Frends Beauty Blog

Art for art's sake...

Art for art's sake...

Forward By Matt Frends

I met Samee through Facebook when I asked my friends for a good local tattoo artist. More than one linked her to the thread. Today, I have a magnificent personalized version of the VJ Day kissing sailor occupying the whole of my inner right forearm thanks to her and her amazing artistic vision and execution. I find it so interesting and awesome that she is able to convey her artistic abilities in both makeup and tattoos, and asked her to blog about it. I hope you enjoy!

Once upon a time…
There was a makeup artist that worked behind the counter for 7 years. She was employed by 3 companies. Clinique. Shiseido. MAC. Finally feeling the need to explore more possibilities, she spread her wings and began freelancing in the big city…. until one day she found tattooing. Yes, like a religion. Devoted 10 years. It even moved her to a far away foreign land. But through her life lessons and the Art of Tattooing, she rediscovered and fell in love with the Art of Makeup again! 

True story. 

Now, I primarily work as a makeup artist with tattooing and art in my free time. 

I mean, HER free time ;)


The switch to tattooing from makeup was a permanent one at the time. CRAYZEE I KNOW! I KNOW! I was working pretty consistently as a makeup artist but not on projects that I really wanted to be a part of. I also had been burned by not receiving images a few times  along with a handful of other frustrating encounters. Even though I had read Crystal Wright's 'The Hair, Makeup & Styling Guide' until it fell apart, I still felt incredibly lost at times not knowing how to get to where I wanted to be and not realizing this was part of my process.  There was also the issue that I wasn't documenting any of my work for reference or behind the scenes. So when the project is over and if I never receive any images, at least I would have documentation. BUT I wasn't doing that, becoming even more frustrated that I had nothing to show for my efforts.

Then along came tattooing. 
I was with a friend who was getting some work done by Chris Garver (pre Miami Ink) and I was fortunate enough to witness the entire creative process from consultation to last appointment. It was incredible. I realized each client could potentially send me on a new mini creative learning process and in the end they will trust in me to leave them with a permanent marking. I could create and it couldn't be washed off. The ultimate documentation. I was instantly in love with my new calling and put away my brushes for needles and ink. The transition wasn't that shocking to my system. All I noticed at the time was both required me to have control of my tool like a pen or a brush (which I was already familiar with) and I could continue to use beautiful colors. Oh, and don't forget to blend! But after about 8 years of devotion I lost touch with the beauty world and I began to miss it tremendously. I no longer had my kit and minimal makeup at that. I couldn't believe what I had become. Never in my life I would have imagined… makeup-less. 

The proceeding two years with makeup on my mind and the machine still in my hand, I began to get requests as a makeup artist again from friends working on personal projects. Blessings, because that was the spark that I needed to get my ass in gear. I began connecting more with my community, seeking education, and testing with photographers again as I was rebuilding my kit. Through these actions  I began to notice results. I was realizing my role as a makeup artist wasn't a dismissive one and I could treat it with the exact same importance as tattooing. Each project a unique and creative adventure. 

I truly began prepping for each project, like I would a tattoo:
-Pulling reference 
-Making notes
-Communicating with necessary parties involved
-Studying the subject/body part
-Cleaning and prepping kit
-Keeping calm

There are other similarities which play an important role:
-Adjusting to compliment each client/environment: This means I adjust if the client wants to talk a little, if I need to calm
them down with my energy, or if they want to be completely quiet.
-Taking in ideas and producing my own content 
-Ongoing building of kit
-Color theory 
-Hygiene standards
-Positive attitude
-Ongoing education

Look, all art is related and should be nurtured. There is no need to choose one means of expression and one will more than likely lend its hand in another. It's incredible how one set of skills will come into play on something you might deem unrelated. Maybe start investing in a new art form or hidden talent or interest. Remember to please be patient with yourself and practice, practice, practice! I've been at it for a while and feel like I'm just scratching the surface. I even want to start incorporating tattoo designs into beauty inspired looks. I promise to document and share the details of that projects journey! Stay tuned…

Take a look at the tribute for the passions in my life… Makeup and Tattoos.

Samee Tatu

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