Dear Diary…

A week ago, I was up to my elbows in glitter creating a new beauty shoot featuring soon on Black Magazine…

Behind the Scenes shot on INSTAGRAM – beccagilmartin

All of a sudden I noticed my Instagram and Facebook going slightly crazy. The reason? The ABIAs Finalists had been announced and I had made the cut. Very cool.

Being a finalist is a nice ‘tip of the hat’ to every artist to acknowledge that despite days of feeling like everyone else in the world knows exactly what they are doing except you… who just seems to make it all up as they go… is on some sort of ‘right track’. Its a very cool list to be on. I am amongst some gorgeous people x

The past few months have been pretty amazing for me in regards to creative and professional satisfaction… some of which still has not been released and so I am limited to what I can share. The announcement of being a finalist definitely helped soothe my post USA blues…

Last November I took a trip to the Joshua Tree Desert to body paint for Kimbra… what we created hasn’t been released as yet… however Kimbra is drip feeding us teasers from her album cover shoot. Joshua Tree Desert is certainly a special place that I would like to return to with a bunch of friends… crack open some wine and relax for the weekend. Makeup and Hair for this shoot was done by the uber talented Justin Henry.

I can’t wait to share about this project!

My last trip to LA a couple of weeks ago was only supposed to be a part of my mini break to NYC after IMATS… however I ended up staying slightly longer than planned and was Kimbra’s Makeup Artist for her new single, 90s music.

The clip isn’t released as yet… however you can hear the single here:

Before I was In LA.. I was in NYC for two weeks. If you have the latest copy of Makeup Artist Magazine issue 108 you may have seen me nestled int he wrap up story about IMATS NYC.

I traveled to NYC to speak at IMATS NYC about my course, its philosophies as well and my upcoming book.

My model, Mike Perfetuo , flew from LA to be my model as well as allow me to paint him and his identical twin brother in two series of body art shoots (yet to be released)

Here are some sneak pics…

More Rorschach ink tests which I thought quite fitting as Mike and Matt are mirror image identical twins. Image on instagram beccagilmartin

A quick social media break with the boys during the first shoot of my trip.. the inspiration behind this shoot is a conversation around how we judge ourselves when we look at our own reflection… this paint turned into something quite different from what you see here. I was assisted by the lovely  Lindsay Schwebke image from Instagram beccagilmartin

As I started getting ready for my IMATS presentation in my hotel room… I had to keep reminding myself to treat this like any other presentation… the fact that I was about to speak for the first time in America about my course and book was causing some excitement!

Here is a visual wrap up from the day at IMATS

Mikes front is done… almost… the hotel room is chaos but we are all feeling excited.

The text is the french interpretation of the phrase from Moulin Rouge “The greatest thing you will ever learn is just to love and be loved in return”… a dedication to someone I once loved who is no longer here. The flower is part of the new book I am working on ‘We The Painted’.

costume on backstage… final touches… ready to rock and roll!

Showtime! Explaining the concept of using MINDSET and BODYART as a training tool for yourself to increase your skills as a makeup artist… as well as achieving confidence and a whole range of benefits difficult to list in an hour time slot. FINALLY I get a shot on stage where I am not pulling a face.

The orchid is actually one of the exercises in my upcoming book ‘We The Painted’ I will pop a link to the step by step preview at the end of this blog x

Its safe to say ‘Makeup Excellence using Body Art’ will be a success in the USA…. and that is very exciting for me!

Final pic by Last x Witness

posing for pics after the demo… more like having a giggle and trying to pose normally.

My NYC peeps! In possibly the most unflattering lighting *sigh* (L to R) My assistant from my first shoot with the boys… Lindsay Schwebke, me, Mike Perfetuo, Matt Perfetuo and my gorgeous assistant for IMATS, Zoe Tranter

One of my favourite shots of the day… Before and After…. ha ha ha … Mike (R) and Matt (L)

IMATS NYC was an amazing experience… walking around afterwards with Mike was definitely a slow process for the amount of people interested to stop us and ask all about what we were up to… The atmosphere at IMATS was electric and made me want to travel to all the different IMATS in the world. The amount of amazing speakers, demonstrations at different stands, the products and resources available was impressive. Easily a place to be inspired, overwhelmed and well worth the trip. If you can… go!

I created a handout for the people at NYC IMATS and can share with you now.

If you aren’t familiar with ‘Makeup Excellence using Body Art’… the principal is you use MINDSET practice and BODYART practice to train your way to a stronger Makeup career… quite like a Makeup Artist Bootcamp.

The link below is a preview of one of the exercises. You do not need a model…. just practice on yourself. Often.

Click the link below to download your free exercise and tag



in an instagram pic!

I will soon be announcing my final 2014 dates for ‘Makeup Excellence Using Body Art’ in Australia… and soon USA dates!

Classes can be arranged on request. Please email [email protected] for more information.

I class where breakthroughs happen for everyone. I love what I teach and can’t wait to take it around the world.

B x

Beautiful You Australia

Late last year I was invited to work with Beautiful You Australia to help create the campaign for their upcoming event in Melbourne.

ANY project that looks at our own definition of beauty I, of course, would stand up to be involved in. Even in the process of viewing this video I was confronted with how different I looked then to now (have lost a considerable amount of weight) The conversation around ‘beauty and power’ is something I am fascinated with. The default setting in my thinking easily goes to the negative thoughts around my appearance… yet I am fully aware that beauty,confidence and power is an inside job.

On a daily basis I am reminding myself that I am whole, complete and perfect just the way I am. Not in a hippie tree hugging way… yet in a matter of fact way. I choose THAT truth. I dont want to spend much of my life proving otherwise… because who says so? No one is telling me there is anything wrong with me except myself… so I am consciously choosing to put my energy into a more enjoyable truth. I am also aware that this is active thinking… and sometimes it is hard to choose those thoughts when my brain is also trying to find evidence in any moment to prove otherwise. The default setting of thinking measures myself up to every other human being around me… and how disempowering is that? I am not anyone else but myself. I only really do great things when I feel confident and no one can create that for me but myself. I like to think I have done enough soul searching and experienced enough of life to know who I am and be proud of that… yet its so easy to buy into a false sense of uncertainty. And it is exactly that… false. I have witnessed models get down on themselves for comparing themselves to other models… completely missing the point that they, uniquely, are insanely beautiful. I have also witnessed a client, whom was so overweight I basically had to lie on her to reach her face for makeup as she sat in the chair… completely own who she was as a woman and be one of the most photogenic people I have met. Beauty really is an inside job and has no correlation to your looks. This I believe to be true.

To be involved with a project that opens the door of self exploration, challenges default ways of thinking and also attempts to empower women in what they need to realise they are whole, complete and perfect right now is an honour. Let alone under one roof top a village of resources catered to every area of feeling beautiful. After all… if we all felt good about ourselves wouldn’t the planet be a much nicer place to live?

I can’t wait for this event!

B x

To TFP or Not TFP… That Is the Question.

This is a touchy subject. I know this, because whenever the topic comes up amongst creatives of all types… PASSIONS are IGNITED like an Italian lovers quarrel!

For those who dont know what TFP means… Trade For Print or in other words… work for free. The reality of TFP can be some low res images 8 months down the track… sometimes nothing… yet, sometimes…

Magic happens!

It’s for the magic moments that have creatives around the world getting lured in to TFP for the romantic notion that some magic will happen for everyone involved… and like a sordid addiction… have no awareness of when to stop… or even that stopping is a choice at any moment.

The fear of saying NO to a TFP and then it turning into an amazing project, connection or lead to possible work sure has gifted some creatives sleepless nights or at least that extra glass of wine to calm the nerves.

I have been around a lot of students lately and so questions about TFP has come up a bit. Now that we are in the times of a major feature film having a $250 makeup budget in which Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews go on to win the Oscar for… it feels like a good time to share my thoughts.

You would have seen this floating around social media.

Some artists are a strict NO to free work.

I went through phases of thinking this way… In and out of complete stubbornness… sometimes even righteous on my NO’s…  however I dont think the question of  saying yes or no is a simple black and white answer. Here lies the problem.

I definitely think it’s a case by case scenario and you should always at least CONSIDER it before you say no and slam the door. I also think that TFP for your career evolves over time and possibly gets more valuable as your career progresses. Now, everyone will have their individual opinion on this… but this is what I have learnt over the past 14 years:


Sometimes that hardest part of TFP, especially when you are in your first few years of your career, is explaining to your friends and family whom cant get their head around the fact that you would ‘work for free’. This is a crazy industry and its hard enough sometimes for us to wrap our heads around whats going on.. let alone people who aren’t in it. So give them some slack. The trick for others understanding, and your peace, is education… I am often saying “hey remember when I went and did that ____ for free? Well from that, I met _____ and I picked up this ____ job and now have a new client who pays well”… I feel like I am now, however, well practiced in choosing my TFP so I can say that more often… but i did have to ‘kiss a few frogs’ to learn the ropes.

When you start in the industry, the benefits of TFP can be great. You get new images for your portfolio, you get to meet new industry people, you also get to experiment and refine your craft under real working conditions. That in itself cant be bought.

The catch is, no one can tell you what will be a good TFP or not… you need to develop your inner compass. You will make mistakes along the way but you will soon get a good feel for it.

One of my favourite TFP stories is a few years ago…standing backstage at Sydney Fashion Week after just directing makeup for Miss Unkon… and realising that the whole reason I was in that position was because I one day said yes to a TFP through Model Mayhem… the photographer and stylist from that shoot went on to start Miss Unkon who took me along for the ride.

Jemma Baines for Miss Unkon


– When you are a new artist… its easy to frantically say yes to everything that comes your way. Regardless of your experience… you should still do your homework. I like to consider TFP as relationship builders… not just an opportunity for a new folio picture that, lets face it, you will probably stop using the image in 6 months time as you will have better examples of your work as you refine your craft.

Here are some mantras I find useful –

Will this HONESTLY move my portfolio forward?”

“Do I have a good feeling about this job? Yes? Do it. No? Dont EVER be afraid to say no.”

(no ones career has stopped because they said no)

” Do I like the past work of the photographer?”

“Am I willing to give away this time and product for free even if nothing comes of this work?”

“Is this a working relationship I want to invest in?”

Do your homework… you can soon tell photographers who do the rounds of new artists.  This may be a clue into seeing that may not be a long term working relationship. If you like their work… then go ahead and do something for your portfolio but dont get upset if its a brief working relationship.

Regardless of your experience… I always say…  think before you say yes.

The art of good investing in TFP is recognising the VALUE for your career.


After a non specific period of time… (and you will instinctively know when this is happening)… your TFP starts to transition into something new. It actually NEEDS to to benefit your career. It goes from photo shoots with strangers where you just have your fingers crossed something will look great… to testing, where you as a team collaborate to create folio shots. The difference is only subtle… but it does strangely feel like you are at the next level of the computer game we are all playing.

It’s during this time you should start saying no more often… not to your collaborations with other creatives you are testing with… but no to the TFPs you were saying yes to at the start. Basically say no to anything that isn’t going to elevate your portfolio… or more to the point, start letting go the grip you have on the idea that every single offer of TFP is an amazing opportunity. You have already invested the time building your folio from scratch… the time now is to build UP on that… not sideways.

This can be the most difficult part… and for a lot of people this is the time they get righteous and say no to every single unpaid job. They start building momentum and that’s it… no more free work. “How DARE you ask me to work for free!”  I think there is certainly a time to cut it down dramatically… however, you should always keep an open mind to testing with your favourite professionals and you could be creating fresh new images for your folio that fills gaps. Your working life isn’t going to magically provide you with the perfect recipe of examples of your work that will have the clients calling in.  Sometimes you need to boost you body of work with a test to show your versatility as an artist. Also sometimes a test with someone higher up in their careers is worth its weight in gold.


I have had TFP jobs where something inside me said to do it… and even though I may have hated every minute of it… something good has come from it in the end. I have also had the opposite happen… I thought it was going to be GREAT and the results were rubbish and I never saw those people again. I clearly didn’t trust my gut on those occasions.

Here is, (in a round about way) an example.

I had just moved to Sydney from QLD and one of my favourite clients had booked me for a paid campaign in Byron Bay. I was super excited as I LOVE this client and I always get to do beautiful work. A week prior… I had an overwhelming gut feeling that I should replace myself for the job. This went against ALL logic… financially and any other logic that applied. I mulled over it for a day and then  felt I had no choice but to have that awkward conversation with my client. I replaced myself with another artist who was amazing so I knew  she was in good hands.

The next day I woke up with one of those “What the hell have I done???”  gasps. I couldn’t change my mind back so went about my life.

The day I was supposed to be in QLD for the campaign… I was sitting in my studio when I received a phone call.  It was from the moving company who were  transporting my large furniture items and sentimental things down from QLD.

They were 3 days early.

Not only were they early… but the truck driver was irate that he couldn’t get down my street… a long story short, I spent the afternoon calming him down so I didn’t have all my stuff broken as well as finding a place to park the truck and borrowing a Ute so we could move my precious things to where they needed to be.

Had I been in QLD… he said  (in the most irate voice) that he would have dumped it all at a storage shed and  it would have cost another grand at least to them have it moved a second time. Not to mention I had a sneaking suspicion my things would have been damaged.

My campaign money would not have covered the cost.

Needless to say… I gave my gut instincts a high five and was grateful nothing got broken by the neanderthal who hated his job. I also still have a great working relationship with that client whom I still work with today.


If I ever hear the words “this will be excellent exposure for you“, as a rule, I run away as fast as I can.

I find this is a line fed to artists when the asking party needs to convince the artist to work for them because in fact it is better for the asker than the artist.

In other words… “this will be excellent exposure for you” translates to “I need you, but I dont want to pay you… and this is all I can think of to say to sound attractive to you”

Those TFPs that I have done where I have been fed that line… never works out the way it’s promised it will. Never.

You know what is great exposure? A commercial during super bowl. Is this job a super bowl add? No? Think HARD before you say yes.

There IS of course that one exception to the rule… which is:

You independently see value in investing your time in this job.

I have said yes to TFP jobs where this horrendous line has been fed to me. This was my response (or something like it)

” You know, I know you think this is going to be great exposure for me. This is going in a national magazine and it sure does sound amazing. However, it’s not actually ‘great exposure’ …No one is really going to pull your magazine apart and search fro my tiny name in tiny writing down the spine in hope to catch whoever did that most beautiful natural ,barely there makeup on that naturally gorgeous model, then try and find me to book me for more work from that picture. I do, however, need some more natural tear sheets for my book so of course I would love to come along. Please dont use that line again.”

We all had an awkward laugh and it turned out to be a great shoot and the rest was history… and I bet they never use that line on anyone again.

*just note I knew I could speak like that as I had rappore with the client… I wouldn’t say that to just anyone… or maybe I should ha!

This is true UNLESS the exception to the rule is played… and if your play THAT card… all responsibility is on you. If it’s a bad outcome… you can’t complain about it. You made that choice. You, however, can pat yourself on the back if the gamble pays off. But for Petes sake… do not keep saying yes to TFP, getting a disaster outcome… then do it all over again. Learn that lesson quickly… for the sake of the industry! Say yes only on special occasions.


The biggest lesson I have learnt about this whole debate is unless the job is with a group of excellent individuals all collectively getting together to create an image/s that will elevate everyone’s portfolio… or if you personally see value in doing this TFP after long consideration… you should say no.

Now, of course for the newbies in the industry.. TFP is essential to create a circle of working relationships to also work on your own craft….it’s your time for building a foundation of good people around you and this is an excellent way to do it. However, this period can’t go on for too long. I also think any job that isn’t purely for portfolio is probably taking advantage of you. You wont die if you say no. The sooner you say no to TFP the sooner you attract paid work.

I think the key is communication. Saying things like ” I am in a period where I am building my folio so I would love to say yes.” then ” I have come to the end of my initial folio build, so thank you for the offer, but I am currently transitioning into paid jobs”… or something along those lines ensure you are in control of your decisions. Develop your compass by checking out the final products of the tests you said no to… if you wish some you had said yes to… keep practicing your selections.

Then… as your career grows… TFP turns into valuable test shoots with people you love also working with. The definition of TFP changes and you create great shoots to work on your folio.

Dont get caught in the perfectionism trap… your folio will never be perfect… I dont know any creative who has stopped working on their folio. Say no sooner than you feel comfortable as it will contribute to a better industry.

Once you have your basic folio, only say yes in very special circumstances. The opportunities will keep coming if you are proactive. Commissioning your own tests for your folio is always a good alternative to TFP.  The other way to say that is “if there is no door of opportunity… build your own door.”

There are so many grey areas in this debate.

Not everyone will agree with what I am saying too.

I think each opportunity should be evaluated case by case. If you think its a job that you should be getting paid for.. then say no. You wont ruin your career. I still test all the time… ( test is another word for TFP ) most of us still test, however with people we know and love and are sure to get amazing results from. Its the best way to stay fresh, current and reinvent our folios to be current in the industry. So the notion to NO TFP FULL STOP is a bit restrictive to possibilities in your career.

I am sure the artists on Dallas Buyers Club saw the immense value in the extremely low budget job… and boy did it pay off.

But those offers dont come around all that often.

Listen to your instincts and get all the facts before you make a decision.


If in doubt… watch this. Your doubt is probably your instincts telling you to not do it.