Guest Blogger Willliam Williams
Recently I was asked if I was a hairdresser. I wasn’t sure how to answer the question, considering I was holding a comb in my right hand and a section of hair with my left hand at that very moment. She wasn’t even being sarcastic. In fact, after I spoke with her, I realized that it was a genuine question. And my reply? No. I am not a hairdresser. I am a hair artist. Allow me to explain…
Working with photographers has been an absolute blessing. In fact, it has transformed my work from craft, into an art form. In fact, working with a challenging photographer (let’s say, “picky”), is one of the best hair classes that a beauty artist can have. That is because the camera can see far more of the light spectrums than the human eye can. As a result, talented photographers have eyes that are trained to see exactly what the camera will see. In fact,some of the best photographers that I know are also some of the best hair artists that I know. So the ability to work on set relies on your ability to artistically empathize with the photographer. It also relies on your own ability to have vision and a voice. This skill also depends on your ability to work with other artists and visionaries. When it comes to editorial work, it is important for all talents, voices and artistry to be recognized in the results. So to make an amazing photo, your artistic relationship with everyone on set is important. Depending on the set, you might have several artistic voices to empathize with.
So seeing the world as an artist becomes crucial to the work. I remember the night before my first editorial job. I stayed up all night dreaming of what I would do the next day. I had amazing plans. But at the end of the day, my plans didn’t work. There I was, with a craftsperson’s head surrounded by artists. I had to make a decision. Can I do this job? Then, I (finally) understood what we were making and I realized that they just wanted me to make the hair pretty. They just needed a pretty fabric for the camera to appreciate. I realized that I was in the middle of an amazing transformation; I simply wasn’t smart enough to know what happened to me just yet. In retrospect, I believe that this is the moment that I became an artist… This is when I made a decision. My work MUST improve.
With that experience, my artistic journey had begun. At the end of the day, it was all about being myself and finding my voice on set. Learning to work on set takes time, but the goal is to be you and simply make beauty. Everyone has his or her own style on set. My style is simple. Bring a lot of enthusiasm, alongside a lot of humor. I find that humor can make these stressful situations more fun for others on set. I believe that one of the unwritten job descriptions of a beauty artist on set is to keep everyone feeling happy and beautiful. The photographer has too much to think about to pay attention to the various personalities on set. So it falls to us to make sure that the model arrives on set looking and feeling gorgeous. More often than not, the model is very young and needs a little help to stay in the right space all day to do an amazing job. How you make others feel on set goes a long way towards your success on sets. The important thing is to be yourself and love what you are doing. Most of all, be an artist…
An artist is never satisfied. A craftsperson has measurements and develops a formula. In that sense, art is nothing more than a decision. I love the way St. Francis of Assisi said it. “A laborer works with their hands. A craftsperson works with their head and their hands. An artist works with their heart, head and hands.” See? Just a decision. Like all beauty artists, I was taught as a craftsperson and I learned a beautiful craft. As a craftsperson, I did my very best to create a great plan and follow through successfully. As an editorial artist, I had to make a decision to constantly be creating. In order for me to get more from my art, I simply had to decide to put more love into it.
I am so proud of the work that I am doing with Bellus Academies right now. Lynelle and Diego have invested in
programs that will teach working on sets to the artists that aspire to an editorial/advertising career. We are working with amazing photographers and designers. In the last year we have had several student/artists published in fashion magazines, including 2 covers. We have even had artists working on prestigious red carpet events, including the Oscars, Emmy’s and the S.A.G. awards. All this, before these artists even got their license. We are now preparing to take this to the pros. We look forward to bringing new opportunities to our partner salons and helping them take full advantage of them. Imagery has become so important in today’s social media. People need to see your work, more than to hear about it. Contact Bellus for more information on how to build your portfolio and grow as an artist. w.w.w.