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My name is Kayleigh Erskine, and I am originally from Edinburgh Scotland, now residing in North London.
Since graduating during a global pandemic, I am lucky enough to still be working within makeup. I currently work for Charlotte Tilbury as a virtual/retail artist.
During my course I was able to collaborate with so many amazing creatives as well as gaining so much experience creatively directing my own projects throughout my degree. I also assisted at the LCF menswear show in 2019 which allowed me to experience the backstage craziness of a show. My latest work from my FMP was among others as the runners up in the ID and Gucci Collaboration for the 2020 graduate showcase for my work “Modern Masculinity”.
Due to the pandemic, some of the goals I had set myself may have been pushed back but I am hoping to collaborate more when things go back to normal.
Being from a very working-class family, I was the first person in my family to go to university. I had always loved art, fashion and being creative. LCF was almost put to the back of my mind as it felt like a dream course that would never happen for me. I didn’t do the best in school so automatically assumed I would never be considered.
After school I studied Art and Design at college and from there, connected it to fashion makeup throughout a lot of my projects. I attended the open day and I remember constantly searching videos or tweets to find out people's experiences of the course.
I had heard so much about the university itself and the amazing past creatives who had come from LCF. It was so inspiring and really pushed me to apply.
What is quite funny is that in high school, I loved the idea of being in the fashion industry but was steered more towards applying to be a primary school teacher. I think it’s important to make your own choices with your career and study what you want to do, what interests you and inspires you.
I think so many people go onto a course to make parents/teachers happy but I would say you excel so much more in doing something you have passion for.
I was 24 when I graduated and I think it was better for me to take the time to study art as it benefited me throughout the course massively.
My creative practice has definitely changed because of the pandemic. Working for a brand, my practice has featured a lot more work on Instagram, of my own face and the makeup is very beauty orientated.
My last project aimed to investigate avenues within Modern Masculinity and the agency that comes with that. It was a celebration of the individual self-portrait and self-expression, the blurred lines of gender and the breakdown of boxing in particular societal narratives. So there is definitely a pause on that work while the world is also on pause.
I don’t think this is a bad thing. As creatives, we sometimes have to balance the importance of being creative but also paying bills and surviving in a city as expensive as London.
I would definitely love to be able to work collaboratively regularly and progress more into the industry.
My latest project was also something I looked into in my second year and I would love to continue on that venture as I feel like it is a never-ending project with so many possibilities. Being in a pandemic really makes you think how to work differently and gives me so many more ideas of what I can achieve from this course!
Professionally I would love to be featured in magazines that inspired me throughout the course. Wonderland, Another Man, Love magazine. I have collected Vogue since I was 14 and it would be such a full circle moment.
I loved the course. Working with so many different creatives really opens up your mind. Our lecturers were the most supportive, encouraging people. Their recommendations and advice were always so appreciated and beneficial to us all.
I also loved the range in the course as I would say I have come out as not just a makeup artist but have a sense of so many more aspects that make up the fashion industry.
My favourite project was definitely my Modern Masculinity project, I think it was a time where I really found my own aesthetic as a makeup artist and a creative. It was so important to me to not only explore a theme that is so relevant today but also educate myself on how each individual uses their own self portrait to the world.
Best advice is to believe in your own work and not to compare yourself to others. As creatives everyone's work is different but they are all amazing in their own way. Also trust the process and have a clean kit!
My advice would be to make the most of it as it goes by so quickly! Also try and get a job on a make-up counter so you can use their discount to build your kit. I would also say have fun with you projects and constantly test ideas, as something you might not think is great could be.