10 questions with.. Samantha Coles
Hello supergirls!!! So excited to resume #theuntamedclub blog series in 2018 and we start the year with an amazing first interview with Samantha Coles.
Samantha is a well-established international makeup artist and hair stylist who works with models, actors, sports stars, musicians and politicians. She lives in London, UK
10 questions with..
Hello Samantha! So happy to get to chat to you. Would love to know more about you and your background! Have you always been living in London? If not, since when and what are your favourite parts about this city?
I was born in London but grew up in Melbourne, Australia and decided to move back to London about 18 months ago. I think it’s an amazing city and I love the creativity here. There’s always something to do, a new art show, a new installation, a new bar, a new gig, someone new in town visiting. Not to mention you have the whole of Europe at your doorstep for travel and work opportunities.
Your job sounds really exciting! Please tell us more about what you do!
I’m a makeup artist and hair stylist. I work in advertising, photography, commercials, fashion, celeb event work, TV and music videos. I also have private clients. I see my job as being to not only make people look their best, but to feel their best too.
That sounds like lots of fun. How did you get into this?
When I was younger I used to do a bit of modelling and acting. I loved the industry but I realised I was more interested in the world behind the scenes. The last shoot my modelling agency booked me on was the film ‘Queen of the Damned’. I adored their makeup team and would ask them questions about the industry and their experiences. Aaliyah was lovely too, and her hairstylist offered some really helpful advice, which inspired me to make the move to doing makeup and hair.
What do you find the most exciting about your work?
I love meeting new people, working from a different location every day and the challenge of doing really diverse work all the time. Some of the things I find exciting, I guess others can find stressful. If you enjoy work stability, structured hours, a stable income, familiar faces and a sense of routine, freelance makeup and hair offers none of that! But I love it.
What have been the biggest challenges you faced in career AND life and what helped you overcome them?
In my career - self doubt. A supportive, inspiring and encouraging group of friends in your corner is key. Both here and in Australia I feel lucky to have a circle of creative mates who are also honest enough to give constructive feedback.
I think having industry experts or mentors is also important. Donna Mee is an incredibly wise makeup artist and educator with decades of industry experience. I did a course with her years ago and she’s just magical. I was also fortunate enough to assist Bea Sweet when I first arrived in London, she was so inspiring and honest in her advice. She pulled me on her makeup team for the Katie Eary runway show at London Fashion Week and it was the first job I did when I moved here. It sounds corny but it was a ‘dream come true’ moment.
In my life - I found myself homeless by the time I was 16 years old. Fortunately my social worker got me into a program for homeless students called ‘Machaseh House’ and I finished high school from there. That was such a challenging time, but after that not much else scares you in life. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone, but it taught me some great life skills at a young age like resilience, self reliance and compassion for others. What’s surprising is how many actors, musicians and models I’ve met in the industry who have gone through a time where they were homeless too. I guess because it’s rough starting out in industries where income and job opportunities are unreliable.
These days I own my own home, so I feel incredibly grateful to be where I am.
That is incredibly inspiring!! Thanks so much for sharing this with us today. It is a truly compelling story!
Q6.. What do you like to wear at work? Do you have any favourite pieces?
Black jeans, boots and layers of black tops with a leather jacket is my usual look.
What’s your off-duty style?
On a night out I love black jeans or faux leather pants with a low cut lace top and heels. I’ll usually team the look with a smokey eye or red lipstick.
What is your favourite Changing Factor bag?
The Alien Briefcase Office in black.
Now when it comes to having fun… what do you like to do in your free time?
I love a good laugh with my friends. If we get to do that while travelling and enjoying amazing food and vodka I’m even happier. My best mate and I also have an agreement where we never let a month go by in London that we don’t hit a dance floor. I should point out I’m a terrible dancer, but it’s still fun. The last place I danced with my friends was The Box.
I also enjoy hitting art galleries, so in London I take full advantage of the gallery previews that happen almost weekly. Some of my favourite galleries are The White Cube, TATE Modern and Victoria Miro. In summer it’s nice to round up a group of friends and do ‘Late at the TATE’ as well.
Share with us a favourite piece of advice, quote, or saying of any kind!
My dad named me after his friend, the late poet Samuel Beckett. My favourite line of his is:
"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
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Until next week!
Samantha's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/samanthacolesart
Samantha's website: https://www.samanthacoles.com.au/