I recently sat down with my dear friend, and amazing makeup artist Becca Gilmartin (well, it was a virtual meeting, over Zoom) to chat about her career as a makeup artist and educator. Becca shared soooo many gems during our 3 hour conversation (OMG did we really speak for that long??) The first half of our chat was streamed live to my Makeup Mastermind group, and I’m reproducing an hour of that chat here.
We talked about how Becca got her start in the industry, and what kept her going as she kept “falling on my face 5000 times”, why she moved to New York City, and what life is like for a makeup artist there. She talked about how the measures of success have changed for makeup artists, as we’ve seen the biggest shift in the industry in the last 5 years. Becca gave some great advice for new artists trying to figure out their style and then we got onto talking about Makeup Education.
Becca has had a unique and very successful program called the Makeup Artist Bootcamp for the last 5 years, and I know many makeup artists who have credited this workshop with them achieving major milestones in their careers (I share my story of how Bootcamp helped me in the interview). Becca has completely repurposed the Bootcamp, it has now become the Makeup Artist Retreat, a one or two day program where artists can
“hit pause on your career, take a look around… polish the areas that need polishing… weed the weeds that are stopping the cool stuff from growing in the garden of your career… and then I fill the pockets in your mind with exercises to assist you steering your makeup career in the direction you would deep down love to see it go. Or not. You might even become open to new opportunities and passions… who knows! Everyone gets something different from the weekend”
Becca is bringing her Makeup Artist Retreat to Australia in August 2019, and will be presenting at Erica Carr’s Class in Portland, OR in November alongside the who’s who of makeup artists.
You can find out more about the Makeup Artist Retreat and book your tickets HERE:
But for now, let’s chat with Becca! (click video below to watch on YouTube)
For those of you who prefer to read, here’s the transcript of our Interview:
Sue: Good morning everyone. We are live here and this morning I’m talking with Becca Gilmartin who is an amazing makeup artist and educator originally from Australia, but who is now living in New York City. And today I really want to talk to Becca about her journey as a makeup artist and as a makeup educator What I love about Becca is her whole story and particularly her education is something that’s really really different. I did one of the early iterations of Becca’s Bootcamp as it was called back then and Becca’s given it a complete overhaul. I’m really excited to hear about what is coming up this year; how she’s changed it and about her tour that’s coming to Australia and I’m guessing all around the world. So, let’s dive right In. Thank you so much for joining us this morning Becca. I would love to hear a little bit about your story; how you got started and why make up? what led you down this path?
Becca: You know, I when I was growing up in high school, I wanted to be a filmmaker and an animator. I don’t know if you even knew that like I did plastic animation and I was like and all these things. I grew up in that very conservative world where really as a female in high school your any options really were going to be a teacher or go be a nurse or you know, society didn’t really encourage you to think outside the box unless you were surrounded by really, you know creative people.
So I had no idea what I wanted to because I was really stuck. Anyway I sort of went exploring and eventually found make up through face painting. So I was a clown and did face painting so also fell in love with the art of doing this and I was like, oh there’s something in that and then I found a course in Queensland: the Peter Frampton course so I did that years ago, and then I sort of found out through that; I thought I wanted to do film and then realized I didn’t want to do film.
This fashion and advertising thing was really fun. And you know, it was it wasn’t really a decision that I made. It was more like an evolution of discovery and I was unlearning a bunch of stuff about myself or what I could be and I mean even today like 19 years down the track like when you’re talking about the next evolution of the course, it’s very much the same thing of having all these epiphanies and learning so many lessons and then bringing it back and sharing it and being like “guys this is what I discovered”. And realizing like over the past five years I’ve been teaching the course realizing that everyone can relate to everything that we talked about and it’s just, you know, it’s a really cool conversation, but it also helps us evolve as artists.
So now I’m living in New York and working in editorial and advertising and working on this new book and that’s so far from anything that I ever thought when I was starting out to be a makeup artist. I thought I was going to be like one of these head makeup artists on some Hollywood film and everything was going to be really glamorous and exciting and then yeah: Life definitely had a different idea. My little brother was in the Army when I first started doing makeup and I was like, wait a minute. My lifestyle for film would be exactly the same as his right? He travels around the world has to leave his family behind. We shoot people like pardon, you know, his is with guns, then I met a lot of people in the film industry that when they decided to have families that had to sort of basically start from scratch. I know so many people who are so happy and fulfilled in film. But it’s like really important to allow yourself those moments to really explore different areas of makeup and step back and go do I actually really love this or you know, am I doing just what I thought I was supposed to be doing? You know, we talked about that in the old boot camp. Yeah, it’s crazy how different your eyes can be opened just by trying things out.
Sue:So tell me obviously you did start kind of pretty much straight out of school. How long did it take you to become full-time in makeup, you know, like did you have another job did you work in retail or were you doing something completely unrelated for a while?
Becca: I think I feel like I’ve done all of the options. Yeah, like I actually didn’t study make up until I was about 23. So I worked at Dracula’s on the Gold Coast if anyone knows that. I was like a character, I was Wednesday Addams for a while. Then I wanted to be an actress but you know, I don’t want to work in a bar my whole life so that sort of led me to make up. When I first finished school I went straight into a job with a photographer and we traveled Australia doing those family portraits. My mum and my sister are both hairdressers, so I knew a little but about hair, but that’s how I learned about hair: by being thrown in at the deep end and meeting every single type of person. Especially in country Australia, people aren’t used to getting glammed up and having photos taken. So it was like it was amazing was it was like it still is like one of my favorite things that I ever did.
But I’ve also worked in retail and I moved to New Zealand to try and get in film and worked in retail there just to pay my bills and that was in makeup. So I worked for all different companies and then I slowly worked it out that actually though I wouldn’t mind teaching. Like it’s I’ve always wanted to be a teacher like in high school the you know, when I had the teacher nurse, options I put down teaching. Yeah and then change my preference anyway, and then I started teaching and then I got to the point teaching Diploma of Makeup at a big makeup school and run one of the Academy’s.
But I got to a point where I was standing in front of the class saying to the students “Now this is what we do in the industry” and in the in the back of my mind I’m like wait a minute, I’m a bit full of bullshit because the only freelance jobs I’m doing are because of this company that I work for. It’s not based on my talent. So I ended up resigning and started freelancing and I think I’ve been I’ve been doing makeup 19 years and I think that I’ve been freelancing for about 8 or 9 but I can’t quite remember. I’m not very good with timelines but not for that long. I haven’t been freelancing full-time, really in the scheme of things. I would say eight or nine years.
Sue: I think when I met you were teaching maybe or part-time or something that then I do remember that phase. Yeah, but I know and I actually wrote about that in my blog post this week that you know, it is a bit of a thing with Educators. There are so many people out there offering education now, but it’s really important to stay relevant and that’s obviously why we continue educating ourselves as artists. But I also think it’s really important for educators as well. And I saw that a lot when I was teaching full time and that’s again another reason why I left because there are some teachers out there that when I was teaching they would come literally be a student one year and be back in the college teaching the next year.
Becca: Yeah. I mean look my philosophy is a little bit of both camps. Like I think that anyone could teach me what they know in makeup artistry and I’m going to learn something even from someone who’s just picked it up from watching YouTube videos. I’ll pick something up but I personally think that training establishments have got it wrong when they have complete full-time makeup artists and not allowing them to go out and explore their artistry themselves. And I think getting specialist teachers, and I know some schools are doing this now, especially here like I’ve spoken at some schools here in New York. That’s like I’ve even got myself on a board to like help with curriculum. which is amazing. I can’t wait to do that. Have specialty trainers that teach a specific thing come in and I’m like that’s the way that education should be.
You need to have due diligence as an artist in where you’re getting your information from and yet yeah, you’ve got it like I know that Roshar and Alex Box and coming out to Australia and I’m like that’s a no-brainer, you know that they know their stuff and you know that you’re going to get value from your time investment. Don’t even worry about the money. It’s the time investment. Yeah and yet there are a lot of people that are offering education.
So you just I think that you really need to be really present. So for me when I teach my bootcamp (the old name), but now it’s I’m calling it a Retreat. Oh my God, Sue, you have no idea. I’m just I am so excited about the new evolution. Anyway, I’m like, I’m really qualified to teach this stuff because my career, even though from the outside it looks all fancy and creative and fun and luxurious; but the reality of it has been me falling on my face like 5 million times and then learning so much about how to deal with the environment of a changing, you know, and you will know this to Sue and for those who are watching this that are new to make up you might not realize this but a lot of us, we started makeup years and years ago by the time that we finally got to the point in our careers where we were getting the jobs that were like, the measures of success those measures of success like magazines and things like that that was flipped on its head by Instagram.
Yeah, exactly and it was a very confusing time for like I see a lot of new artists who are all “these old people are all bitter” and whatever and I actually know a lot of these people have been doing makeup for so long in this is the biggest shift in the industry. So there’s been a lot of people like relearning and like you constantly have to learn as an artist. And I mean, that’s the reason why I moved to New York. I was like, okay, I’m ready for my next challenge now.
When it comes to education like really make sure that the person who is speaking resonates with something inside of you. Regardless of who it is it needs to resonate and make sure that you know that it’s something that you want to learn; that it’s something that you know that you feel that you need that’s going to add value to your career.
Sue: Yeah, exactly. And that’s a big point that I make too is you know, when you are considering education is asking that question “is this going to further my career on the path I want it to go on or am I just doing this masterclass because everybody else is doing it and because this person has 250,000 followers on Instagram So therefore they must be a great artist and a great educator”, you know, it’s like it doesn’t always go hand-in-hand. So yeah. Absolutely. I agree with what you’re saying.
Becca: Yeah, and I will say one thing to anyone who is going to master classes. Here’s one thing: to do makeup and talk about it the same time is really bloody hard!!
Sue: So let’s have a bit of a chat about your move to New York. So talk to me a little bit about what you were doing here in Australia before you left. And what was the lure of New York City? What kind of drew you over there?
Becca: It was always something that was you know, a pipe dream of mine, but it kind of landed in my lap. Like I had a sponsor and I had the opportunity to go for my Visa before I really even thought about it. So it was more of a case of: Here’s this unexpected opportunity. And this is one of those you’ll remember from boot camp. One of the exercises is imagining you’re really old person looking back on your life. Yeah, and I was like, okay. Will eighty-year-old Becca regret going or regret not going? And it was instantly like you don’t be crazy if you don’t take it up. So yeah, there wasn’t like this, you know this grand amazing plan.
But what I was doing in Australia, I was I was living in Sydney. I had helped start Laud Magazine with Trish and the team and we were on like Issue ten? nine or ten. Just before I left and I rolled out my books, my first book everything was pretty much done. It was kind of like the right time to go but it was three years late. Like there was a massive delay for me to go and the reason, another reason why I came as well is because I can’t be the sort of person who’s going to talk to fellow makeup artists like yourself and everyone else watching and be like: Really take some time to listen to your inner voice and guidance of what you really want to do with your life and they’re not act on it myself. Yeah, and I really am a big fan of stepping outside my comfort zone like something that makes me shit my pants. I’m probably going to go and do it.
I was born with a fear of public speaking and like I used to do singing competitions the whole thing and I used to be on stage all the time, but I’d be with lots of people so it was fine. But when it came to thinking about me going up by myself and teaching used to terrify me. Yeah. I really went to work on that and I really was like look my ideas and my dreams for my future a bigger than my fear of public speaking and that’s what that’s what I wanted to do.
I want my career to be about working with people who are doing really good things in the world and who have really good messages and things like that like my interview with ALOK V MENON and who is a gender-fluid artist here in New York. I’m still waiting for that to come out. That still to this day is one of my favorite interviews I’ve ever done because yeah, we talked about the role of Cosmetics with the Trans community and it was like so interesting and so eye-opening as well.
And as soon as I decided to move to New York, then everything lined up and everything fell into place and it was like even my lawyer… I don’t know if I told you this but my lawyer wrote to me after I applied for my Visa and she’s like Becca. I’ve never seen a visa come through so fast, so quick no questions and I kind of feel like that’s because I’ve made the decision now to do New York. As soon as I got here like my entire environment changed like everything has been working out in my favor as opposed to like all the tough times that I was going through in Sydney for the past few years, you know, just nothing seemed to work easily.
Sue: Yeah, and just how important do you think that step is: making that decision? You know, I kind of read a lot and hear a lot about that: that if you really want something then it’s just deciding, you know, just deciding that this is what I’m going to do and then kind of taking action.
Becca: Sue it’s the scariest thing you can do in your entire life and never gets easier. Like when I decided to come here, I don’t know. I just really focus on what I needed to do and what I wanted to create like I was very intentional. I was like, I’m gonna go there and I’m going to find a place really easily and I just put in my I put in all my good energy to it. But the actual decision it’s not like I wake up one day and great decide. It was more I wait up pros and cons for the start and I really thought about what I would be sacrificing.
And I really thought about is it going to give me the sort of life that I want to live? Like am I still going to be able to see my family and I’m going to do you know all that jazz. And then after a while when all the pros were outweighing the cons I kind of knew that I will my choice was kind of made
Sue: So what what would you say has been the highlight of your career as a makeup artist or your proudest moment?
Becca: I think that my proudest you know, I don’t think it’s so much a moment, I think it’s more a creation. Like my proudest creation is my course. Yeah, because it’s I’ve had to turn myself inside out a thousand times to like really create something that I’m really proud of and you know, and I wrote this in my blog yesterday or the day before I was like, I’ve got the best seat in the house because I’m like sharing all this stuff that I am really interested in and I’m finding other people are interested in it too and they’re also finding it equally as useful and then I get to sit back and watch people go and do amazing things themselves. Like I’m like: “here have this information” and then they take it and go and do amazing stuff.
Yeah in terms of makeup: Probably like… one of my favorite stories to tell is when I decided to move to Sydney. So I got divorced and I was like “Right, I’m moving to Sydney.” I had like $150 in my bank account. I packed all my belongings and my car my little hatchback and me and my friend drove to Sydney and I was like not knowing what the hell I was doing!! So I went from that to my final job in Sydney like six or seven years later was body painting Grace Jones for her performance and then you know, Grace being the most incredible human. Mind you I did that entire Keith Haring paint in 20 minutes. Like I was like, I can do my shit. Like I just was so proud of that and she ended up coming off stage being like “why aren’t you coming on tour with us?” And it was amazing and you know sipping Cristal in her room, like hanging out with her… great day. I would say that was probably a highlight because she’s such an icon and I got to like do that, and that made my juices flow.
Sue: I really want to talk about your course and I know for me: I did your boot camp as it was called then back in 2015 I think it was which was my big year of education. I hadn’t done but I’d heard about it, but I’m like, I’m not interested in body painting, you know, it was so not about body painting. But what I loved about your program was that it was so different and it’s not about you know, the whole being a creative artist, but the two things I loved about it was one: it’s using those little brushstrokes and developing that muscle memory just through drawing circles and how that can help you with lip lines and eyeliner and that sort of thing but then of course, there’s the whole mindset and goal setting and Milestones and all that kind of side of it. So yeah talk to me about why when you created your course you decided to incorporate MINDSET into it because there’s not really anybody else really doing anything like that. I mean, I’ve got a bit of that in my business training but you’ve kind of married the art and the mindset so well, so talk to me about how that came about and then how its progressed and obviously then tell us about where it is headed now.
Becca: The whole course actually was exactly the same as my career. It was an accident. Yeah. So yeah, I was doing all of this mindset work for myself and I was getting myself out of a really bad place as a makeup artist. Like I was maybe nine years in yeah, it would be nine because I’ve doing mindset for 10 years now. I was nine years in and I was I just thought that’s it. My career is done. It should have happened for me by now, you know, and I’m not cool enough. I’m too fat and I don’t have the right kit. And it was just this whole world of shit. I’m sorry if anyone doesn’t like swearing but I kind of myself and so I was practicing writing down like one of the things you know from boot camp, we write down what are the experiences that we want to have in our career like yeah big and small, you know big small and medium goals and one of my goals was so this one’s fresh after I got divorced (and that wasn’t a painful experience as you know, it was just you know, yeah) I though that I would feel validated as a makeup artist if I had the opportunity to speak IMAX because this was like, you know, that was the “it and a bit” and within two weeks or something crazy like that, just from me writing it down, they contacted me and they’re like “Becca would you like to come and do some body pain on stage?”
And like, long story short, I ended up onstage conquering my fear of public speaking doing this body paint and I know as an educator body painting, you know that takes nine to twelve hours. Yeah. So that means one hour of body paint – that’s really boring. Yeah. So I’m like what am I going to do? Well, I may as well talk about the stuff that I would want to hear about. Yeah, so I was painting going, you know, guys like the more you do body art the better you are at makeup and I really you know, the few years before that. I really understood that that is like that’s why it was called boot camp. That’s right. Let’s train our brushes. Let’s form a relationship with our own brushes that we’ve already got that’s really take the focus away from doing makeup on a human to playing on ourselves. So we don’t have that pressure and then we really practicing and playing in refining and growing and exploring.
So that was great but then I was like I’m interested in the mindset stuff as well. So onstage I spoke about you know, you’ve got to get your head right. You’ve got to make sure that your little inner critic isn’t telling you how shit you are. You’ve got a client then actually: No what I’m here to do is something amazing. But so when I got off stage, I thought that was it. So I thought: an hour presentation, that’s it. I’m done. Yay. I survived and then yeah all these people crowded around me and they were like “We want to know more. Do you have a course?” So I started the course and then it was called… The first course was called “Makeup Excellence using Body Art”.
Sue: Right. Yeah. I remember talking to you about the name when you were figuring out the name.
Becca: Yeah and then being like well that describes what happens. Yeah, I did that for a little while and then I was like, well actually, No. I can do it better. I don’t want to be reliant on photographers to take photos of body paint. I don’t want to have to get models in anymore. I just want to Let’s simplify and do it on ourselves. So then it became Boot Camp. Yeah, but the reason why I’ve evolved again is because coming to New York has been the best thing I’ve ever done for myself as a person as well as an artist because here in New York, you can be whoever you want to be. Yes have to be that you just have to be no bullshit like New Yorkers and into the New Yorkers aren’t like Los Angeles people. It’s not the “oh look at me, I’m so fancy”. It’s like What are you into? How can I help you? Let’s get excited. Let’s do some really cool stuff.
And I really sort of got a sense of actually what I’m doing and I was like…In BootCamp … actually here’s the book that I wrote. I’m like this has everything that you need to know. But I was finding in the actual live classes we were talking more about other things that I’m interested in that didn’t make it to the book. So that’s why I decided to write a second book and then when I was writing the second book because it’s all very much about understanding we’re all individual people and we all have different needs and we all have different lives. So understanding how to find your balance between work and making sure… because as a makeup artist is we give so much to other people and our art is a commercial thing.
So we’re doing art based on what everyone else wants whether it be a bride; whether you’re creating a character; whether you’re you know, you’re always doing what other people want. So I really wanted to sort of highlight that a little bit more in the new one. So, you know taking time we need to take time out for ourselves as artists to refuel and replenish and make sure we have what we need. Otherwise, we’ll get burnout. Exploring that more, I realize you know, all I need to do is get this book, pull it apart because a lot of people are like “this too many words”. So I’m making it definitely more visual because I know agree that it was too wordy, but I’m sort of mixing it all up, so I’m mixing this book up all the things that are in here mixing it up with all the new things which is stuff that we all talk about anyway, with some additions.
So really making sure that we take the time to really observe ourselves and understand. So really taking time to nurture ourselves and allocating special time to like have look how your careers going. So, you know already what I’m talking about by having a look at your milestones and what can you do about them? Today. Right now. What’s something that you can do.
I’ve changed the name of it to the makeup artist Retreat because it actually just makes sense to me now. Yeah, because I’m like, that’s all we do like boot camp to me sounds when I sort of stepped back and looked at it was like it sounds terrifying. It sounds like I’m going to be like [crack’s whip] “Come on!” It’s not! It’s getting there and we really we really take a snapshot. It’s like we put a pause on our careers. We take a snapshot. We have a look where it’s at. We have a look what we’re not happy with because we’ve all got them out we could do one every single day, and it’s those sort of conversations that I’m really encouraging… Really making sure that we’re following what our inner artist wants to do not things that we’re doing because we think we have to.
There are some things that as a makeup artist we are always going to have to do things that we don’t want to do always like sending invoices. It’s like doing your tax and all that stuff? Yeah. I want to make sure in my career that I’m breathing life into areas that I know are going to take me to my dream type of career and I’m not breathing a lot of my energy into areas that I know that I don’t really care about. Does that make sense?
Becca: Like at the moment, from the social media perspective, I look like I’m not really doing anything but I’m working every single day here on all of these things that you’ll slowly start to see and it is really scary for me as well because it’s like my career has been going this way for so long, but now I’m like, yeah, we’re just going to shift a little bit and put more energy into other things that… that really scare me.
But I’m going to do them because I really want to do them regardless of the fear. And I think I’m just going to be putting less energy into pursuing pursuits that actually aren’t milestones for me anymore. I mean, that’d be great if they came up but I’m not going to actively pursue it anymore, if that makes sense. Having that as something that you do regularly will always make sure that you’re on you’re on track if that makes sense. You’re on track to be on track.
Sue: Yeah, and I think that’s a really important point that you bring up too. It’s doing that little pivot that you’re doing with your career and how that at times can be really essential for our growth as an artist, you know, we can kind of keep doing the same thing over and over and over but what brings you Joy at one point is not necessarily going to bring you Joy down the track, you know, it’s I think that’s part of being an artist is that we kind of need to continue to evolve our art our and who we are as not just an artist but as a person so yeah, I totally get it.
Becca: When you first get out of school, it’s impossible for you to be the artist that you think that you’re going to be like when you first get out. Because makeup is an art and art is something that you have to work on and evolve for your entire career and it’s always going to change. Always. And sometimes you get interested in new products or new techniques or but mastering the art of getting your brush strokes so that when you do makeup people know that you’ve done that makeup. Like you can tell right, if Alex Box has done a makeup. You know if Andrew Gallimore has done it. You can tell like who else like at the moment Isabelle De Vries pops up all the time with her signature eyes.
You know these artists know their signature style and only way you’re going to get that is just by being open and free and working on your craft. It’s not going to come through you copying other people’s work. You know: doing things that everyone else is doing… you’ve got to have a point of view. So I think that for me personally that’s what I’ve been working on a lot since I’ve been in New York: is focusing on what is my point of view and what is my voice and that’s where the pivot’s come because I’m finding that I’m… well, it actually feels like I’m being driven a certain way. I don’t feel like I’ve got any choice in the matter! I kind of feel like there’s been a cord in my brain downloading this new book from somewhere else that is way cleverer than me like it’s crazy but things that are coming out, and the ideas that I’m coming up with and the way that I’m going to deliver. This is all part of me just giving in and just being like “I’m just going to go with the flow”.
I wish every makeup artist had that from the very start of going with the flow and not being too attached to the outcome because you and I don’t know about you but I’ve certainly been stuck in that trap many times where I’ve been so attached to the outcome that it’s caused me grief and pain like for example this book, you know the story about how much disaster and craziness that happened with that but if I just had gone with the flow a little bit more the outcome would have been the same but I would have had less stress in that, you know in that in that circumstance because I was so like attached to it being one way.
Sue: Yeah. Yeah,
Becca: And it’s not I mean even now with the where I want to spend my energy is now for the for however long the next couple of years. I have no idea what it’s going to turn into. It’s keeping me up at night thinking about it because it’s like, you know like that saying of the last person who you think about when you go to bed, they’re the people that that’s the person who has your heart. Well for me most of the time the last thing I think about is oooo what am I going to do with this like little area and it’s like it’s yeah, it’s his education that I’m creating. That is to me. I see it as I’m going to be louder with my voice about things that are really important to me and I’m going to strengthen a conversation that’s already happening around certain things.
Sue: I’m so looking forward to it. And I think you know one of the things that I hear a lot from artists that I mentor and my students and just artists in general is that they kind of struggle with finding what you mentioned; that signature look or you know, being able to identify work as belonging to a certain artist, but I think a lot of artists really struggle with that – knowing who they are as an artist because they don’t, I guess they kind of don’t trust themselves a little bit and they’re not – they don’t have that confidence to just as you say, to go with the flow and to just do what comes from their heart because they are invested in “how many likes is this going to get on Instagram?” And you know that as you say that very caught up with the outcome and that emotional attachment to the outcome rather than just being true to their own inner artist. Would you say that that’s something that you’re going to focus on in your in your new course?.
Becca: Definitely. Yeah, like I mean even like just going back to what you were saying before about new artists that are still working out what their style is; my piece of advice is “what do you enjoy doing most on the face?” So if you’re someone who just like… when I first started I got so much joy from the whole package but making someone doing their hair and just I felt like I was like spring cleaning a human being. Yeah, and I was just about to make some spring cleaning and like, you know, queer eyeing these people but you know, take something like have a look like do you just love doing lives then maybe do start exploring like becoming really good and known for lips and always change so you don’t have to pick one thing and stick to it forever. Yeah, you know, you know concentrate for a little while and your skin getting the skin to be a certain way or you know, if you want to be, you know, look at Casey Gore she is an Australian makeup artist. She now lives in Los Angeles and she is just so well known now for her skin like she’s tells me she’s terrified of color because she’s just so good at skin. And yeah making these girls look even more beautiful than they are and that’s what she’s employed for. Yeah. Yeah, you know, that’s what she’s so. You know, I could talk for hours about all this stuff.
Sue: All right. So let’s have a chat about we know you’re going to (Erica Carr’s) Class in November and you probably can’t talk to you much about that because the audience that obviously will be watching this is not just Australian-based. So I do have audience in the US and in Europe as well. So speak to everyone. I’d love to hear a little bit about what’s happening at Class. But obviously you do have the Big Tour coming to Australia in a couple of months time. So tell us a little bit about what can we expect? How can we sign up? Yeah.
I hope you’re coming by the way.
Sue: Oh, absolutely.
Becca: Yeah, I want you to see the new rollout. So basically I am coming in August and the dates are on my website, which is beccagilmartin.net I basically am bringing it to Australia first because Boot Camp was always an Australian thing. Basically the two-day Retreat is two days it’s going to be from 9am to 6pm now we’re not so crammed in and with all the stuff that I want to share and it’s going to be two days of pausing your career, stopping, having a look. I’m going to share a bunch of different ideas. So I don’t know if you’ve seen them in my brochure now, I’m like the only I can’t describe this course like how hard is it to describe like bootcamp, right? \ You know, I think I’m just gonna do things my way now and I’m not going to… I think what was happening with this is I was trying so hard to fit into the template of what education looks like. Yeah, so it wasn’t allowing me to like put my personality and my creativity into it. So now I’m just going full-blown in the whole thing is just all me. Well the at least the way that I would feel excited and inspired that something was being delivered and we’re going to learn tools so some of the tools
It’s kind of that’s what I was just saying. Sorry. My brain has been fried all day. So what I’ve decided to do is describe the course like an eyeshadow palette now. The eyeshadow palette has six different colours and those colours correspond with six different groups of ideas. And that’s all we do in this Retreat is we go through different areas of what it means to be a makeup artist. So areas like the Artist Retreat which is: stopping and taking stock of where you’re at, where you want to go, planning your next moves, collecting inspiration and getting rid of some of the junk that you don’t need. We actually use the metaphor of your career is a garden. And your Milestones are the plants that you plant. So some Milestones you might be planning a tree that’s not going to happen straight away, but you need to give that love and attention for however long that takes for that Milestone, but there are some like little pretty flowers that you might want to grow quickly and it’s taking the time to make sure that you’re tending to the Garden. Yes, and how do you want that to look because it’s up to you and of course the environment. I was speaking to my Melbourne assistant Emily, she’s like “yeah because when the environment around it changes you got them just has to like cope with the environment no matter what” and I was like it’s so true like the environment the industry you’re never going to be out of control it it’s always going to shift and change get windy and there’s highs and lows so just it’s concentrating on tending to your garden and how to actually do that. Well I want to do this with my life and this and this but it’s giving you ways to actually do something about it. And I would I like to think it’s quite simple, you know, breaking it all down and it just makes sense. So people then go on and they go actually a milestone for me might be I’m going to finally get a website. So you know, how are you going to do go about?
Like a milestone for me was like getting the books printed, you know, but now a new Milestone is doing the next Evolution. Yeah. It’s yeah and really being open really being I want to be more open about what my career has been like and what I’ve learned and also bringing in other things that other people learn because it’s never one way. I don’t like to consider this like a course anymore. I consider this is a two-day Retreat of just the best kind of conversations that you can have as an artist that you just you really do feel by the end you really do feel inspired and refreshed and cleaner in the mind somehow and then you can go back out to your career and go to plant the plants that you want to plant and go water the ones that are already growing
Sue: and pull out the Weeds!!
Becca: Pull out the weeds!! oh man!! and like sometimes I wake up like even this morning I woke up and my head was just so full of like doubt and all this stuff because you know, one of the things that I’m going to be doing as well Sue is finally doing YouTube videos of Step by steps of how to do these exercises and then also expanding on all of that like, I’m just going to continue expanding…
Sue: Awesome. Yeah,
Becca: I’m like, I feel like everyone’s going “about time”.
Sue: Yeah. No joke
Becca: But there is a thing with me that is hesitant about doing YouTube videos because I’m designed to be behind the camera not in front of the camera, you know? But I’m just gonna get over myself and have such a lot of fun I think. And then I’m also going to do for each City; so Melbourne Sydney and Brisbane I’m also going to do, because it is so different and people are like, what is this retreat thing? So I’m doing a three-hour mini Retreat. So if anyone isn’t quite sure about what the hell I’m talking about. It might be you know, it’s a it’s a really good business course to do but a lot of people think it’s all you know, they don’t understand because it’s not like a Master Class come and learn how to do a smoky eye. Yeah. Yeah. This is this is a its a whole bunch of philosophies and tools to do your career with, no matter what type of artist you are and I am actually once these books done I’m actually going to do a creative’s version. So it’s going to be suitable for hairdressers and graphic designers and photographers in the whole thing. So if you want to come and just see a little bit about it, you can come to the evening session then (oh I can’t remember the price) but I take that off your course if you decide to book in.
And then I’m also going to do a creative makeup master class because I’m like I can’t do all this stuff and then not do like actually this is this is what you can do with all these new techniques. Yeah, the Retreats we do practical like we do exercises like the ones that you did Sue. I mean I can’t do a course without doing that now.
My favorite thing is painting that Orchid because you know full well that when I say to everyone at the beginning of the course by the end of tomorrow, you will have painted this Orchid and everyone’s like “yeah, no way” and in 5 years I’ve had one person stuff it up. And the whole point is this is an exercise that isn’t about being perfect. It’s about playing and doing it over and again,. It really does I love proving makeup artists wrong about themselves.
Sue: You sure did that with me. And you know, I yeah from my point. I have to owe you a huge Thank you and a big debt of gratitude because you know what I learned through doing the boot camp really allowed me to again, you know, to Pivot my career and I guess the biggest takeaway for me was how much control I actually had over where my career went and you know, it’s very easy for me to sit and say and I do talk about this a lot when I’m teaching it was the simple thing like learning that I could creatively direct and submit my own shoots. So that became a big… that was the big milestone that I set when I did boot camp because I always thought as a makeup artist I’m taking direction from someone else and I never really took that control of my career; I never took the reins in that side of my career until I did boot camp. So I came out of there knowing that well, there are so many more possibilities. This is what I’m going to do now. So it did a bit of a pivot there and then again when I left the when I left the college knowing that you know, and the it’s a lot of reasons which I won’t go into now, but you know, I’d never felt that the diploma adequately prepared students for the real world. So I wanted to come and fill a little bit of a hole there with a lot more of the actual business side of it like the real nitty gritty admin and accounts and how to actually set up your business and be productive. So that was another thing, you know, I use the exercises that I’d learned. So it’s what I love about your course and why I’m so excited to do the next one is because you it’s completely out of the box as you say, it’s not here to just learn how to do a smoky eye or you know winged liner or whatever.
Becca: Yeah, but you also do learn to do that if that makes sense. You don’t directly learn to do that. But actually when I had a makeup artist who has been doing it as long as me; she did my boot camp right, one of the first ones and she said “Becca I didn’t believe you that this would change my brush skills. And then I just did the work and she goes and does Fashion Week and I was like with eyeliners I couldn’t believe yeah”.
I told you I’m onto something here. I just don’t know how to yeah, I feel like now I’ve articulated everything that I wanted to say and it’s taken me five years to work it out. It’s the same as you were describing. I really clearly remember our conversation when your eyes just went BOING and you were like “you mean that I can be the boss of my own…” and I was like, “yeah”. Yeah, it’s not so much left field teaching you really weird things. It’s actually just giving you a-ha moments. Yes. Yes. I just switch lights on. That’s all I yeah. Yeah switch lights on in creatives. That’s all I’m doing and I love it because I over the years have had so many of my own lights switch on that were out. That I put out myself or I let other people put out, you know telling me this, or that, and sometimes I listen to them and then I got to the point where I was like actually that’s bullshit who says? who says I can’t do this and I can’t do that.
That’s why I think people go that’s Left-field because I’ve sort of sat down and gone. “Well who says I can’t talk about that?” Yes that I can talk about. You know, I still to this day think that it’s robbery in the industry that not many of us only some of us but not many of us are actually living our life style as a makeup artist like an artist would live their career because we’re the same thing. I mean, we’ve got our foot in the service industry. And we are of service to other people but we are also artists. Hairdressing is different. I mean there’s an art to hairdressing but what WE do, we have a brush and we push pigment around. Well, there’s no difference, right? So when you start thinking like that, you need to start thinking “how do artists live their lives and what we can learn as a makeup artist?” from that and we need to we it’s actually really important for us to fill the cup up ourselves for what we need.
So even though I’m teaching body art as like a creative outlet and a way to play and have some fun and I really I’m going to start setting challenges and stuff like that. I’m going to have a lot of fun with it. But for me, I need my own creative challenge. So for example to show you what my creative thing is right now.
So this is what I do when I get home and I’m tired. I started crocheting. And it’s so bad the edges of this is so bad. So I’m crocheting myself like a box to put my computer on when I’m in bed working, right because body art feels like work to me now. So I need something on the side. As an artist. I need something on the side like at the moment I’m learning illustrator to illustrate my book.
One thing I will says is from now I’m not printing a physical book anymore. Yeah, and so even today I had a milestone today. Oh my god Sue I had a milestone today. These are now currently completely sold out. You can’t get them anymore.
Sue: Wow, because I actually just pulled out mine. I don’t know if you can can you see it there? It’s behind me on the coffee table. I thought it was going to be in view. But yeah, I was just kind of looking back through it.
Becca: so the next book is actually going to be an e-book.
Sue: Yeah way of the future go online.
Becca: Yeah, so whenever you know, I sort of just bit the bullet and I was like, I love the touch and the feel of a book and I love to like look at the pages and maybe one day I will look at I’m doing the next one.
Sue: So yes, tell us when can we expect to see you here in Australia,
Becca: I’m going to be there for the whole of August. Queensland Retreat is the 4th and 5th of August and then the little evening sessions become little Book-ends and then I’m jumping in my car and driving to Sydney and the retreat there is the 11th and 12. of August and it’s going to be at the Kryolan store in Sydney where I normally do it. And it is book ended by some evening sessions and then I drive to Melbourne and then we’re doing the 18th and 19th of August and then I drive back to Sydney because then the next weekend is the face to face makeup Awards. Yeah. I’m going to come back like I basically planned the whole tour around the Face to Face Awards because last year I had serious FOMO. So this year I’m Hosting and doing all that again because I can’t get enough of that. And and yeah, that’s it for this year, but it’s going to be an annual trip. So if you can’t make it to this one and this is like this isn’t the official launch of the course. This is so that I can prove to myself that it’s going to be freaking amazing. And then next year I’ll be back in August. I’ll be hopefully keeping the same sort of dates every year
Sue: Sounds good. So the official launch will be at Class, which is in Portland. Is that right?
Becca: That’s in Portland in November and I can’t think of the exact date but I’m on the Friday, the same day as Phyllis Cohen I’m so excited. Like I’m fan-girling about all the other artists that are going to be there. I’m making a really big announcement there. I’m quite nervous about I think a lot of people are going to think that I’ve gone crazy, but at the same time it’s all part of the bigger picture for me.
Sue: Well, we’re very blessed. And I know hopefully all of my students will be coming to see you. So you might have to hire a bigger a bigger venue
Becca: But the retreats are only, I only take 12 in the retreat.
Sue: So, all right people so hurry up. I’m going to be 30. I’ll put the link down below or somewhere in the video in the blog. So you’ll be able to find out where you can catch up with Becca now just remind us again. What is your where can people find out about you whereabouts do you hang out online, Becca?
Becca: Okay, so you can find me on beccagilmartin.net – all one word. And that’s where I put all my blog post and my information and I generally post everything up on Instagram. So just @beccagilmartin or at and it’s look I don’t like how long this is, but it’s the only one I could do @themakeupartistretreat. Yes one word.
Sue: Thank you so much for taking time out to talk with us today. Becca, Is there anything that you anything else that you would like to add before we before we finish up?
Becca: I probably just want to say I’m really excited to bring this new work to Australia. I feel very driven, spookily driven to create it the way that it is now, so I’m really excited about it because it just… I know that I know the value that people are going to get from doing it regardless of where they’re at in their career and you know, keep an open mind. We’re in a world at the moment where it can be really daunting and loud. But if we’re really mindful of just being present in the moment, and really working out, well, what do you want to be known for as a makeup artist? That’s a conversation that I’m really interested in having.
I want to look back on my life when I’m you know, 80 and be proud of what I’ve created and done and it’s not just about my own capitalism in the makeup world. It’s about doing something really great and different say I do hope you know, I do hope everyone gets to come and if you can’t come to a full Retreat come to a three-hour one or you know, wait for next year, but it I really want to see a world where everyone has this sort of Education .
Sue: Awesome. And yeah, I want to see an industry where everybody gets this sort of Education to because I think it is so valuable. Yeah, you know, there are so many master classes out there. We really I don’t know if it’s the same there in New York, but here at the moment spoilt for choice. Having said that there is a lot of very similar master classes, but this is something completely different and I think you know the Retreat is definitely something that everybody should you all do it. Yeah that everybody should just want to do it.
Becca: You’ve got to want to do it. If you want to take your career seriously and have a good time creating your career, then come and do this class. Yeah, you know and it doesn’t even matter if you’re self-taught or if your YouTube artists or insta artist or you want to you know, go and work for Vogue. Oh my God. I got put forward for Vogue last week for the first time ever. It’s crazy. Well in America anyway, so yeah, that’s exciting. Yeah, because you know what? It’s like we are artists and there is really, you know this competition, but there’s enough work for everyone. So yeah, you know, let’s just work on creating the industry that we really want to create.
Sue: Thank you so much Becca!