You’re a flourishing, working, makeup artist, climbing the proverbial artistic ladder and you are now closer than ever to the recognition, stability, and success of your dreams. You’ve invested in your craft and sacrificed whole heartily of your time. You have an increasing clientele, a budding portfolio, a growing online presence and promising opportunities that you, yourself are finding hard to believe.
The outside world has no idea what you endured to get here, and finally, the legwork you so relentlessly put in is paying off. The innumerable hours of education, masterclasses, and technique studies; TFP shoots with great models and photographers and also those questionable shoots with not so great models and photographers; a host of unpaid gigs, student films for set experience and feature films that gifted only IMDb credit and crafty. You’ve assisted famed artist who barely acknowledged you, to unimaginable, once in a lifetime moments that finally allotted you your chance to shine. With great patience and fortitude, you didn’t give up and now the tide is shifted. You’ve found your stride in this vastly thriving industry, where you are now a key player within it.
Now, armed with not just talent, and hard pressed experience, how do you elevate yourself to that next level? How do you possibly achieve this without compromising the integrity of your artistry, all while organizing the business logistics of each new opportunity, and maintaining a semblance of sanity? Is it time to seek out an agency, and are you even ready?
Here are 5 things everyone gets wrong before approaching a makeup artist agency.
5: Are you a sound investment?
(Probably the most important item upon this list and the hardest for creatives to wrap their heads around.)
As an artist, we can often lose sight of the business aspect of our profession and it is truly the most vital. Just as we must hone our skills with brushes we must do so as well, with the virtues and characteristics that make us viable business investments.
Before approaching an agency, thoroughly and objectively look at yourself as a business venture. And ask, would you invest in yourself? Are you consistently early and on time or are you someone who is virtually late to every gig? Are you reliable and professional or are you disorganized, and unfocused? Do you take initiative or are you stagnant? Are you continuously educating yourself and regularly familiarizing yourself with today’s trends or are you simply complacent? Are you regularly putting out quality content and producing work at a profitable level and have you been doing so for a length of time worthy of investment?
Agencies, just as much as they are seeking your grasp of creativity, are equally looking for your productive longevity as an artist that they can place their name behind. As eagerly as you want to grow and evolve as an artist, they are pursuing artist for the long haul, who they see, for their potential for career evolution. Despite how talented you may be, if you do not possess the qualities that speak to a complete understanding of self-sufficiency, reliability, and professionalism, you will not be considered a sound business investment ready to embark on such an evolution.
4: Are you rightfully utilizing Social Media?
We are in the age of social media and to deny it, is antiquated thinking, and it will further limit your potential for growth. If you are an artist that has not embraced this and or refuses to utilize the countless benefits of social media, you need to accept this unfathomable resource in your life and business today!
Rest assured, that the agencies you seek to elicit, certainly sought out to see if you are engaging on social media platforms. They’ve searched your online presence, they’ve looked not so much at your follower count, but your engagement with the followers you have. They’ve browsed your content, your page aesthetic, your frequency of posting, the quality of your posts and the tone and voice of your captions. They are looking at your online presence as a whole, not just as an artist, but as a marketable brand.
Take the opportunity before approaching agencies to thoroughly determine if your social media presence adequately portrays who you are as an artist. Filter posts that do not represent you and place your best work forward. Showcase the work that best shows not only your skills and talents but work that speaks specifically to your artistry in particular.
3: Have you researched the right agencies?
There are many agencies today that offer incredible guidance for an artist to grow in their careers. Choosing the right ones to apply to can seem to be a most daunting task. But the answer is quite simple. It is imperative not to rush, to take your time and do your research! Seek reputable agencies that not only align with your vision as an artist but who can also present you with their path to your career as well. If you are an artist that primarily seeks to work on television and film, an agency known widely for booking artist on large editorial projects might not be the fit for you or your vision.
Explore which clients and companies the agency has worked with in the past, if they hold adequate standings in the Better Business Bureau and if they are acknowledged in the industry for positive business relationships and practices. You want to be sure that they cannot only offer you essential work but that it is the kind of work that will further your career.
Lastly, who better to share knowledge of agencies than the artist to which they employ. Locate artists that are represented by the agency. (Most agencies supply their catalog of artists publicly online.) Respectfully inquire of their satisfaction in choosing that prospective agency. Artists often offer greater insight and perspective that are solely relatable to other artists.
2: Do you have a diverse and eclectic body of work?
As an artist in today’s climate, you must be versatile and knowledgeable of all manner of makeup techniques and styles. Agencies are not only looking to see you have mastered these skills but that your work reflects a range and diversity altogether different in presentation yet cohesive to you as an artist. Before applying to agencies make sure you work offers a variety of styles, and not just the style you are most comfortable. Agencies are looking to see that you can demonstrate an understanding of these styles upon a variation of faces, skin tones, and genders.
1. First impressions count.
The biggest mistake makeup artists make in approaching agencies is not realizing the value in a first impression. How and when you choose to present yourself is often times a larger determining factor than most are aware.
Be it a scheduled interview or an artist submission online, making sure you are present and attentive or have followed the agencies specific guidelines for application are all key components to consider before approaching an agency.
Remember, timing is everything. Before approaching any agency be certain you’re presenting your highest quality of work and that you possess the quality of work that defines the artist you want them to see. If you do not have this, be patient, continue working at those genres of makeup that will boost your marketability. Wait to submit your work until you have the content that will propel you to the top of the list. It may be simply too early in your career to consider an agency. Do not squander your first impression or shortcut your chances for success because you were too eager.
Agencies want makeup artists that are not just superior creative talents but artists that are resiliently willing to navigate the business aspect of this industry. Agencies seek to build partnerships with professionals who can best fortify their goals. It’s your job as an artist before approaching an agency, that you’re certain you’re an artist of such caliber.
S/M Makeup Artistry
Professional Makeup Artist
Banner Image credit Loni Baur MakeUp