artist thoughts

I have been working extremely hard of late, collating information, talking to agencies and models, arranging and designing shoots.  You know all that background stuff that a business relies on and something popped up that really angered and saddened me in equal parts. 

Looking through the boards of make up artists and seeing all these posts looking for access to someone else's little black book and condemning anyone who dared to say no or worse yet teachers attacking teachers.  

Now I get it, this business is hard graft (as is any business) but its also alot easier and faster to access information.  Its a simple search away.  So why are people not doing it?  Google, or any good search engine, will usually turn up the information or put you in the right direction. 

What makes you entitled to it when you haven't worked for it?  

I teach, or at least I used to.  I was employed by companies to teach classes, I am more selective now and the rates have dropped dramatically.  So when I went solo and decided that I would take my YEARS of experience in film, TV, editorial etc and run a business class, people were up in arms.  How dare I charge for this service I should have gave it as a free seminar or better yet took them in as co designer (not assistant) and give them unfettered access to my contact list, clients and equal pay for a job they didn't know existed.  

No. 

Business simply doesn't work that way.  Yet people complain: 

  • "My clients are so disrespectful and won't pay for a service once its done." 
  • "I am teaching a class this week and I have no idea where to find the products or what I should charge, help!" 
  • "can someone tell me how I can........because some asked me and I agreed to do it." 

I follow this with a few questions of my own: 

  • "Why do they not want to pay?  How was the quality of the service did you take a retainer?" 
  • "Have you done any research? "
  • "Why are you offering that service if you know you can't do it?" 

You are not entitled to a career, you have to work for it.  If you cannot do something why sell a skill you don't have and then panic.  OK I am all for a little bit of winging it but I am honest and say to them "its not my area but I think I can pull that off with a bit of research."  However I NEVER do that if its beyond my reach; prop making, mask making anything that requires special effects in the realm of casting.  It would be suicide to do it.  

Yet people do. 

If you have no experience and you are teaching, what are you bringing to the table?  Show evidence of your work, have you built a portfolio of solid images and can you show proof positive that you are a TV artist? A fashion artist?  If the answer is no, go and earn it before you sell it.  

I am not saying don't have a business,  I am saying take the time to build it.  Earn the skills, work as an assistant and earn your craft.  

No one will hand you everything on a plate and you should never expect it, as an adult you need to get real and deal with the fact that sometimes you will fail.  Its part of the learning process. 

Before I wrap this up I want to relate a conversation to you, I was asked to advise someone on working in TV. this person was going from bridal to a TV show.  There was a little bit of male grooming involved.  Nothing big just presenter.  

 

  • My advice was keep it simple and clean, it should not look like makeup they should look fresh.  
  • They listened to that part and ignored the rest.  Stating that they felt ready to go after the bigger gigs such as TV and film.  I asked "can you do basic fx, like bruises etc?" 
  • "Well no but if it comes to it and I am up against say you,  I will offer my services free to get the job because I have to." 
  • "What????  No you don't.  You could be my assistant and learn on the job AND BE PAID."
  • "yeah but I want the senior credit and its my right." 

At this point I walked away.  So not only do you not respect the craft, you don't respect me.  That is just not smart business and you will not last long.  If you feel the need to be on the offensive and that your time, skills and resources are without value, you will not progress.  

OK I am ending it there for today.  The moral is be business minded, if you are not here to earn money its just an expensive hobby, work smart not hard.