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Meet Rocio Jahanbakhsh

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rocio Jahanbakhsh.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I was born and raised in Guadalajara México, I moved to the United States, with my parents and siblings in 1993. My dad is an artist, and I grew up watching him create, draw and write storylines for T.V commercials and media advertisement, I then discovered that art was also my passion when I was introduced to art classes during my high school years. I was headed to law school but changed my mind when I continued taking art classes in College. My dream was to become a Special FX makeup artist, like every Halloween I would create the wildest costumes for me, out of whatever I had available at home.

I never imagine, in a million years that I would ever be in the fashion and beauty industry, as I grew up being bullied about my image, a bit overweight and I didn’t have a sense of fashion at all, I think of me back then as the girl version of Steve Urkel, now I laugh every time I think about it ha ha!, but it was very awkward at times and socially hard for me.

After I took a few classes in College, “Life” took me a different route, I started working full time, and I spent most of my corporate years in the demanding industries of mortgage and real estate.

I was blessed with an amazing and supportive husband, to whom I been married to for 8 years, and he pushed me to quit my job and pursue my dream, in January of 2014 I enrolled to an amazing Makeup Artistry Private academy In Costa Mesa, C.A. where I was taught and Mentored by the legendary Donna Mee, my life changed ever since, after 9 intense and full-time months of studying there, I received 3 certificates from the academy, and I haven’t looked back ever since. At the age of 37 now, I have been working almost five years as a professional Makeup artist, full time in this industry and I love it, and I recently partnered up with a friend and Donna Mee’s grads, and we open our own studio.

Please tell us about your art.
I am a full-time Makeup artist, my main focus is Film and T.V., but I also love doing Beauty and Fashion Makeup. I love the creative process, the teamwork, the long hours on set, I love having to create characters for film, reading the scripts and establishing looks. I have also been published several times in beauty and Fashion Magazines, I love the feeling, the adrenaline I get out of seeing the final product of my work. It now has been almost 5 years of a lot of sacrifices, trying to climb up this ladder every day, as Makeup artistry is not as glamorous and easy as a lot of people think, it is a lot of hard work, a lot of persistence, and long hours, long commutes, opening doors.

I also love working with my “regular clients” the everyday women, I have learned so much from them and together, with each story they share or I share with them, we are building our self-esteem. A lot of my clients, have never experienced having makeup done for them, or even wear makeup because no one taught them how, and when they see themselves in the mirror, they change, they light up, they become someone they didn’t know they could be. A lot of people see makeup as a surface, as a mask, as vain but if you are in this, if you live and share their stories, Makeup can change lives, makeup can be therapy, I guess they have to live it to understand.

I am now living my dream. I was that awkward kid, the one that was headed for an average life, but I decided I didn’t want to be that person, I didn’t want to settle. I am blessed and I have always had the support of my family, of my husband, and I just needed a little push to fly.

I also volunteer in a few mentorship programs every time I get the opportunity and try to bring new artists on set with me, to mentor them, I want to inspire and help as many as I can, because I know how hard this road is, and I DON’T want them to lose hope.

Choosing a creative or artistic path comes with many financial challenges. Any advice for those struggling to focus on their artwork due to financial concerns?
I couldn’t pursue my career due to financial challenges, so this question is dear to my heart. My life hasn’t been easy for me at all, my parents have always been our rock, our example of hard work and perseverance. I wish I could tell you everything that my family and I have been through, but I would need pages and pages to be able to tell you my story, in fact, I could write a book.

My advice is not to ever give up, everything is a sacrifice, you can decide to continue the path that you are on, or to pursue your dream, every success comes with a challenge, it is up to you to find your battles, and fight them strong, it will eventually pay off.

When you want something, you will find a way. We are lucky not living in a 3rd world country fighting for survival every single day, trying to find food, water, shelter. We need to stop thinking we are victims and make things happen. Get a loan, a credit card, find family and friends that are willing to help you with a place to stay even if it is their couch, so you can save some money. Stay focus and sacrifice some of your night outs with friends and find people that have the same dreams and goals you, someone who can mentor you. There’s also a way.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I have my website, and they can also see my work in Instagram @rj_makeup_artist

They can book me or message me through my social media outlets, Facebook, Instagram, my website and I also have my phone # available via Instagram.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Makeup and hair by me on all images
1-Katty Ukhanova
Rock Etiquette
Chiaroscuro Fotografia
2-Lyzzy Addler
Denny Glow
3-Tara Blanchard
Gamma Photography Studio
4-Falon Durfield
Melissa Wenger
5-Kiersty Rouge
JAG visuals
6-Katty Ukhanova
Rock Etiquette
Chiaroscuro Fotografia
7-Charlie Riina
Chiaroscuro Fotografia
Victoria Pressly
8-Polina Reed
JAG Visuals

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Gaylynn Baker

    October 24, 2018 at 23:02

    Rocio is fabulous. She just did deep bloody make-up on me for a 1 day shoot in the Desert and at the end of the day got me completely clean again. Plus she was a dear to work with. Bravo for this article.

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