Photographer to Make-up Artist

Brand: Kait Rak MUA
Creator: Kait Rak

Meraki: What was your journey like in order to be where you are today?
It was pretty up and down, I started as a photographer and got into makeup from there. I worked for places like Sephora and other beauty brands but, could never really build a freelance clientele. I was always stuck working retail full-time to pay the bills, so I decided that I had enough. I made the decision to quit my job in order to gain more knowledge and skills in the aesthetic field. I am currently working for an independent business owner, who pushes you to do what makes you happy which allows me a lot of freedom and flexibility so that I can focus more on freelance work.  Now, I’m starting to grow my freelance makeup artistry business by continuing to build my knowledge and skill set within the beauty industry.

Meraki: When did you know that you had a passion for it ?
I discovered my passion for makeup artistry when I was working in photography. I originally trained as a photographer and was a studio manager for a while. I worked with artists and models on set doing TF shoots and became more interested in the aspects of being a makeup artist. I became friends with a couple of makeup artists and they raved about how much they love it and how it’s a really rewarding part of the industry to be in. Growing up I was always a creative person and I loved painting and drawing, so when I learned more about makeup artistry I thought it would be a good fit. I knew I couldn’t make a living off being a painter or artist but I knew I could make good money and do what I love being a makeup artist. I decided to go back to school in order to become one and here I am today.

Meraki: What schooling did you do ?
For photography I studied at OCADU for two years where I majored in photography and minored in drawing and painting. I didn’t like it there so I dropped out and took the two-year course at Humber College for creative photography. I graduated and worked in the field for a while before going to the School of Professional Makeup in Toronto. The course took about a year before I became a certified makeup artist. Now, I’m doing a lash extension apprenticeship and I am saving up to go back to school for hair styling and special effects makeup.

Meraki: One experience that was a game changer?
I  was doing a few modelling projects and while on set for make-up, I started asking the artist questions about what they were doing. When I saw the brushes and products I got excited and curious because it was just like painting. I said this is it, I need to be a makeup artist. Photography just wasn’t as fulfilling as I thought it would be.

Meraki: Where do you see your career in the future?
I honestly hope I can open up my own beauty boutique one day. I’m going from photography, to makeup, to brow waxing, and now I’m learning lash extensions. I keep expanding my knowledge of different aspects of the beauty industry. I originally wanted to sign onto an agency and just be an artist, but now that I keep growing my skill set I would want to have a business of my own where I can offer a little bit of everything.

Meraki: One advice that was given to you, in order to push you?
I was always told to do what you love in life. If you can make money from doing what you love to provide for yourself or your family, it’s even better. But never work a job that you hate because then you will never enjoy your life. For a person like myself who suffers from depression, I always kept this in my mind because depression can swallow you up and its easy to get into a rut. Every time I felt down I would always remember this piece of advice. It would help push me forward, to keep going and strive to do what I really want to in life so that I’m happy.

Meraki: Advice that you would pass on for someone going into the same field ?
My advice for someone going into makeup is to be open-minded. Makeup artistry is a very creative field to be in and if you’re not open to constantly learning, to criticism, to advice or to your clients then you’ll never grow or get anywhere. Makeup is constantly evolving and if you can’t evolve with it then you’ll never be able to push forward. Secondly, make sure you love what you’re doing. Makeup is supposed to be creative and fun and if you’re not having fun then something needs to change in order for you to do so. 

Meraki: Where do you get your Inspirations?
I find a lot of inspiration in magazines, Instagram, fellow artists, etc. I’m a very open and easy-going person and I’m always looking at my peers to see what they’re doing or how they’re doing something.  That way I can take what I have learned from them and maybe morph that into something that fits more into my style and artistry.

Meraki: When you’re not working, what are some of your favourite things to do?
I work literally every day of the week, so if I do get free time I’m relaxing and surfing the web, which mainly consist of looking at beauty articles. To give myself a bit of a break and escape from everything I enjoy playing video games, watching movies, or chilling with friends. As much as I love the beauty industry and what I do for a living sometimes you just need to disconnect from it for a while.

Meraki: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to face?
My biggest challenge is being more outgoing. Growing up I was always that loser kid who was really shy and nerdy. I was a very awkward child with few friends, so it was really hard for me to start opening up and become more personable for my clientele.

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Meraki: Who are some people who have inspired you throughout your career?
The woman I work for now is very inspiring to me because she’s a mom of three and she owns her own business, which is doing very well. She’s super busy but somehow she can do it all and makes it look so easy. There are some artists I have met along the way that work for various beauty brands that have really inspired me, not only for their amazing artistry skills but also because of the person they are.

Meraki: Pros about your profession?
The pros of my profession is the fact that I have a creative outlet again. For a while I stopped doing creative things because my depression got the better of me. But once I started painting again and getting back into artistry it really helped me deal with that part of my life. I also get to meet some amazing people who are either in the industry or my clients. Another pro is that makeup is always changing so it’s constantly evolving and moving forward, which is something I’ve always tried to do. I always want to continue to learn new things and advance forward and this profession offers me so many opportunities.

Meraki: If you weren’t in your profession, what else would you do?
Honestly, I would probably be working in photography as an assistant to some photographer, while trying to build my own freelance business.

Meraki: How would you describe your signature look?
I feel like I don’t really have a signature look, I don’t follow trends on myself so I would say that I’m just simple. As long as I got my brows, lashes, and maybe a good lipstick, I’m ready for the day.

Meraki: What is the most memorable job you’ve done?
Most memorable job I’ve done would be the time I did makeup for a woman going through chemo treatments. She had breast cancer and had no hair and said she lost a lot of her colouring, so she felt very pale. I gave her a natural look by only enhancing her features, so she still looked like herself. It got really emotional because she hadn’t seen the way she looked with brows and more colour to her cheeks in a long time. She felt so good about herself and loved how she looked that she stared to choke up, which got me going. I can’t really deal when people cry on me. Throughout the whole time I was doing her makeup and teaching her how to do things, I could see the change in her mood and the way she held herself. She became happier and had more confidence. She was so sweet and appreciative that it made me feel amazing. It felt so good that I could do this for someone, change their whole day for the better just by adding a little makeup and getting to know them. A little goes a long way in this industry and when you can change someone’s day for the better, it makes me feel accomplished and good.

Meraki: How do you stay updated on current trends?
Social medias are the biggest thing with current trends so I’m constantly on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, to see what’s popular now and whats new and upcoming.

Meraki: What is your dream job?
My dream job is to be my own boss. I would love to have my own boutique, where I provide various services to my clients. I would create my own line of makeup that would sell out of my boutique.

Meraki: Describe the earlier days of your career.
My earlier days were all about retail, It consumed my life. I worked full-time, 9 to 10 hour days just to pay the bills. I would get home and just crash, but it helped to develop me personally because it taught me how to deal with different situations. I got to meet new people every day and it opened me up as a person. So even though retail life is brutal, it helps to develop you personally and makes you tougher so that you can handle just about anything.

Meraki: Looking back, is there anything you would do differently in your journey?
As much as I love photography, I wish I took those four years and put them into makeup artistry. I feel like if I knew then what I do now I would be further ahead with my skill set than where I am now. But that’s life, you make mistakes, you live and you learn. I certainly don’t regret anything because it all lead me to where I am now and I’m very happy. I’ve grown as a person and I’ve met some amazing people along the way, who have taught me so much and I wouldn’t change that for anything.

Meraki: What skills did you learn early on that you still use today?
I learned that makeup is painting a three-dimensional plane rather than a flat canvas. All of my colour theory, application, etc, that I learned from painting, I was able to apply them into my makeup artistry. I always look at everything like a painting rather than just another face to put makeup on. In photography I learned lighting and composition, which helped me understand what it takes behind the camera in order to transfer into a photograph. Since photography and makeup artistry go hand in hand, having previous background in it has definitely helped me out in my artistry as well. I’ve always been a perfectionist and it’s a curse and a gift, because it pushes you to be the best but it can also slow you down. You start to obsess over the little things and miss out on the bigger picture.

Meraki: Someone you would love to collaborate with.
Halloween is my thing, I love getting super creative and being able to morph into anything. I would love to collab with Lex Madeyewlook, she does a lot of makeup and body painting work. She is always changing herself into a new character and seems pretty chill and down to earth. I think it would be a lot of fun to work with her while learning from her at the same time. She seems like the type that would be open and can bounce ideas off of one another. That would be my Instagram famous collab dream but, I would also love to collab with Eric Soto. He was Kat Von D’s global artist and I think he is extremely talented and such a sweetheart. Every time I’ve met him he has always been so humble, kind, and eager to teach and help to develop your skill set.


Meraki: How do you manage stress? Does it ever get overwhelming in what you do?
I think when I’m doing a job that is making me miserable and stressing me out I get overwhelmed. What I do is I think about what it is I really want and will this job give it to me. If the answer is no then I change it. We are all human and we all get stressed and overwhelmed, being depressed really doesn’t help either. Over the years I’ve learned to open up about my depression and lean on my friends and family when it gets to be too much. I try to separate myself from the situation and take a breather. I’ve learned to realize my breaking points and I stop myself before I get there because it’s not healthy. To distract myself I’ll clean, read a book, listen to music, watch a movie or hang out with friends. This allows me to calm myself and get back on track.

Meraki: What is the most enjoyable thing about your job/ profession ?
The most enjoyable thing is the instant gratification you get from doing someone’s makeup. Your client see’s instant results and it’s so good to watch their demeanour change and to see them because ecstatic over how good they look. I love teaching and educating people on my tips and tricks that I’ve learned. I think it’s really important for us to keep learning and developing ourselves.

Meraki: How would you describe yourself?
I would say I’m simple, super easy-going and friendly. This is me, take it or leave kind of person. I find that a lot of people think I come off intimidating or bitchy because I’m fairly quiet in the beginning of meeting new people. The tattoos can also throw some people off as well. But I’m honestly a really nice, easy-going person who goes with the flow.

Contact Information:
Phone: 647-622-6360
Email: kaitrakmua@gmail.com
Instagram: @kaitrak_mua
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kaitrakmua/

Until Next Time,

MERAKI

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