Make-Up Artist is read in nearly 70 countries around the world and was created in 1996 by Emmy Award-winning make-up artist Michael Key.
The History of Make-Up Artist Magazine
Michael’s vision— a magazine that could speak to
make-up artists as a group—began as a two-sided newsletter and has
developed into an internationally read magazine, featuring articles on
the entertainment industry’s top make-up artists, the most innovative
make-up techniques, current product news and invaluable information
available nowhere else.
As a member of the make-up artist union Local 706 IATSE, Michael was
elected to what was then termed Craft President (it’s now called Make-up
Director). He was required to hold an annual meeting in which union
artists demonstrated new techniques and discussed new ideas. Michael
considered the meeting one of the best things Local 706 had to offer—the
Hollywood union make-up artists were some of the best artists in the
world, and this was a wonderful opportunity to learn from each other. At
the time, the meeting was held in the back room of a church, with only
30 attendees. Michael believed these meetings could greatly expand. He
moved them to a hotel conference room, where make-up companies could
present their products and artists could make presentations in a more
professional atmosphere. Attendance increased to more than 100
participants, and the meetings were held four times a year instead of
one. Still, Michael felt there was more information that should reach
his fellow artists, so he started a newsletter.
The First Publication
Entitled Craft News, it began as a simple flier, but Michael
decided to use his own equipment to produce a better quality two-sided
flier. This proved costly, so he asked the Local 706 Executive Board for
a $500 donation. They loved the idea, but could not donate the funds,
so Michael raised the money himself and created an informative
newsletter that was remarkably well-received by his fellow artists. Each
newsletter that followed doubled in size, and Michael began working on
the project full-time, which led him to discover what the industry was
lacking. He wanted to educate the public; he also wanted to show
emerging producers and directors how excellent make-up artists could
improve the quality of their films. And he wanted to provide cosmetic
companies with a forum to reach their target clientele. Thus Make-Up Artist magazine was born.
The International Make-Up Artist Trade Show
Known simply as “the show” to the make-up world, the International
Make-Up Artist Trade Show (IMATS) developed out of Local 706 craft
meetings, where there wasn’t enough time or space to provide much-needed
education. Michael also had many requests from non-union artists
wanting to attend these meetings. The writing was on the wall. There
were no trade shows specifically for make-up artists. Cosmetic companies
had expressed a desire for such an event, and after realizing just how
much education could be shared, Michael announced that the First Annual
International Make-Up Artist Trade Show would be held in August 1997.
The company was overwhelmed by the response. To paraphrase Kevin Costner
in Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” Ticket
sales soared and people came from all over the world. The show allowed
artists to tailor what they wanted to see. It offered a diverse mix of
presentations, products, demonstrations and education by some of the
biggest names in the business. The whole event was unprecedented.
Michael describes it as “a Woodstock of make-up: it was the largest
gathering of artists and make-up enthusiasts in the world.” Like Make-Up Artist, IMATS furthers Michael’s mission to educate and connect make-up artists around the world.