We had the good fortune of connecting with Shaneka Murray and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shaneka, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I believe the most important factors of my success has been keeping an open mind, remaining teachable, always remembering the importance of not just making connections but fostering those connections and most importantly approaching every opportunity and every situation with kindness. It is so important as an artist to be receptive, to continue to learn, evolve and grow, that comes from listening, observing and seeking out education. I would not be successful today if it weren’t for the support, knowledge and encouragement of others who selflessly shared of themselves; maintaining and reciprocating their gifts has been vital for me. Lastly, and probably the most helpful contributing factor to finding success is to simply live and with kindness, it can make not only what you face that much better, but it will inevitably make you better.
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.
As an artist, all I’ve simply tried to do, is stay consistent and true to who I am, that alone is what I believe sets me apart. There are countless and vastly more talented makeup artist in an ever expanding market, but staying true to my artistry and the beauty I want to share has been vital for me to create my own space in the industry. This isn’t easy nor has this journey been at all smooth, but staying true to the art I want to share and the esthetic that I believe in and that is all my own has helped in facing the challenges that were brought before me. One of the best lessons I’ve learned is that makeup part is easy, the skill set can always be adapted, transformed and can and will evolve with your growth, but the people aspect is what will take you farther. How you deal and interact with the people around you will excel you further than any skill with a brush you may have. Developing relationships, listening and paying attention are the priceless lessons that were bestowed upon me and have helped in many ways to propel me forward.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are certainly some amazing places to go in Atlanta…Breakfast and Brunches: Gochas, Milk and Honey, and Atlanta Breakfast Club, for everything else: Pappadeaux, Two Urban Licks, Slutty Vegan and Gumbeaux’s Cajun Cafe, to name a few. But some of the best places I enjoy are simply just places I find myself just walking around in like Little Five Points or hiking Arabia mountain or the countless music festivals that Atlanta would regularly host.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I greatly dedicate my success to a host of beautiful women who have supported me if not every step, great portions that shaped the artist and woman I am today… Rocio Rodriguez and Melissa Ann Hubicsak, two women who each became my mentors in this industry, but also great life friends. They both gave me my first opportunity in a salon setting and each proved to be the greatest examples of the standard of professionalism and grace I adhere to today. Melissa Thomas, who would never let me forget I was on a journey and any time I thought to falter, without hesitation would bring me back to center. Syretta Bell, Shantel Jordan, Carla Wallace, Jennifer Ivey, Para Malden, and Patrice Story (and truly so many others) are the most incredibly talented TV/Film Makeup Artist who not only shared their skills, they shared their patience, their experience, their laughs and struggles and they welcomed me each every time I walked onto set, and it is in each and every one of their examples, I found the artist I aspired to be. I could not be who I am today also with out the support of my family, my mother, father and sister, they have always given the most unconditional love and support and have never stopped encouraging me to be better and fearlessly go after my dream with everything I have.
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