Woohoo It's Friday!!! I am seriously so excited to share with everyone this week's featured artist: Chelsea Giannone. As a fellow MUD grad, She is a makeup artist based in NYC. After going through her interview several times, I am just amazed by this woman. Her talent obviously shows in her work (scroll down to see the AMAZING-NESS! Plus her credits include GQ and Cadillac, I mean c'mon! ), but she is one of the wisest artists I have come by. Chelsea truly understands exactly what it takes to be successful, not only for herself, but for other aspiring artists as well. And the best part? She shares that passion and knowledge to other artists and students. It's pretty freakin awesome. Not to mention, she also was a finalist for one of our very first Makeup Challenges!! Read on to learn more about Chelsea and her journey <3
1. Tell us about yourself (where you're from, how you got into makeup, etc)
I'm chelsea. I am a makeup artist, licensed esthetician, certified lash extension technician, and eyebrow enthusiast. I am from New Jersey and have also lived in New York City. My mother is an artist, so growing up I have always had a love for art. She taught me everything there is to know about the subject, right down to the history. As for makeup, my older sister sparked my interest; she always had a ton of makeup all over her room, I'm talking caboodle cases full. Being the typical little sister, I would sneak into her room when she wasn't home and go to town! The realization that I could merge my two passions together to create living art, is when I really fell in love with makeup.
2. Who do you look up to in the industry as an artist?
For beauty Pat McGrath because she is queen. She has accomplished so much in her career that is so inspiring to me. Also Alex Box because we have similar styles, as far as creating living art. Everything Alex Box does is what I wish I could be doing full time. When it comes to special FX; Ve Neill because she is also queen and it's amazing to see a woman killing it in the FX world that has always been dominated by men. I'm all about the girl power!
3. If you could work on any project or with any particular person, what would you choose?
I would die to be backstage at an Alexander McQueen fashion show working on some amazing Avant-Garde makeup! Other than that one of my goals is to see my work on the cover of Vogue.
4. What are you currently working on?
I am currently keeping busy freelancing a lot of bridal work, with different gigs in between. I just finished wrapping assisting on a feature film, that I am super excited to see!
5. As freelance artists, we always have boughts of time where we are slow, how do you keep yourself motivated during these times?
I see my downtime as opportunities to grow as an artist by learning new skills. That's how I became an eyelash extension technician, and I have plans to get my micro blading certification. This not only keeps me motivated, but has also given me more knowledge of the beauty industry as a whole.
6. Is there a certain time of your life that you struggled significantly and came across doubts or feeling discouraged? What happened and how did you overcome this?
All artists have doubts, we are our own worst critics! When I competed in I.M.A.T.S New York City, it felt like the end of the world when I didn't place, after putting so much time, effort, and emotion into my concept. Even though that moment felt awful and discouraging, I look back and realize what an accomplishment it was to be picked out of thousands of people to compete along side some of the most talented artists. Not to sound cliché, but it's important to get back up and keep pushing forward. Criticism is meant to help you grow as an artist, not take you down.
7. Did you attend a makeup school? Do you suggest aspiring makeup artists attend in order to pursue a professional career nowadays?
Yes! Absolutely, everyone should go to school. I am a firm believer that education is key. I attended Makeup Designory in NYC, and it was the best decision I have ever made, as well as a huge turning point in my career. Not only did school refine my skills, but it taught me so much about the business aspect of the industry, which is something I never gave much thought to before. Plus the connections and relationships that you build have endless possibilities, and having a great name behind you doesn't hurt either!
8. What is your favorite project you are most proud of that you have worked on?
I am proud of every project I get to work on. Just to have a opportunity to work with companies such as GQ and Cadillac still amazes me. I am also so proud of being able to give back as an educator and teach aspiring makeup artists the ins and outs of the industry. The ability to pass on my knowledge and help talented students refine their skills is an absolute privilege.
9. What advice would you give to other aspiring makeup artists who want to get into this industry?
I have always told my previous students not to be afraid to put yourself out there! No one is going to come knocking on your door to offer you a job. The makeup industry is not an easy industry to be in, and you have to be willing to put in the time and effort. You have to work hard to be able to make a name for yourself, that includes social media, as it is an important part of gaining recognition; believe me, I've gotten so many gigs from my Instagram alone. Do not be afraid to tell everyone and anyone what you do!
10. What do you think it takes to be a successful makeup artist?
More than anything, you must be passionate in everything you do, otherwise it will be hard to keep yourself motivated. It's important to be a self starter, and utilize every single opportunity that comes your way. You never know who you are going to meet. You also need to be able to handle criticism because, let's face it, not everyone is going to like what you do, or understand your vision. Most importantly love what you do and have fun doing it!
This was such an amazing interview. I want to repeat what she said because it was SO GOOD:
"Not everyone is going to like what you do or understand your vision"
That statement is seriously SO powerful. Think about that for a moment...heck-maybe for the entire weekend! How's that for some inspiration?!
Make sure you follow Chelsea on Instagram: @areyoutherechelsea
Well, I hope you all enjoyed this week's Artist Feature Friday as much as we did! Have a fun and safe week end. Be sure to check out all the awesome stuff going on with What It Takes! Between our newly available DVDs, upcoming free online workshops AND our Fall Makeup Challenge, you have a lot of options :-)
Until next time!
Amber Talarico and Kenneth Alexander. Amber is the Director of What It takes, and Kenneth is the producer. Our mission is to motivate, inspire and empower freelance makeup and special FX artists around the world to pursue their dreams by sharing knowledge, encouraging artists at all stages, and bring a voice to our industry as professional makeup artists!