The life of an 'MUA'
We've been so privileged to work with some of the best in the business. Every now and then we're even more privileged to hear back from our Angels who have grown their wings and soared off into the record books. Today we're sharing with you, what counts the most, feedback from a former student of The Make-Up Issue & Angel, Davin Pillay.
Q: Make-up, and all things entertainment actually, is a very competitive industry. What inspired you to study the trade professionally?
A: Like you said, it's a really competitive industry. Everybody wants to stand out, create trends and be a success. When I was young I would steal my mum’s make-up and apply it on myself. Once my A-Levels were complete, I took stock of my life and felt that this was the route I should take. I'm fond of playing with colours, taking care of and connecting with people. It's the greatest blessing to experience when people fall in love with your work and actually feel great about themselves. What's nice about this industry is that you've always got to keep up: new trends, styles, celeb twists. Your office could be a studio one day and the next: a forest. This suits me perfectly.
Q: There are a lot of private education options available, but not for something like this. How did you go about choosing The Make-Up Issue to study with?
A: I researched every make-up school in Cape Town! What grabbed my attention about The Make-Up Issue, compared to competitors, was the 6-month course. Your full make-up kit is included and the lessons cover everything: intro to make-up, bridal, photography, film, theatrical and even special effects. You also get the chance to go out and work at fashion shows, photo shoots and other events to gain confidence and experience. The references are a great bonus, too, and some occasions offer payment. At every step of the way students receive help compiling a professional portfolio and that's also a big key to success in this industry. It's also really affordable and the value for money is out of this world. I applied, packed my bags and entrusted the team to help me build my career. Learning from Abie Viljoen himself was one of the greatest privileges. He's just amazing and so talented!
Q: Would you say that The Make-Up Issue prepared you well enough, for the working world that you've come to know in the entertainment industry?
A: Definitely! They're not just teaching you in a classroom environment; you go out there into the field. You meet major personalities and interact with huge brands! They also go above and beyond to teach you about the proper dress code, personal hygiene, etiquette and client relations. Now, thanks to them, I can confidently say that I know the difference between my role backstage at a fashion show and on location at a photo shoot. By this, I mean staying for touch-ups and always being available to assist the photographer. Lastly I believe that I've learned that respect is always going to be the most crucial thing about working as a Make-Up Artist. You want to be the go-to for big brands and that's not going to happen without showing them respect and meaning it.
Q: What is the key thing you'll always treasure from your professional training with The Make-Up Issue?
A: I will always be grateful to Abie Viljoen and his team for being there for us: preparing us for this insanely big industry. I now know that you can be really good at what you are doing, but what about 'you'? Are you good at being yourself? They taught me not only how to use brushes, how to do make-up, they taught me how to be myself and this is really important in this industry as people want to see the authentic you and your talent. They taught me to focus on what I am good at – they taught me how to be 'Davinmua' - Bold and Talented.
Q: Your first encounter with the CAFB was actually in 2016, preparing Angels for the #UrbanStreet Fashion Show. What was it like working with the Angels?
A: My honest opinion is that the Angels really have talent and ambition. It felt great to see that there are people who don’t give up on their dreams in this competitive world. The Angels know what they want - they have personality, they set their minds on their goals, give their best at what they are doing and when you give passion and ambition, success follows.
Q: TFCD (Time for CD) is fast becoming an annoying notion in the art world, but many say that it's still a good call to dive in and get involved in as many things as you can early on in your career, for networking opportunities and the chance to secure other paid jobs. How do you feel about volunteering your professional skills to gain working experience and a network like the CAFB's?
A: Honestly this is the only way to get people to know you! Volunteering is crucial for you as an Artist. You get exposure, you meet more creatives, you definitely get more job opportunities and collaboration opportunities. It's more important so people get to know you, your level of talent and ambition and you never know when it could lead to a big contract from someone who really appreciates your input! I'm more than happy to volunteer; it's not a loss. It's a gain in the sense that I can win people's hearts and gain their respect while teaching them what I know. I love helping people become who they want to be! I've always believed that helping others makes you more successful because it's the most magical feeling for self-growth in every aspect of life.
Q: Who were the most memorable people you met for the first time at the CAFB event?
A: I will never forget the day. Prenessa asked me to do her lipstick and eye shadow and we started talking about CAFB and her mission. I instantly knew I had a leader in front of me, with a big heart and crystal clear vision. We all want to leave this world knowing that people would remember us. What a way to leave an imprint on the world, by helping others in life! I'm amazed by how down-to-earth she is and I feel part of the CAFB family. She gave me some good advice when I needed it the most. All I want to say is that Prenessa and the CAFB Team are real Angels who want to do their best for others to stand on their feet and to grow as an independent entrepreneur. Hats off to you guys!
Q: What would be your message to other aspiring make-up artists?
A: If you're passionate about make-up and you usually do make-up for family and friends, just go out there and learn more and make it your profession. You don’t have to be perfect from the start. I didn’t know where to apply blush, or what 'strobing' even was, but I learned and I practiced. If you're anything like me and love to keep up with new trends, practicing new techniques on yourself, and you feel deep down that you can make it, then do it. Be your authentic self and you will rise. Make-up Artistry is not a small thing, guys. Create an empire out of it. Volunteer. Get exposure. Brand yourself on social media and get recognised internationally. Create your own cosmetic line if that's where your heart wants to go - you can really do a lot and make a luxurious living in this industry.