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Meet Adrian Atako

Today we’d like to introduce you to Adrian Atako.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Adrian. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Well first I’ll start by saying this… It has truly been a journey. A journey that I would advise anyone that plans on following their dreams to prepare for it as best as you can. As a Brooklyn, NY native, I knew that I’d been blessed with a gift from a young age. I’d always been artistic. I loved to draw and always had an interest in the arts. I taught myself how to do makeup eighteen years ago by practicing on female family members and friends as blank canvases. As time went on, I spent more time studying and assisting peers in order to cultivate my craft. In my mid twenties I had the opportunity to shadow and learn under the tutelage of one of makeup industries greats, Danessa Myricks. She afforded me the opportunity to work with billion-dollar hair companies doing makeup for their hair campaigns while living in New York. It was such a humbling and surreal experience to see my work published in magazines and billboards throughout the US. However, as time progressed I desired more and decided to take a leap of faith and relocate to Los Angeles in March of 2017. I wanted to expand my platform by working with other creatives, artists, and within the tv and film industry. Working in this industry definitely has its share of great moments but also challenges and disappointments. The funny thing is that the challenges and disappointments never derived from my gift of artistry itself but with people and outside situations that I’d encountered. Through it all, I have been able to get where I am today through prayer, hard work, dedication, staying focused, being consistent and having a great support system.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Were things easy? Not at all… I mean don’t get me wrong there were some great moments however, there were some rough moments too. Sacrificing my time was one of them. As a freelance makeup artist, you always have to be ready at any given moment. Having an outside life really isn’t priority when you’re trying to make sure you bringing in enough work to take care of your day to day & monthly expenses. Everything from rent, car note, student loans, credit card payments, and groceries all would seem to hit me at the same time at one point. There were moments where I didn’t even think I would make it as an artist and I’d have to return to the corporate world just to stay financially above water. I mean I’d be down to my lowest or my account would even be negative but, my love for makeup wouldn’t let me give up. See, to many it may seem that having a career as a freelance makeup artist, creating your own schedule, working with celebrities and brands is the glamorous life. That’s not 100% true. There were moments when the work was completed on my end and months later I still hadn’t received any payment. Everyone would see my work published and think that it’s all good. No one tells you in this business that it’s not for the faint of heart. You must be able to speak up for yourself and stand firm on what you believe in and want. It’s the only way that others will respect you. It was only until then that I started to see change and things go my way.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I am your ultimate beauty connoisseur. What I mean by that is I create a clean flawless look all while enhancing your best features. Leaving you feeling exquisite. My specialty is overall face. Throughout the years I have really focused though on color correcting and great snatched brows. My motto is, “everyone is a Jewel and should feel as such when experiencing the services of Adrian Atako Beauty.”

What were you like growing up?
Growing up for me as an early eighties baby but still considered to be a millennial was fun. Living in a brownstone in Brooklyn playing outside. up and down the streets until the street lights came on priceless. As I got older during my teen years life became difficult with accepting who I was in the process of becoming. Growing up black and gay wasn’t a walk in the park. I fought with myself as well as ridiculed and teased by others on my identity. At that time I don’t know that it was okay to love and accept me for who I truly was. It made me shy, self-conscious, and very nervous at times especially when being around other people. I was even ridiculed at times for having a unisex name. Children were creek, harsh, and insensitive. The Arts was my getaway, my way of escape. It helped me become the man that you see today.

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Instagram: Adrian_Atako
  • Facebook: Adrian Atako
  • Twitter: Adrian_Atako

Image Credit:

Action shot (myself & Lalah Hathaway)

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