Ask an Artist: Building a Portfolio

26 09 2009

By Jason

PL Reader: I’m just getting started in my makeup artist career. Can you give me some tips as to how to put together a makeup portfolio?

Jason: This has always been a difficult question for me to answer; putting together a book has not been a huge focus of mine, although it is an essential element in getting jobs.

In order to get many jobs, you need to have a good book, but in order to have a good book you need to have had good jobs — it is a conundrum.

For a basic starter book, first you’ll need to find subjects, do their makeup and take their pictures yourself.

Second, look for photographers in your area you can do testing with — there are always new models and photographers needing to get their books together as well. Word of mouth is a great way to find photographers, as is Craigslist.

Also, find established makeup artists for whom you can assist. Often, artists get overbooked and need to find replacements. Contact the artist’s agent to get on their assistant list.

Lastly, remember, you will ALWAYS be putting your book together as it is a constant process to stay current. Remember, your book is a representation of your talent and style — build a book which reflects who you are as an artist. It is all about the edit!

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