In The Spotlight - Beth J Designs
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My main ambition in life was to be a dancer. I auditioned and was accepted to Shockout Dance School in Manchester which specialised in professional and commercial dance.
I was two years into a three year course when I realised that this was not for me. It didn’t make me happy and I was no longer enjoying it. So I had to think of something else to do with my life.
I moved back to Swansea, made a mind map of things I enjoyed, and discovered that not only did I love playing with makeup, but that I was actually quite good at it! I also bagged a part time job at a local pub, which gave me the time I needed to develop my skills.
I followed lots of YouTube channels, watching tutorial after tutorial, teaching myself all the different techniques, then practising the looks on myself, friends and family, who all loved what I created. This was the confirmation I needed to tell me I had done the right thing in giving up dance and that makeup was now my future.
To get started I set up Facebook and Instagram pages to promote my skills, and to advertise my services. Even though my business was doing extremely well I wanted to be a bit different and add another string to my bow, as there are lots of makeup artists in Swansea, and I wanted to stand out from the crowd.
I am an arty person and with Hallowe’en approaching, people had been asking me to create special effects (SFX) makeup for them. Again, I watched lots of tutorials, bought all the relevant equipment and products, and practised and practised until I had perfected my art.
In 2017 I was invited to join the Emma Heaven online magazine and became Emma’s SFX makeup artist, and I think you all know how well that has turned out!
But then 2 years ago, the pandemic hit and no-one was going out so the demand for makeup was non-existent. Even when restrictions were lifted, there still wasn’t the (previous) demand and my business took a hit - so it was time to get the thinking cap on, rediscover my mojo and try my hand at something else. Something to put my artistic skills to the test and also allow my creativity to grow.
I decided to become a tattoo artist. Random I know, but I would still be drawing and painting, only this time with a needle and ink rather than brushes, paint and makeup; and the results would be permanent, which I don’t mind admitting was more than a little scary.
Tattooing has never been so popular and, unlike with my makeup business where I experienced people only ever wanting their makeup applied to go out on weekends, with an artform like tattooing, people want to get inked every day of the week, not just weekends!
After doing lots of research, I found I needed to:
Be able to draw ✔️
Establish design skills ✔️
Build a portfolio ✔️
Work with an established tattoo artist ✔️
Complete an apprenticeship and learn the trade ✔️
Get licensed ✔️
Thanks to friends and family who were very brave in offering me their limbs to practice my art on, I have now built my designing skills, plus, my confidence has soared, especially with the realisation that I have finally found my passion in life. It’s taken quite some time and lots of different creative paths along the way, but finally I know what I want to be: a tattoo artist.
You can visit my Instagram page: @bethj.designs to see my creative designs and to get in touch if you want to wear my art.
Thanks for reading my story,
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