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.
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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.
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 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.
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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.

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

Why Investing in Your Business is Crucial for Success

What is the most important thing that you should do if you want to be a successful, money making makeup artist? Invest time and money in developing both your business and yourself as an artist! I believe that the best way to do that is by furthering your education.

As a education/travel/beauty junkie, I am over the moon excited about my upcoming trip to LA for the Makeup Show in March. Its been 4 years since my last trip to LA and I can’t wait to soak up everything I can. Its going to be a world wind adventure but I have never been more ready.

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Last year I dropped into the Makeup Show in New York City and I have been dying to get back ever since! I was actually not planning to go the show the first time. I was headed up to NYC on the train from Richmond when I realized that the Makeup Show was that weekend. I was lucky enough to get to the show for a few hours one day and it was like stepping into a makeup artists dream! There was so much information to take in and products to buy.  Since it was a last minute opportunity, I wasn’t able to plan ahead and be able to experience everything there was to offer.

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The Makeup Show The Makeup Show- NYC

This year is different, I do not want to miss a thing! I am flying to Los Angeles for the first of the 2014 shows and I have been studying the website and blog every day, working on my plan of attack. There are some products I want pick up, there are great brands there with tons of specials that make it great for restocking your kit. I’m particularly excited to hit up the Crown Brush table!

Some of the brands that will be on hand include: Diamond Sponsor MAKE UP FOR EVER, Platinum Sponsors: Crown Brush, Temptu PRO. Silver Sponsors: Obssessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Nars Cosmetics, and Supporting Sponsors: Pinnacle Cosmetics, Smashbox, and Ruby Makeup Academy.  For a complete list of participating brands, educational speakers, schedule of events and prices, please visit their website for more details

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The Makeup Show has so much to offer to both beginners and the seasoned pro. You can take advantage of  basic seminars, networking, and hands-on workshops and seminars.  With your ticket purchase, you can access the exhibitor floor where most brands are offering their Pro Artist discounts, the seminar space, the Keynote and Business Forums. For an additional fee you can take part in the Hands-On Workshop and really dig deep into specific topics you want to learn more about.  You should also check out the Focus Series, which is all about kit building. Now that I have been able to go thru the event schedule I have outlined everything that I want to see. What would be your must see speaker or seminar?

You are probably already following the Makeup Show on Instagram, and if you are not you should be! Every day they post something that gets me a little more excited to get there. Just last week they announced this year’s contest, RE-Making Faces, inspired by industry icon Kevyn Aucoin. I have already put my team together and we are planning our photo shoot now. Are you going to submit an image? Let me know so I can cheer you on at the show.

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Another good tidbit that I picked up from following the Makeup Show on Instagram is this link to Buzzfeed’s List of the 18 coolest makeup artists you should be following on Instagram. I would love to make this list one day, how about you?

If you are going to be attending the Makeup Show in Los Angeles, let me know so we can meet up and catch a speaker together. If you can’t go, I will be taking very detailed notes and coming back to share everything I possibly can with you. Please let me know (in the comments below) if there is a specific topic you would like me find out more and share with you. Hopefully I can even interview some of the artists, they are some of the best in the biz!

Remember that education is an ongoing process and there will never a time when you don’t still have so much to learn. What is the #1 thing you want to learn more about this year? Let me know in the comments! And learn more about the Makeup Show  and purchase your tickets here. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter to keep up with my Makeup Show adventures this year.

Don't ever forget this!

Don’t ever forget this!