Exclusive Interview with Michael DeVellis
The Powder Group, The Makeup Show and On Makeup Magazine founder!
We are very proud to have the business-driven event “Turn Your Passion into Business” with Michael DeVellis during the Festival week!
How did you get your start in the pro side of the makeup industry?
I was working as an executive for MAC cosmetics in the ‘90s and Frank Toskan, one of the founders in the brand asked me to look after a project to refocus the brand’s attention on the pro makeup artist customer. The project became MAC Pro and we launched the product line, MAC Pro studio concept, master class programs and a full range of professional support services as a part of that renewed focus on the pro. That was my first taste of working with the professional makeup community and I fell in love with their passion, commitment and talent, and never looked back.
So you created MAC Pro?So you created MAC Pro?
Yes, I looked after the project, creating the MAC Pro concept overall, and as a part of it, the other pieces I mentioned. I had an amazing, but small, team working with me but I basically worked with Frank primarily. It was an amazing opportunity and it introduced me to such an incredible world of pro makeup artists and bodypainters. I loved everything about the industry and decided then it would be the focus of my career from that point onward.
You also have worked with many other brand in our industry. What makes you interested in working with a particular company?
I have worked with many pro focused brands as clients and many of our favorite brands advertise and work with us at On Makeup Magazine as well. Aside from The Powder Group’s contract client work, and aside from my time at MAC, I also held the role of Vice President for the Professional Division at MAKE UP FOR EVER in North America for a few years. I love working with brands that have a strong vision of support and respect for the pro makeup artist. That is the thing that is most important for me – that a client is interested in, and truly loves, our industry and our pros.
How did you end up starting The Powder Group and On Makeup Magazine from working at a makeup company?
I saw a lot of opportunity to help create a strong focus on community and education in the pro makeup industry and felt that I could create something bigger than just what was existing at the time in the industry. I especially felt that pieces that were missing for artists to build their career, for example having someone telling them how to make money at what they loved doing – makeup. As we know, the creative and business side of any career are equally important, but as creative people we sometimes let the business side suffer so that we can focus on our craft. I wanted to set out to change that and help artists make a career out of their craft.
One of the things I love most now about my business now is the fact that I can celebrate different areas of makeup artistry through so many layers of our business. For bodypainting for example, we have educational workshops on bodypaiting, feature bodypainting artists in On Makeup Magazine and promote our partners like World Bodypainting Festival across these platforms, as well as across our social media. We are truly able to celebrate artistry in many ways.
Is that where the idea of your World Bodypainting Academy class came from?
Yes for sure. The title alone says it all “Turn Your Passion into Business: Marketing and Branding in Bodypainting” The bodypainting world is one of the most creative in the pro makeup arena and one that is filled with so many artists who are so passionate about their craft. Yet, many have a hard time taking the time to focus on the basics of business like creating strong branding, marketing materials, websites, portfolios and social media. Not that they don’t want to focus on these things but they are so focused on their artistry that they don’t force themselves to take the time to look at the business side.
So what will attendees learn in your WBA class?
This will be an interactive session for sure. We will spend the first part of our time together looking at branding and marketing conceptually – understanding what they really mean for our industry and how to make the right focus on them. We will look extensively at social media during this part of the session and how we can grow our business with this tool effectively.
Then we will look at the group’s marketing and branding as an exercise – and really work together to find focus points and direction to help elevate each attendees business energy. And finally we will work with a panel of guest bodypainters who will speak with us about how they have turned their own passion into a strong business. I am really excited about the entire session and am sure that the artists who attend will find ways, through our time together, to build their business in an organic way that allows them to be creative and also make a successful business out of their passion for makeup.
Also all attendees of my class will receive a free membership to our TPG Pro program (normally at $135 US$ fee) It’s an amazing program that connects artists in unique ways, both online and in-person, and helps as a support system and industry resource. So that is a big way of starting to focus or re-focus on career and community.
Why do you enjoy being a part of the World Bodypainting Festival?
That’s the easiest question yet. It is simply the most vibrant, colorful, artistic and joyful event of its kind in the world. The artistry, technique and craft that these artists showcase is unparalleled. Seeing the best boydpainters from around the world, come together to celebrate the art of body makeup as well as each other as a community is overwhelmingly inspirational. I love everything about this event and am thrilled to be a part of it again this year.
Where: The World Bodypainitng Festival, Klagenfurt
What: "Turn Your Passion into Business"
When: 27th July, 11 am - 5 pm
Booking: € 109 via WB Shop
Also Included in the WB Academy Pass. All Details about the WB Academy Program can be found on the WBF Website here.