Innovation and Impact: Past Projects

Freelance Makeup Artistry

Project Description

Upon graduation from Oberlin College, I intend to establish myself as a self-employed, freelance makeup artist. I see makeup artistry as means of storytelling. All of our personalities, experiences, and emotions leave their mark on us, affecting the way we hold our faces and bodies, the way we style and present ourselves, the condition of our bodies, and the texture of our skin. Makeup is the art of creating and shaping these markers of identity through the painting and sculpting of the body. The body serves as a form of canvas, another layer of expression within an art piece, inextricable from the piece’s meaning and aesthetic as a whole. Makeup artists usually function as freelance artists, finding work in film, television, music videos, photography, fashion, theater, performance art, multimedia art, journalism, politics, medical makeup and prosthetics.  

My goal for this project is to establish myself as a freelance makeup artist. In order to do so, I must make connections, promote myself as an artist, and work towards getting into the union. I have established some connections in the Cleveland area, and intend to begin working there following graduation in May 2010. In order to market myself, I will need to have a professional website which will showcase my portfolio and resume, and provide a way for potential employers to get in contact with me. I will need business cards, and MAC Pro certification, which will grant me access to master classes in the latest techniques, networking opportunities, and a 40% discount on the products that will be necessary for work as a freelance makeup artist.  

Once I have developed a professional website, built up a professional quality freelance makeup artist kit, printed business cards, and established more connections through networking opportunities, I will be able to make greater use of the connections I already have and continue to find professional work as a makeup artist. After establishing myself professionally in the Cleveland area, I will be able to work my way into the union, and eventually transfer to New York City or Los Angeles to expand my career opportunities.

For current information on Alani Gaunt please visit her website.

About Alani Gaunt

Alani Gaunt is an aspiring makeup artist and Cinema Studies and Studio Art student originally from Columbus, Ohio. She became involved with makeup design in her high school theater department, and wanted to continue into college. Upon arriving at Oberlin College freshmen year, Alani discovered that very little had previously been done as far as makeup for film and theater and she set about to change that. She began working on student thesis films freshmen year, word got around about her work, and she was soon getting regular requests for her work in film and theater. Alani has taught a workshop in special effects makeup for film at Oberlin, completed a winter term in which she returned to her high school theater department to teach stage makeup, and completed several private readings in makeup for film, prosthetics makeup, and fashion makeup. She has interned with Opera New Jersey’s Wig and Makeup Department and worked on independent short films. This past winter term, Alani worked extensively with Oberlin alum and filmmaker Mika Johnson and a team of fellow Oberlin students on his project Amerika: A Notebook in Three Parts. She completed her Cinema Studies thesis in makeup design for film, designing for seven senior thesis films. After graduation, Alani intends to continue working as a freelance makeup artist.