We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Amanda Marie Abram a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Amanda Marie, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. Are you happy a creative professional? Do you sometimes wonder what it would be like to work for someone else?
I am extremely happy to be an artist. I LOVE what I do. Every now and then I will yearn for a regular job because it can be easy and I don’t have to make constant business decisions, but then I remember I like to make my own schedule and do things my way and on my time. Plus I get bored with repetitive work. Nothing is wrong with a traditional job, I’m just not a good fit for a traditional job. I have tried. I have never been able to keep a job for more than 2.5 years until I started my business. I love variety, change, and to constantly push my creative limits.
Amanda Marie, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I am a hair and makeup artist. Owner of A.Marie Makeup Artistry. I have been in the professional beauty industry for over 5 years. I remember being a little girl and always paying attention to hair and makeup on TV, in the movies, magazines, everyday people, etc. At 8 years old I would sneak into my mom’s makeup and put on black eyeliner and red lips. Maybe blue eyeshadow every now and then. In middle school, I would put makeup on and then take it off as soon as I got home. I wasn’t allowed to wear it, but my mom always knew. Finally in 8th grade she allowed me to wear it. It was a losing battle for her.
I never realized I could make it a career until 5 years ago. I always longed to be a part of the industry, but as a child I would always get discouraged by family because they believed that you could not make good money in the beauty industry. Jokes on them! My wonderful husband is the one who encouraged me. He tried to get me to do it when we first met (20 years ago), but I dismissed it because I didn’t want to disappoint my family. 6 years ago my husband had a talk with me. He says “Why don’t you become a makeup artist? You are very good at it. Friends and family always ask you to do their makeup. You watch makeup videos all the time.” I looked at him and said “Yes why don’t I become a makeup artist?!” That started my career. I took a class to make sure I understood sanitation, procedures, and techniques. After I took the class, I knew this was my industry to be in.
I started doing makeup for the first couple of years and then I decided I am going to teach myself how to style hair. There is a huge market for being able to do both. Makeup is my first passion, but hair is a close second. As soon as I started offering both, job opportunities have nearly tripled.
My favorite thing about being a beauty creative is the confidence that it pulls from clients. I can have a client sit in my chair and not feel beautiful, but by the time their hair and makeup is done by a professional, they are a whole new confident person. My speciality is to make you look like yourself, but better. I love to empower others, but especially women.
What can society do to ensure an environment that’s helpful to artists and creatives?
The best way to support artists and creatives is to appreciate there worth. Too many times I have seen people ask for a hair and makeup artist that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. An arm and a leg cost over $100,000, so pretty much all hair and makeup artist do not cost that much. Be transparent about your budget, but be realistic. I have also seen people ask for hair and makeup for 10 people but only want to pay $1,000. It may seem like a lot of money, but once you do the breakdown it is only $50 a service. Products and knowledge cost a lot more that $50 a person.
Overall society should support artists and creatives by understanding that we are not charging only a service. You are paying for a small business, our experience, and expertise. The education we have gone through to get to the point where we are at in our careers. This is a constantly evolving industry. We have to be up to date on the latest products, trends, and techniques. Our kits alone cost several thousands of dollars. If doing makeup was that easy and cheap, we wouldn’t have professionals in the beauty industry.
Is there something you think non-creatives will struggle to understand about your journey as a creative?
I do more than just hair and makeup, that is the easy part. I run a business. My business supports me and my family. I don’t only work on the weekends. I get weekday work as well. I can work really long days, early mornings (waking up at 3 am), and very long nights into the morning. When I am not doing hair and makeup, I am constantly networking and trying to put myself out there. While doing all of this, I still have to do admin work, marketing, and social media for my business. My journey as a creative is not just a hobby, it is a full on business where I easily work over 40 hours a week.
- Website: www.AMarieMakeupArtistry.com
- Instagram: www.Instagram.com/amarie_makeup_artistry
HG Photo and Film MoniLynn Images Alex Blair Photography