Mentor Jillian Sara wears a few hats at The Makeup Imaginarium. She is the head of “The Projects,” a room named for the work that takes place inside. Once a student graduates from the course they are able to continue on to the extended training the school volunteers. Granted, all graduates that choose to participate must be willing to contribute to the preparation of the project or projects they have chosen to join. It’s like an artist club.
Some of what you may have seen:
So, we decided to catch Jillian between shoots and ask her a few questions.
T.M.I. : How many graduate shoots would you say you do per week?
Jillian: On average three or four per week. I usually shoot every other day and then on off days Rachel Riggs and I put the shoot into a presentation and post it for everyone to see.
T.M.I. : Wow, that’s not a lot of time.
Jillian (laughs) : No, no it is not. We still have to prep for the up coming shoots somewhere among the current shoots and presentations and let’s not talk about laundry. Many of the shoots involve full wardrobe and some require a set to be built. My house looks like a storage unit.
T.M.I. : How would you describe your style?
Jillian: I don’t really have one. I’m all over the place. It really depends on what the artists are wanting or needing. All of the shoots are based are their goals. If they are lacking something in their portfolio, I try to fill the gap. If they need practice in a certain area, I try to test that particular skill. It’s really all about growth.
T.M.I. : Now, you’re a makeup artist as well, does that help you as a photographer?
Jillian: I was a working makeup artist for fifteen years before I ever picked up a camera. It helps tremendously. I pay attention to the details. What message is the artist trying to convey? Were they trying to capture a particular texture? Feel? Emotion? I love it all really. The two go hand in hand. If a makeup artist doesn’t capture their work on camera the work is lost when the person or model they’ve worked on washes their face. I am still a mentor. I work really hard to make sure the artist has done their job before taking the shot. I don’t have time to do a ton of editing. Clearly with a shoot every other day- it’s just not possible.
T.M.I. : You have amazing imagery, what inspires you to come up with these concepts?
Jillian: As I said before, it’s all about growth. The concepts I come up with are usually hurdles the artist needs to overcome in order to continue growing. We all have them. It’s better to face your fears with friends than with strangers.
T.M.I. : How do find time to do all that you do?
Jillian: Ohhh, that’s a good question. Let’s see….I don’t. It never fit in a nice neat little package. It’s always a tight squeeze no matter what I do. I work about fourteen hours a day at least six days a week. Every time I say I’m going to take some time down, something comes up. It’s worth it for the most part. As long as the graduates keep growing- it’s worth it.
T.M.I. : You are notoriously silly at work…
Jillian (cuts in): Wait, everyone is silly here that’s part of the charm but we still get the job done. Have fun but get it done!
The Makeup Imaginarium
2225 W Shaw Suite 109
Fresno, Ca 93711