Wednesday, October 16, 2013


I'm always asked if I went to school and what school would I recommend My answer has been yes I did, but I can't really recommend one and here's why.   Today I want to touch on starting out your education.  There are so many schools out there now you're head could snap off just trying to figure out which one is right for you  Before you drop your 10K, and yes I said 10K or more I ask you these questions.

When I meet people who are so excited about becoming a makeup artist and want to go to school I always ask them what their dream job is because the school you pick will have to meet those needs.  Sorry to say, so many schools are there to simply "teach" the very basics.  Unless you speak up and ask a million questions you may walk out  with nothing more then a piece of paper, oh and 10K poorer.

The first set of questions I will pose to you is why do you feel you MUST go to a school:

  • Is it to become certified
  • Is it to work in a salon
  • Is it to work runway shows
  • Is it to work on editorials
  • Is it to work on Brides
  • Is it to work on some cool special effects movies
  • Is it to better your skills as an artist
  • Is it to work on celebrities
  • Is it to work on a tv show
  • Is it work in in film/video

I ask you this because it is imperative you understand why you are going to school
To answer -- DeShawn I'm going to makeup school to be a makeup artist silly.  Isn't really a great answer and here's why.  This industry is wide there's so much one can do but frankly unless you've been in this business for 20 years you can't do it all, in fact I don't know any artist who "does it all"

So now that you've figured it out--lets say you want to be a film makeup artist.  Well fabulous choice I'd say--I started there.  Ok fabulous you know what area you want to work--bravo!!! Now, what do you do next?  Yes, I ask you more questions. In what kind of film do you want to work? Are you more interested in working on films like the new version of Alice in Wonderland w Johnny Depp (if you haven't seen this YOU MUST -- OMG), or romantic comedy (any Rachel McAdams film), OR something like Wes Cravens Nightmare on Elm street?

Which one?--Good lord DeShawn how many questions are you going to ask me?
Well if we don't pin your dream job down then the school will kindly take your money and you will walk away with very little to show.  GET ME?

Here's even more questions:

  • What kind of program do they have to offer (in my interest)
  • Certification--what does that mean and where can I go with that in my chosen field
  • How intense do these courses go
  • Are there required hours of practice if so how many
  • Is it possible to not only visit the school but to monitor a class or two
  • Are there any types of interning positions available--not for one or two students that win a contest but for all who would like to participate
  • What type of kit will I receive?  Will it sustain throughout the course or will I have to supplement it with more products (out of my own pocket) before I'm done?
  • How much will I learn from this course--or better yet how far will this course take me to obtaining my goals?
  • Do you have any relationships with studios -- perhaps opportunities for assisting on films?
  • Once I've completed the course is there any advance classes I can take?
  • Are the teachers informative do they answer questions?
  • How long are the courses?
  • How varied will my training be--IE, how much time will be spent in my field of expertise
  • Are there any graduates I can speak with -- that I would just post on Facebook or twitter reaching out to those who previously attended. I feel the school will most definitely point you to the students that had the greatest success or experience and most times that's not the majority

So do you see why it's so diggy-daggit (opps my southern just flared up) important for you to ask the right questions.  You've got to know what it is you truly want to do in your heart--the passion inside of you that says OH MY GOD if I don't do this (fill in the blank) I'm never going to be right--ever!

Here's a great clue if this school you want to go to is a good fit.  Bring your 20-30-40-questions with you to your interview (and there better be an interviewing process or I'd wouldn't step foot in that place)  Take your questions and get them all answered and better yet if the school is prepared with their own sheet to give out to prospective students detailing everything they offer that's a plus.

Fabulous schools should have at least 90% of things on your list

Keep in mind you may have to relocate for the school that is right for you.  Don't choose a school strictly on locale.  Its an investment in your future as an artist--just as college would be--don't skimp just because the school is around the corner.

Ask the school do they know of housing for you, is there a roommate board or list, etc

And of course is there some kind of financial aid?  Learn everything that, that entails and I mean you must know everything that goes along with that "loan" obligation

Finally you must do your homework--research research, research or you will kiss your time and hard-earned cash goodbye

SO MY LOVELIES GOOD LUCK--sorry I meant break a leg


  1. I've been pondering going to school for a while and your list of questions really helped me sift through my reasons. Thanks for writing this!

  2. A good read DeShawn, I wish I would have come across something like this when I first stepped into the industry. VERY helpful for the new generations seeking to fulfill their dream in Makeup Artistry. ~ Andrea Ferrell, (Joe Blasco MCE Alumni 1996)

  3. STYLEOFYOUROWN I so love the fact this was helpful to you & RUBYEINPARADISE thanks so much for reading DeShawn


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