Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Lynsey Gargan from STEPS to give some advice for people considering this job:

Lynsey Gargan

Manufacturing Engineer


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Lynsey Gargan
With regard to education I say don't worry if you think you have the wrong subjects in school. I certainly didn't have the subjects you would typically expect.

There are a number of courses that cater to different backgrounds. The most important thing is to do your research. Go to open days, talk to the colleges and generally just find out what exactly you would be getting in to.

Don't just take for granted you know what a certain course or career is all about. Think about what you like to do, and not just necessarily in school, if you find yourself being curious about how things work or how thing are made, it's a good indication that you could like something like engineering.

One of the best things about engineering is that it really can be your passport to the world. There are great travel opportunities within the industry and chances to be involved in the next big thing.

Practically every man-made product around you came from a manufacturing plant, it's a huge industry with a lot of different avenues to take. Innovation is a really big part of what engineers do. The desire to be creative and improve production and processes is an important attribute for a manufacturing engineer.

Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be drawn towards the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
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My Occupation as a Professional Make up Artist

This job lets creativity flow in colour, design, beauty and special effects to come to the fore. It lets you be influenced by Art, music, fashion, period styles and even hollywood glamour.

It is a fun job but a serious one. Being professional at all times whether I am working on a set of multi-dollar movie or a small budget film. Whether its on the catwalk for a show or on location for a magazine shoot.

My job involves firstly creating a atmosphere of confidence, in my clients, that when they choose me for the job at hand whether that be a wedding or for a fashion shoot I am fully knowledgeable and trend aware for that specific make up look or design.

What are the different roles and tasks involved?

The different roles of a Professional make up artist:

• Working to start, as a assistant trainee make up artist under a senior make up artist on a film set or television production, this involves, make up and special effects training including wig and facial hair & prosthetic applications.

• Working teaching the profession of make up artistry, this can be beauty make up and special effects make up in a College.

• Working in the fashion industry on shows in london fashion week or the irish catwalk scene, being involved in advertisements and commercial work and magazine styling and shoots.

• Working in the Theatre either teaching or being involved behind the scenes for the production. • Working in the wedding industry, supplying a professional make up service to brides and at wedding events nationwide. • Working with charities and the media in press doing brand and PR presentation work.

• Working in the dept stores as a Make up artist counter manager, assistant manager make up artist or even make up artist on the shop floor. Or being involved in that brands branch of Professional team for training staff on new make up skills and trends for that year and hosting shoots and large events like the MTV awards ceremonies and Film Ceremonies. Make up artistry has varied aspects to the profession and can lead in different directions, depending in what you want to specialise in.

What training did you do?

The training, I did began in Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design a two year course dedicated to make up for film, theatre, television, fashion and special effects make up. They now have a more intense four year course which looks great.

What did you do after college?

I went on to join, Siptu film union and progressed to assistant trainee on movies and then moved to work as assistant manager with MAC cosmetics for many years, working on magazine shoots and shows etc. I then worked Freelance in all aspects of the field, including brand management. I have now just finished a lecturing diploma and intend on teaching make up and special effects as well as freelancing in fashion, theatre, television, film and the wedding industry. I enjoy meeting new people, being challenged everyday and the seeing the benefits and changes make up can make from prosthetics to fashion makeup.

What goog about your job?

The best thing about this job is you never stop learning and there's always new products, I want to try and new techniques I want to conquer. Aswell as the great feeling of passing on all the knowledge I have accumulated over the years to the new make up artists starting out and working alongside other makeup artists.

Whats difficult or challenging?
The challenges are being constantly, motivated for your profession, when working freelance as in any freelance positions, the motivation is singular and its up to you to get that next job. You need to be a people person for this profession and be able to work well within a team. These challenges can be overcome with good organisational and business planning.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of a career in this sector?

The advice I would have for anyone looking to start in the make up industry is research your training and area you might like to work in. Don't let anyone stop you from being in a creative job, if that's were your heart lies and that's were your skill can be matured and recognised.

There are a lot of Irish role models out there for example Tom Mc Inerney who won the Special effects make up artist of the year award, in Ireland, he's worked on amazing awards winning movies and TV productions like the Tudors, he started in Dun Laoghaire too. Or Brown Bag Films, they are one of the worlds top animators companies in Europe. Be determined and don't be afraid to knock on doors for that job. One job always leads to another! you never know what celebrity you might meet or new skill you might learn from another make up artist in the trade.

Amanda McCarthy
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Ph: 087-7827875

Article by: Amanda McCarthy