Editorial photos can be found on Erin Green's website, ErinGreenMakeup.com
Every component of an editorial shoot is important. Although credit is often sited to photographers, stylists and art directors for bringing an imaginary world to life, some tend to overlook the details. The model's striking features like their well-defined cheekbones, rosy red lips and perfect hair look like the work of great genetics but is often times the work of a great makeup artist. Artist is the best word to describe them, because applying makeup is more than just making a person look flawless. At times, it is about making a person look like an entirely different human being - making a woman look like a man or a zombie, prepubescent or elderly - applying makeup is an art form and should never be overlooked.
Toronto born, Erin Green is a true artist who's work spans from women's fashion to menswear, celebrity clientele and advertising. Some of your favorite editorials on Vogue.com, Marie Claire, InStyle, W, Interview, VMag, Paper, Bullett, Vice, Nylon, Complex, Rolling Stone and Material Girl had makeup and grooming done by her hand. Marc Jacobs, adidas, Converse, Urban Outfitters, BLK DNM, Warby Parker, Rochambeau and Reformation all turned to Erin for her expertise and the list is still growing. It's easy to look over the fine details, but when Erin is behind the job you can't help but stop and admire longer than you usually would.
We chatted with this week's Hustler, Erin Green, about how she broke into the industry and her accomplishments thus far.
What was life like growing up?
I grew up in a suburb just outside Toronto until I was about 12 years old at which point I moved to Downtown Toronto. The suburbs were definitely boring; there was a lot of hanging out in parking lots, movie theaters and food courts. Until I moved downtown it was pretty boring to say the least.
When did you discover that this is what you want to be doing?
I accidentally became a makeup artist, I didn't have any life long dream of becoming one - it just kind of fell into my lap, so I guess the moment I realized that this is what I wanted to be doing was after I had already started doing it in about 2004/2005.
How did doing makeup first present itself to you?
I first got into doing makeup by way of a lie. I told a director I knew what I was doing in order to get the paying job, which I needed desperately, and that was to do makeup, hair and style a band for a music video. I walked on to the set with my silver makeup box and bullshitted my entire way through the day. I miraculously did a halfway decent job and ended up getting hired again!
Was there another career path that you considered following?
At one point I wanted to be a photojournalist - I was convinced I was going to become a world traveler taking pictures of beautiful landscapes.
How did you work your way into the fashion industry?
When I first started doing makeup in LA it was mostly music videos so it wasn't until I moved to New York that I started doing fashion shoots. It definitely took me a good amount of time to work my way into the fashion industry, because when I got here I didnt know anyone. I tested and tested and tested trying to meet more and more people and build my book for about 2 years before I started really getting into doing stuff that I loved.
When did you realize that you would be successful?
Well I realized that this was going to be my career when I officially quit my second job about 3 years ago. It's a funny transition when you go from working 6 days a week and sometimes 15 hours a day to realizing you only need 1 job to survive.
As far as "being successful" I think that in this industry you never really achieve success (if you're a work hound like most people in NY are)... you can always work harder and do better jobs which makes success harder to reach but, thats not to say that you're not satisfied with the work you are producing and are proud of.
What are some of your accomplishments in the industry?
I have been lucky enough to work with some people that I really admire like musicians, actors and other makeup artist. I've been sent to places in the world I never would have ended up in on my own and I've been given the opportunity to create on a daily basis.
What else do you hope to accomplish in the industry?
I am not trying to project too much, I just want to work hard and stay focused and see where my work takes me... hopefully that means more traveling!
Lastly, any advice for those still trying to make it in the biz?
Keep on testing, so much testing.