Lateisha Grant graduated from CMU’s Complete Makeup Artist program in 2019. Lateisha is a budding makeup artist who is passionate about expressing her creativity through art. With her unrelenting drive and ambition, it is no wonder that she has started to make her mark in the makeup industry. She has worked with brands like Coors Organic and Loliware and has been featured in magazines like Solstice and SALYSÉ.
To learn more about Lateisha, keep reading as she discusses with us one of her favourite experiences as a working makeup artist, how she first got her first opportunity and the importance of creative freedom and collaborations.
What inspired you to pursue a career in makeup artistry?
In my late teens I began to play around with drugstore makeup and I loved it! Whether it was dyeing or cutting my hair, wearing dramatic lashes or playing around with crazy eyeshadow I always enjoyed altering and experimenting with my looks in the most positive ways.
I have the personality type to get bored very quickly. Applying makeup was really fun for me because I found it exciting to be creative and then being able to wash it off. However, creating numerous makeup looks on myself became too routine and I was becoming uninspired. I began to look at stranger’s faces and imagine the art I could create with their faces instead. Little did I know starting off doing makeup on my close friends was just the tip of the iceberg!
What is your favourite thing about being a Makeup Artist?
Hands down, having the pleasure to meet and work with so many other creative people in the city! But also, observing the moment when my clients/models see the finished makeup. They express to me how much they love it and begin to take selfies! Getting approval from whoever is sitting in my chair is so important to me. In my opinion, when you’re creating any type of art and then putting it on display it puts you in a vulnerable position- hearing how much the client/ model loves it means the world.
Why did you choose CMU?
After spending 6 years in Halifax I was ready to make my next serious move. My mom heard about CMU through a co-worker and she suggested I check it out. I looked at the website and loved it! I decided to enroll in the Complete Makeup Artist Program as it was created to educate the students on all aspects of the makeup industry.
What did you enjoy most about attending CMU?
My favourite part about CMU was how hands-on it was. I struggled through university due to the complete lack of hands-on learning. Enrolling in CMU was extremely refreshing and reassuring, I finally knew where I was meant to be.
What’s the most important piece of skill you learned at CMU?
To never get attached to your work as the creative process has the potential to change quickly and to always conduct yourself professionally; you never know who can hear you, who is listening and the industry is a lot smaller than you think. Lastly, how to use/clean your kit in the most sanitary way possible.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of enrolling at CMU? As well any words of advice for aspiring makeup artists in general?
Just do it! You will not regret it and you will learn A LOT! There will be some days you will feel drained but don’t forget you’re there in order to achieve the dream career you’ve always wanted.
My advice is to never sell yourself short and be confident in your skills. Be aware that you will never stop learning and that there’s always room to improve your technique. Ask questions, and know that opportunities will come but they do not fall in your lap so get yourself out there; be assertive and bring snacks!
After graduating, how did you get started working in the industry?
When the teachers at CMU tell you the people in your class and the other students around you could most likely be your industry friends they’re not joking. Shortly after I graduated I reached out to other CMU graduates to conduct creative shoots. From there it has been a domino effect. Realize that you are going to be doing a lot of free work. I continue to meet more and more people through collaboration in order to network and keep my portfolio current. I was also very aware that assisting in the makeup industry was vital. I decided to volunteer for Toronto Fashion week where I met Elena Pacienza who was the key makeup artist. I now assist her often and I’m on the assistant list at P1 Artist Management.
What jobs have you been working on since graduating from CMU?
Jobs have been pretty spontaneous especially during these COVID times. Thankfully, amongst creatives, I have been able to do makeup for models with Elmer Olsen, Next Canada, B&M Artist Management, Spot6, and a couple of clothing brands. Now more than ever I am very blessed to be getting jobs assisting with Elena and P1M as well.
What have you learned being on set on all the projects you’ve done?
You will most likely have butterflies before any project you are part of but don’t worry, that’s your passion and the excitement of the creative process. Be confident in your skills, be kind, supportive and network!
From editorials in Solstice Magazine to advertising with Coors Light, what has been your favourite on the job experience thus far?
Being published and seeing my work in online magazines or company websites/ social platforms is always really flattering and I continue to manifest more of those experiences. However, I have to say having total creative freedom will always be my favourite. My publication in Solstice was probably my most favourite shoot I have done, but not because of the makeup I did but because of the team I created that publication with. One of my childhood best friend’s Daniel Hadfield (@danielhadfield) and I had the creative vision for that shoot, assembled a team and it came out stunning. It was amazing to see a vision become a reality and it meant so much that Jordan Taffe (@jordan.taffe whom I continued to shoot with numerous times after), Ace Shaw (stylist), Hannah (hairstylist), Victoria and Sarah (both with B&M) were willing to team up and make the publication happen.
Where do you find the inspiration behind your looks?
I believe that inspiration is limitless. One can get inspiration anywhere. I mostly draw inspiration from other creatives around me but I can usually look at someone’s face and know the look I will want to create. Other people’s faces really inspire me.
What else do you hope to accomplish in the future? Any dream projects?
Yes! I dream of getting runway experience. I am aware of the things I need to improve on and timing is one of them. I believe that runway experience would really help me with that but I would love to be around that backstage ‘urgent and perfectionist’ energy regardless. My ultimate dream is to travel the world doing makeup. I will cry tears of joy the day I get to fly somewhere or move somewhere to do makeup.