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!



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!


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.