One heart, one Art. Dual passions.

Sometimes we have no idea what God is working on for us. We become conscious to it only when he’s ready to reveal it.

For the last two years, I’ve found myself wrapped up in the world of makeup artistry. What started as something to help me cover up the facades and pains I endured during the toughest times of my life, I started using it as an outlet. Makeup was expressive and people were gravitating to me as a result of it. I remember thinking, this is fun and could possibly be another source of income. I started investing into my makeup kit—spending thousands of dollars on makeup, camera, lighting, chairs; you name it and I poured into it. I wanted to provide QUALITY to my clients.  I practiced and practiced until everyone started associating my name and brand to makeup artistry. It’d gotten so bad that my organic followers that had been with me from way back when started asking, “do you write anymore?” I remember feeling so hurt by the audacity of the question. I’m a Writer! I’ve been a Writer my entire life; how dare they ask me that? I remember crying into my pillow. I know you’re probably like girl, it’s not that deep.

I recollect conversations I’ve had with my mother. She said, we’re all blessed with one thing that we’re great at. One thing. Aretha Franklin is known for her incredible voice, Bob Marley is on the books as a legend for his amazing voice, lyrics and his endeavors of strengthening, educating and unifying people of color, Maya Angelou, one of the greatest poets, Michael Jackson, trendsetter, performer, dancer, artist. Granted these are the extremes, these are the legends we all have come to know that have in some way contributed to our era and generations before us. We’ve never heard of Michael Jackson writing his own memoir. Yet here I was, in my humble opinion, a great Writer that was passionate and could vividly paint with words; now, spreading her wings in the world of makeup artistry. From dropping the pen to picking up a brush, but not just picking it up but being great at it; I was struggling with self-identity as an artist. If I was a great MUA (Makeup Artist) then I must not have been a great Writer—the only conclusion I could surmise.

Despite the photos I posted, I was so confused on the inside. The people closest to me started criticizing and dismissing my creativity as an MUA. I was called a fraud! “Go back to writing!” As if I wasn’t already battling with understanding where I stood, I risked losing those I’ve had in my circle for years. I refused to be referred to as an MUA and would dismiss anyone referring to me as such.

Somehow I started writing again; continuously asking my friends for advice. I’d share poems with them; almost as if I were testing them or rather, myself to see if I was good enough.

It was almost as if I were testing them; rather, myself to see if I was good enough.… Click To Tweet

Writing is like breathing. It was effortless whereas makeup artistry was work because I was still learning so I started thinking I had to be better at one than the other. Finally, I said fk it! I stopped worrying about what others thought. I stopped trying to box myself into the bounds of what makes me a Writer or an MUA because I realized that I was both. I started embracing that I was An Artist and nothing was more freeing. Sometimes you have to release yourself from the definitions of how people think you should be. The problem with living up to other people’s expectation is no matter what you do, it won’t ever be good enough.

Sometimes you have to release yourself from the definitions of how people think you should be.… Click To Tweet

Fast forward to now, single mom of two, stretching ends to meet. If I wanted to I couldn’t invest in my makeup kit. But funny thing is, I have everything I need to run that part of my business. While I questioned myself, dealt with obstacle after obstacle, my clientele started increasing, and my fears of not being an MUA had become nonexistent. When I’m on set at a photoshoot, or if a client sends me a screenshot of a look they’re dying to have; I never fret about my inability to execute. Little did I know that God was preparing me to be a SME (subject matter expert) as an MUA and taught me how to effectively run my business. Granted there are small things I have to repurchase here and there but they are minimal.

I shared this story with you in hopes that if you’re where I was, despite the negative energy that might be try to attach itself to you in the form of hate, jealousy or fear; I’m here to tell you to push through. Look past your now because no one controls your future but you. If I allowed the thoughts of others to deter me I wouldn’t be as successful as I am today.

I am Nai’lah Carter, Writer, MUA, and Mompreneur. I am the sh*t because I am devoted to my artistry.

Never feel like you have to choose between your crafts. The tough lesson I’ve learned is that some parts of the journey, you MUST walk alone. Be great and go after what you’re passionate about. Remember that in effort to do so; you must release any dead weight that tells you otherwise!

2 Comments

  1. The struggle of an artist is so real. I completely understand, being a hairstylist, loving to write poetry, having writer’s Block in the middle of a bomb poem, to struggle with having so much to say to world, sharing your story and wondering if anyone will listen. Honey and that’s just the tip of the iceberg, keep doing you, you inspire me😉!!

    1. Charmain, yes it is an ongoing struggle. No matter what difficulties we face; we have to stay focused and always remain true to our hearts. Thank you so much for your constant support.

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