I have much to be grateful for after an amazing 2009. I wouldn't be here without the family, friends and clients that continue to support and inspire me along this journey. The above is a summary of the amazing year for artistrhi in pictures. My heartfelt thanks again to everyone :)
Ok, so there's really more than a top '9', but these are some of the amazing things that stood out from this past year (in no particular order!):
Working on 40 weddings, including 11 in August and 1 in Vegas!!
Thank you to all the gracious brides who allowed me to be a part of their Big Day.
For any bridal make-up artists just starting out there, I remember in my first year how I did 2 weddings and wondered how I could get the word to other brides out there. With bridal make-up, word of mouth has been one of my best friends. I know it's easier said than done but for aspiring bridal make-up artists: believe in yourself, continue to work hard and improve your craft...and the weddings will come. The artistrhi site is testimony to that.
Becoming a W Network Expert.
I never realized the path that doing this blog would take me on. I've had the opportunity to review cool products (I likely otherwise would not have tried) and interact with readers from around the world.
The posts on this blog led to becoming a Beauty and Style Expert for W Network's website. W Network is the leading specialty network for women in Canada, and it's a huge and wonderful opportunity to be associated with such an established brand.
One need only look at the first additions to my portfolio to current ones to see the growth along the way. Working on different projects has also allowed me to work with different photographers, leading to my next highlight :)
Finding photographers I click with. (Ok, bad pun).
Along the way, I've learned that it's not just what you do and how well you do it - a huge part of what affects your end product is who you work with. I'm thankful for the opportunity to work with photographers who's work I really admire and respect like Claudia Hung (editorial/wedding photographer) and Nadia Cheema (editorial/fashion photographer). They're obviously talented artists, but also just awesome people that I'm happy to call friends!
Launching the official artistrhi.com in January 2009, and evolving with several updates to the recent relaunch in September 2009 of the site.
The picture at left (click to enlarge) was the first version of the site launched in January of this year, and with several re-designs later (or 'make-overs' in the tradition that is artistrhi), we arrive at today's current version, that was relaunched in December 2009.
I like the most recent version of the site for its simplicity and user-friendliness, but I'm sure my mind will change sooner or later about something lol!
(Although the site has gone through many make-overs, we're still always looking to improve - you can always email your suggestions to rhia[at]artistrhi[dot]com).
226 posts on the blog for 2009 vs. 167 for 2008 and 29 in 2007
It's not just the increase in blog posts, but it's the increase in material and hopefully meaningful content! The growth of the blog (and its readers) is directly proportional to the growth of my freelance work. I am hoping that this is a pattern from year to year, and I'm looking forward to bigger and better things to come :)
Continuing to volunteer with Look Good, Feel Better
I volunteer regularly with the organization Look Good Feel Better, but I know I can give and should give back more. Hopefully 2010 will lead to participating and even hosting more charitable initiatives.
The world of make-up is constantly changing so updating skills as an artist to stay current in today's market is a must. I took classes from Wink Make-up Academy earlier this year to learn all about airbrushing. Aside from the knowledgable and awesome staff at Wink, the great thing about the academy is the low teacher-student ratio and the schedule flexibility.
I work an office job full-time, and do freelance work (weddings, photoshoots, client appointments and trials) on the weekends so the days of the week are all usually spoken for. Wink offered classes during the day, evening and weekend on a part-time and full-time basis, so I was able to accommodate it into the schedule. It was a busy and sleep-deprived few weeks, but well worth it! The feedback from clients on airbrushing is unanimous - bridal clients particularly love airbrushing for its low-fuss approach and its ability to look naturally flawless while lasting long. I'm hoping to keep updating my skill set in 2010, particularly in my basic hair skills! (That sounds like a New Year's resolution!)
Learning more in Photoshop, Wordpress and Blogger.
I still have tons and tons to learn (and real gurus in Photoshop and Wordpress would probably shudder at my current technique), but my photo and graphic editing has come a long way to make the site and blog more aesthetically pleasing. It's amazing what you can learn and accomplish when you just keep at it :)
Here's to anticipating another exciting year for artistrhi! :) Thanks to all my family, friends and clients for the support along the way!