Check out this great article on See Makeup Artist Robert Greene!
FEATURED ARTIST: ROBERT GREENE
Artist Relations spoke with Editorial Makeup Artist, Robert Greene, on his career in fashion and beauty.
I started when I was about seventeen just doing makeup randomly for friends sometimes, or my mom, clubbing with friends... that kind of thing. I grew up in Miami in the nineties. We were all into fashion and fashion photography, and Versace was huge in Miami at the time. I was fascinated by the 90s models, the Kevin Aucoin movement, and Fabien Baron. I ended up moving to New York in 1997 from Miami to Attend the Fashion Institute of Technology. I graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design and Advertising. I worked in the design industry for a few years and then was directly impacted by the tragedies of 9/11. The magazine I worked for at the time folded, and this, believe it or not, lead to my career as a makeup artist. I really started with nothing and I didn't know anyone that could help me figure this out, and sometimes I can’t believe how I got to where I am now? It was a huge risk in my life. My first kit was a small bag comprised of old makeup from my mom, and friends and room mates. Most of my brushes were old watercolor brushes I had from my previous years as a fine artist when I was younger. So to make a very long story as short as I can... I kept going and meeting photographers and stylists etc. online, and I started to test heavily. I did four or five assisting jobs but never assisted anyone full time. I had to make this happen as soon as I could so I didn't have to go behind the desk again. I put together a book and started cold calling agencies asking for appointments. This step was crucial for me. With the advice of an agent, I was able to get my book where it needed to be so agencies would consider signing me. It took me three long years of being on my own, until I signed with my agency in August of 2005. Three and a half years later, here I am...
What are your favorite resources for inspiration?
Difficult question to answer because I am truly inspired by so many things on a day to day basis. It is everywhere in New York City. In terms of makeup, specific color combinations really inspire me, what they mean together, and how they vibrate next to each other. I love to play with color. I also get a lot of inspiration from movies. Especially those with eccentric women, like the films of David Lynch and Pedro Almodovar. The iconic era of 90's fashion, and fashion photography, is still a huge source of inspiration for me as well. Everything about it. Other than that I find inspiration from real women on the streets. Elderly women from Queens, NY, where I live are incredible and daring, Latin American women I see on the #7 train, graffiti, street kids, graphic design, the 80s, video games, Madonna, Japan, Art...
What is your creative process?
It all really begins with a good idea, and that in itself is a process. I do a lot of research when coming up with some of the more conceptual stuff I do. It involves a lot of thinking... and a lot of sketching. In this process I am also really searching for an original idea and I think this is how you start to find, and develop your style. Most of the looks I have done have exact sketches to match. I see it sometimes as graphic design on the face. The final product will be a 2D image, so it’s very similar to the design process I used to go through when I was in the graphic design industry. The goal for me is to simplify something into an iconic representation of an idea using makeup. I don't always sketch for everything I do but I enjoy that process a lot. I like thinking.
What is the best advice you received regarding your career, you would want to pass along to someone new to the industry?
Anything is possible.
Who are Makeup Artists you admire?
What was your first makeup job?
I got a random frantic call one day asking me if I can do tattoos... never having done them before, I said yes. It was for the premiere issue of V Man, an accessory story with men’s watches shot by 2A by Sylvere. They wanted it to be a bird tattoo story. I ended up hand painting four bird tattoos that took forever. It was the first time I received a call sheet from an agency.
Name your 3 Favorite must-have M·A·C products:
Face & Body Foundation
Studio Moisture Fix
My palette of matte Eye Shadows. All nuetrals. A gradation of shades from black, grey, dark brown, taupe, to ivory beiges. A must have palette.