Pat McGrath is the mother suprimo in the make-up world, the one to watch, the one to aspire to and the one to be inspired by.
Her career started in the early 1990s when she got her break doing photoshoots for I-D Magazine. Her make-up had an artistic visual presence not seen before. With a art & design backround, she was never officially trained in make-up artistry but got into the industry purely for the love of fashion and make-up.
She has gone on to have an expansive career that has seen her collaborate with some of the biggest names in fashion. However it wasn’t always like that, she said in an interview that she had her moments of doubt…She felt like she was getting nowhere and that she could’t live out her dream of being a make-up artist:
‘Kim would call me up and say, “Have you got a book together yet?”‘ McGrath remembers, ‘and although I loved the fun we had on set, I just never quite got it together and went for it. So the jobs would always go to someone better known, and eventually I just resigned myself to the idea that I would never make it. There was one evening when I was just sitting in my living room in the dark and I thought, “I’m never going to become a make-up artist, I’m finished, I’m going to have to get a real job”, because at that point my mum was saying, “Maybe you should take a hint”.’
It was at precisely that moment that the fairy-tale break came. ‘The phone rang and it was someone asking if I wanted to go on tour in Japan with Caron Wheeler from Soul II Soul. I’d done her make-up one Sunday afternoon three years earlier as a favour, and she took my number saying she’d call me some time. And that was it – I left my job and went to Japan for three months, scared to death. I cried all the way there because I’d never been on a plane before and I was terrified.’
I find this extremely inspiring, you have to just keep the faith and if you want something badly enough, eventually the universe will work its mysterious way and give it to you!