We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Holland and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sarah, what role has risk played in your life or career?

How do you think about risks? How has taking risks played a role in your life/career?

Throughout my life I never considered myself a big risk taker. I was always one to overthink every situation and land on the side of playing it safe. Despite the fact that I dropped out of community college to temporarily move to New York City for makeup artistry school, I didn’t consider those decisions risky because of how much thought and preparation went into them. The first true, big risk that I think I’ve ever taken was choosing to uproot my life and move to Los Angeles. From a personal and a career standpoint I was truly walking into the unknown for the first time. Leaving all of my family and friends, moving to a city that I had never been to where I knew no one and had no connections, with my then boyfriend of less than a year, during the 2021 Covid crisis. Even though there was partial security in the fact that my boyfriend would be working, I had no idea how quickly or how successfully I would gain traction as a freelance artist in a brand new city, especially during such a trying time.

It was challenging and intimidating and stressful. I missed my family terribly, I was living with a significant other for the first time and starting to really build my business with no connections, which left me focusing on a lot of TFP and collaborations that didn’t pay. However, after only a little over a year I can say that the risks paid off. Within nine months of hustling to network and build a specific portfolio I have now found myself with multiple consistent clients, the need to hire assistants and the new opportunities for larger paid work on a regular basis. At only twenty-three years old I can say that I have worked as a makeup artist for almost 9 years, lived in the two largest cities in the country and now work solely as a FULL TIME self employed freelance artist. To have reached this point so soon feels incredible and I often have to remind myself to step back and be proud because it was my dedication, skill and the courage to take a huge risk taking that brought me to where I am today – and it’s only up from here.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

Since building my portfolio and clientele in Los Angeles over the past year I have gained recognition for specializing in “the no makeup look” by focusing on enhancing a client or model’s existing features and using subtle but detailed techniques to create flawless and natural skin finish. This attracts a lot of commercial beauty and headshot work, while combining this skin application with bold and dramatic eye makeup attracts more fashion and bridal clients. The greatest compliments that I receive on a regular basis is that “you don’t change or cover up the way someone looks, you make people look like the most beautiful versions of themselves”. Clean beauty with the occasional dramatic or editorial flare is so satisfying and keeps me really well rounded!

It wasn’t easy to get to this point but it always felt like I was on the right track. I had to work other part time jobs for most of my time as a makeup artist because work was so slow and low paying in Maryland. When I realized I wanted more and decided to attend The Makeup Designory in NYC I thought my life was about to change until I was met with the Covid-19 pandemic and forced to put my passion on the back burner while I went back to warehouse work and waitressing.

Since moving to LA my career has taken off, but with that comes the logistic aspects of running a business. The complicated things like being my own accountant, filing taxes as a self employed artist and therefore tracking EVERY detail and maintaining my own paper trails and records. I am my own secretary, I source my own work and I handle all of my own marketing and social media platforms – which has been so much harder than I expected! There is not a single part of my business that I don’t run myself and I’ve had to learn as I go through experience and personal research.

As cliche as it sounds I hope my story can help others see that you truly can achieve anything that you fight for. A college degree and 9-5 job isn’t your only option, you won’t have to waitress forever and if you work hard, hone your skills and let your passion guide you then one day you’ll be too booked with paid work to take on the TFP gigs and collaborations that used to be so common. I was blessed to have such an incredible support system, but at the end of the day you only get as far as you take yourself.

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?

For me the highlight of any trip is the food! Living in Los Angeles has been a blast for finding new eats, so here are my absolute must try places that I take all my friends too: Moto Ramen in Culver City – best ramen I’ve ever had, my fiancé and I go almost every week and get 3 appetizers and 2 bowls of ramen for only around $50-$60!

Salt & Straw at the Culver Steps – I think this little area of Culver City is so beautiful and this is without a doubt the best ice cream and coolest flavors I’ve ever found. Just make sure to get it in a house-made waffle cone!

Day Bird – forget about Nashville hot chicken, you won’t find a better fried chicken sandwich than this Szechuan chicken spot by Top Chef competitor Mei Lin.

Bar hopping in Santa Monica – I love popping into the different bars on the main strip and finishing the night with a walk on the beach.

Aside from all of the awesome food here, I love El Matador beach in Malibu, especially during sunset when all of the cliffs and rocks are glowing with golden hour light. If we can’t get all the way up to Malibu then riding bikes along the wide open beaches and visiting the infamous Santa Monica Pier is always a fun afternoon!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents, Chris and Diane Holland who supported me from the very beginning and allowed me to start working in my career field as early as 16 years old even when it meant missing school, and afforded me the opportunity to go to an accredited makeup academy in NYC that really jump started my career. I would also like to recognize my Fiancé Justin DeRieux, who took a job opportunity in Los Angeles so that I could be in the best location for my industry and who has never stopped supporting my career and consistently recognizing and reminding me to be proud of everything I’ve accomplished. I truly don’t think I would be here today without these amazing people in my life.

Website: https://www.sarahelaineartistry.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sarahelaineartistry/?hl=en

Yelp: https://yelp.to/kkepRW0rXob

Other: https://www.weddingwire.com/biz/sarah-elaine-artistry/7dbf15c0368b027a.html https://www.zola.com/wedding-vendors/wedding-hair-makeup/sarah-elaine-artistry

Image Credits
Jay Matthews Toby Tiet

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