Featured! Q&A with TV/Film Hair and Make-up artist Jenny Watson

Welcome to Featured Friday!

Today I am happy to share with you an interview I had with Jenny Watson, TV/Film hair and make-up artist. A little bit of a back story, in 2019 I was fortunate enough to get a small featured role on Peaky Blinders and is where I met the lovely Jenny who became my hair and make-up artist! It was an amazing two days and not only did she do a lovely job getting me ready to look the part, but she was so kind and really helped me out on set. So glad I had the chance to meet her and can still keep in touch today.

So, if you are interested in becoming a hair and make-up artist, or simply just interested in her career, keep reading for her exclusive interview!

(I was suppose to look like I had slept on my make-up all night after sleeping in a pub ahah)

Q&A with Jenny Watson

What inspired you to become a hair & make-up artist?

I’ve always been interested in hair and makeup but I chose to do my a levels instead, which led me to uni to do psychology and eventually a career in child care. I was room leader of a preschool for 5 years and I just thought to myself is this what I want to do forever? I always wanted to be more involved in hair and makeup so I did a few friends weddings to see how I felt and I realised what I really wanted to do and had done for a while was TV and film. I thought why not just go for it, so I left my job and researched courses for media hair and makeup and here I am. 

How long have you been a hair & make-up artist, and how did you get your start?

I started my course at The Iver Academy in 2016 and finished in July that year, so have been out in the industry for 4 years now. Iver is an incredible school, I learnt so much from them and still do. They have an agency for current students and graduates depending on the level of the job, so you can gain experience whilst on the course. My first opportunity on a major show was given to me by one of my tutors, Jane, as they are all currently working in the industry. She took me on to Harlots as work experience for the day and that turned into a paid trainee job in the crowd room for the duration of the series. My second job was also through my Iver tutors and through these jobs you make more and more contacts and get more jobs. 

What do you find your biggest challenge has been in your career?

Honestly my biggest challenge is now with Covid 19. I’ve been really lucky that I got off to such a good start straight out of Iver and although there has been quiet periods the work has always picked up. However these past 4 months have been the hardest by far with no work out there and even though some things are picking up there is not much out there at the moment. 

What is your favourite time period to recreate?

I absolutely love doing period work. I’m not sure I can pick a favourite. If I had to I would say the 20s and 30s as both hair and makeup for women was fabulous as was the hair and facial hair for the men. It was a very groomed and expressive period, I love it. I do love all the 18th century upper class hairdos as well with all the intricate up-dos. Although, I’m glad this isn’t the fashion now as I don’t think I’d have the time in the morning to do that to my hair! 

You worked on Peaky Blinders, what was your favourite thing about being on that production? And how does it feel to have worked on such a big production?

I loved everything about Peaky. It was my dream job!! I remember watching it before I trained thinking I would give anything to work on the show, and it happened! I love the whole cast, crew, the looks, watching these fantastic actors do their job but I think the best bit for me was the team! I love each and every one of them they are all super talented and amazing people and learning from Loz (Schiavo, the designer) is just a dream! She’s incredible and has taught me so much! We were set to reprise the team again but got shut down due to Corona, and I’m not sure if I can rejoin when they start up as I may be on maternity leave which is such a shame!! But having worked with the team on that show is something I will always treasure! 

How do you find jumping from one project to the next?

Jumping onto different projects can be hard but also refreshing. It’s always sad to leave a team but each new job means new experiences and new ways to be creative, whether it’s a different period or main team to crowd it’s a great chance to learn new skills and meet new people. 

What advice do you have for aspiring hair & make-up artists?

My advice for aspiring makeup artists is really research the course before you do it. Iver Academy and the tutors their are the reason I am here in my job today, so always make sure that the course is right for you while you’re on it, and once you have graduated. Also, nowadays it’s about having both hair and makeup skills, so make sure you invest time in learning both. Be prepared to work hard, realise you will never stop learning and persevere and you can get where you want to be!

And there you have it!

A big shout out to Jenny for being the first featured post on Double-J-Creative. You can find her on Instagram @jennywatson887 and follow what exciting productions she’ll be working on next. Hopefully work with you again one day(:

If you are interested in becoming featured be sure to submit!

I look forward to seeing your creative talent x

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