We had the good fortune of connecting with Imani Ezhari and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Imani, why did you pursue a creative career?
I pursued an artistic career out of curiosity. I worked the conventional path out of direction while working the creative path out of discovery. We all know that the school to University to Corporate path is what worked for our grandparents, maybe even the majority of our parents, but once the information age launched that path seemed to work less for our generation. So I decided that I can work that path & see where it got me and in tandem, follow my passion for makeup to see where that could take me. Both have gotten me far, but my heart is so fulfilled with Artistry By Imani and all the gorgeous clients & students I get to serve!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
When I tell you I became obsessed with makeup, I became that girl in the Freshman dorm always watching YouTube, trying to capture techniques, color theory, brush angles, skin tones, textures, and experiment with every look. (I definitely had some funky looks in my early stages). I just loved all the versatility in the beauty industry.
When I finally learned what look was right for, I really got it right. Friends started to ask for me to do their makeup to walk around campus, dates, formal events, etc. I think my real exposure came when friends started to host fashion shows at our university. I was asked to do makeup because they were down an artist so I accepted and had a whole dance party once I got back to my dorm, like I’d won an Oscar!
From that 1 fashion show, I was asked to do 3 more. By time the 3rd University fashion show rolled around I was asked to do Fashion Week!! (I know, crazy!!) Im blessed to have been able to do it 3 years in a row. Being back stage at Fashion Week was what made me realize “Girl, it’s time to legitimize its time to legitimize your business.” And that’s how I got my start.
Artistry By Imani was born out of curiosity and sustained out of passion. Although I got my start in Runway, I also specialize in Bridal & Editorial.
Every door that has been opened has been something I’ve chosen to say yes to, not knowing the outcome, just exploring to see where my talent took me. It’s definitely been a roller coaster of learning curves, I started off self taught, but since then have done a lot of technical training, industry shadowing & networking, and really submitting to the process of business education.
Because of what I’ve been able to learn over the last 7 and a half years I have now began teaching. Teaching has honestly taught me more about my craft than anything before. Seeing my students learn technical skills and match it with business processes that allow them to become competitive in today’s beauty market just sends chills down my spine.
I can honestly say that I am most proud of my accomplishments in teaching. I have no children of my own yet so my students are my babies. Seeing them tackle skills, running automated businesses that give them freedom & time, and seeing them pursue their passions really warms my heart. That’s when I am able to say “Imani, job well done. Keep fighting the epidemic of the starving artist syndrome”.
Artistry By Imani is not just a makeup & coaching service. To me it is the embodiment of self trust, determination, and fun! That’s why I always share with my clients & students that I will enhance them through beauty, but I can only bring out what is already inside of them.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
A week long trip with my friend in my city would be full of fun & food.
We would go to Elephante in Downtown Santa Monica for brunch and walk over to the beach to relax, maybe even catch a game of Volley Ball. For dinner we eat at 1212 on 3rd street promenade simply because life is a celebration!
The next day we would have a girls day at the Malibu Wine Safari to enjoy the ambiance, the beautiful scenery, and the wonderful wines!
Day 3 I would do the tourist circuit with my friend. We would do a morning hike to the Hollywood sign, grab an açaí berry bowl on Fairfax for a snack. Then we’d spend the rest of the day walking the starts on Hollywood & Highland seeing the wax museum & street performers. That Night we would go to a roof top dinner at Skybar in downtown LA for the vibes & views.
Day 4 Would be a day of creativity in Venice! We’d walk the bird walk, grab a slice of pizza, see the skate park and street performers, and finish the day on Abbotkinny for some shopping & healthy eats at the Butcher Daughter.
Day 5 we’d visit the most cultured part of LA in my opinion, Lemert Park South LA. It’s the hub for poetry, African art, Caribbean Food, ancestral heritage, and African drummers. It’s so beautiful to see the clash or colors & cultures, there’s nowhere like it in LA. Dinner would have to be at Dulans Soul Food Kitchen.
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?
I’d like to dedicate my shoutout to God for all the abundant blessings in my life and my family for always loving me, opening doors for me and supporting my endeavors!
I’d also like to thank my business coach Tiyana Robinson for teaching me the online marketing skills that have allowed me to create processes that give me more flexibility in running Artistry By Imani.