MUA, HUMAYRA HASSAN: CORPORATE BUSINESS WOMEN TURNED CREATIVE FREELANCER

Thinking of starting a career as a freelancer but not sure how to do it? Not all freelance journeys are the same. Meet Humayra Hassan, a freelance hair and makeup artist, who followed her passion to break free of the 9 to 5 grind.

Since leaving her corporate job in a well known US company in 2013, Humayra has developed a diverse and exciting freelance career as a working Hair & Makeup Artist.

Not only that, but this talented freelancer also makes a conscious effort to pass on her learnings to fellow freelancers too.

In this article, Humayra tells us how she used the Freelancer Club platform coupled with hard work and creativity to develop her freelance career and explains why she is passionate about sharing her learnings with the next generation of freelancers. 


In 2013, Humayra graduated from university with a degree in Business Management & Marketing and subsequently took up a role with American Express. Not long after however, she decided to follow her true passion and switch industries. 

“I was working at the Benefit Cosmetics counter in Harrods (whilst studying Business Management & Marketing at university) when I first learnt about the possible opportunities to freelance as a Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist,” Humayra explains.

"It was only after graduating in 2013 that I took the plunge to give up a corporate role at American Express and study makeup artistry at the London School of Beauty & Makeup.”

After earning her make-up artistry qualification, Humayra started working for MAC Cosmetics part-time, while pursuing freelance work and doing test shoots on her days off. She used sites like Freelancer Club to develop her network and apply for jobs. 

“Once I qualified I started to research the best places to network and apply for jobs which is when I came across The Freelancer Club.”

A few years later, Humayra was finally able to make the transition to freelancing full-time after earning her qualification as a make-up teacher and building up a strong client base. 

Today, Humayra has a multifaceted freelance career. She works in the Bridal & Special Occasion sector, teaches makeup in schools & colleges, provides 1-2-1 lessons to private clients and works backstage in the Fashion & Media Industry. 

 

Becoming a freelance makeup artist, Finding freelance work, Freelance career, Freelancing career,Using Freelancer Club Events to Find Work

Finding freelance work can sometimes be a bit daunting for new freelancers. 

However, like many of our members, Humayra landed some of her very first jobs through clients and fellow freelancers she met at Freelancer Club events. 

For example, although she didn’t have many images in her portfolio at the time, Humayra attended a Meetup event where she pushed herself outside of her comfort zone and showed clients some of the work she had done to date. 

“Birmingham Fashion Week was the very first backstage job I had at the beginning of my career and it all came from the very first Freelancer Club Meetup event I attended! I was incredibly nervous as I didn’t know anyone else who was going but I knew I had to take the first scary step if I wanted to start networking. 

This particular event was also an opportunity to pitch for jobs to a number of clients who were looking for freelancers. So I decided to bring my portfolio along, which at the time only had 4 images”.

Humayra took a chance and it paid off; one of the clients she met was impressed, and she landed a job at Birmingham Fashion Week only a few days later. Not only that, but the connections she made on that specific job led her to further opportunities down the line. 

“One of the clients I pitched to on that day was looking for makeup artists to work in a team backstage for Birmingham Fashion Week and a few days after the event I was shocked to receive a call telling me I’d got the job and they would love to have me on board! This one job helped me to build great working relationships and as a result led to more opportunities working backstage.”


The Benefits of Collaboration

Meeting fellow freelancers has helped Humayra progress her freelancing career to date. 

“Honestly, you never know who you’re going to meet or who that person you’ve just spoken to knows (who knows someone else!) who may need your freelance services or expertise - it’s all about the power of networking and word of mouth!”

The key learning Humayra has taken from working with fellow freelancers? Positive connections and collaborations can lead to brilliant opportunities. 

“Connecting with people, building good working relationships and making a positive lasting impression on everyone you work with, really is the key to success in this industry. 

Collaborating with other freelancers and being open to those opportunities is what allowed me to not only build my experience but most importantly make contacts; and it’s these contacts which led to bigger jobs and ultimately led me to progressing in my freelancing career.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

From working as part of a backstage team at events like The National Asian Wedding Show, to short films (check out “Death By Chocolate”) as well as plenty of test shoots, Humayra has spent hours collaborating with fellow creatives to produce some really cool work for her portfolio (link).

 

 Becoming a freelance makeup artist, Finding freelance work, Freelance career, Freelancing career,

 

Career highlights

Humayra has had a really diverse freelance career, having worked as a makeup artist and hair stylist in fashion, editorial, film and media. 

A favourite job she’s had to date was being Head Makeup Artist for London Graduate Fashion Week. Despite the tremendous amount of work required to get this job over the line, it’s obvious that Humayra found it very creatively satisfying.

“It was the first time I had the opportunity to lead my very own team for the full 4 day event. I spent months working beforehand with the event organisers and liaising and collaborating with the designers to create makeup looks which would be a huge part of their vision on the day. 

I think I created over 40 makeup looks in the end! To be able to support and oversee the team in duplicating these ideas on the models and then finally see my ideas come to life on the stage was the best feeling!”

 

Becoming a freelance makeup artist, Finding freelance work, Freelance career, Freelancing career,

Passing on her knowledge

As a seasoned beauty professional, Humayra spends a lot of her time sharing her insights, experience and advice with makeup artists and hair stylists who are just starting out in their careers. 

When beginning her own freelance journey she benefited from the advice that was passed on to her from more experienced freelancers. 

“I still remember the words of advice of those who were kind enough to help me when I first started out as a makeup artist,” she explained.

“I truly believe there is room for everyone’s success in this industry and the best way to progress is by giving to others who can then pay it forward. It’s one of the reasons why I feel so passionate about helping aspiring artists & stylists.” 

While the practical aspects of beauty are taught in many schools, Humayra believes that more could be done to prepare students for the business side of being a freelance beauty professional. With a background in business and marketing, she tries to share relevant information and advice with aspiring freelancers.

“Unfortunately I found there wasn’t enough support for me after I qualified and I also noticed how a lot of makeup courses at that time didn't really go into detail with regards to the business side of things, it was almost like you were left to figure it out on your own!”

“Just recently I was invited to be a guest lecturer at Bayswater Education college where I spoke about how digital marketing, social media and online platforms such as the Freelancer Club had helped me to build my business. It felt so good when the students afterwards expressed how valuable the session was to them.”

 

Here at Freelancer Club, we’re constantly encouraging our members to use all of the available resources on our platform to help develop their freelance careers.

Humayra is a great example of a freelancer who has done just that - she’s used the platform to connect with fellow freelancers and clients and as a result, has developed a strong portfolio and a fruitful freelance career.

Freelancer Club gave Humayra “the ability to network, collaborate and connect with people”, which allowed her to develop her portfolio and the quality of her work overtime. 

Want to get the most out of your freelance career? Take a leaf out of Humayra’s book. You get out what you put in, so why not sign up to a collab, attend a Meetup or learn something new on Freelance TV

You could be just a few clicks away from making a great connection and landing your dream job.

 

Thinking of becoming a freelance makeup artist? Check out Makeup Artist Salaries 2021. Having trouble finding freelance work? Get involved in a test shoot to meet other freelancers and create new work for your portfolio.

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