Continued from Part 1...
Ahead of the launch of his Masterclass Summer Series, in Las Vegas, at LOOK Style Society, on June 29th (where he will be demonstrating how you can use MAC Cosmetics’ newly-launched Mac X Aaliyah Collection, to achieve the iconic brows and signature glossy lip for which the late artist was known), celebrity makeup artist, Eric Scott Ferrell – who, in addition to creating Aaliyah’s maquillage (commencing when she was 15), has painted the likes of such fabulous, empowered women as Beyoncé, Solange, Kelly Roland, Michelle Williams, Chaka Khan, Queen Latifah, and Vanessa Williams – speaks to me about the MAC X Aaliyah Collection (that’s been in the works for five years), building your brand, and how to avoid some common makeup missteps.
Let’s start with Aaliyah: You were there helping launch her career, from the very beginning.
I met her when she was 15, and we shot her album cover; then she went back home. She was still in high school! She went home, for a month, or so (maybe six weeks?), and came back to shoot the first music video (for “Back and Forth”). And we just really clicked. We bonded, and we were together…
I mean, we spent more time with each other, than we spent with our own families and friends; and I considered her my muse. She was inspiring: And she was never afraid.
I used to tell people this story about how I used to keep a sketchpad next to my bed; because I would have these dreams about imagery for her, and then, I’d wake-up in the morning, and would have forgotten it. So, I began keeping this little sketchpad, on my nightstand; and I would do a quick little sketch, in the middle of the night (with some chicken-scratch notes underneath it), so that I could remember it in the morning. And I’d bring these ideas to her.
My aesthetic was born out of my teen years, as a goth/punk rocker; so, I have a darker side to my sensibility – and sometimes, I’d wonder, "Is this is a little too severe for her?" But she was never afraid of any of it. She’d be all, "Oh, yeah. Let's do that. And by the way, why don't we add this to it?" So she was fearless about expanding on my ideas.
So it was a true collaboration.
Always. Always. Always. Always. And she gave all of us -- I mean, all of her glam (so her makeup and wardrobe, too). She gave each of us time and space to create, and really to have input and say-so, in all of it. So, first she’d collaborate with us, individually. And then, we'd all collaborate as a unit. The process lead to our making beautiful things happen; lasting and iconic things, that have never gone out of style.
What, in your opinion, are the most important aspects of building one's own brand?
Stick to who you are, and to your DNA: Don't sell-out. Don't change. Don't alter who you are. Whatever your vision is, somebody will be on board. Don't alter it, just to get a deal, or to make some quick money, or to sit in. Whatever it is, you've got to stick to your guns, and don't be afraid to hear the word no. You're going to get No a lot, before you get a Yes; but it’ll be worth it.
That's really important, you know; sticking with it, and not giving up. Take me, for instance… I was ready to throw-in the towel, before all these things started to happen. And it's always at the eleventh hour, when you're like, "Okay, maybe I should just go do something else." Then (because that’s the way the world works) all of a sudden, all these stores opened up almost all simultaneously. So yeah, you just got to weather it.
Concluded in Part 3…
Eric Scott Ferrell | Masterclass Summer Series
LOOK Style Society
Friday, June 29th | Noon-3pm
Click HERE for info and tickets
Get into it!