First of all, you probably would like to know if you need a degree to work as a make-up artist or prosthetic make-up artist. The answer is that you don’t need any degree or certificate to become a make-up artist but you will need a professional technical knowledge of how things work, what type of materials to use, why to use them, how to use them safely etc. etc. And the best place to get all that information is on professional courses with experienced tutors.
Make-up and Prosthetic make-up courses are designed to give you all essential knowledge and confidence to work with different types of materials, explain what make up and prosthetic make up really is about and give you your first portfolio, which is the most important thing you will need to get your first job. (Honestly your portfolio will be very important and you have to make sure you will work really hard to make it look amazing! This will be your showcase and it’ll need to impress your future boss).
Remember that after getting essential knowledge you have to constantly improve your skills, work hard and practise as much as you can, only commitment and determination will take you very far in your career.
After finishing your makeup or prosthetic makeup course (short or longer one), you need to be sure you’ve got the best pictures of your work, that you wrote down all notes about how things work (it’s easy to forget what type of materials mix with which one etc.), and you are confident about your abilities at work.
Prepare you portfolio and start sending it to the make up departments in films, fashion, theatres, events that need makeup artist etc. You need to be constantly ‘on the ball’ and research what is going on in makeup and prosthetic makeup industry. At the moment more and more movies are being made in UK, and there is a huge need for prosthetic makeup artists so there are big chances you will quickly find this first job. If you are not yet experienced and it’s your first job, remember to always listen to more experienced co-workers and shadow them as much as you can (but not to be distractive). There is no better place to learn makeup and prosthetic makeup than at work among experienced people. Don’t feel pressurised, if you are not sure about something don’t be afraid to ask, if you want to try something new ask if there is time for you to experiment with other things like sculpting, or running silicone pieces, painting etc.
The best way to promote your work it to set up social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and professional accounts like LinkedIn. Design your own web site, print your own cards with some of your best work. Remember to constantly update your work. Only post work you are happy with and that looks professional.
Socialize with other makeup artists - you never know who will put your name down for a next job. Always be nice and helpful to others.
Take part in makeup events like Make-up Trade Shows - IMATS in London or UMAE. There are the best places to meet others professional and experienced makeup and prosthetic makeup artists – and your future bosses! There are also great places to promote yourself, to see other makeup artist demonstrating their skills, checking new makeup products and getting them for the cheaper price! Trade Shows are organize once a year in UK, also in America, Canada etc….
Always research and check if there is anything new going on in make-up and prosthetic make-up industry, if there is any new make-up event or events that will need make up, prosthetic makeup artist - for example Halloween events. The more you’re out there the more people will remember your name, which means you’ll get more work from it.
One last thing for you to remember - no matter how easy or difficult it may be for you at the beginning of journey as a makeup or prosthetic makeup artist, remember to always work hard and never give up and you will make it!