The Makeup Toolbox: Shen Jiahui
– The Makeup Toolbox: Shen Jiahui –
For our latest Pura Comixmag issue, we are delighted to interview Shen Jiahui, the artist of “The Makeup Toolbox”. Being the only makeup themed original comic in Singapore, let us find out the inspirations behind her creation and what future developments fans can expect from her!
Read more about Shen Jiahui here.
1. Being formerly from the education sector, why did you decide to venture into the makeup profession?
I have been interested in makeup for many years whilst working in the education sector. Contrary to what people may think, I actually never really wore makeup except for the occasional concealer before joining the work force in 2012.
So when the entire makeup scene started exploding on social media with a lot more information, ideas and products to try out, it really felt like a whole new world opened up to me.
Thus I became interested in makeup and often experimented with it before deciding to take up a Professional Diploma in Makeup Artistry to kick start my new venture into makeup.
2. What inspired you to create The Makeup Toolbox?
I was working in a company selling makeup products a couple of years back after completing my course but I did not feel that I was in a position that allowed me to fully share the knowledge and experiences that I had with makeup.
On the other hand, becoming a comic artist has always been my childhood dream and I have drawn various comics and sold them in small self-published quantities with my doujinshi group Comix Pandora since I was 15 years old. Thus, it hit me one day that I could achieve all that I had wanted to do if I combined these two interests together.
On one hand, I’ll be able to fulfil my dreams of publishing a comic book and on the other hand I can share my interest in makeup and what I have experienced in my journey to becoming a makeup artist. Thus, with that in mind, I began conceptualising the story and wrote a pitch and a script which I presented to Mr. Wee Tian Beng of TCZ Studio. That process then led to the production and publication of The Makeup Toolbox.
3. What advice do you have for those looking to join the makeup industry?
I would advise them to be mentally and physically prepared that it is going to be a lot of hard work. I think that the work of a makeup artist is often glamourised and people do not see beyond the celebrities that they work with and the seemingly glamorous lifestyles of accomplished celebrity makeup artists.
Working makeup artists have to deal with the costs and maintenance of their makeup kit, scheduling and sourcing of work, the physical toll of transporting their kit and equipment around as well as the constant training that they will have to do either at home or by attending classes to continue to improve their techniques.
They might also be required to work during unusual hours or to handle elaborate special effects requests.
It is so important to keep learning and often such learning must be self-directed as no makeup course is really able to prepare you for everything that you will encounter.
4. What future developments do you have in mind for The Makeup Toolbox?
At the moment, The Makeup Toolbox Volumes 1 and 2 have been released and a special prologue volume has also been completed and will be released in print soon in July. I am currently working on Volume 3 of The Makeup Toolbox which will also be its final volume. It will most likely be released in September or October this year. More details will be released through my Facebook and Instagram handles weirdgirlcomics closer to the release date.
The Makeup Tool Box Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 can be purchased at TCZ Studio website: http://tczstudio.com/product-category/12-shen-jiahui-comics/