As a kid, my Mom kept us immersed in culture, I remember going to see the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Detroit and we were fourth row center. One of the pieces being performed was, “Firebird”. Everything about that performance was memorable and inspiring—the costumes, the physique of the dancers, music, plot, makeup and oh yes, the dance. I left the theater with my family feeling alive and looking at life with new eyes.
Later that year, some of the Alvin Ailey dancers were featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show and one of the principal dancers, Dwana Smallwood stated that, “Dancing was like oxygen to her”. And I immediately identified with that because, not only was makeup my oxygen, it was quite more profound than that for me; the creative process is my oxygen.
It was then that I realized that my path in life was going to be a creative one—a curator, an artist using paint and pencil as my medium, maybe a violinist, a singer or perhaps a writer.
In my heart I know that there are many makeup artists out there but what makes me different is my process. I don’t merely put products on a face or body, I bring life to concepts, I create a mood and part of me goes into everything I do. Giving in to my art, letting it drive the work and connecting is what I am great at and this is not boasting, it is a statement of my core belief—to give my absolute best at what I’m committed to doing.
And for fifteen years and counting I have had the pleasure of doing great work from the green rooms of churches all the way to Carnegie Hall, from relative undiscovered talent to Danity Kane, the Chicago Bears and Kanye West. My work has graced national ads and magazines like Ebony Magazine, Time Out Chicago and Inside Edition, I am an immersive, creatively driven, Celebrity Makeup Artist and my name is DeShawn Bowman.