At Fashion Rider we like to get to know our members and share not only their great work but their life stories and experience with other readers. We want to take the time to listen and from my own experience I also understand that learning from peers and colleagues and listening to their experiences, is sometimes the best advice you can get.
One of our members Samantha Wheeler (fully qualified Holistic Massage / Therapist and Beauty Therapist) has recently spoke to us about her experience as a make-up artist. The highs of her job, what she wished she’d learnt sooner and like most of us, what we would have told our younger, less confident self when we first started out.
It’s those two little words that we all smile at however, “starting out”. Mainly because we can all remember what it was like in the beginning. The nerves, the self-doubt and the utter confusion and fear about what exactly it is you’re supposed to be doing! And after reading some of my member’s stories, I’m so pleased this wasn’t just me!
Experience is a great opportunity
The best piece of advice I can give to anyone starting out, or even starting on something new, is to get as much experience as you can. Things such as shadowing a photographer you admire, volunteering for charities who provide free make-overs (Samantha volunteers some of her time for charity, Look Good, Feel Better, who offer just this type of service) etc. It’s about taking the opportunity to learn and grow – dipping your toes into the real world!
“I wish someone had told me that it really doesn’t matter how talented an artist you are. A huge part of getting work is a business mind-set”.
Which can lead on to finding a mentor and a good mentor at that. Someone who can make all the difference when it comes to you learning from their experience. Someone to test your ideas on and most importantly someone to point you in the right direction.
Samantha raves about her mentor Claire Hanson (for those not so au fait with the industry, Claire is currently PA to Lionel Richie and has been the make-up artist for S Club 7 as well as working on top fashion magazines and the book The Wedding Bible)!
Samantha first met Claire when she auditioned to become part of the Claire Hanson’s MACH team. “I was so so lucky I got to train one on one with Claire as well as stay at her house and studio for a while. Claire is still currently my mentor and I am very proud to be part of her MACH team in Yorkshire”.
It’s these experiences which let’s be honest, might seem hard at the time, but they’re also the ones which we look back fondly on. They teach us so much, good and bad, but they also help shape us and build our confidence.
But how do you know when you’re really successful?
Well for us, Samantha has hit the nail on the head, “The way I tend to think if I have been successful is if a bride looks in the mirror, confident and beaming about to walk down the aisle. Or when I’ve given someone more confidence in themselves”.
Sometimes, it’s not about titles or money, it’s more about what you can do for others and how you can really have an impact. Whether this be through a makeover, a photograph that speaks a thousand words or a fashion piece that makes someone feel a million dollars.
As creatives sometimes we probably don’t reflect enough on the proud moments. It’s true when people tell us you should take the time to write down when something has made you smile, when you’ve achieved something big or you’ve won an award for a great piece of work etc. Then at the end of the year, or on a special occasion, open up all of these `notes` and realise just how far you’ve come.
Some of Samantha’s highlights she kindly shared with us:
- I’ve had my work on three front magazine covers and a couple of album covers
- I’ve worked with an amazing photographer (Dan Clarke) for a vintage shoot – which got published in Vintage Life magazine
- I found out from my work with others in the industry that what I really love is the whole artistic vision!
The good, the bad and the ugly!
Any industry has its best bits and its worst parts. But those not so good days are most certainly outnumbered by our passion and drive to do what we love. What we can all probably agree on is that no matter what we do the excitement of our work is what makes us smile.
“One of the best things about being a makeup artist for me is about creativity. No matter what problems you have at home or in your life, getting creative can take you out of your thinking mind. And that’s a great feeling!”
“Even better if someone is smiling because of your work at the end of the day”.
Individuality is key
The advice I would offer is for you to stand out from the crowd, no matter what your profession.
Competition can be fierce, you need to find your own individuality, your niche. Of course I couldn’t have worded it better than Samantha when she told me, “someone can be the best artist and yet still it is easy to not be seen if you don’t know how to get your name out there. Things like this blog (Fashion Rider) is great for this reason, thank you!”
Finally, we always like to ask our members what their favourite trends are now, and for Samantha for 2017 it has been “the Bohemian look. I love the plaited hair and relaxed feel of this era and the more natural look to makeup with freckles showing through.
“But also strobing, a makeup artist’s best friend and a must for selfie queens. Forget Botox a good highlighter is one of the best ways to look younger and fresher! And I teach all about this and other tips in my makeup lessons at Aloha Makeup Studio in Sheffield”.
If you would like to find out more about Samantha and her work you can check out her web page on Fashion Rider.
And if you think Samantha’s experience, skill and dedication to the creative industry is just what you’re looking for, for your next work project, why not contact her to check out her availability and find out just how she can help.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, we always like to hear from our members so if you have a story you’d like to tell us and you think others would like to read about, please let us know – we’d love to hear from you.