class is essential for any artist who wants direction, focus and demystifying certain aspects of being a working makeup artist.

Can't wait!


As this is the first makeup in Indonesia... I wanted to spend a bit of time with Dian Zahara Sudradjat and find a bit more out about the expo.

What inspired you to create the first Makeup Tradeshow in Jakarta? 

The real inspiration came after a life defining moment 2 years ago. I got to know makeup and basically got through a tough time because of it. Then I learned more and more and realized that there is a large community of makeup enthusiasts in Indonesia apart from Professional Makeup Artists. 

Social Media has of course played a huge role to introduce the trend of makeup and its essentials. Everything was easily accessed online from watching to purchasing. By creating the first Makeup Trade show, I want to create the opportunity for all makeup enthusiasts to have different experience with what they love. They can meet and watch their idols live, build network, get proper information on makeup education, learning about new products, current trends, techniques and the different categories of makeup directly from the expert. 

What are you looking forward to the most? 

I am looking forward to see happy faces at the first IMAE. I have received so many inquiries about the event. Many of them said "It's finally here!" :)

(I'm looking forward to that part too!) 

How do you think the Indonesian industry differs from the Australian market? 

Other than vegan and cruelty free makeup, many local cosmetic brands is now adopting the "Halal" certified principal. Halal refers to what is lawful in Islam (Moslem). Indonesia has a large population of Moslem, and its proven that this Halal approach is doing very well in Indonesia.

International brand will always be one of the favourite, but unlike in Australia, not all brands are available here. 

Are there any cultural notes I need to be aware of that is prevalent over there as opposed to Sydney? 

Definitely no nudity and some women in Indonesia don't like to have their eye brow trimmed due to religion aspect. 

What do you see for the future of IMAE? 

I see IMAE as a platform for makeup industry and the community. The challenge we have this year is convincing some brands to be under one event with their competitors. I hope next year there will be more and more brands coming to support us.


I can't wait to be part of IMAE!

TICKET CAN BE PURCHASED AT THE DOOR

1-Day Ticket IDR 50.000,-

3- Days Pass Ticket IDR 100.000,-

Opening Hours: 10.00am - 9.00pm

Becca Gilmartin x

 

 

FOUR MORE SLEEPS 'TIL BOOK LAUNCH!!!

It's four more sleeps until an impossibility is made possible... at the Beauty Expo in Glebe I will be launching my books We the Painted + Makeup Artist Bootcamp - Book one + Makeup Artist Bootcamp WORKBOOK.... read on to find out more about stage times for the book launch at Beauty Expo Australia, MUA Bootcamp dates and how to get involved.

Read More

Creativity vs T I M E

I spent a large part of my Sunday developing a mood board for makeup and set design for an ambitious beauty story for Issue #3 of LAUD Magazine. This story hasn't even been pitched yet... so it may not see the light of day. However, considering I have been lying awake at night thinking about it... I am pretty determined to see this though to the end. I feel it has the potential, if done right, to be a real beauty moment. Forgive me for not even giving one aspect away of the shoot... Unfortunately we live in a world where some 'creatives' hear ideas... go away and shoot that idea before you have had a chance to execute your own version. I am an active positive thinker.. however there are some realities of the word you can't escape. Even releasing a sneak peek of my book "We The Painted" and I have seen entire series created off the back of that one concept. Such is the nature of the creative industry. I am sure once I complete this shoot, with some investigation I could find a similar shoot somewhere in the world .... creative coincidence also happens.

Saturday I was in the 'pondering' phase of the idea for this beauty shoot and how I can push my own comfort zone... and I saw this video pop up on Facebook. I really enjoyed the idea of this and kept the question in the back of my mind:

How does time affect my creativity?

This weekend was a rare weekend where I was home both days and my flatmate was away. Essentially, if I wanted, I could have been a hermit and not seen a soul for 2 days. That didn't happen... but what came out of it was really, as much quiet time as I wanted.

This video made me think about what my own creative process actually is. There are some things that I seem to do all the time that the little voice in my head would judge me for... but this weekend I realised it's actually essential for me.  This is what I realised:

  • I come up with most of my creative ideas either in the bathroom, whilst I am trying to get to sleep or when I go for a walk. I need to do these things more often.
  • I need to write it down pretty soon or the idea disappears due of the next idea taking over.
  • Once I seriously start working on an idea in the form of sketches or a mood board... I work best in quiet. I've never consciously put my finger on that aspect and always wondered why I used to want to go home soon after having a creative meeting... I want to get on with it in a quiet place.
  • Sometimes, I need to walk away from the task to either do some housework, watch TV or go for a walk if I get stuck on one of the aspects. This seems to get the juices flowing again.
  • Watching TV time is actually time for me to look at the screen and process ideas.
  • Talking with people about that idea before it's resolved for myself does more damage than good.
  • Other makeup images don't help my initial ideas.... it muddies the creative flow. They help later to paint a creative picture for others involved.
  • Time DOES influence the quality and detail of an idea... so procrastination is best avoided at all costs.

How does knowing all this information about myself help me as a Makeup Artist?

I mean... really! What can I actually take from this to evolve as an artist? Most of the time, in this job, creativity is often pulled out of thin air on a shoot when the photographer/stylist/creative director asks for something more... or even yourself could be the one asking for more. We usually have only a short amount of time to conceptualise a new idea and apply it to the models skin in real time on a shoot. How can knowing that creativity is best nurtured with the gift of time be a positive piece of knowledge for a makeup artist?

For me, I think the answer lies in a dual answer. As a makeup artist... it's our job to know our kit, abilities and creativity inside and out. To know how far we can push ideas and products and to develop our artistic confidence in a way that we know we can deliver a whole range of creative solutions at the drop of a hat. 

The other side of that answer is the actual fact that we need to gift ourselves time as often as possible for idea development. I don't know any successful Makeup Artist who hasn't at least once creatively directed their own beauty shoot. It's something that thanks to LAUD Magazine I have a platform to be able to do that more often. Issue #2 has a shoot that I creatively directed from start to finish. What it means for me is my portfolio is beginning to look like how I have always imagined it.

I don't know what this realisation is going to look in real life... seeing as I am usually surrounded by other people... it might look a lot like me going for more walks... taking more baths... going to bed earlier... even watching more trash tv to really just sit, stare and think. Maybe I could call it 'purposeful creative dates' with myself. For me to drive my body of work in the direction I want to go... booking in deliberate thinking and concept time for myself will be a step in the right direction... instead of waiting until I have a deadline and I do concepts out of deadline fear.

The lesson learnt this weekend is I need to work on creative concepts in my own time to give them space to percolate... not waiting for the green light to go and work on them as that adds time limits. Of course.. I have worked on concepts in the past without a deadline ... however... I want this to happen more often in my life.

For those who are wondering... once Issue #2 of LAUD Magazine is out... I'll write another piece and share what the concept board looked like. You really should grab a subscription... it's cheaper than a foundation, quarterly and will get you inspired for your next shoot x

 

 

Revised TFP post

Some topics stay relevant regardless of the month/years. As I was playing around with the design of my websites, I decided to revise and update my post from www.twosixandbrush.com about the TFP cycle.

I have been teaching my MUA Bootcamps for 3 years and this is a discussion that happens in nearly every session... so I know it's on the minds of most Makeup Artists in the first few years of working.

I hope you enjoy the read and find it useful!

B x

PORTFOLIO WORKSHOP - THE GREEN BRUSH PROJECT

I LOVE this class... are you coming?? I am presenting this one along with some industry friends for Session Two...

ONE WEEK TO GO!

On April 3, The Green Brush Project is launching it's first in the CLASS SERIES:

There are TWO parts to this session - Come to SESSION ONE only or come to BOTH!

You can be at ANY point of your portfolio to benefit from this session.
Learn a new method to:

- Plan your folio.
- Edit your folio.
- Create Folio building opportunities.
- Organise/curate what you already have.
-How to present your folio.
- How to be relevant.

Session Two is suited to any Makeup Artist who already has a portfolio being worked on.

Use this session to sit down with Industry Professionals as they critique what they think works, what they think should go and what they see missing. An amazing networking and workshop afternoon.

Get valuable feedback on the direction you are heading with your folio.

Some artists have asked whether they are suitable. 

The simple answer is yes. Anyone can attend.

You dont even have to have STARTED your portfolio to benefit from learning this building method. You may just want to attend Session One.

You may have a FULL folio and you will benefit from this method to see where you can take it to the next level.

VISIT THE GREEN BRUSH PROJECT
for Location, Cost, Times and more details.

The Green Brush Project exists to create opportunities for Australian Makeup Artists.

There is a SCHOLARSHIP available to one applicant. GBP Scholarship announced APRIL 1 so get in quick!


I am really proud to have developed this first in the Class Series. This technique I will teach is what I use to make sure I can keep my folio on track in line with what type of artist I want to be as well as knowing which TFP to say YES or NO to. I have taught this to other artists and it instantly built strength and a FOUNDATION for others folios no matter what stage it was in.

This is the first of the Class Series at an introduction price so get in quick! Message me if you have any questions that cant be answered HERE

See you all there!

( and YES... this is suitable for Hairstylists, Photographers, Stylists as well )

Can We Have Nice Things?

Salon Melbourne is in two weeks and I am hosting the Makeup stage as well as doing morning demos.. this will be fun as I am recreating a look each day from my work in LAUD Magazine. To be honest... I am not sure exactly what looks yet and am taking suggestions. Here's the cover I did with Kimbra...

Photography THOM KERR, Styling LYDIA JANE SAUNDERS, Hair IGGY

Photography THOM KERR, Styling LYDIA JANE SAUNDERS, Hair IGGY

I named this post 'Can We Have Nice Things?' as a little question in relation to the cancellation of the Makeup Symposium and comments I get about LAUD magazine.  Here's my case and point:

I get emails all the time from fellow MUAs asking for advice on their career... how to tackle certain problems... how to 'make it' etc etc.  I also get many many emails asking for MUAs to assist me.

Before I go on... I love this. I love and appreciate the fact that I am in a position where so many people value my advice and see me as someone who they can trust in these matters. Probably because I have been so vocal about 'my journey' so far. I am a very generous person with my information sharing and pleased to over the years discover so are many other MUAs. This post isn't a complaint but a question. However...

In response to these emails I worked with Salon Melbourne to create the Makeup Symposium in celebration of the expo only focusing on Beauty now... we had a makeup super panel organised for each day... portfolio building... brand building... basically the nuts and bolts of the Makeup Artist business which is so so  important.

The Makeup Symposium is not going ahead due to poor numbers.  Also most of the time I reply to my assistant emails only to no avail so now I am only trusting of a select few. (side note here... Mandi Levanah is starting her assisting course up again soon)

Most people love the idea of LAUD Magazine and want to be published... but have you bought a copy yet to ensure longevity of the Mag? (p.s. I believe there are under 200 copies left ) You get the point I am making here...

Possibly I think people ask for things and then think they are invisible and think we wont notice if they dont participate. I also hear people say that they didn't think they would be good enough to do something. True. They actually say that. Some also say its due to money... which I totally understand and have in response created payment plans for my courses which certainly has helped a bunch of MUAs.

I am often left with the question... can we have nice things? I get requests for things all the time and so I spend my own time fulfilling on what people are asking for and then quite often... everyone disappears and MUA classes get cancelled... artists get left behind and we (myself and other artists creating these events/products/movements) are left scratching our heads. I am certainly not alone.

This isn't a complaint but an opening to a conversation... what do you think is going on? For me this blog is all about an exploration of being a Makeup Artist... I'm interested in your thoughts...


Luckily my MUA Bootcamps are gaining momentum now people are seeing the results others are getting for participating in them. Clearly we CAN have some nice things....ha ha ha... Here are my most recent dates...


Because this also helps me answer some upcoming questions for the re-launch of THE GREEN BRUSH PROJECT... What are your thoughts on Makeup Education in Australia for current MUAs... why do you think number can be low for business building classes? What else would you like to see?

Feel free to email me if you dont want to be part of the conversation beccagilmartin@gmail.com

An open letter to Makeup Students...

This morning I sent a letter to a local makeup school. For the purposes of my blog I have changed the wording so you dont know which school specifically... because at the end of the day... it doesn't matter. They are a great school and produce lovely artists.

I wrote this letter as myself and other makeup artists I know have spoken about this phenomenon. The phenomenon of people writing to you saying how much they love and admire you... want to work with you... yet have actually no idea who you are and what you do.  They have either contacted you based on reputation or a google search. As explained in the letter, the lack of research and understanding of who the artist is being written to results in the generic email occurring as a spam email. 

I have decided to share the letter below as I think it might make a difference to other students from other schools too. I have an education background so hope this also backs up what fellow trainers may have already been saying in class. Adding to that letter I would like to also include:

Student Makeup Artists,

We, the working makeup artists, want you to be awesome. We want a talented industry full of good people so we can all have a good time.  We want good assistants and awesome colleagues and more of us want to be a contribution to you than you realise. Just because you are a 'student' doesn't mean your career hasn't already started. Please be great now. Listen to your trainers. They know stuff. They will tell you more too if you ask. Please take some time to do all your homework thoroughly and with integrity... it will make all the difference to the success of your upcoming career.

Sincerely,

Makeup Artists.



LAUD MAGAZINE

I've been a bit quiet of late in the social media game. Reason being, there has been a mountain of work happening that I can't share about. Yet. I have also been living out of a suitcase since Sydney Fashion Week in April fulfilling work commitments around the country and O.S. as well as teaching MUA Bootcamp... AAAAND getting the production for my two books We The Painted and Mua Bootcamp Manual - Book One finalised. (That, there, is a whole new post coming soon.) I have now decided to come back to Sydney until the end of January to see these projects come to physical life. LA can wait for just a bit longer. I also probably need some down time. 

One of the exciting things that I can today announce... is that I have taken on the role of Beauty Editor at LAUD Magazine. This morning on Instagram (@beccagilmartin) I posted this image as a sneek peek and part of announcing my exciting news and the response has been wild!

Beauty - Becca Gilmartin || Photography - Thom Kerr || Hair - Iggy Rosales || Styling - Sarah M Birchley || Model - Matilda Dods @ IMG Australia

Beauty - Becca Gilmartin || Photography - Thom Kerr || Hair - Iggy Rosales || Styling - Sarah M Birchley || Model - Matilda Dods @ IMG Australia

Taking on an Editor Role for LAUD Magazine I know is going to be one of my favourite career highlights.

Here's why:

LAUD Magazine is a consumer magazine that will be found in news agencies across Australia NYC and LA. The focus of the magazine is Makeup, Hair, Body Art and SPFX and yet will read like a fashion mag... not your traditional trade or beauty mag. We have already been shooting with some of Australia's top creatives and the conversations that the LAUD team have been having about what we want to put out in the world has been inspiring - I also feel, quite unique.

The integrity of LAUD magazine is close to my heart - a magazine that supports and showcases both the best in our respective industries as well as providing a platform for emerging artists. With the relaunch of The Green Brush Project happening in 2016... LAUD magazine is also giving The GBP a voice online and I envisage LAUD being not only a valuable  bible for MUAs, Hairstylists, Body Artists and SPFX artists... but a source of inspiration for the everyday woman who is attracted to the conversation on the definition of beauty.

I have come to a point in my life where I only want to put my energy and time towards projects that I believe in... and I believe in LAUD Magazine. I believe in the integrity of the magazine -  [which on a side note is the main reason why I have been doing work with Kryolan Cosmetics of late - their business ethics and company integrity is gorgeous and of course I would want to put my name and time to that.] I believe in the vision of LAUD magazine and I believe that Print isn't dead... we just need to be creative and adapt to the market. I can't wait to have those pages in my fingertips and enjoy flipping through that gorgeous piece of a magazine and enjoy the beauty porn in print. There will also be a great amount of online content as LAUD accepts submissions from Artists of all levels around Australia. I get to fulfill so many life goals taking on this role.

I think it's about time we saw a magazine like this in the world don't you think?

LAUD is launching in January and I already have a feeling 2016 is going to be a delicious year.

One more thing I can announce today... is I will be hosting LAUD Magazine at my first ever IMATS stand!

 

Come and say hi!! I will either be chatting on my own stand... or doing makeup before and after my onstage presentations for KRYOLAN at the KRYOLAN stand.

Come and say hi!! I will either be chatting on my own stand... or doing makeup before and after my onstage presentations for KRYOLAN at the KRYOLAN stand.

I will elaborate more about my upcoming books, MUA Bootcamps and IMATS plans in the coming days... but if you are coming to IMATS... pop by stand #523 to subscribe to LAUD Magazine and either pre-order my books or to book into a Mua Bootcamp!

To contact me for LAUD magazine:

becca@laudmagazine.com.au

LAUD MAGAZINE

www.facebook.com/laudmagazine/

Instagram: @laudmagazine

 

It's time for some hard working fun x

 

Happy 2015

A belated happy 2015!

I spent my NYE under the Sydney Harbour Bridge looking after rockstar Ella Hooper on the Ford Mustang stage. There was nothing between me, the harbour, the bridge and the opera house at midnight and what a way to end 2014 and bring in a new year! There were definatley more perks than work for that gig. Taking into account my superstition that how you spend NYE is a reflection of how your year will go... I am in for one hell of a year!

ellahoopernye

 

I have been a bit quiet here all for the purpose of putting my spare time into getting my book, WE THE PAINTED finished. This is a delicious coffee table book full of body art and the written version of my course MUA BOOTCAMP included. I have been working on this book for over a year now and excited that it will be released in 2015!

muabootcamp

Lately I have been working with some students of the class to create some case studies. I have had such an overwhelming response of successes from students who have really taken on the course into their lives and gone from strength to strength. It really inspires me to keep going with the book knowing the MUA BOOTCAMP actually makes a huge difference. Last night, Helen wrote back to me with her first draft case study ... and I thought 'what better way to start my blogging off for 2015 with such an awesome case study'. I thought I would share some of it with you.

This is a first draft and I have completed it in an interview style. This may appear different in the book. For anyone not aware of what we do in MUA BOOTCAMP... we look at Mindset around being a makeup artist... then learn body art painting techniques that when practiced, are designed to improve our makeup skills. When you combine the two together... magic happens.


Helen, SYD

How long ago did you do MUA BOOTCAMP?

I did the course in March/April of 2014. 

Why did you want to come and do MUA BOOTCAMP?

I had seen Becca demonstrating at the previous IMATS and the way that she spoke and demonstrated techniques really resonated with me. I absolutely love her style of body painting and I could straight away see that all of the tips and tricks that she was explaining were simple ways to massively improve my skills, so after IMATS I was determined to take her course in order to absorb more of her knowledge. 

 

What were you expecting from MUA BOOTCAMP?

I honestly wasn’t sure. I was positive that I would get some benefit out of it in terms of improving my technical skill because I had such a high opinion of Becca and her work. I was nervous and a bit anxious about it though, because my body painting experience was extremely limited at that point, and I didn’t want anyone thinking I was a bit of an amateur.

 

Can you share what your experience of yourself as a makeup artist was before you came to bootcamp? 

Before I went to bootcamp, I had only been working in makeup for about 1.5 years. I came from a fine art background and had spent years doing art at University having no clue what to do with that degree/knowledge. At the time of the bootcamp, I felt as though I had wasted many years throughout my early 20s not realising what direction my career should be going in and not focusing my art leanings towards makeup and special effects, and I felt like I was constantly playing catch-up after finally doing my makeup diploma. It meant that I was incredibly hard on myself for not having the skills/knowledge/abilities to have an instantly successful, full time career in my chosen field and I felt as though I was failing if I wasn't better than all of my peers.

 

What difference did doing MUA BOOTCAMP make? 

The bootcamp was incredibly helpful in showing me that my negative thoughts were weighing down my career, and instead of actually helping me to succeed, were hindering it and causing me to miss out on opportunities. Becca helped me to realise that in the time I’d been working, I actually managed to accumulate an unbelievable amount of work and experience compared to most and for that to happen, I must be DAMNED GOOD.

 

Now, when I get negative thoughts or anxiety about my career, I try to listen to the thought, and then rationalise it. E.g. a job opportunity comes up and I used to wonder whether I should take it… Now I think ‘of course you can do that, you've done that a heap of times’ and I get excited about getting new jobs and new clients. I try to often tell myself that what I've done so far in my career is fantastic, and try to take compliments on my work instead of going ‘yeah, but…’.

 

I think if I hadn't taken the bootcamp course and worked on my mindset, it’s entirely possible I would still be stuck in the cycle of negativity about myself, my career and my skills and I would have achieved less in the last year.

 

Fast forward to today… it is now January 2015. Since the bootcamp in March/April 2014, I have worked on:

-        -  Feature film Gods of Egypt (as an additional Hair/Makeup artist).

-        -  Theatre production of The Merchant of Venice (as Makeup Head of Department).

-        -  Feature film Sacred Heart (as Makeup/Hair Head of Department - currently filming).

-        -  Another indie feature film (as SFX Makeup Artist).

-        -  3 feature film trailers.

-        -  4 short films.

-        -  9 commercial jobs, some filming over multiple days. One was doing the Hair and Makeup for Deborah Mailman and Barry Otto for promotional interviews for their latest film Blinky Bill, 1 was doing Hair and Makeup for Joseph Fiennes for an interview for his latest film The Games Maker.

-        -  A music video doing full old age prosthetics for a band that got to no. 1 on the Channel V hits countdown.

-        -  Multiple jobs with photographers for testing/editorial shoots.

-        -  A few weddings and many special effects makeups for private clients for events/parties/conventions/Halloween.

-        -  I have completed a certificate in Men’s hair cutting and styling from TAFE, qualifying me to do continuity haircuts for actors on set.

-        -  I am booked on as Head of Department on a horror feature film that will be shooting later in the year.

-        -  I am booked on as Head of Department on another feature film that will likely be shooting mid next year.

 

All of that is just in the past nine months, with me only having 2.5 years experience total as a Makeup and FX Artist and Hair Stylist, as I finished my makeup Diploma in August 2012. I am incredibly proud of what I’ve managed to achieve. Not only am I getting Head of Department jobs on smaller feature films (!!!), I got on to the additional team for Gods of Egypt pickups where all of the other artists on the team had 10, 15, 20 years experience to my 2.5!

 

How did you keep your mindset in existence?

Keeping my mindset active is mostly an internal thing. I didn't end up putting ‘you can achieve your goals!!’ post-it notes around the house, but what I did do was to recognise a negative or damaging thought when it entered my mind, and then workshop it to find where the source of the anxiety is coming from. Then I would remember how I want to be thinking and feeling and direct my energy towards those positive thoughts. My ‘I AM’ statement was that I AM… an Oscar winning makeup artist - because it is my dream to one day be part of the team (or even Head??) for a film that wins an Oscar for makeup. I remind myself a lot that I am capable of reaching that dream and I will not stop until I achieve it.

 

What mindset have you been working on lately?

Lately, I have been working on trying to trust my instincts more than I have previously. Sometimes I’ve doubted my instincts because I don’t feel I have enough experience to be able to follow my gut in all situations… but more and more I’ve been finding that my instincts are usually the best way to go.

 

How important to your career is mindset?

I think mindset is very important to a career, especially a freelance career in an industry as demanding as ours. I don’t have an agent, so it’s entirely up to me to find my own work and to do that, I need to be focussed and driven. If my mind is swirling with hateful thoughts about myself, or if I’m constantly putting myself down, then I’m already distracted and not utilising my energy and focus properly into furthering my career.

 

Any advice for readers?

Don’t underestimate how important it is to be creating a mindset that actually helps you succeed, rather than helps you to fail. I recommend that everyone take Becca’s course, because since doing the bootcamp, the improvement in the quality of my clients and jobs has been phenomenal.


Mind blowing huh! I have loved reading all the responses from past students... and hats off to them for taking what they learnt and running with it. It really shows the more you put in, the more you get out of it. The more I speak with past students the more I am affirmed this course makes a huge impact. Some students have even said it changed their life and I keep reminding them that they were the ones who did all the work... I just gave them the information to do it with.

In April, I am heading off to the USA and not sure when I will be back for more Mua Bootcamps. ( Part of my own mindset work right now is around moving to another country and not freaking out)  I opened up the possibility of artists hosting their own bootcamps around Australia so that they can choose their own dates and I can fit it around finishing the book and freelancing. Below are our confirmed dates/locations with places still open... I have tentative dates also for Melbourne and Sydney.

I look forward to getting to as many places in Australia as I can before I leave. I dont think there will be any more BOOTCAMPs until 2016 at the earliest, so these will be special ones!

So heres to an amazing 2015.. full of lots of adventures, laughs and creative fulfillment. Oh, and my book getting finished so we can have lots of parties.. I mean launches.

ABIAs Makeup Artist of the Year 2014

What. A. Weekend!

This weekend I hosted the Face2Face Makeup Awards at the Spa and Beauty Expo, Sydney. It was a fantastic year once again with the judges job incredibly hard... the standard each year gets better and better! (I will recap on this at a later date) 

On Sunday after the Face2Face Awards, I went to a hotel with my Mum and we hurriedly got ready to go to the ABIAs Gala Awards evening in Darling Harbour. 

Myself and my hot date, Mumsy!

Myself and my hot date, Mumsy!

A couple of months ago I went to my amazing Tarot Reader whom is always spot on.. we talked about  variety of topics including the awards.. after consulting the cards she went on to tell me I wasn't going to get it. She said someone who has entered quite a few times (this was my first year) was going to get it however I was to do well out of it regardless... she said I will be wise about it and will go on to do amazing things anyway. As she has been spot on about everything in the past... I have carried on with things knowing full well I wasn't going to be awarded anything and of course, have felt like a winner this year seeing how far I have come despite many setbacks. 

Even whilst Mumsy and I were getting ready... never did the thought cross my mind once that I was a possibility. I had an idea of whom I thought should win and that was that. I was more interested in having a great night and celebrating getting this far with my Mum which was her first trip to Sydney to visit me. Walking to the venue... or should I sashaying to the venue i our gowns there were no nerves... just excitement for a champagne and a good time.

We arrived to the new venue ON Darling Harbour and I was able to catch up with many fellow artists and friends from the industry. It was a perfect end to a hectic week.

We were sat at our tables and the event began... Will Fennell was once again the amazing host of the evening and I was excited to see Greg Gould sing live!

A couple of champagnes down and I was relaxed... apart from the fact once again a caterer has interpreted the fact I am Gluten Free as a sign I dont want to eat anything tasty... the night was so much fun. ( Asparagus for entree, Asparagus and mashed potato for main... and after I had to request a Dessert, I was able to have one bite of before they took it away during my acceptance speech.... let me point out that everyone elses meal looked insanely delicious and I was jealous)

Time came to announce Makeup Artist of the Year.

Everyone at the table looked at me funny and I told them to stop being ridiculous it wasn't my year.

All the finalists work was shown up on the big screen... man there was some amazing work up there!  The finalists were:

Elizabeth Kramer

 Kylie Apostoles

 Sandy Tau

 Kylie Eustace

 Vivianne Tran

 Sheri Vegas

 Mia Connor

 Blondie

 Clare Mac

 Ali Price

 Erin Bigg

 Becca Gilmartin

Myself and fellow amazing artists... Kylie Eustace, Mia Connor, Erin Bigg, Claire Mac, myself and Vivienne Tran

Myself and fellow amazing artists... Kylie Eustace, Mia Connor, Erin Bigg, Claire Mac, myself and Vivienne Tran

 

We were all invited on stage to receive a gift from Bodyography...and then a couple of other award announcements later... they announced the winner.

We were all shaking in our boots from anticipation. Meanwhile... I kept sipping my champagne feeling cocky about the fact I had inside info I wasn't going to get it.

Our presenter explained the award was not for makeup alone... but for contribution to our industry, professionalism amongst other attributes... then says 'lets just show you the winner'

All of a sudden... one of my images shows up on the big screen.... I think I even dropped my dessert fork in shock. For the next few minutes I am treated to the best collection of my portfolio all to the music of Michael Jacksons 'Love Never Felt So Good' 

WHAT???

My Mum took this shot of me in absolute shock trying to work out why my images were up there... My card reader for once was wrong!

What an absolute shock and honour!

The next thing to go through my head was 'oh shit... I need to give a speech... I haven't even thought of what to say... I regret the champagne!'

I made it on stage to accept the worlds largest award and I think I managed to give a speech that hopefully made sense and gave justice to actually how I was feeling.

Thanks to Claire Mac for this shot... I must have been funny with Will Ferrell laughing there in the background. 

Thanks to Claire Mac for this shot... I must have been funny with Will Ferrell laughing there in the background. 

I do know I started my speech with 'I clearly need a new card reader' ha ha ha!

What I want to do though... in light of the fact I didn't prepare a speech... is now indulge myself in writing what I would have loved to say up on stage. I will also include my entry I sent as part of my entry to the Abias.

 

I would have started by thanking my Mum for making the trip to Sydney and being my date... I didn't in my speech due to being overwhelmed by the whole situation.

Manny.. you show how I feel so well....

Manny.. you show how I feel so well....

I would have then thanked Mocha Publishing and Bodyography for making it all possible.

One thing I attempted to say but unsure of how it came out ... is mentioning the other finalists. Someone made a comment on stage that it was unusual to see a bunch of makeup artists being so friendly together... my reaction to that was suprise.

What we do as makeup artists is combine Art and People into a career... we do this because we love both equally. Of course we are going to be friendly... we all admire and respect each others work... at least that's my experience and I dont believe it should be any other way. This job is half service industry and half creative... there is something to be admired from each artists career and when we support each other... it makes what we do so much better. I wouldn't have such a fun career if it wasn't for the friendships with the artists around me. Not only do I not feel so alone in a freelance environment... but who else would I refer work to? Who else would I be able to vent to in times of need? I see these friendships as essential and I dont see any reason for it to be any other way.

In my speech I would then take a moment to mention how much of a massive acknowledgement this is. For me... this is a perfect tip of the hat to remind me despite the setbacks, hard days and constant questioning of myself and from others... I have been on the right track. Believe me... it hasn't always been clear I was doing the right thing and many times.... maaaany times I considered getting a 'real job'... if I could offend my entire industry by using that term.

For those whom dont know me and think I make it all look easy... I am about to share some details about my career that you may see yourself in the story. Hopefully for some of you it will also remind you you too are on the right track. This is a condensed version but I hope it makes a difference to someone.

I have officially been a MUA for 14 years. I completed a 3 month diploma and entered the world of Makeup Artistry thinking I wanted to get into film. It was the only course I ever did. I moved to NZ to follow my heart and also try and get onto Lord of The Rings... in which I had successful interviews for but as fate would have it... never worked a day. Fate was strong for the 4 years I lived in Wellington.

I ALMOST had work on L.O.T.R., King Kong, River Queen and also later in Australia a few films here. Even as recently as this year I just had a MUA tell me they were trying to get me on Gods of Egypt. Fate has a giant big hand that spookily swats any opportunity in film despite how promising it looks for me. You can imagine after 5 years of trying... my confidence was squashed... in the meantime I worked in retail and did freelancing on the side. It had nothing to do with my skill set but a cruel twist of fate. Unbelievable twists of fate that you wouldn't believe. Even as crazy as meeting a guy at a party in Wellington once who looked like Hagrid... I was telling him of my fate with getting onto film with the most recent being River Queen... he went white... he then went on to tell me he was in fact the reason I didnt get the job - he just so happened to be in the office when they were deciding between myself and another artist (which I had recommended) and as he had met her once in a cafe... he said they should employ her. They originally wanted 2 artists but had to cut one of us away... fate chose me... again... Incredible.

Transient

The man I moved to NZ for passed away which was devastating... but not long after I met the man who was going to be my husband... we eventually moved back to OZ and started all over again.

Fast forward past working my way up through retail and eventually becoming Head of Campus at Napoleon Perdis Makeup Academy... just over 3 years ago my 4.5 year marriage ended.  I had been freelancing full time for only 2 years. It's not the time to bring out the violins... we are still friends and just realised we weren't the match for each other. 

At that moment I realised what I needed to do to survive as a newly single Makeup Artist... I needed to trust my instincts.. even though my head said I was crazy... and a couple of months after we separated... with no money to my name... a couple of contacts and a lead on a place to stay... I packed my car with a small amount of belongings and my makeup kit and moved to Sydney.

I knew I had to do it... I had wanted to do it for 3 years already but made it work commuting for jobs. In retrospect.. I was a crazy woman. Who moves to Australia's most expensive city as a freelance makeup artist with no backup? Apparently me.

All I knew what to do was make actions every day that would help build my career here. The past 3 years certainly haven't been easy... I have lived for weeks on a bag of rice and frozen veggies just so I can pay rent... over the past 14 years I have been without somewhere to live because of this job 3 times... once in Sydney... once in NZ and once in Perth. There have been more highs and lows than I would like to count but one thing stayed the same. I love what I do and I want to keep doing it.  Its a gut feeling I need to be doing this crazy job. I have visions of the work I want to do in the future and I just use the power of positive thinking to keep moving towards that. (I talk a lot about this in my course and soon to be completed book... stay tuned)

There have been many days where I would question if it was worth the hard times... and the answer was always yes, although I would have preferred to not experience them. They are starting to get few and far between now... but for a long time... I would even have to go without anything but bare essentials in the pantry and bathroom just to afford rent and a new foundation or lashes etc. You know you need to call the debt collectors for someone to pay your invoice when you cant afford toilet paper. Then it would be paid and you will be rich for a couple of weeks. All the freelancers will know exactly what I mean... I am not a special case. 

Positive thinking has been my savior... and its a daily practice... sometimes even a moment by moment practice...it keeps me moving forward when 'Becca from a few years ago would have collapsed in a heap.' I still dont own any Rae Morris Brushes... or any fancy additions to my makeup kit... I just use what I have been able to afford and whats been gifted to me and do the best with what I have. (I will soon be getting Raes brushes dont you worry! They are delicious!) It hasnt been a consistent run of being poor.. but anyone who lives in Sydney knows how expensive it is to live here. Even at the start I knew I was doing well to pay my bills as a freelancing mua... but sometimes that's all I could afford. Bills. No IMATS spending sprees for this one for the first couple of years.

2014 has been the best year... and please dont think its all been doom and gloom with me...

Transient

Sprinkled in between the hard times have been some amazing opportunities and life long friendships formed. I wanted to however put some of the harsh reality of my career in a nutshell for those who are experiencing similar realities to show you... its OK... keep going... do what you need to do just dont give up. We all have different journeys.. some are easy.. some are like mine and I constantly feel like a fat kid falling down a set of stairs... but its all perfect if you follow your crazy gut instincts. It doesn't always look the way you imagine.

Through everything I continued to work on love jobs, body art projects, this blog, The Green Brush Project and the FaceFace Makeup Awards in which this was my third year. Resilience is key... as is forward momentum and squashing as often as possible negative thinking and talk. Make your own opportunities if none are presenting itself... keep doing work even if its with cheap makeup... any good MUA will show you their favourite staple lower end product they keep tucked away in their kit. You dont have to have the best of the best to do a good job... but having the best would be nice! Above all.. dont get caught up in negative culture.. it isn't worth it. Surround yourself with positive people who believe in you or at least are open to understanding the crazy ideas to come out your mouth.

So in my speech at the ABIAs... I would have also said how much this award means to me. Its a massive acknowledgement for me from my peers... for through the hardships over the past 14 years... being poor in between invoices, temporary homelessness, completely starting over in a new city 3 times... loss and insecurity... this award is such a massive touchstone for me to remind myself to keep focusing on the good and striving to create beauty in images and with my clients. It will remind me to keep pushing myself and stretch what I believe to even be possible for myself. It also is a landmark event to confirm this is my real job. I feel like I am only getting started.

How I actually felt on the inside yet the champagne gave me courage...

How I actually felt on the inside yet the champagne gave me courage...

So thank you to all my special friendships I have in the industry... you know who you are. Thank you to my fellow MUAs that I can also call friends... its a privelage to know and work with you. From here... I want to keep creating whats in my head as well as work with other amazing artists... I cant wait to finish my book 'We The Painted'.... I want to continue to support emerging artists through the Green Brush Project and the Face2Face Makeup Awards and above all... I want to keep having fun in this crazy job we do.

I mean really... we have a crazy job. We manipulate a human face with pigment as a job. We pluck, prod and glue hair and all sorts of objects onto skin as a profession. 

So I raise my glass to all my fellow MUA finalists... and to fellow MUAs overall... heres to all the things you have done to get the job done that will go unnoticed... to the courage it takes to continue this job despite what life throws at us... for all the early morning starts... the love jobs... the endless hours of washing brushes and preparing your kit when everyone else is out having a great time... to all the times you sacrifice your social life for work... for all the clients that do things that dont allow you to do your job properly... for all the bad makeup days that make you question if you know what you are doing (come on... I have them all the time)... for always being the first to arrive and the last to leave... for all the lunch breaks makeup needs to work through... for all the times we get asked what makeup they should wear when all we want to do is relax and enjoy our time off... for all the miracles we pull out of our bum on shoots... for all the clips and pins we give to stylists who run out... for all the times we are doing things on jobs that is clearly not in our job description... and for all those times that clients say the weirdest things to you about the makeup you have done even though you KNOW they look amazing... and go and change it to what they want... even if it means strange eyebrows, orange face or adding black when 10 minutes ago they clearly said NO BLACK.... I salute you x You are all amazing.

Transient

Here was my photographic entry for the ABIAs. Thankyou to my buddies Nelson Lai, Jason Zambelli and Mr Thom Kerr for making them possible xx

Transient
Transient
Transient
Transient


Face2Face Makeup Awards Judge - Lydia Jane Saunders

Who better to invite to be a guest judge for the Face2Face Makeup Awards 'Modern Bride' category than the Fashion Editor of Complete Wedding Magazine, Lydia Jane Saunders.

“I’ve worked in fashion and lifestyle styling for just over 10 years, first catching the bug as an intern at Marie Claire magazine in Sydney. I originally studied Communications at Charles Stuart University, which was a great grounding for working in the media industry, but I quickly realised styling was my chosen career path. I was lucky to be mentored by the legendary UK fashion director Hilary Alexander while working in London – she wildly encouraged my love for colour and sparkles! Since then I’ve styled shoots for a diverse range of magazines including, Harper’s Bazaar China, Karen, Brace, Collective, Factice, Fashion Trend and Atlas. As well as advertising clients, Qantas, Toyota, Woolworths and Peroni amongst many others. I love the variety of freelance styling and managing my own schedule, plus I get to work with some seriously creative and talented people.”

What have you been working on lately?

I’ve been busy working on a great mix of editorial and advertising projects recently.

I lead the fashion team at Complete Wedding Magazine and we’ve just wrapped up the latest issue with seven stunning editorials. Bridal fashion is brilliant fun and global fashion trends are filtering through to wedding gowns more and more.

Two of my favourite projects recently were an editorial for Pages Digital – with divine model Ollie Henderson – and a shoot for Remix magazine where I styled Grace Simmons. I had the pleasure of working with photographer Cara O’Dowd on both and I absolutely love being on a project with her, we share a similar vision and it never feels like work.

I have also been managing prop and set styling for Marie Claire magazine which sees me scouring Sydney for covetable items, one of the best parts of a styling brief!”

What is your definition of a modern bride?

“Experimental, bold, and with personal flair. Today’s brides don’t follow convention – they create a wedding day look that builds on their own look and brings in touches of inspiration from runway fashion and their favourite era.”

Most makeup artists cross over between bridal work and other areas of the industry… how important do you think it is to have an understanding of current fashion/trends when working in Bridal?

“It’s hugely important – in fact today I think traditional ‘bridal makeup’ has been eclipsed by modern make up trends. There is no ‘one face fits all’. Many brides find beauty inspiration from fashion magazines, red carpet looks, even films, and make up artists need to have their finger on the pulse of current culture to create the desired look.” 

What trends have you noticed over the past 12 months in the Bridal world?

“Brides are definitely moving towards a softer look. Hair down or in a loose ponytail, minimal makeup and a dewy complexion, something that will last the day and evening and still look gorgeous. The wedding day is definitely not one to experiment with a bold look and modern brides understand this. The trend is definitely more about natural, glowing beauty.”

What makeup/hair trends have you enjoyed over the past 12 months?

“I am loving the attention to eyebrows. They frame the face and are such a key beauty factor. Cara Delevigne, Karlie Kloss and Miranda Kerr are all nailing this at the moment. And after decades of overplucked ridiculous eyebrows it’s such a relief to see brows that celebrate the natural arch!” 

What traits do you look for when working with Makeup Artists professionally?

“Genuine talent, experienced skill and a team player. Make up artists need to have a key understanding of the trends and be adaptable to any creative brief. They also need to be able to see the complete vision for a project, as well as their part within it.” 

What traits do you think a makeup artist need when doing bridal?

“People skills and empathy! Brides can be stressed and confused about what they want for the big day, and it’s a makeup artist (and hairdressers) job to uncover their personal style, listen to their issues, and deliver her ideal look which is tasteful and elegant. I think a love of weddings also helps – being part of the day can be great fun if you genuinely enjoy the event.”

What are your Makeup Artist pet peeves?

“When the makeup is simply too much, or wildly experimental to the point that it jars with everything else. Makeup should complement the model and their clothing, not take it over.”

What will you be looking for in the Modern Bride Category?

“Classic timeless beauty that lets the face shine through, created with true skill.”

See more of Lydias styling work here.

 

Face2Face Makeup Awards Judges - Adam and Damian from Odd Studio

Odd Studio is a world-renowned company at the forefront of prosthetic make up, creature effects, animatronic characters, special effects, props and models. Both partners, Damian Martin and Adam Johansen have over 20 years of industry experience on a diverse range of projects, helping realize and give life to ideas and creative visions. Their dedication to the art, practical approach and extended family of talented crew continue to keep the company in high demand for in camera effects. 

We are lucky enough to again have Damian and Adam as judges for the Film Fantasy category at the Face2Face Makeup Awards. The lucky winner is going to enjoy a days work experience  with the Odd Boys which you would agree... for any emerging SPFX artist will be invaluable.

Last week myself and photographer Amelia J Dowd went to their studio in St Peters and spent some time with Adam and Damian... it was hard to concentrate for all the creative eye candy, boxes of boils, scabs and amazing completed characters. Somehow we were able to concentrate long enough to take some shots and speak with the Odd boys...

Adam mid sculpt of a nose piece for a VW commercial to be shot the following weekend...

Adam mid sculpt of a nose piece for a VW commercial to be shot the following weekend...

What have you been up to over the past 12 months?

The past 12 months have been huge for us. We wrapped on Fury Rd, Mad Max which we ran the prosthetics on for nearly 2 years finishing pick ups in December. Damian headed up the dept in Namibia and Cape Town for 7 months. We’ve also just wrapped on Alex Proyas’s latest film, God’s Of Egypt which we also headed the prosthetics dept for. Lesley Vanderwalt was head of hair and make up on both of those films.

In addition to that, we worked on a locally produced Sci-Fi feature film called Terminus which we’re pretty excited about too. Throw in a couple of big music videos from 2 huge acts and a bunch of commercials and it explains why we’re a bit knackered.

Joking aside, we’re very grateful for all the recent projects we have landed and are grateful for our wonderful crew too.

IMG_0005 as Smart Object-1.jpg
Emily James who has been at Odd Stufio for 3 years.. working on a decapitated head made from silicone for a project with Vetus

Emily James who has been at Odd Stufio for 3 years.. working on a decapitated head made from silicone for a project with Vetus

This is the third year judging for Film Fantasy Adam and the second year for Damian... over the years I have enjoyed following your work... I can't wait to see the results of the past 12 months! During the past 12 months we also saw the passing of MUA legend Dick Smith. It was a sad day for myself as his work was an inspiration for me to push my own boundaries in my work... I am interested to hear about how Dick Smith influenced both of your careers?

Dick Smith’s contribution to make up effects is immeasurable and in my opinion (Adam) hard to articulate. He was the greatest make up artist of all time and famously giving with his techniques, which isn’t always the case.  He was a wonderful person and a real ‘no-nonsense’ artist too. His ageing make ups will forever be the bench mark for me. He has not only affected Damian and myself,  but anyone that has ever followed a career in Make up and prosthetics.

(Damian) I found Dick Smiths Do it yourself monster monster makeup handbook in a comic store when I was a young teenager and it really fanned the flames of my interest in makeup effects. I can only imagine how many people that book and the earlier kits inspired. 

 

What advice would you give to any aspiring spfx makeup artist in the industry today?

Just get ‘doing’! If you’re doing a course, do more than you need to. Sculpt, mould apply things in your own time, work out of your garage or bedroom if need be. Throw yourself into it 110% because any less isn’t good enough in this very tough industry of ours.

(D) There's an incredible amount of inspiration and information out there and materials are readily available. If you’re not taking advantage of this and giving it a go I’m less inclined to believe that this is your passion. 

 

What will you both be looking for in this years Film Fantasy Category spfx and non spfx?

 I’ll (Adam) be looking for originality and creativity. Something that’s both bold and refined will get my vote.

(D) a strong idea that’s well executed is always good to see and I really like it when a character or design is fully thought through and resolved.


Thanks guys... can't wait for Sunday!

To keep up to date with what Adam and Damian are up to... you need to follow the Odd Studio Facebook and Instagram!

Facebook

Instagram - odd_studio

To read more about Odd Studio on Twosix and Brush... click below x

http://twosixandbrush.com/blog/2013/8/9/face2face-makeup-awards-judges-odd-studio

IMG_0049 as Smart Object-1.jpg