Behind the Brush

I figured the most appropriate way to start my new blog would be to give a brief history of myself as a hair and makeup artist, to contextualize myself in relation to the enormous topics of beauty and image.

First things first.  I am a Pittsburgh-based hair and makeup artist offering both in salon and on location services.  I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh after several years spent covered in paint, clay, graphite and duct tape.  I have always been a constant student of art, but tend to bounce around from medium to medium.  Art is a study in articulating feelings.  Makeup artistry is a great way to articulate feelings, but it is more interesting than that because of the societal associations swimming around the features of a woman’s face.  A person’s hair is cut with many psychological strings attached.  The artistry of beauty has an inherent depth worth writing about, which is why I am starting this blog.

I was never a girly girl.  I wear little makeup myself, and prefer low maintenance hairstyles.  It is what works for me.  As a child, I would cornrow intricate patterns on my American Girl doll.  Spirals, criss-crosses, zig-zags… I would spend hours on a design, always wanting to truly create something different and new.  In high school, I learned to cut my own hair as a sort of stress relief.  I was much more calculated and skilled than you might expect.  I began cutting friend’s hair.  In college, I was constantly cutting hair.  After a summer spent as a professional artist (being paid to create my own four piece installation) I was worried that most creative fields would be lonely and draining and I wanted something social.  I knew that doing hair was something I could pursue with fervency, without the intensity of being locked in a studio all day.  I could be creative within the realms of everyday life and talk to all sorts.  One of the most thrilling things about working in the salon is the ability to live vicariously through my clients.  To have clients who are living out different paths which I have considered for my own.

I began doing hair and makeup for photoshoots while I was in beauty school.  It was incredible to start learning about the potential hair had as a sculptural form.  To study shape and space, abstracting human features… wonderful.  Soon, I began doing makeup, too, because the face will always be closer to the focal point of a picture than the hair.  The work of the makeup artist can mold the soul of the photograph through shadows and colors.  Especially with an expressive model, the work of the makeup artist can be as profound as it is beautiful.

And that is a brief explanation for why I do what I do.

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