Artist Interview: Mikal Sky

Meet my fabulous makeup artist pal, Mikal Sky!

I met this awesome lady at The Makeup Show in L.A. in March. She is amazing and I am so grateful that she generously shared her story in the makeup biz with us. Check out here website and follow her on social media. She always has a fun project going! I wish we were on the same coast so we could do great things together. Why didn’t we know each other when I lived in Venice Beach!

Mikal Sky

1. How did you get started in the industry?
 I moved to LA in 1999 with a suitcase, my baby son on my hip with no real plan.  All I knew was that I couldn’t have a lucrative career as a make up artist in New Mexico.
 2. What do you specialize in?
I am self taught and dabble in everything from beauty and body painting to special effects and gore. I love editorial and making hot girls hotter, but there is something to be said for creating a monster that scares the hell out of people.
3.  What is your favorite part of the business? What do you think is the most challenging part?
Los Angeles is the epicenter of glamour. This is were trends get made and stars are born. I am fascinated by the history and nostalgia of old Hollywood and I find the youth culture here fun, fresh and invigorating. Making a career here isn’t easy though, it’s a cut throat industry. Make up artists from around the world come here to compete for the same projects and it’s important to stand out.
4. What do you love most about your work?
There is nothing better to me that making cool art with talented like minded collaborators.  I love the dynamic of a film crew.  It’s amazing how a team of people can come together creatively to see the directors vision to the screen.
5. What is your favorite product or tool you can’t live without?
I adore my Make Up Forever Color Flash Palate and I can’t be on set without it. It’s fantastic for mixing a custom lipstick or quick special effects on the spot.  The RCMA VK #11 palate is my go to for foundation.  It’s highly pigmented so a little bit goes a long way and has the most beautiful coverage I’ve ever seen.
 6. How do you stay excited, inspired or motivated? How do you continue to push, grow, evolve as an artist?
I am always searching for fresh talent to keep me inspired. If I am not booked, I find photographers and stylists to test with.  I spend a ton of time at special events and screenings which is very important for networking.  
The Make Up Show blew my mind this year. I got to meet and mingle with some of my make up heroes and pay homage to the god of all things make up, Kevyn Aucion. Plus, I came home with a bunch of fun new products to play dress up with.  I am looking forward to Monsterpalooza and taking a ton of workshops this year.
7.  What project/job/client are you most proud to have worked on?
One of the defining moments of my career was working with Britney. I was her personal MUA for the Gimme More music video and a couple of photo shoots.  She had just shaved her head and was getting a nothing but bad press.  She sabotaged the director by refusing to perform and follow the script.  So, what we got was her dancing on a stripper pole with her friends. It was an honest and playful performance during a very rough time and I am proud of how gorgeous she was.
 I have the most viewed horror short film on the internet with 20 million hits globally on all platforms.  It’s a two minute movie called Bedfellows that was shot in the director, Drew Daywalt’s home.  Kid’s were actually making videos of their friends reactions while watching it and posting those on the internet.
8. Who is another artist you admire?
I have had the great pleasure of working with Sharon Gault since 2007.       She has opened a lot of doors for me.  I have gotten to work on David LaChapelle and Lady Gaga sets with her.  I have an artistic crush on James Vincent. He is such a dynamic speaker and commands the room with experience and New York wit.
9.  If you were not in this industry what would do you think you would do professionally instead?
I come from a family of artists and traders.  I lost my mother to cancer in February.  She was a painter, sculptor and seamstress.
My father was silversmith and visionary and created some unbelievable works out of silver and gold some of which I wear everyday. I feel so lucky to have my creative outlet and follow in my parents footsteps. If I wasn’t a make up artist,
I would own a vintage shop somewhere in the southwest or a curator at Graceland.
 10.  What is the biggest, craziest, scariest risk you have taken to make your dream come true or follow your passion? Did it work or not?
 For several years,  to supplement my income and help support my son, I worked as a set lighting technician in local 728.  I worked on everything from Dexter and Nip Tuck to huge movies and commercials. I learned lighting from some of the best gaffers in Hollywood.  That allowed me financial freedom and I was able to buy a 1966 Airstream that I tricked out and turned into my own custom make up trailer.
11. What is next for you?
 My ducks are in a row and I’ve got a five year plan. My handsome son graduates from high school next year and I’ll have a lot to do with my new found freedom.


Do you have questions for our featured artist, Mikal Sky? Leave them in the comments and we will get them answered for you!

Chris Milone Interview

How did I find such a fabulous artist like Chris to share with you? Well, I asked and I received.  Yep, it was that easy. In a business coaching program that I am currently working on, I posted in our group that I am looking for interesting, successful stylist/makeup artists to feature here. Boy did I hit the jackpot with Chris!

Thanks so much to Chris for sharing your answers with us. Keep your eyes out for the next interview. As usual, we will have a new post each week and feature at least one artist per month. If you (or someone you know) would like to share your story, please contact me!

Now, for our Q & A with Chris!

How did you get started?

I got my start with makeup in theater, I used to be a dancer and had many girl friends who always wanted me to do their makeup. Many said I was very good at it, so I tried retail for a while. That lasted about 6 years, till I hated it so hard I needed a change, so I said I want to do this professionally, I want to work fashion week and film and television. I quit the retail world and went to makeup school for FX, while there building my book and doing photo shoots, also working on Inde. films. worked my butt off then eventually applied to the Makeup union. Long story short I got in, and here I am.meairbrush

What brought you to the beauty industry?

I have Always been fascinated by makeup even from an early age, watching my mother put on makeup. Halloween was always my favorite holiday, love to just create different disguises. Retail was really my first venture into the industry, I learned a lot, and the training i got there laid the roadblocks to where I am today. Working with different faces and skin tones it’s a good training ground.

What do you specialize in?
Well I am a Makeup Artist, that does just about everything. From Beauty to Special effects to Body painting.
What is the coolest client or gig you have ever landed?
Well that would have to be touring the world with Madonna, Twice. Its a wild ride, I got to see the world, and work for one the biggest and greatest pop stars ever.
What product or tool is your favorite, one that you can’t live without?

My brushes are really important to me, I have every brand under the sun but my all time favorites are from a japanese brand Hakuhodo.

What was the biggest challenge to starting your own freelance business? How do you stay motivated?

It can be scary at first but starting out in this business is not easy, it’s getting very over saturated with artists making the paid work very hard to come by. So getting the paying clients and keeping them is the hard part. It all comes down to networking and staying on people’s ray-dars. I love what I do and am very lucky to be making a decent living doing what I love, that in itself is motivation enough. You get some slow periods and just when you start to panic the phone always rings with work, usually all for the same day too haha.
Any other tips or advice you would give to someone just starting?
NETWORK!! with everyone and everywhere. also keep it simple. Many new artists make the mistake of going full on with makeup but restraint is key, clean and simple beauty brings in the paying jobs.
Keep up with Chris on his website here and social media!
Twiiter @Chrismaquillage
Some of Chris’s newest work
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