Wyvetta Taylor is a makeup artist and blogger in Los Angeles. She wasn't planning on being a makeup artist. Going to makeup school after college was just something to do because unemployment was really boring. After makeup school she still didn't plan on being a professional but she decided she needed to earn back her tuition so she started freelancing. She realized somewhere during that time that she actually liked doing makeup and stuck with it. We spoke to Wyvetta about her work.
Black Girls Create: What do you create?
I am a makeup artist as well as a beauty blogger. I got into it because after I graduated college I could find a job because I was an English major and I refused to teach. Everybody that I went to interview with was like “oh your degree is in English, oh okay cool…” so I was unemployed for a really long time. I ended up on the internet and found this ad for a makeup school, and I was like “oh I like makeup, ok I’m going to go.” I picked up a lot of weird hobbies at that time, and didn’t think I was like “wow, I spent a lot of money on tuition, I should make this back.” So I made it back and realized I really liked it, so I decided to keep doing it.
I freelance, which has been good. I recently switched into doing it full time. Before I was working for MAC and freelancing, but now I freelance strictly, and it’s been good.
BGC: Why do you create?
As far as being a freelance makeup artist, I create because I think it’s important for people to see that you can do it yourself, you don’t have to wait for someone to give you that job. If you want it, you can do it. I do my blog because Black girls just don’t get the attention that they need in mainstream magazines as far as beauty. Most of the time it’s like “I’m Black, that’s not going to work for me.” So having that space to show that “if you’re darker than this, this is what you can do.”
What I do primarily is focus on people of color, and I intentionally use pictures of Black people, just because you don’t see it. Even if it can apply to anybody I make sure that it’s someone who’s Black, or Hispanic, or somebody with some color.
Also what I really like about doing makeup is when I do someone’s face and it’s a photoshoot and I can see that picture afterwards I’m like “I did that.” That’s a really proud moment for me. So if I can show somebody what I did, or if someone is like “I like that,” and that was me, there’s so much pride in that for me. Especially because the difficult times definitely come and you have to have baby encouragements along the way.
BGC: What’s your favorite look right now?
Right now I’ve been doing really really natural, like almost looks like there’s nothing there but they somehow still look perfect. That’s been my thing for the last month or so. It definitely takes more time, because if I want to put on some blue eyeshadow it’s easy to make that pop. But when everything is really like bland, that’s harder.
BGC: Who is your audience?
Mostly women of color, people who want to see people who look like them and that want to learn more about makeup.
BGC: Who or what inspired you to do what you do?
My dad and my sister. My dad was a tailor when I was growing up and my sister was a hairstylist. So I saw people who did that, like you can be creative and this can be your job. You can work with someone else if you want to, but you don’t have to. You can do what you want and be what you want.
BGC: Who or what continues to inspire you?
I would say my family again just because they are so supportive. When I decided to quit my job and I told my parents they weren’t like “no, what are you doing?” I went to tell my mom and she was like “okay cool, what do you want to do?” And I told her I wanted to freelance full time and she was like “Alright, do it.” Obviously she made sure I had things planned out, we went through the whole checklist but it was never “don’t do it,” it was “if you’re going to do it, here’s what you need to do.”
BGC: Who would be your dream person to work with?
Beyoncé hands down. Honestly if she said she just needed someone to dust her table I’d be like “okay.” It would always be spotless.
BGC: Why is it important as a black person to create?
Just being able to have your own and showing other Black people that they can have their own, that you have options, and that you’re not limited.
BGC: How do you balance creating with the rest of your life?
Scheduling, a lot of scheduling. Because I freelance a lot of my time is my own, so it’s one of those things where I can make myself busy but I pad in time to go see my family, my boyfriend, my best friend. So being intentional about how I spend it. I used to do this thing where I was trying to fit it all in and not using a schedule - it was like here are the things I have to do and everything else I’ll fit in, which didn’t work.
BGC: Do you have any advice for young creators/ones just starting?
I would say to say what you want. Closed mouths don’t get fed. That’s probably one of the hardest things for me to do, especially in the beginning because I was thinking I don’t want to be annoying or get in the way, but I realized that wasn’t going to help me. What’s going to help is telling somebody what you want to do, what you’re trying, because especially in the beginning you have to have something to work with. And if you don’t have anything already, you have to find those people yourself, they’re not going to just come to you.
BGC: Any future projects?
I started aesthetician school in July, because as a makeup artist I’m super obsessed with skin being pretty, which is why I’m into makeup looking like there’s nothing there. So I really want to get to the point where it’s not only that I’m making someone look pretty for the day but that it’s actually better overall. I’m also working on a book - I’m in the very beginning stages of it, like chapter 1 - about makeup for Black women.