We had the good fortune of connecting with Jenna Atkins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jenna, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
That it’s not as glamorous as people would imagine. It can be extremely long hours, hot or very cold or rain or snow, and you are in those elements working your butt off…you have to love this industry because there are many days that it will be some of the hardest work you’ve ever done, but it MOST of the time is worth it!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Being and Makeup Artist sounds like a simple title, but it’s not a simple job that just comes easy to those who pursue it. It has taken years to get to where I am at now, and there is still so much room for growth and improvement, but that’s what you get when you choose a creative path. You have to start at the bottom so to speak, work for nothing just to make a contact, work 2 jobs at a time in some cases, be tired but still be happy and creative…this isn’t for the faint of heart! You can have talent, but talent alone will not make you a successful name or Artist. I tell anyone who is interested in doing this…work on your people skills, show up ON TIME, respond to emails, take as much as you can in the beginning, and for goodness sakes, be NICE to EVERYONE. How you present yourself is just as important as your makeup application…and never be afraid to learn from your peers, they are where they are at for a reason.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh ATL, I do love you, and it’s no secret. I truly feel Atlanta has so much to offer and I love getting a chance to show that to others. This year has proved difficult for everyone and we have had to pivot in our definition of entertainment and down time but that has made it all the more creative in finding the little things. I love that we have had restaurants change how they operate, allowing takeout of even the fanciest of foods, to pre made cocktails for pickup…its no secret I am a Ford Fry fan, whatever he does, he does well and I appreciate that kind of dedication and consistency in my dining experience. This year we have opted for a lot of take out and Oakland Cemetery picnics as you can’t beat the views and history of Oakland. Emerald City Bagels is always a win and their options for pickup, delivery and takeout have been great in 2020. My favorite burger in the city is at The Lawrence, I can’t seem to beat it anywhere else (burgers are big talk here in ATL). We love going to a good Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performance and I don’t think that should be missed by anyone. When we had shows at The Fox still up and running, I take any chance I get to share that experience with first timers, its an incredible place to see a show or even a beloved movie in the summertime series. To show that we have some great things in and around the city, a little jaunt to Serenbe can be a fun day…gimme the goats! We have a city that is made of passionate creative people who make excellent food and drink and there aren’t too many ways to go wrong with that.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There is the saying “behind every great man there is a great woman”, and to be honest this goes both ways. We are in a time where women are being propelled to the front of their careers and it takes a great and strong man to not only want that for their partner but do everything they can to encourage it. My husband has been my number one supporter from day one when I said “Hey, I am going to paint faces for a living…”. I owe a lot to him and he has to be my first to be recognized…after all no one else carries my kit for me except that guy. This Makeup Artist community we have here in Atlanta…I truly don’t know where to begin. “My girls” I call them, and that encompasses so many meanings…mentors, friends, supporters, my job sharers, biggest source or referrals, laugh till you cry gang… the list goes on. There is so much room in this industry for all of us and our specific talents that we truly view each other as coworkers not competition, that is the secret that keeps us all getting work and attracting more work from even outside the State. I am so honored to be counted among them, but also happy I just get to count them as my tribe.
Liz Von Hoene, Mary Catherine Brownfield, Jimmy Johnston, Ethan Gully