Makeup Artist, Beauty Editor, Platform Educator, and Product Developer are some of the things Adrian Villa is truly passionate about. I've only known Adrian for a short amount of time and feel like I've known him for so long probably because we have some things in common and that is we have a passion for sharing and educating. I personally gave him another skill and talent and that is a life coach. He is so inspiring and have battled and overcome so many obstacles in his life and has inspired MANY in his course of life. Now he is one of the most sought after talents in the industry. His work has been seen in some of the most popular publications Allure Magazine, American Salon, Cosmo, Elle, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour, Modern Salon, OK Magazine, Seventeen, Vanity Fair, Vogue and on countless red carpets from the Emmy's to the Oscars, Grammys. He has traveled the globe and has spoken at so many trade show events across the US! AMAZING RIGHT?! I hope his story inspires you all as it has inspired me! I'm grateful to know him as a friend now and will happily share a piece of him with you all. So without further ado I present to you Adrian Villa!
ADRIAN: I actually didn't know that there was a job or career as a makeup artist. Ever since I was a little boy I found myself painting, drawing and sculpting, So some sort of art form was always in my life. I loved taking classes since I was in elementary, Jr high, high school, and then college and afterwards I still continued education and it wasn't until I came across working as a receptionist at Tony & Guy. I was really a bad receptionist at Tony & Guy. I was always messing up everyone books til they were frustrated and suggested that either I become a makeup artist or I wouldn't have a job. And I said to myself how hard can putting on blush be, you know? So I became a makeup artist and I really fell in love with the aspect of making someone look beautiful but most importantly I enjoyed the psychology behind makeup, how it makes people feel emotionally, how I could really connect with people through makeup. This industry has grown so beautifully and so fast that people forget the true meaning of being a makeup artist. I'm not just a makeup artist but I am a service provider so it's my job to provide a quality of service to all my clients, doesn't matter who they are whether it's a celebrity, bride, prom client, whatever the job may be I treat everyone equally. And I'm very happy that from a very humble beginning it has brought me to different avenues of the makeup artistry industry doing fashion week in New York, Fashion Week in Australia, Beauty Marketing campaigns, Red Carpet, teaching. I had no idea that there was a career in that and people forget that makeup companies need makeup artists and their expertise and knowledge to help them with product development so that's something that I started about 2 years ago working with makeup brands to help develop cosmetics.
FAITH: And you know Adrian I like to tell everyone that we all have a purpose in something and we are here to serve a purpose serve others. Makeup Artistry is a SERVice.
ADRIAN: And that's why I always say that I am a makeup artist but what I really do is I'm a service provider. And I think that there is so much EGO behind the word makeup artist that people forget ultimately how we get paid is by providing a service to a person.
FAITH: I love that you treat everyone equally and that's what makes you stand out. That's a great characteristic to have.
ADRIAN: You know I always say that you get more with honey then you do with other things. LOL I won't say what other things are because especially living in Los Angeles you again you are service provider/ Makeup Artist so I'm not the talent, I'm not the celebrity, I'm not the person that's getting paid to represent something. So I think people need to eliminate the EGO part of makeup artistry and be nice. It doesn't cost anything. The nicer you are and genuine you are the more opportunities you will have.
ADRIAN: Oh my goodness, I've been doing makeup in this industry for 16 years. But my humble beginnings started in Houston Texas and I been living in Los Angeles for 10 to 11 years now.
FAITH: So what made you choose Los Angeles and not New York? I know the market is different.
ADRIAN: It's very different! New York is a different animal within itself. You know I love New York it is all about fashion, mainstream international beauty, New York Fashion Week, you work more with international models and tons of designers and creative people and some celebrities and huge socialite scenes. Los Angeles is not so fashion driven, it's more celebrity driven like red carpet, celebrity work, movies, film, music videos which I've done a lot of, advertising campaigns because of the beautiful weather we have. It look sunny but it feels cool so it's a great place to shoot.
ADRIAN: Just like any other artist and career the challenges that keeps coming up in my past and sometimes present, feeling stuck or in a bubble and not knowing how to get myself out of that bubble of feeling stuck. One thing I found if I feel stuck its because I stop learning and growing so when I feel that way I have to re-ignite my passion and direction. So it challenges me and push me further.
My greatest achievements was when I was in Houston I entered the Tony & Guy Photographic Awards and I won 1st prize for correctional makeup. I did makeup on Alicia Keys with her tour on her first album, I did lots of advertising campaigns, Emmys, Grammy's, Oscars, Tom Hanks makeup. I'm very proud about coming back to Houston and sharing my passion and the sense of knowledge and education with my students because there is such a lack of it here. I am the traveling education destination for Houston. My brand is about that for students across Texas bridging that gap between New York & Los Angeles.
ADRIAN: It's keeping up with the trends, keeping up with other colleagues and other makeup artist to see how they are doing and how they are doing things and learning other peoples techniques not in a since of copying but just learning.. Experimenting on myself and others. Breaking the rules because that's the only way you will learn. If you don't break rules you are stuck to basic everyday regimen of doing things. So break rules, it's not only fun but you can also find yourself a new passion.
ADRIAN: Don't listen to people who are not with you or supporting you because ultimately it's your passion, it's your love for the job you want to do. Get your hands dirty, get in there and start to assist fashionable makeup artists and see their work ethics. Don't follow makeup artists who are titter tottering their career and who are negative. Stay around influential people and positive people because that's who you need to be mirroring in your career.
FAITH: I know many like myself and yourself in the beginning struggled with support from family members. What advice could you give to one that has the passion to be a makeup artist but is discouraged because lack of support?
ADRIAN: Being raised in a Hispanic Mexican family my parents didn't have the knowledge back in the days to know that there was such a career as a makeup artist. It's ultimately up to us to educate ourselves on the possibilities on the career avenues that this industry has. And then it's up to us to educate our family members and to those that don't know because if they don't know they just don't know. So really it's up to us to research this field properly. You can jump in blindly into the cannon but knowing that there is going to be a safety net for you is even better.
ADRIAN: You know it is so important to have a mentor! I've had mentors that thought they were great mentors and in the end they taught me more than what meets the eye. They taught me how not to treat people, how we need to behave. Then I had mentors who taught me how to treat people equally with respect and love and care and with support and nurturing. And it's really important to find mentorship where ever you can and seek people you really admire and it's important for you to reach out and tell them that you look up to them as a spokes person, as a makeup artist, hair dresser and that you would love to assist them in anything that they need because all you want is for them to be your mentor because you respect and value them.
FAITH: So you do think that it is important to have a variety of mentors in every aspect of your life?
ADRIAN: It is definitely important to have mentors in every aspect of your life for business, spiritual, life career. It adds a form of balance. Our job as makeup artists, freelance makeup artists, hair dressers, photographers, our job isn't a 9 to 5 type of job. One day you can be working on a set from 2 pm until 5 am in the morning so at what point are you going to see your family? So you need to have that fine balance of mental health, spiritual health, physical health but also you need to be well grounded with your family and find a good support system whether its through your family or friends or social network I think that is really important . Don't ever neglect yourself in the midst of finding your career because we are service providers. We give so much of ourselves and energy out to people because we are giving them our talent our artistry love and devotion, we give a lot so in order for us to be successful find the balance and find some time to recharge and to refill yourself.
ADRIAN: I never get discouraged because I am confident with who I am and my education. I paid a lot of money for my education but I also made it my business to continue educating and reinventing myself. It's part of evolution! Technology changes, products change so I take it upon myself to make it my business TO reeducate myself. I'm not interested in a popularity contest because at the end of the day if real makeup artists want to be educated properly in the right way they will find me. I'm not really in it to make tons of money through educating a lot of people. I would prefer quality over quantity because my name is my reputation and brand. I'm doing very well with advertising campaigns and freelancing everywhere so I'm quite busy and I do the education twice a year in Houston. So what keeps me going is real students that want to learn real techniques.
ADRIAN: I think it's very important to continue your education and to look up other makeup artists to the caliber like +Charlotte Tilbury , +Billy Brasfield , +Lisa Eldridge , +Sam Fine , Pat McGrath, There are other fabulous makeup artists that we don't even know about that exist so we need to make it our business to do the research and be inspired. You know when I'm in NY Fashion Week sometimes a car might be filled with just makeup then you have another car that might be filled with just books and references so as equally as makeup is important and tools are important to our career books and references are as equally as important to what we are doing in this industry.
ADRIAN: I want people to know and realize that I am just a good ole southern boy from Texas that is humble and I thank my Mom & Dad Mr & Mrs Villa for that. I had a good upbringing with the close family. Family is so important to me and I'm surrounded by beautiful friends and family all the time. And in my classroom that's how it is I'm tough in my class because I'm talented but I'm also kind, patient, and very understanding and I teach and show you the way.
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