PROFILE: AGA RHODES

When was the first time you realized you wanted to be a makeup artist?
I have always been creative and attended art school in Poland, my home country. However, makeup back then was not one of my stronger attributes. But, after some life changing events and being in need of a job, I started dabbling in makeup. I figured it was pretty close to art – same colors, brushes, color theory, just like oil paints (which is my favorite medium). Figured it couldn’t be so different. I had no idea what I was doing, but here I am 20 years later still doing makeup. I guess it worked out.

What is your main area of work/artistry?
My main area of work is beauty, everything from red carpet, luxury bridal, editorial, fashion, commercial and advertising. I have done a few movies, and it’s amazing to see your name in the credits on big screen, but I much rather the beauty side of the industry.

What is the best part of living in Chicago as a makeup artist?
My family first moved to Chicago in the 1980s from Poland, because it has the largest Polish community outside of Warsaw. I love that Chicago is such a melting pot of everything, that whatever area of the artistry you choose, there is a market for it. The Midwest in general, has a big bridal industry, that there isn’t a wedding season, but rather it’s year-round.

What was your first memorable work as an artist?
That’s a tough one. For me I operate on a very emotional level when I think back on my work. There are so many, like when I got to do makeup for Joan Jett, one of my idols since I was a teenager and I couldn’t believe I was doing her makeup. Another moment was when I saw my work blown up on a stage for NAHA (North American Hairstylist Awards) and knowing that the printed images that came out of that shoot would be seen worldwide. It’s so humbling.

How did you know that the makeup artist industry was where you wanted to be? 
I know exactly when it happened and again, it’s all about an emotional feeling for me. It was 2013 and I won a trip to The Makeup Show in NYC. Back then I was a comfortable makeup artist with books full of clients at various prestigious salons but, felt like Continue reading