We had the good fortune of connecting with Gabriela Diaz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gabriela, why did you pursue a creative career?
It was at school that I felt inventive. I loved to work with my hands. I dabbled into ceramics, painting, drawing, and stained glass. In the summers I joined sewing classes and piano lessons. It’s kind of funny how I got into makeup because I didn’t grow up with any females, except for my mother who till this day doesn’t wear a single drop of makeup. I remember cutting out pictures from Avon catalogs and magazines I collected. I was inspired and started wearing bold looks to school. Soon enough the senior girls wanted to pay me to do their prom makeup. Pretty sure my first paid job was fifteen dollars. That is when I realized I had a talent for makeup. One summer I bought tickets to IMATS (International makeup artist trade show) I felt as if I had walked into charlie and the chocolate factory but makeup version. I was completely fascinated by all the talent, from makeup artistry to body painting and special effects. That is when I decided to pursue a creative career as a makeup artist. I loved the idea of going to work and feeling excited about it. Growing up in a Latin household I was constantly told that I shouldn’t pursue a creative career because I wouldn’t make a living from it. But I’ve always been a daydreamer. My passion became a reality, I am so blessed I get to do and teach makeup for a living. As an artist, I am forever learning and evolving. It is a career I will never stop pursuing because I found something that gives me butterflies.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I began my journey as a makeup artist in Arizona. I did all kinds of makeup jobs from bridal to fashion shows. I was doing well and happy but not complacent, I’ve always been a risk-taker and up for challenges. One day I decided to end my lease and move to LA. I sold and got rid of all my belongings. All I could fit in my car was my makeup kit, my chair, lighting, one box of clothes, and big dreams. Starting over in a new place is never easy but I was excited about new opportunities. That was one of the hardest yet most rewarding decisions I have made as an artist. I faced a lot of challenges, one of them being creative blocks. I’m sure every artist can attest to that. It is important to find those things that inspire you and stay true to yourself. I learned a lot along the way, lots of trial and error. I will never stop learning and growing. The industry evolves on a daily basis and expertise has to be upgraded accordingly. As a makeup artist, it is extremely important to know color theory and being able to work with all ethnicities and skin tones. A lot of people have told me they felt like they couldn’t wear makeup because they felt it wasn’t made for their kind of skin but when I’ve taught them they felt empowered and inspired. It has been my duty to educate myself and teach others how to do makeup from the fairest to the deepest complexions. Being a makeup artist is not as easy as it looks on Instagram. It takes determination, patience. practice, lots and lots of education/research. Did I meantion investing! Invest in it wholeheartedly.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
LA is so much fun, We would go have breakfast at places like Urth cafe or Joan’s on third. Two iconic places I can never get bored of. Hikes are also so much Fun in LA they all have a different vibe. I love Runyon canyon, especially during sunset because you can see DTLA from up there. Malibu hikes are beautiful, with views overlooking the ocean. Once in malibu, we would go to Point Dume. Great place to put your phone down and absorb the moment.
we would go have a picnic in laguna beach or ride bikes in Venice.
If my friend wanted to walk around we would definitely go to the grove. we would first make a stop at pampas grill in the farmers market, a hidden gem. Then we would make shop at the grove and have drinks in front of the fountain bar. On the last day, we would go catch a sunset at the Griffith observatory. Have drinks at Harriet’s rooftop bar on sunset boulevard. Then head to dinner at Catch LA. Their popcorn shrimp and hit-me cake are a must. Without a doubt, my friends would never be hungry I’m a foodie and love exploring restaurants all over LA and I know some really cool spots.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There’s a big list of people who deserve credit. My parents are my biggest inspiration. I’ve seen them move to a new country, learn a new language. and start a successful business from absolutely nothing to something. They taught me resilience. I owe credit to all my friends and family who have supported my journey, People who have mentioned my name in a room full of opportunities. And to all my lovely clients who have trusted me.
Eyeatrataction (photogrrapher) Leyla stefani (photographer)