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Meet Azucena Rodriguez of Gruesome Meets Glamour

Today we’d like to introduce you to Azucena Rodriguez.

Azucena, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve always had a passion for art. Since I was in elementary, I would love to draw. My father was a big supporter and a fan of my drawings. He would push me to do more, I said to myself I was going to be a painter, an artist of some kind when I grew up.

Unfortunately, my mom didn’t have the same ideas as I did. She didn’t want me to become an artist, in her eyes she wanted her daughter to become something more, a lawyer, a doctor. She would tell me there was no money in what I wanted to do, that it wasn’t a career but I didn’t care about the money. I wanted to be in love with my job. She discouraged me and as time went by my little hobby starting fading away. I started college and dropped out after not feeling motivated in any class I took. Since being an artist wasn’t an option, I had no clue what I wanted to do.

I’m a big movie fanatic, always have been. Every time I would watch a movie I would get curious as to how they did the makeup especially when it came to horror… So why not learn? I’m in love with art, the fact that you create something out of nothing is so amazing to me. I started looking into schools and realized it was too expensive for me to afford. With no support or money, I didn’t see it being possible… One day after work I decided to just say screw it and I walked down the block from my job to a makeup school. No questions asked I signed up. Little did I know classes started that day.

After seeing how dedicated I was with school and my work, my mom has been very supportive of my career. I graduated from School on February 8, 2018. I am now a professional makeup artist specializing in Beauty, Face, and Bodypaint and Special Effects Makeup. I’ve been doing makeup for a year and a half and I’m a freelance Makeup Artist. I’ve worked makeup conventions such as Son Of Monsterpalooza, Scare L.A, L.A Women’s Expo as well as Fairs, School Fairs, Parties, Halloween Events. I am working with a company doing makeup tutorials for their site. I also just did my first art show showcasing my work with RAW Artists in a venue in Hollywood and will be doing another one soon, in San Francisco.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There were many struggles along the way. Coming from a Hispanic family, that had different views of jobs and careers was tough. My family didn’t think being a makeup artist or just an artist was a job. Not having the support that I wanted was something that was holding me back for some time.. There’s also so much competition out there, that sometimes during school I would think if it was even worth it. There are times where I’ve felt like giving up and I’ve also had times where I don’t feel like I’m good enough.

I think everyone has days like these. What helps me overcome that is seeing also the positive areas in my career and how hard I’ve worked to get here. That’s when I push myself even harder to get to where I want to be. Being a mom of a toddler, balancing school and work was also not easy..I honestly didn’t have a social life. When I did have free time, I would choose to spend quality time with my daughter or I would be doing beauty makeup, face painting, sfx on myself.

I’m proud of myself for not giving up and following my dreams. I’m happy that I stayed in the art industry and I chose happiness over wealth.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Gruesome Meets Glamour – what should we know?
As of right now, I am working with Sephora as a Makeup Artist. I am also working for a company doing tutorials for their website. I do freelance work as well. I’ve worked beauty conventions, Halloween conventions, Halloween Events, Kids face painting parties, Kids Fairs, An art Show and just beauty makeup on clients. I do beauty makeup, facepaint and bodypaint, Special Effects Makeup And I also Airbrush. I love everything I do, but if I had to pick I would say editorial/avant-garde looks and bodypainting is my fave.

I’m a Certified Makeup Artist. I take my time planning my looks and try to be as creative as possible. I’m my own competition, I’m always trying to find ways to make my work better than my last. I strive to be the best I can be. I have an artistic background. Like I previously mentioned, I use to draw and it’s incorporated in my makeup design, especially when I’m facing/bodypainting

Money is not the motive. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely rewarding and needed. I truly do it because I love it. It makes me happy. It honestly, has never felt like “work.”I love expressing myself through it and I love how it makes people feel. Art is my passion and makeup is my art form. What makes it even more special to me is that I get to use the human body as my canvas.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
During school, my mom would help me out a lot with my daughter. She would watch her when I would go to school. My teachers were a great help too, some I stayed in contact with. They opened my eyes to see a whole different world of makeup and art.

A few of my close friends were very helpful, they were constantly asking how school was going and would just be there to talk when I was feeling stressed out. They would as be models for me when I would need some for finals or photoshoots.

Clients and just people in general that like my work has been a helping hand as well.

With their sweet comments and the way they feel after having their make up done, they encourage me to keep doing more and being better.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Steve Meir

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