Six for 2016: Six New Year Resolutions every make-up artist should make

January 10, 2016

For a lot of us the New Year is a time to reflect, assess and plan for the future. We’re full of intentions to get fit, get organised, make a new start and become better people. So what sort of resolutions have you made this year, and how many of them involve make-up artistry? Whatever resolutions you’ve made here are the Academy of Make-up’s top new years resolutions for make-up artists (but, they probably apply to other artists, too.) 

1. This year I will love myself and what I do.
This year, and every year, should be all about loving yourself and what you do. It can be hard to turn off that inner critic in your head that points out any flaws that there might be in your work. You can counteract that voice, however, by taking a bit of time every week to look through your recent work and just say to yourself “this really is amazing” and even writing down all the positive things about your work, what you do and what sets you aside from other people.

2. This year I will expand my process and range of influence
As a make-up artist it’s tempting to only look at other make-up artists as a source of inspiration. Expand your process and diversify your moodboard by including references from other sources. Go to art galleries, see what’s happening in the world of design, look in niche magazines, investigate tattoos, take influence from nature for example using the colour tone of a flower as reference for creating and mixing a new tone of lip colour. 

If you can find your own particular voice as an artist the more you raise the possibility of being noticed as something new and different, and you may find that you feel more fulfilled creatively.

3. This year I will experiment creatively 
One of the things I love about the creative process is experimentation. It’s a great part of your work flow that sometimes gets overlooked in favour of a tried and tested solution. This is especially the case when you are restrained by time or client expectations. So make time this year to experiment. Create work fearlessly and try a variety of different solutions. If it is possible to try new and exciting things on a test shoot with a photographer who is up for strangeness then that’s brilliant, but even if you just use a friend as a model and take a photo with your phone it’s a wonderful way to document and keep the idea on file. You never know when and how your more experimental work can influence your more commercial work. BE FREE!!! 

4. This year I will set myself career goals
Set yourself a mixture of creative and goal related challenges this year. Your goals for the year could be a certain number of clients per month, a certain number of test shoots over the year or published work. Keep the goals clear and plan a route towards them breaking it down into achievable steps.

Like me, you may have a certain area of your practice you know needs a bit of work. Maybe your precision with liquid liner isn’t what you want it to be, or your foundation matching is a bit patchy. Set yourself the goal of perfecting that lacking skill this year. Again, break it down in to steps and find people willing to let you practice on them.

Whatever your goals are write them down and keep referring back to them. Once you’ve achieved them come up with new ones.

5. This year I will set myself creative challenges
Just like freeing up your research process setting your creative challenges can help you to generate new and exciting work. Here are a few examples that will hopefully inspire you:

Restrict your colour palette or makeup options.
It’s surprising how much restricting yourself can aid the creative process. Sometimes it’s the multitude of options we have that swamps us, but by giving ourselves limitations it can push us to think more creatively.
Try this: create a makeup look using only a concealer and your least used lipstick.

Communicate a moment in history, a film or a piece of music through make-up
How would you communicate a film like Avatar or the song Heroes by David Bowie with make-up? What research would you need to do? What would your visual references be? What would your personal expression of those things look like? How many looks would it take?

By giving yourself something specific to communicate like this you take your work in a direction you might never have thought of. Enjoy the challenge and don’t worry too much if people don’t get exactly what the original concept behind your work was.

6. This year I will master another skill related to make-up
These days there are lots of online assets, evening classes and college courses available on a wide number of subjects and even learning a little bit about photography, film making, art direction, styling, painting, print making, sculpture, calligraphy, retouching or even publishing methods can help enhance your abilities and processes as a make-up artist.

Let us know what you think, and tell us your resolutions for 2016?


Bob Rafferty
Bob Rafferty

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