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  • Writer's picturechristinaelopez

Undervalued Artist

This touchy subject has been on my mind since I started freelancing many years ago. I feel like im at a place in my career where I can sit down and speak my mind regarding Freelance artist and how often we are undervalued.

I remember the first year of my makeup journey, I was so so eager to learn and took every job that came my way. I would spend HOURS on set for little to no pay and I really loved every second of it.I would be out on the streets of LA at 3am, after a 12 hour day and always remember how luck I was to be chasing my dreams. As a young artist building my portfolio I understood that I had to "pay my dues" and honestly, I had no room to ask people to pay me when I myself was just figuring it all out. These are the building blocks to a successful and knowledgable career in the makeup industry and I respected that.

Fast forward to today, where I have dipped my toes in almost every aspect of the industry, from TV, film, runway, Special FX, and Bridal I pride myself in offering my clients the best makeup experience I can provide. I research, swatch and test makeup almost every day. I read makeup blogs, attend workshops and understand that I will never ever " know it all" As the Vice President of MAC told me, " Makeup is an art that can never be mastered, we will always be learning and when you think you know it all, you stop growing as an artist and your career will be over"

Now here is the issue.... if I had a dollar for every time I saw a post that says " I'm looking for a makeup artist who does really good work but doesn't charge an arm and a leg" I could retire. The thing is, an experienced artist has spend THOUSANDS of dollars on there brand. We pay outrageous taxes as freelancers, and our Kits are a never ending money eater! Im constantly buying foundations, lashes, etc and I refuse to cut corners. My clients deserve the best and I intend to keep it that way. On top of all that, I have family to support and still need to pay myself at the end of the day.

I understand that everyone has different budgets for there events, and theres absolutely nothing wrong with that! On the other hand thats no excuse to undervalue an artist and there time. There are many artist out there with different skill levels, and there is an artist out there for everyone. There are AMAZING artist out there who charge triple what I do, and there are girls out there just starting off. My prices are based off what I fell is appropriate for my skill level, and the quality of products I carry in my kit.

Lastly, I have a real issue with the "seasonal" makeup artist. As many of you know, we are a military family and every year we have a birthday ball. EVERY YEAR for the past 14 years I see these " artist" with absolutely no experience come out in the masses and charge $25 per person and that really affects my business. I HEAVILY discount my rate for fellow military wives this time of year, and yet the allure of $25 and bring your own foundation trumps all.

Overall, I charge my clients fairly based on my skill level, experience and products used. Im not out to price gouge, and I really value my clients. My makeup is sanitary, you'll never get a pinky stabbed in your face and mascara and lip wands are disposable. At the end of the day, this is a true labor of love for me and I hope I can be a makeup artist till this arthritis in my wrist ( occupational hazard!) stops me from doing so!

To all my past clients, thank you so much for being amazing and making my job so so easy! Every job helps me grow and I love you all for that.

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