The View magazine hooked up with Dutch multi award-winning makeup and hair artist Juliette Den Ouden. We talk about how she rolled into the business, the results of hard work, her workflow, the industry, and much more.
TV: Hi Juliette, welcome, tell us a bit about you.
JDO: Hey guys! Thanks for having me! My name is Juliette Den Ouden, born, raised and living in the Netherlands. Working as an international makeup and hair artist for several well-regarded publications and brands. In recent years competitions caught my interest as well, so I participated with many beauty and hair award-show, pulled in many nominations, and won several awards. Early 2014 started my new dream of properly educating students in makeup and hair styling, and launched my own school “Visious Academy”.
TV: What were you like as a child? Any when-I-am-older-I-like-to-be-a moments?
JDO: Haha…ok don’t laugh, but when I was a child, I was completely obsessed with Tina Turner, and dreamed to be a really big star just like her. Not sure what happened over the years, but let’s say, I keep the singing to myself now. But that passion to be really good in something I love to do has always remained since then, and being able to make it my job. I think it turned out pretty well for me.
TV: How did you became a makeup artist? Always knew this was your calling? How did you got into it?
JDO: I spent many years learning the ropes and paying my dues with working backstage at productions, shows, and as a hairdresser in a salon for 11 years. I think this is the way to do it properly and really learn the craft, not just technique, but also to dedicate yourself for long-term. Unfortunately, I got injured to my shoulder which forced me to stop doing what I love to do, for two years. That was really a difficult time for me, as I am a passionate person, not being able to do what I like to do. Maybe it also was something that needed to happen, as it defined my further life, and decided from that moment, I am going to dedicate my life entirely and only on makeup and hair professionally. So I did with photographer Richard Monsieurs, who became a good friend over time. Together we joined competitions, which many we also won. This yielded so much to get our name out there and I think we have broken through both nationally and internationally.
TV: What would you say are the differences between when you started and how the industry is now?
JDO: When I started 15 years ago, there were only a handful top models, photographers and makeup and hair artists. These days it kinda seem to be a hype or trend to be a makeup and hair artist, and everybody seem to call themselves professionals as well, while offering their services for free. Many actual pro’s in the business have lost their jobs due to this and it really hurts to see it happen. That’s why I am so proud of my colleagues and myself, that we are still able to do our passion as a job, by always working hard, and always appreciating every project we do, as it can be the last, in a snap. I still work on my assignments pouring my heart and soul into it, like I did when I first started. I think that is a really defining mark to tell the difference between people, do you become easier over the years, or do you work harder to do better than the last job?
TV: Can you share about your workflow? How does it work when someone hires you?
JDO: I always offer the client to help out with the entire process and usually they are happy for it and let me take the lead. I share my opinion and help with casting the models, the crew, think along with locations, make suggestions on mood, of course all based on the client wishes, and also gather images and create moodboards. This includes the most recent trends on makeup and hair, so the client understands what is hot right now and what their options are. When this is all done, I will shift my focus on the thing they actually hired me for, which is the makeup and hair. I love being able to see the big picture from the beginning as the final result is effectively the sum of all parts. You can’t have a great picture if the makeup and hair are stunning, but the location is totally crap for example. So I think that the best work are done by teams where each individual were all involved right from the start, or as soon as possible.
TV: Talking about clients, do you apply whatever the client asks you to do, or insist to add something of your signature?
JDO: I always hope that a client wants me because they love my work, not just because I can handle an eye-liner. So of course, when a client hires me, they hire because they have this idea and think that I can give it my personal swing as well. It’s always a combination, part client wishes, part my signature. This goes for every creative craft I think, you don’t just hire people, you hire them because you know they can add that something you saw in the artist’s portfolio. The most important thing for me is harmony, everything has to be perfectly balanced. That involvement from the start that I told you about. So it’s not wishes and moodboards, it also includes the eventual model being booked.
TV: Speaking of signatures, how can we recognize a makeup done by you?
JDO: This is a pretty hard question, as I always adapt to each production. But I guess that most people can recognize my work on the natural look and porcelain look. And also my use of highlights, shape and shine.
TV: You are a multi award-winning artist, how important is it for you to do award-shows and win?
JDO: Very important, but not because I necessarily want to show people how great I am. I don’t do it for the awards. I am always eager to learn and become better in what I love to do, coming closer to perfection, or at least my view of perfection. Competitions are great for that, you are challenged and you are vetted against other artists that are good as well. If you don’t win, it hurts, but also a good learning moment to see on what aspects you need to work on. If you win, it’s obviously a great feeling, but also a moment to realize that all that hard work, not just for the competition but mostly everything else, has really paid off and was really worth it. It’s nice for your own mind, to sometimes know that it’s not always for nothing, that patience will be rewarded at some point, and that you actually are doing good. I think many people give up to easy and to soon, and winning those awards made me even more happy to know that I never gave up, at the moments I really thought, “what the hell am I doing?”. Of course, getting the name out there and getting great first impressions is awesome too!!
TV: What can we expect from you in 2015?
JDO: I am developing and educating a team of driven and dedicated makeup and hair artists, who can help me at productions and shows. Possibly launching my own talent agency in the future. I absolutely enjoy passing my knowledge and experience to others. I know that some of them might become competitors to me at some point, but I don’t mind that, how great is it to be part of a group that moved up the quality and professionalism, and raising the bar. Also, a couple of weeks ago, a new training manual launched that I was involved in as well, and I like to focus on publications and brands abroad, so I can travel more.
TV: Thank you Juliette!
See more of her work on the Visious website.
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