Interview: Makeup Artist Kim Porter of Kim Porter TV
It’s been a while since we’ve had an interview, and we’re so happy with today’s guest: the incredible, the talented, the one-and-only: Kim Porter!
Kim started her career in 2001, and since then, she’s been just about everywhere: her work has been featured on TV shows (Dr. Phil, Animal Planet, and Shark Tank), included in magazines (The Knot and Wedding Planning Magazine), and awarded by major publications (WeddingWire and Virginia Living Magazine), Chances are, if you’ve watched TV or picked up a magazine over the last ten years, you’ve seen her work. Her career is a great example of how a career in makeup is attainable, if you’ve got the skills and the tenacity.
Thank you, Kim, for the interview, and all the best to you in the future!
Q: For our readers who may not be familiar with your work, can you tell us—what kind of makeup do you do? Some makeup artists focus on brides, some on fashion shoots, and others do special effects—what's your focus?
Sure! I do beauty makeup and focus on weddings, television, special events, and photography sessions, and in addition to all that, I offer makeup lessons.
Q: That’s a lot! Did you always know that you wanted to become a makeup artist? At what point did you think, "This is for me"?
No, I actually took a job at a cosmetics store while I was taking college classes. I had no experience but it sounded like fun, and I fell in love with the creativity of it and helping women feel more beautiful. When I realized I could create my own business doing wedding makeup, I was hooked!
Q: How did you build your skill set? Did you have formal training at a school, learn on the job, or maybe enter a training program?
I learned by watching videos, reading books by Bobbi Brown and Kevyn Aucoin, and practicing on everyone I could get my hands on. It was only later that I took classes to become a certified makeup artist.
Q: We see that you offer classes—can you tell us about what you offer, and what it's like teaching people who to do makeup?
I began teaching my Makeup Artistry 101 Class in 2012 after getting so many requests. I have recently added an Advanced Makeup Artistry Class for more experienced makeup artists who want to refine their skills and learn airbrush foundation. Teaching classes is one of my favorite things to do, and it's so much fun empowering others to create beautiful makeup looks and start or grow their own successful businesses.
Q: We see that you also have two websites—www.makeupbykimporter.com and www.kimportertv.com—can you tell us about those? Are those commercial enterprises?
I started my Makeup by Kim Porter business in 2005, as a wedding makeup artist. My Kim Porter TV business is a little different—it’s where I offer articles and videos as well as private and group coaching for makeup artists and beauty professionals who want to build their freelance businesses. I felt like they were a totally different clientele, so I created separate websites and social media for both. I have been focusing heavily on growing Kim Porter TV as I feel like that is my next step in my business—to take everything I've learned, the successes and mistakes, to help the next generation of artists.
Q: We’ve been to Kim Porter TV, and it’s fantastic. There’s SO much content on there, and it’s all helpful. Can you tell us, what is the BEST thing—and then then the most difficult thing—about being a makeup artist?
The best thing is when a woman looks in mirror and says she never felt more beautiful—and the worst part is carrying a makeup kit, light, and chair up a flight of stairs!
Q: Do you have a favorite makeup product that you use, that you couldn't imagine living without?
I absolutely love the Temptu silicone airbrush foundation, it looks beautiful and lasts all night long!
Q: If you had to name one thing, what is the thing you're most proud of, in your career as a makeup artist?
For a makeup artist not living in LA or NY I have a pretty good résumé. I've had the opportunity to do some really cool things and have my work featured in major publications but the thing that I am most proud of is helping others realize their own potential and helping them start and grow their own businesses. I have found through my experiences that the feeling of success is often fleeting but helping and serving others is a feeling that stays with you.
Q: If you could do it all over again, what professional mistake did you make, that you would do differently this time around?
The first one is over-thinking everything—sometimes you just have to jump and figure it out on your way down. The second is spending $500 on my first logo! I spent so much time having it custom designed and I used it for way longer than I really wanted to, because I knew how much I paid for it. We think we have to have everything so perfect but often times that leads us to self-doubt and procrastination, so I'm a big proponent of figuring it out as you go.
Q: Many of our readers are interested in a career in makeup, but they don't have any idea on how to get start. What's the FIRST THING a person could do to get things started?
Shameless plug... the first thing I would suggest is to go to my blog article "10 Steps to Start Your Makeup Artistry Business" where I list all the steps that you need to get your freelance business started. I would say the very first thing is to do makeup on every friend and family member that you can, and take before and after pictures in good lighting so you can study your work. Once you like what you see, start posting these images on your social media and growing your portfolio.
Q: Many of our readers don't realize that even though you're an artist, you're also a businessperson, running a business. What guidance can you give to us about the business side of things?
None of us do it alone, if you're trying to learn and do everything yourself, you're doing it wrong. Find someone a few steps ahead of you who is doing what you want to do, follow them, and find out if they offer coaching. The fastest way to build a successful business is to emulate someone who's already done it!
Q: That’s great advice! I think that’ll help a lot of people. Kim, that about wraps it up—thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us!