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Meet Los Angeles Makeup Artist: Katelin Gan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katelin Gan.

Katelin, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?

I have always been interested in beauty from a very young age. Growing up in a small town of IL my brother (who later went on to school for fashion design) and I were in need of a creative outlet. Using fabric from old couch cushions or curtains; anything interesting he could find really; my brother would make flowing silhouettes and dress me in them. I would do my hair and makeup and we would have impromptu photoshoots using disposable cameras. From then on I was obsessed with beauty and makeup.

Knowing what I wanted to do but not realizing that I could actually make it a reality. I would sit for hours and look through books of the most talented makeup artist. To me, it was a slideshow of inspiration. I was just in awe of the creative process and drawn to the beauty of the images. My passion for makeup began to grow from then and that was when I decided what I needed to do.

I moved to LA and went to makeup school at MUD (Makeup Designory).When I completed my program I got a job working for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. It was great to be doing makeup every day for so many different people. It was then I really honed my skills as an artist. Knowing that I didn’t want to stay in the retail world I switched over to freelancing for the company which gave me the freedom to start working on set and assisting well-established makeup artists. I was now assisting some of the artists that I was inspired by so many years ago.

When Bobbi Brown launched her new youtube channel “I love makeup” I was one of the first makeup artists to work with the channel. It was a good reminder for me of what I wanted to do. I then transitioned from working in stores to mainly being on set.

Now I have been collaborating with other creatives in the industry on advertising, look books and editorials. My work can also be seen in music videos and on the red carpet. I continue to assist some of the most sought-after artists in the industry who keep inspiring me and teaching me invaluable skills and techniques.

I love the creative process and all that goes into a shoot. I am inspired every day by the natural beauty of each individual that sits in my chair. I understand the importance of bringing out the natural beauty in everyone. To me, the best type of makeup isn’t what makes you look your best but what makes you feel your best!

Has it been a smooth road?
I think my biggest challenge was taking the leap. Packing up a car and driving to LA seemed like I was diving into the unknown but it was so exciting!

The other struggle was transitioning from having a full-time job with Bobbi Brown to living the freelance lifestyle.

Have you ever wanted to stop doing what you do and just start over?
I have never wanted to completely give up on being a freelance makeup artist but there were times that my end goal seemed pretty far away. The steady paycheck of the cosmetic retail world seemed nice at times and there was a brief moment I almost got stuck. The transition from having a full-time job to taking jobs day by day was tough but it has really paid off. Taking that leap was the best thing I could have done for my career.

What would you tell someone who is just starting out?
A couple things… In the beginning take every job! You never know who you will meet and where one job can lead you.

I highly recommend assisting! Reach out to artists you admire (and their agents). It’s really amazing to get to work with and learn from artists that have inspired you.

What are you looking forward to?
I absolutely love what I do but I know there is so much left to come. I am excited to put in the work and to see where my craft takes me. I am excited to venture out into the unknown and be open to every opportunity that arises. That is the beauty of it all. There are so many talented creatives in this industry that I hope to collaborate with. I love the creative freedom and I am excited to let it take me places.

On a personal level, I am excited for all of the adventures ahead with my husband and our little boy.
There are so many places we have yet to travel to and I am excited to explore and experience life with them.

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.katelingan.com
  • Phone: 618.780.4500
  • Email: katelingan@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @katelin_gan

 

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