Today we’d like to introduce you to Blanca Olide Cervantes .
Blanca , please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In 2008 my life took an unexpected turn and was left asking myself “what should I do next?” After the recession, like a lot of people, I was left without a job. I started to work small jobs, but nothing that I felt was fulfilling my expectations or for the most part making me happy. I knew that this time, it was important for me to find something that would fulfill what I was looking for, which was loving what I was doing.
So, I turned to something I always knew I loved: art. I loved all aspects of art, and I also knew that I would love to be my own boss. So after leaving a job I wasn’t fond of and working hours I hated, I decided to try my hand at an e-commerce business. Just a heads up, this is rather difficult to fund on your own—it wasn’t for me. After a year and a half, I decided to close the e- commerce business because for me it was difficult to sustain the business on my own financially. Would I recommend it, of course, there is nothing like being your own boss but only and if you can afford it or are able to get a loan. I was not able to do loans at the time because not only was I going through financial hardship but also losing my house.
I reached a second turning point. Being my own boss and trying to muster up a customer base out of nowhere, was not something I had experience doing, or was what I wanted to pursue. So here I was again wondering what to do. Like most people who do what they love, I found my next endeavor accidentally, and through social media of all places. I was scrolling through Instagram and came upon all these
makeup artists and I was inspired. So many of them, creating content and putting their art out there was inspiring. So I thought to myself, why not try my hand at makeup artistry.
There was this one makeup artist by the name of Xanthia Pink and I decided to ask her how she got into the industry. She replied and said that she was self-taught and had been doing it for a couple of years. And I wondered, why not makeup artistry? Maybe if I get certified, I’ll get higher paying jobs? I have nothing against self-taught makeup artists, I admire someone who can just learn on their own, and some of the best makeup artists I’ve followed are self-taught, but I just felt like I needed to know the basics of makeup and application. The course was an amazing experience.
After learning about makeup artistry I was excited about the upcoming opportunities. But then I had a reality check when it came down to me doing a photo shoot for my portfolio and everyone knows the story, I wasn’t happy with the outcome. Makeup was ok because you have to remember I was just starting out, but when it came time for me to style the model’s hair, ugh it was a mess. Lol… can I use the term Lol? Yeah, it was a realization that knowing the basics was great, but what I needed was practice. I needed to practice my makeup skills and also being able to style hair. Thankfully this was not a paid job, but if it would have been I’m sure I wouldn’t have gotten a callback.
I did some research and found a school that taught courses on face painting—I wanted to learn everything I could. I signed up for the class, but it canceled. The school contacted me and told me they were offering a Hair Design Class instead and asked me if I would like to take that instead , I was thinking to myself that I didn’t want the hair class but then quickly had a flashback to my experience from the dreaded photoshoot.
This is where I decided I would give hair design a try. Now that I had my certification for makeup artistry, I thought to myself “why not hair design?” I wanted to expand my opportunities and wanted to offer my employers anything they needed from a stylist. I didn’t want to take a job and be like a dear in headlights, not knowing what to do.
I loved the course and it was the best decision I made. I met amazing people at this school. This is where I truly received amazing feedback and learned more than I could have imagined. At this school, I met my mentor, Michelle Woodley, who gave me the confidence in doing something I was scared to do, which was hair. Once I was certified, she was the very first one to provide an opportunity to work on a music video. Which was nice to find someone who believed in me and gave me that confidence.
Once I did my first video I was just excited about this new career and being able to learn new things. It was a whole new world for me.
I also had the opportunity to work with a Photographer and Makeup Artist by the name of Fidel Gonzalez whose worked I admired for a long time. Prior to me starting at this school I had already been following Fidel on Social Media for quite some time. Being inspired by all his artistry and talent. True story I remember having a conversation with him on FB messenger and having a long conversation and thinking to myself, “how awesome would it be if I could work someone like him”? It turned out the school I was attending knew him. I once again had the opportunity to work with Michelle Woodley on a music video! At this shoot I met Fidel Gonazlez, I was literally freaking out cause here was the artist I admired and was able to meet him and his husband for the first time. I got to work with this amazing group of people. Once we worked on this music video we hit it off. They are great to work with, give honest feedback and take the time to teach things that others probably wouldn’t want to teach. They took me under their wings and introduced me to models and music artists. The networking I’ve done and the network I’ve built through these relationship has been priceless. I feel the reason for my success in this industry is because of the relationships I have built and cause of my attitude. I work well with others and I always try to make sure my clients are happy. I try my best to come to work with a smile and great attitude because this will always set the tone on set or at any job. I try my very best to be happy and listen to what my clients like and don’t like, and usually, it works.
Has it been a smooth road?
Being in this industry is tough, cause you have so many people doing makeup artistry at the moment. But I feel you just have to find your niche for what you do. We all do things differently. I’ve been extremely lucky because I’ve met great people. Believe me, not everything is butterflies and rainbows but for the most part, I’m grateful for the relationships I have been able to build. I try to always keep in touch with the people I have met along the way. I have times I get busy but then there are days when it slows down. You just have to make sure you keep current with all aspects of the industry and roll with the punches and have hope.
What are some of the influences that have played the biggest role in your journey so far?
There have been many people who have influenced my career. The first is Michelle Woodley. She taught me how to do hair; something I went into not expecting to like at all. I went into class not knowing what to expect and not being too fond of that area at all because I was scared of using hot tools and hurting someone . That changed with Michelle’s teaching style, expertise and belief in me. This great combination leads to my liking of this area and excelling more than I’d ever anticipated. Michelle gifted me with so much knowledge and gave me the opportunity to work with a person I admire: Fidel Gonzales. Fidel, in turn, gave me more opportunities to work with musicians and models alike. I’ve had the opportunity to work with music Artist like Master P. and Busta Rhymes and even have ongoing relationships with great models who I’ve worked with on multiple occasions. Meeting Fidel provided great opportunities and gave me invaluable experience in networking.
I am a firm believer that life works in mysterious ways. The reason I say this is because, in the process of me going to this school to just take a hair design class, I met my mentors. And from there it was like a snowball effect. I went from not having confidence in my ability as this type of artist to rubbing elbows with experts in the industry, working with people I admire, and meeting people I never thought I’d meet.
What kind of work do you look forward to most?
I honestly don’t think I have a favorite. I’m going to take the easy way out here and say I look forward to working on all of it. I love what I do so much, it’s hard to pinpoint one specific thing I look forward to working on. I love experiencing new things and working with different people on an array of projects.
Everything I have done thus far has been rewarding, so all of the projects and clients I’ve had the privilege to work on/with are my favorite. I love working on behind the scenes stuff and meeting new clients. I find so many rewards in what I do, like when the person I’ve worked with is happy or loves what I’ve done with their hair or makeup. It’s a great feeling to make someone happy and give them confidence because they allow me to highlight the beauty that is already there. Then there are photoshoots that I direct that allow me to be creative and see my vision captured in an image that conveys everything I wanted to show…it’s all so rewarding.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I feel I live with no regrets, I would have done everything exactly the same. I believe with mistakes come experience and I would not trade that for anything. It makes me the person I am. It keeps me grounded and makes me not take things for granted.
- Website: www.blancaocervantes.wix.com/photomuahair
- Phone: 323-893-6294
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: makeupbyblancs
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/BlancaCervantesMuaphotography