Next up on our A Few Questions With series, is Sheila Mckenna, President and Founder of Kett Cosmetics! An industry veteran with over 30 years of experience, Sheila is an expert in the field of airbrush makeup artistry. She started Kett Cosmetics in 2000 and what was only known as a niche brand for professional makeup artists in Film and TV, has since transformed into a globally recognized highly effective brand.
Sheila McKenna will be among the amazing group of presenters at this year’s The Artist Summit produced by The Powder Group from October 1-6, 2017 in Provincetown, MA. We are looking forward to Sheila’s presentation and hope you are too! Check out her interview below and #seeyouatthesummit. For more information about The Artist Summit visit www.theartistsummit.com
What inspires you right now? (and Why?)
Nature. It never stops expanding and recycling. I am drawn to repetitive patterns. This is what you will find on a broad and molecular level inside all living things. You can see a pattern when looking at a field of grass and then zoom in to discover new patterns emerging on a single blade.
Who are three of the biggest influences in your career? (and how have they effected your career)
My father Jim McAward was the first person to truly influence my life. He did what he loved for a living and helped fuel that desire in me. He ignited my love for black and white photography where the distraction of color is silenced and patterns emerge. He was an vital part of creating Kett Cosmetics, which has become my life and career.
Colleen Callaghan was a local union hair stylist who worked with my father in the advertising industry. When I was 6 years old, Colleen brought me backstage to a Radio City Music Hall show featuring new fabric designs and textiles for the garment industry. This was my first experience with the organized chaos of dancers, singers and crew getting ready for an exciting performance. I can remember thinking, “wow, this is where I want to be when I grow up” – surrounded by half naked people stretching and warming up their vocal chords. Thank you Colleen. You probably don’t even know.
Working at MAC Cosmetics was a pivotal point in my career as a makeup artist. I had been steadily working freelance on print and commercial advertising when I approached MAC for some “filler” hours. I had admired the company and was a huge fan of their products. I was quickly moved to a training position and introduced to some of my favorite people on earth with whom I am still friends today… wink wink -Michael Devellis. MAC also provided the back stage experience of live shows and creative stimulation. It was the platform for me to jump off and start my own company. I have a great fondness for this company and what it has done for me.
What advice would you give to a makeup artist or hair stylist starting out in the industry?
Practice, practice, practice. It doesn’t matter what level of skill your hands provide, the goal is to get 10,000 hours of that particular skill under your belt in order to be a PRO. My advice is to DO IT! Get as much “hands on” training as you can afford and practice. If you can get paid while you are “practicing” you are a head of the game. It’s a simple formula that is applicable to any aspect of hand eye co-ordination and skill.