As a career specialist and one that does makeup, I am always looking to grow and develop my skills. It’s great when you have an opportunity to learn from true experts in the beauty industry at the skill and career level of James Vincent.
James Vincent is a professional makeup artist and Director of Artistry and Education for The Makeup Show.The Providence, Rhode Island native grew up in a tight-knit community where he was able to surround himself with family, amazing teachers and mentors. The liberal community with its mix of colleges and universities as well as the ethnic, economic and diversity mix inspired him to pursue the arts. Vincent shares how he started his professional career as a makeup artist and how you can jump start your career. Catch him in action at The Makeup Show LA 2013, March 2-3.
Starting His Career as a Makeup Artist
I’ve always done theatre, but it was The Body Shop that gave me my first opportunity. I was in school for Social Work and working with pediatric HIV patients. The Body Shop hired me to develop a camp with them and then hired me in the stores. I fell in love with the beauty industry. I moved to Atlanta to write my thesis on “Women of Color and the White Beauty Myth” and wanted to work in makeup. I was hired by MAC Cosmetics at their first location in the South. They gave me amazing opportunities and it all started happening. I began travelling with MAC and working with the celebrities they set me up with and it just kept going.
Makeup Artist Career Path – School vs. Being Self-Taught
I think you have to know yourself. If you need structure I think school is the place for you. When I started out there were only a few hundred makeup artists and I assisted to learn not only the artistry, but the on-set etiquette, the professional behaviors and the business aspects of the industry. It is much tougher now with so many people competing and I think a good school or a (makeup) counter education can help to set you up for success.
His Mentor Crystal Wright and Why Mentors Are Important
I think it is crucial to have mentors. I don’t know any other way. I was an A-student and teacher’s pets. I always had family or older cousins, teachers, tutors, coaches or bosses that would take me under their wing. In this industry artists like Linda Cantello, Billy B and Sharon Gault have given me huge opportunities to learn and land big jobs. Industry experts like Crystal Wright, Michael DeVellis, Maurice Stein and Marietta Carter-Narcisse taught me so much at the beginning of my career and continue to push and support me. They also support all of my programs like The Makeup Show. Michael DeVellis, creator of The Powder Group was a big part of my learning to give back and mentor artists coming up now.
Self-Proclaimed YouTube Guru Titles – Helped, Hurt or No Impact
Honestly. This is a tough answer. I think it (YouTube) is an amazing resource for getting quick information and discovering true talent. There are some great gurus that now have an international platform. On the flip side there are also self-proclaimed “gurus and experts” that do not have the time in the industry, education or understanding to lead by example or share information. There is no accountability so I believe some people have built themselves on misinformation, which can be detrimental to viewers who cannot separate truth from myth or fact from opinion.
Highlights at The Makeup Show LA 2013
The line up for The Makeup Show LA is stellar. We have first time presenters like Sam Fine who is one of the most inspirational artists working today. We have Billy B and Johnny Lavoy joining each other on stage for the first time to offer a real look at the importance of relationships. Lois Burwell who has created some of the most memorable looks ever captured on film will be speaking and Mathu Andersen who is the artist behind RuPaul and countless other fabulous faces will be there presenting on behalf of Make Up For Ever. We also have over 25 new brands like NARS, Ellis Faas, RCMA and Fashion Fair for our beauty lovers and PPI and Joel Harlow for Frends Beauty for the FX lovers.
Join James Vincent on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The Makeup Show LA begins on Saturday, March 2, 2013 from 9 am to 6 pm through Sunday, March 3, 2013 from 9 am to 5 pm at California Market Center, 110 East Ninth Street, Los Angeles, CA. For tickets visit www.themakeupshow.com.