Hello everyone and welcome to my very first BLOG Post!
If we are not already aquainted, my name is Devin or Devin "Dollface",
I have been a Professional Freelance Makeup Artist for 10 years in the Entertaintment Industry.
Although Makeup is my Passion, my roots stem from the Visual And Performing Arts.
Here's a little bit of background on how I broke into the Industry at such a young age.
As soon as I could hold a pencil at only 9 months old, my parents and Granny had a pencil in my hand. After being diagnosed with TYPE 1 Diabetes at 15 MONTHS old, my family worked harder to ensure I was distracted from the new pain of taking injections, eating foods I didnt neccesarily like and this whole new way of life in general.
I insisted on sleeping on the floor, set in front of the Television with Beauty and the Beast and Little Mermaid on repeat as I fingerpainted.
I then upgraded to Dinosaurs and Batman action figures, that I would dismember and paint accordingly. All of my Barbies became Aliens with a bit of Nailpolish and Paint.
It was abundantly clear I had a strong pull towards the arts.
I loved to Sing and Perform, anywhere, at anytime, in front of anyone.
I would put on full productions making the stage from stuff I had around the house, creating characters out of my mothers clothing and shoes and my costars were action figures and stuffed animals.
My true passion at that time was wanting to be a Pop Star and a Fashion Designer.
I still have the sketches from when I was 7 years old of my "designs".
My parents could see I had a knack for these things, but when others started urging them to put me into classes is when it really started to take off.
I was enrolled in the Montessori School of Arts Elementary school PS 116.
It was there that I learned to read before anyone in my Kindergarden class could.
In first grade, I had Ms. Shu, who changed my life. Everyday she would sing and play the gutair and I was in so much awe of how talented she was. My love of John Denver and The Beatles started then.
In 2nd grade Mrs. Jaffe enrolled me inn the Gifted Program herself. She was adiment I needed to be in more advanced classes, as I was already picking up books like Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.
By 5th Grade, my poetry had been published at the prestigeous COOPER UNION in honoring those who had recently passed from 9/11.
Around 2nd grade is when I started Opera and Broadway Style Vocal training with Amelia Hart who was currently in Broadway productions like CATS and Annie, which I later auditioned for.
I took Opera, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Acting, Basic Life Drawing, Guitar, Piano and Drum lessons. And I loved it all.
At the ager of 11 my dad gave me my first taste of Punk Rock when he naded me a bag of Casette Tapes; Iggy and the Stooges, The New York Dolls, The Cramps, Smashing Punpkins greatest hits, Alice in Chains Unplugged, Soundgarden, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash. That is when my life truly changed.
As I used the internet, all i wanted to do was soak in the knowledge of these musicians and the history of where it all came from. i was a sponge the size of the ocean, soaking it all up and cultivating my own artistic endeavors.
From there, all i did was draw, listen to music and read. my parents woluld catch me in my loft bed at 2am reading and listening to music on my Walkman.
I had friends at school, but i couldnt wait to sink into my own world of solitude in chaos.
By the time I got to High School, I had already been in a band and was creating super controversial art that would often get me in trouble.
In my Comics and Animation class at Art and Design High School I was told to "dumb down" my work because I was making everyone else look bad.
My parents were flaberghasted and removed me from the school.
I then attended CITY AS SCHOOL in which I did an Internship three days a week and took a choice of classes the other two. I chose Macabre Fiction and Screenplay Writing. My internship was at The Knitting Factory Music Venue doing Graphics, PR and working at the venue. When that internship ended I worked for BUZZ Publicity where I wrote Press Kits, Blogs and helped maintain relationships with A&R and musician managers.
Throughout that time, I had been scouted by COOPER UNION. I had a full scholarship in Sculpting. I stuck around for a year before deciding, it wasn't the right direction for me at the time. I needed more stimulation, I needed to be out there in the world creating full time.
I decided to go with Tattooing. I had done some Apprenticeship work back when I was 16 and I was craving it again. But by that time, I wanted to hone in my focus to Cosmetology Tattooing.
I moved to Chicago to attend the Tricoci University of Beauty Culture where I got my Esthetician License. But I still was not feeling fulfilled.
One night, I decided to watch the entire Dawn of the Dead Trilogy and thats when it hit me. I should be making Zombies! I needed to take al of the skin disease and care I just learned in school and apply it to creatures for movies!
Shortly after, I left Chicago and attneded Makeup Designory in Soho, NY where I majored in Film and Television Artistry and Special Effects Makeup.
Even still, I had bigger dreams.
I had been obsessed with moving to California since I was 7 years old. My mother and I went to see my Stepdad's band perform at The Roxy and go into the recording studio (his band was signed to Columbia Records). At the time, I was reading "I Was a Teenage Fairy" by Franesca Lia Block and all I could think about from then on was how, eventually, I would get to LA.
Well, the opportunity arose when a family friend who was getting into production and directing invited me out to LA to work on his film as a Lead Special Effects Makeup Artist. It was there I met a member of the show Sons of Anarchy, who later brought me on to the set and I got to assist their Department Head for a few days to see what it was like being on a studio production. I am still forever grateful for this opportunity as a whole, as it catupultated me from a beginning artist and launched many opportunities for me on my career path.
After returning to NYC, I was hospitalized for Diabetes Complications in which I had a heart attack. Nine months later I lost my home in Hurricane Sandy in Rockaway Beach, NY.
But I wasn't ready to give up on my dreams.
18 months later, thanks to Mikah Kenyah of Sugar and Spikes Casting I was presented the opportunity to work on CAKE BOSS.
Shortly after, I made the big move to LA where my first job was with Kate Hudson, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. They hired me for several of there charity events and Galas thereafter. From there, my career was taking off. I had the opoortunity to work with velebrities like Cee Lo Green, Jared Leto, Alessandra Ambrosia, Rose McGowan, Pamela Anderson, Miley Cyrus, James Franco and so many others.
I worked part time at BLAZE MODELS in Beverly Hills doing PR, Social Media, On-Boarding Talent and doing Commercial Casting. I was in LOVE with it, and still did Makeup with every opportunity that came my way.
When I look back, I don't give myself enough credit for being as motivated and tenacious as I was. I tend to hold onto all of the things I wasn't doing, or what I thought I wasn't doing correctly.
50% of my opportunities was honeslty, dumb luck.
Eating at Cheesecake Factory in Las Vegas and having Cee Lo Green seated at a table across from me. Then running into him again after a gym session at Pink Berry on Sunset BLVD a year later.
Answering a Craigslist Ad looking for a MUA and wind up doing makeup on ALL of the Jenners and Linda Thomspon (Elvis's ex GF).
My friend sending me a casting notice for a SLIPKNOT video and being an extra, covered in blood and thrashing in a moshpit.
That is the magic of LA, baby.
In 2016 while working for James Franco's production company, I lost vision in my right eye. Shortly after the left one followed.
I put everything on hold and moved to Chandler, AZ where my family was so they could help take care of me.
In 2018 I returned to LA. At that time I took an on-going freelance contract position with NBC. I had the opportunity to do makeup for Executives, their children and work with the E Network on shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
Later that year I lost my eyesight, this time fully in my right eye and 70% in my left.
It was not an easy time for me. Especially being away from work which was my whole life.
But fate is funny, as clishe as that sounds. I met my Boyfriend and even through blindness, surgergies, the Diabetic rollercoster, learning I was Celiac and that all my complications were from that; he stuck around. Boy that was a run on sentence if I've ever seen one!
The first couple of months of 2019, I had to lay flat on my stomach for 23 hours a day for 2 weeks due to a gas bubble in my eye. I had detached retina surgery on my right eye and then my left. I tried to keep it together externally but inside, I was in an extremely dark and grim place. Just depressed and apathetic. I prayed and prayed that my eyesight would actually improve and I wouldn't have to go through more surgeries, lasers or injections. Unfortunetly, I did have to do a few more injections but later in the year my vision did improve. so much so, I was gauranteed 70% but 90% of it was rectified.
At that time, I tried getting back into makeup but my eyesight still wasnt where it should have been. For the first time ever I got 2 bad reviews, which is hard now to even admit too. I decided to take a step back from anything too physically demanding and started doing Content Creation and Social Media Marketing for a Publishing Company. I originally applied as a Freelance Illustrator, but when the owners discovered my Social Media presence, they decided to hire me on for both fronts.
I had a renewed sense of.....worth. I felt what I was doing was truly adding value to this company. I had a fire inside and wanted to do everything in my power to ignite it further. I was given the freedom to create and the trust that was given fuled me more. I found I was better than I anticipated in building brand relationships, influencer opportunities and growth. I strived to make ALL original content that told a story and had the intention of leaving viewers wanting more.
In late November 2020, my father passed away due to Covid and Underlying Conditions. Needless to say, my whole world collapsed and I am still extremely broken inside. It's hard to put into words and I often shut down about it, only allowing myself to release my emotions in solitude. I miss him more as the days go on. But I know as an artist himself, he would want me to go on holding true to myself and what I love. To stand true to my convictions and give myself over completely to it. So, that is why I decided to do a complete overhaul on my website and start from scratch.
I've realized looking over my body of work and socials, that I haven't always been "authentic" enough. My voice is there, but it's muted. My art is there, but it's contrived. My soul is in it, but only a snippet.
He was the type of person that really did not care what others thought. I hope I can make him proud by expressing myself on a more genuine level through my art from here on out. Even if no one looks or likes it. We get so caught up in that at times, we forget to live and love ourselves.
So.....in early Januarym came to the conclusion that a change of scenery would be good for, everything. In late March 2021, we made the move to St. Petersburg, FL.
I have to say, it is THE best move I have ever made. It is a thriving, tropical, paradise here that I had no idea existed. When I pictured FLORIDA, I thought of Hulk Hogan and Disney World. But St. Pete, it's like the best parts of Santa Monica/LA/Brooklyn with a tinge of Old European and Southern vibes. I cannot get enough of the culture here.
In the few short months we have lived here fully, I have made amazing connections that I hope will last a lifetime. Right off the bat I was accepted and respected for exactly who I am and what I do. I cannot wait to be fully emersed into the community showcasing my artistry and expressing myself once again.
I decided to branch out and start doing MORE. Basically, all of the things I've dipped into working on independant sets, and sometimes studio sets but never focused on.
I really love every aspect of shooting and I know what my stregnths are at this point in time.
I may start a seperate site for Social Media Marketing after I get a few more consistent clients.
But I am ready to get back out there and collaborate with other artists and make truer artwork than I've ever made before!
Thank you for Joining my TED TALK rambling and WELCOME TO MY WORLD!
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