Professional make-up artist, DAVE WATERMAN, is one of the fashion industries best make-up artists.
Having worked with clients such as Calvin Klein, M.A.C and Agent Provocateur you can regularly find his work splashed inside magazines like DAZED AND CONFUSED. Ex-mechanic Dave talks to NLCbeauty about the journey throughout his career and gives upcoming make-up artists some advice.
“I’m a professional make-up artist from Melbourne Australia, now living and working here in the UK. The UK is a major melting pot for fashion, creativity and the freedom of artistic expression.
“I set out on my career with big dreams and aspirations, the kind of things that get a good laugh when I informed people of what I was setting out to do. But that never really bothered me. I was never the kind of person to work in a mediocre job for 40 years only to be given a cheap watch and a crappy signed card at the end of it.
“My first job in make-up was working for a small agency in Melbourne, not really being able to do much make-up but rather a counter dolly. That was a challenge for a straight guy and was very hard but as time has gone on I have been able to become an artist with a difference, breaking the stereotype and maybe the mould.
“I have worked in most mediums from catwalk, editorial, short film, TV and more while relishing every moment of it with a true passion and love for what I do. Over the past 6 years I have settled into my favourite medium of being primarily an editorial make-up artist and working alongside my two other passions fashion and photography.
“I chose to work mainly in the fashion side of the art because there are far less boundaries. Shoots or catwalk shows are generally shot within the day and it is very fast-paced with little to no room for error so one has to be quick and on the ball. At the same time it can be a lot of fun! Every time I do a job I don’t see it so much as working, rather I see it as a hobby and I never get bored of it.
“I get a fair amount of freedom in my job and you work within the brief but you also express beyond it. Sometimes a client, photographer, stylist or designer may just hand the whole thing to you and say, “Do your thing, go crazy!” Whatever the case you still go over the ideas with them before you do what you have in mind.
“I play about in various other artistic mediums as they all have so much in common with make-up. In saying this I don’t see make-up in a traditional point of view, I see it as art like any other. I firmly believe that anyone can wear anything, and look good in it. It’s largely my role as a make-up artist to ensure the overall look comes together.
“If you’re starting out as a make-up artist there are two paths you can take but these depend on what prior knowledge of art or make-up you have. If you’re not artistic and have no knowledge of art and/or make-up I’d suggest learning the whole lot in a long intensive course. However, look closely to what it provides and how good those teaching it are more than what it will cost.
“Unfortunately there are some who go to study make-up and think they are fully fledged make-up artists and that they will work with famous people right away. Or they get into it looking for the money. Either attitude will result in failure. Be patient and do it for the passion, and in time the rest, if that’s what you want, will follow.
“For myself, I made the jump into the field from a polar opposite career. Going from a mechanic and welder to the fashion world is not an easy trek. I have always been into art and was quite creative but I had no idea whatsoever about the history of make-up or what the individual products did, who did what and what did what? That is what I needed to learn. I took a university course that taught me the basic fundamentals. In nearly thirteen years since my study I have learnt an immense amount from working with others in the industry. The higher you work the better the skills you will learn. I use techniques from all kinds of art that I dabble in as the only difference is the canvas it is applied to.
“Make-up is a form of expression like our clothing, hair, or just about anything to do with identity. It expresses our mood, our opinions and our intent. It can mask our insecurities, strengthen our abilities or frame our confidence. Make-up is too often only viewed as a bit of lippy and a dash of shadow. It is deeper than that.”
To find out more about Dave Waterman’s work visit www.davepwaterman.com
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