Happy New Year, ladies and gents! It's been a long time! I extend my sincere apologies! I have been up to a lot since the close of 2010 and even within 2011, including the official re-lauching of my "LIFE AS A MAKEUP ARTIST" blog. However, I just wanted to drop in to give a few words and I couldn't stay away! I missed blogging to you all! LOL In any event, I hope that the new year is finding each and every one of you in great spirits and with high aspirations!
As you know, I love to offer my advice and encouraging words to my fellow artists, whether they be just beginning a career in makeup artistry and the fashion world, or whether they are experienced. We all need a boost, right? Lately, I've been chatting with a few good friends, who are also involved in the beauty industry. One dear friend, is an amazing artist, but fears rejection which hinders her from pushing herself to her limits. Another friend of mine has taught me so much about artistry and life, but she is working to balance her career as an artist and her family life as she tries to venture deeper in the fashion world. In giving them words of encouragement, I also make sure I continue to practice the same advice in my own career: never let your fear hold you back. Whether it is fear of rejection, fear of the unknown or fear of your artistry not being 'good enough', you have to find the courage and the strength within yourself to keep pushing forward. Turn that negative energy into something positive because negative energy can and will create a negative outcome!
I'm going to let you guys in on a little secret! When I moved to Miami, almost a year ago, I was beyond insecure. I was in a new and bigger city, an unknown market. I didn't know anyone here, but I relocated with my job on a part-time position. Sure, people knew my name and my work back home. I worked with some of the hottest designers, photographers and models, but in Miami, no one knew Krystal Hardy! Talk about insecurity! The first few weeks, I stayed on Twitter, did internet searches for the Who's Who of Miami and reached out to a couple of people by sending out my resume and samples of my work! Being an entrepreneur, which is basically what freelance makeup artists are, is not for the weak or discouraged! I cannot tell you how many times I got no response----or sometimes even a rude response. I once had one of Miami's most well known managers of Hip Hop artists and video vixens, tell me flat out that my work wasn't good enough to touch any his client's faces. Just like that! I can laugh about it now, but talk about a crushing blow to my ego and my artistry!
In that moment, I could have crashed, burned put away my brushes. I could have retreated to my shell, but I developed a thick skin overnight and told myself that if he didn't think I was good enough, I was going to PROVE I was good enough! Not because I wanted to be good enough for him, but I wanted to be the best at what I did, for myself!!! I spent every free moment I had networking, linking up with photographers, passing out business cards to anyone in the industry that would take one. I started to get call backs and went full-speed ahead into updating my portfolio. When I felt that I was ready, I leaked photos on every social networking site that I had an account with and people began contacting me regularly.
Fast forward to a year later and I've had the pleasure of working with some amazing talent such as rappers Pitbull and Trina, International recording artist Ester Campos and supermodel Claudia Romani, to name a few. These days, I still lack sleep because I'm still always networking but at least I have peace of mind knowing that I'm pushing myself regardless of the feedback I may receive. I look at each opportunity as a growing and learning experience. I still get rejections, but I do not let it stop me. I am an artist and artistry is ever evolving! I do not let anyone define or determine what my failures or successes are as an artist and there is wisdom in knowing that success is a state of mind!
We all have goals and dreams, but if you are crippled by fear and doing nothing, then a dream will remain a dream! View it as a challenge. One day the person who said 'no' to you will see your growth, your passion and your professionalism and they just may contact you with a 'yes!'
Here are just a few tips for you to shine:
- Never be 'too good' to assist another artist. It doesn't matter how many years of experience you have in this industry, there is always more to learn and it is a good way to build connections! In the event that the key artist is unavailable for a gig, they may just reach out to their assistant.
- Take advantage of social networking sites! It's a new day and the world is obsessed with technology!It's not just for uploading pics of your weekend adventures or posting funny statuses about your day! Use it to let people know who you are and what you can do!
- Do not limit yourself to solely one market! Make connects in other cities. When you go on vacation, dedicate a little time to work and a little time to play! Take your kit along and you just may stumble upon a great gig!
- Be aggressive! One of the reasons that people are ineffective when it comes to networking is that they exchange business cards and keep the cards laying around in a drawer somewhere. After you meet someone and exchange business cards, feel free to FOLLOW UP with a 'nice meeting you' or 'hope to work with you in the near future'---kinda message and attach copies of your work! It makes you stand out!