MAKEUP NERD ALERT
Chronicles of a Makeup Artist
The day I met my idol…
Going back a few years ago, to the very first time I discovered the makeup artist Alex Box, my mind and soul were blown away. I was in the middle of studying for my diploma in Specialist Makeup Services here in Sydney. Earlier that day in class, we’d all been given the name of a makeup artist we had to study. Our task was to introduce them, alongside their work, to the rest of the class.
To be honest, when I was given the name Alex Box, my mind immediately (and embarrassingly) envisioned a male makeup artist. This industry has been dominated by some beyond talented male makeup artists (and still is), so it wasn’t a far stretch…. Didn’t I get a shock when during my lunchtime, I googled the name!
My heart sang with joy as I looked through her body of work. Not only were they the most inspiring images I had ever laid my eyes on, I actually already had some of them as inspiration pictures. These pictures were carefully ripped out of magazines and placed into a folder at home, which grew thicker every time I laid my hands on another magazine.
I was truly elated that I had finally found THE artist who had moved me with her visual artistic talent, whose work I had blindly put into my book to help inspire my own. I poured over those pictures so many times. I tried to work out how one gets to this point of freedom and beauty, without conforming to the opinion of the masses (or to the beauty industry giants, who book you for work) of what beauty means.
Alex became my reason to keep trying, to keep working my skill set, in hopes of one day that I, too, would know a sense of freedom and beauty with the direction of my own eye and vision without being influenced by what was happening in the beauty world. We all love a trend, and we love to master what we see. However, wouldn’t it be amazing to be the one who is out in front and creating their own truth?
Little did I know back then, not only would I get to meet Alex in person, but I would get the opportunity to watch her work her magic up close. Honestly, outside of my son being born & the day I married my soulmate, when I saw Alex do her thing with my own eyes, it was like I had an awakening of mind, body, soul & spirit. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, and it was beyond anything I thought it would be. To call her a true artist (and she is, in every sense of the word), really doesn’t even begin to encompass the work of this accomplished and ethereal lady. The foresight of someone this insanely talented and assured is mind blowing when you see it unfold in front of you.
Now, you might be wondering, how did this happen? How did the stars and moons align to allow little ol’ me a chance to see my idol up close? What happened was I'M GOING TO CLASS. The genius behind the “Makeup Artists Utopia” (direct quote!) is Erica Carr and boy, did she knock it out of the ballpark! Yes, I saw my idol, Alex Box, but what I haven’t mentioned is I saw TWENTY industry greats over five days, of what can only be described as a makeup artist's dream! Alex Box was the perfect ending to what had been a weeklong, mind blowing experience like no other.
To be able to ask questions, to see amazing artists who are the cream of the crop in the beauty industry working up close, to see their products and brushes, to get given insider tips and tricks, to take a selfie with these greats (if that’s your thing), to dine alongside, and to see in and around the hotel these giants that literally walked amongst us, was awesome.
I had breakfast one morning with the very charming and insanely talented Australian makeup artist, Stephen Dimmick, who blew us all away with his wicked sense of humour as well as his genius! Beau Nelson with his wisdom (and camera!) stayed the whole week, took photos, and came to all the classes, as well. The amount of times I looked around and saw the educators sitting in each other’s classes, asking questions, taking photos, and showing genuine interest and support for each other, was fantastic. I loved the fact that everyone was so supportive of each other, of the industry, and of us mere mortals... Well, I am anyways!
I met some truly talented artists from around the globe who sat in class learning beside me. I’ve included a few blogs at the end of this post from some of these artists that I’ve known online for a while. I have always admired them from afar, but getting to meet and connect with them in person was so cool. Their work is amazing and inspiring!
The calibre of artists who took on the role of educators was phenomenal. Jessie Powers was the first “class” I sat in, and my whole ticket, accommodation, everything, was paid for, right then and there. What she does with colour theory was nothing short of spectacular, and I knew from that moment I was in for a massive, career-changing ride. Over the week, I sat in classes from Gregory Arlt (Gwen Stefani is just one of his clients), Reggie Wells (his clients include Oprah, Halle Berry, Beyonce, and Michelle Obama, to name a few), Sam Fine (Naomi Campbell, Iman, Queen Latifah, Patti Labelle, who hasn’t he done?), Roshar (hello?! legend!), Sandy Linter (she was literally the first female to be called a makeup artist – before her, were legends Max Factor, Way Bandy, Dick Page etc.), and we were also lucky enough to have the living legend that is Vivian Baker. Vivian wasn’t an educator at Class, though she did walk around and talk, guide, and inspire us (me, in particular). She was there as part of THE MAKEUP LIGHT team. They supplied all of the lights needed for the artists teaching and the hands-on component that made up the end of each day, where we’d all take part to try the new techniques we were learning. If you haven’t heard of any of the above artists, please do yourself a favour and click on the links or google their work.
This is only a small glimpse into what happened at this amazing event that is I’M GOING TO CLASS. The full list of the 2016 educators is here. You should check it out so you can get excited, because the 2017 line up will be dropping shortly and you need to find a way to get yourself there. I will be. It’s on in Portland, Oregon, November 6 – 11, 2017. Go look at the payment plans that you can do (if needed) to pay off your ticket. Take it from me, the first Class was EPIC and it can only get better from there!
Class and the experience I had there, has had a huge influence on myself, my goals, my business, and where I want to go. I highly recommend it. I’m not getting anything out of talking about my experience about Class except helping my fellow artists to elevate themselves, and therefore elevating our industry. It’s all about supporting one another to be our best selves - Artist, human being, inspiration.
Check out I’M GOING TO CLASS on Instagram to see the all the fun we had - the work that was done by the masters, the students that participated in a photo shoot at the end of the week with the amazing beauty photographer, Courtney Daily, and not to mention the awesome goodie bags we got from the sponsors!
I hope you are inspired to take yourself on a journey… Maybe you might be lucky and meet your idol too!
Peace, love & light
p.s. you can find me at www.francesfrasermakeup.com
p.p.s check out these blogs from some of the artists I connected with at Class: