Becoming a Makeup Artist, Creative Inspiration, and A Look Inside My Apartment
Emmy winning makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor reveals his most inspiring possessions that remind him of his Latino heritage and keep his career moving.
I recently did a fun behind-the-scenes video about my life. I've been collecting small paintings, prints, and one very special trophy. Join me in my cozy space, meet my chihuahuas, and check out the art and objects that inspire me. My apartment was chosen specifically because I wanted a smaller apartment than my last one so I could go to work, come home to a neat organized space, and basically just get ready for the next phase of my life. I would love to get back to gardening, hobbies, and cooking more, but in the meantime, I’m in full work mode!
It's been such a busy year, I still haven't hung everythin on the walls, but these items keep me motivated and remind me of where I come from, and what I'm capable of. I’m the son and the grandson of Mexican immigrants. Both my grandfathers worked with their hands. Both my parents worked at desks. I now work in front of a makeup mirror. Well, with my back to a makeup mirror. Anyway, I just like that in my family there have been construction workers, farmers, teachers, nurses, military, journalists, stay-at-home-moms, and artists. It’s a wide range of experiences that have helped me to be able to do this career that I do now. And I would say that my upbringing taught me to work hard, and then in 2017 when I won an Emmy, that helped to affirm that I was on the right path.
But let me clarify, winning an Emmy, sure I think it helps directors, actors, and other makeup artists to trust me more. Winning probably helps me when I’m negotiating for higher rates, but to be honest, how could I possibly know for sure? Lemme put it this way, it’s the relationships I had in place before the Emmy win that are what got me the department head jobs. The makeup artists at Saturday Night Live, including my boss there, he’s the one that chose to include my name on the ballot, and he’s the one who ultimately hired me and has continually had me on the team. Winning didn’t change those things.
What I can say for sure, is how winning an Emmy changed how I see myself. Like all artists, we’re constantly comparing our work to other’s. We’re constantly competing for jobs. And with all types of art, it’s hard to say when something is really ready and the best that it can be. So having received an award, that my boss nominated me for, and that our peers of makeup artists chose to bestow upon us, it says a few things. Mostly importantly, while I know that the makeup artists from other shows nominated that year, and the other artists who worked on SNL that weren’t listed on the ballot that year also did great work and deserved just as much recognition too, I know that getting to this point in my life and winning was not a mistake. Things like this are not by accident. I worked really hard for fifteen years prior to winning. I did my best to be a good team member, and readjusted in moments when I wasn’t. There were lots of tests along the way right up the the days and weeks before. So what it tells me, is that at this point in my life, I have no excuse not to show up for work with the right attitude, well prepared, ready to work, and ready to find solutions to whatever challenges come along that day. That’s what the statuette on my dresser tells me.
Paintings on my bookshelves, and the prints from my first makeup company, and the vinyl from Sasheer Zamata’s first standup comedy special that I worked on, they all remind me that creativity is a deep well. There’s always more to find, there’s always more to learn, and there’s always more coming on down the road.
So, I invite you to check out this video of my home, get career advice for makeup artists and creative people of all kinds, and find out how my Latin-American heritage helped me build my career. Thanks for reading, thanks for watching, and please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me on social media. See you soon!