Bethany Haggar, freelance make-up artist

 4 November 2014

Bethany is a freelance make-up artist at the beginning of her career. She explains the highs and lows of her job so far and how others can get started.

"I practise make-up at home as much as I can to get better and better."

Hometown? 

I'm from Basildon in Essex.

What job do you do?

I am a freelance make-up artist and I mainly work on short films, trailers and adverts.

How did you get started?

I am still in the 'getting started' phase of my career. I left college in 2013, so at the moment I'm concentrating on networking with film makers and other more established make-up artists to build up my CV and portfolio.

I have done a lot of unpaid work on student films and independent short films. I'm now starting to get paid jobs from a film maker that I have worked with on a few projects.

This is the key: building a solid relationship with someone. That way you are the first person they think of when they need someone like a make-up artist or photographer, for example.

What qualifications do you have? 

After leaving school and getting my GCSEs, I went to South Essex College and studied a Level 3 BTEC course in Production Arts (Design). This is a course that covers all areas of make-up and includes basic hair styling and wig making.

As a make-up artist you will meet lots of different people and go to lots of different places.

When I left school I wasn't exactly sure what to do, apart from that I wanted to do something creative.  

I didn't want to go to university because that would have meant at least three more years of education. Also, the tuition fees increased the year I would have attended.

I had absolutely no clue about make-up, but I went to the open day at South Essex College and asked a lot of questions. After that day I knew it was what I wanted to do.

Doing a BTEC course was the right choice for me as it allowed me to work straight away. In the make-up industry, going to university isn't always essential.

What's the worst thing about your work? 

Use social media sites to your advantage and never stop saying 'this is me and this is what I can do'.

As I'm not established in the industry yet, I'm having to do a lot of unpaid work and sometimes people take advantage of this.

Also I'm not getting a steady income from being freelance so I am having to look for part-time work as well.

This can really affect my motivation and creativity. So I practise make-up at home as much as I can to get better and better.

What is the best thing about your work? 

Constantly learning new things is the best thing about my job. As a make-up artist you will meet lots of different people and go to lots of different places, and I have learned so much even from unpaid jobs.

You are constantly learning and picking up techniques, skills and experience. That is what I love about this job.

Tips for a career in the arts:

1. Don't let anything affect your creativity

In this industry your imagination and ability to create things is your weapon. Use it, nurture it and don't let anything take it from you.

2. Be persistent

If you are contacting people for work experience or work, they will be very busy. They will be getting a lot of emails and calls from people wanting the same thing and you will most likely be ignored.

But carry on contacting them. Get your name ingrained into their heads, be polite, but don't let them forget about you.

3. Practise, practise, practise

Practice is key. This will help you fine-tune your skills, learn new ones and allow you to be the best you can be.

4. Sell yourself

Selling yourself is crucial if you want to get your name and your work out there. Use social media sites to your advantage and never stop saying 'this is me and this is what I can do'.

Show people what you can do and make people come to you and offer you work. Show them you are the person they want.

See some examples of Bethany Haggar's work.


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