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Anika Stewart

Source: @ArtfulAnika / @Anika Stewart

My days used to consist of running around Manhattan to get my clients’ camera ready. I saw my bookings dry up and wither away as we got further into March. The first week of quarantine, I found a bunch of tasks to keep me busy, but without a reason to get up in the morning, I slowly slipped into a fog of anxiety. The women I work with are an incredible source of inspiration. Without my muses, It felt like a part of me was ripped away.

MUST READ: How To Get Camera-Ready For Your Next Zoom Meeting

The existential dread hit hardest the following Monday because I ran out of reasons to get out of bed. I was struggling to make sense of what was going on around me. What could I do to help? Is speaking or posting about makeup appropriate right now? My entire industry is non-essential, is what we do even important?

A light at the end of the tunnel showed up during week two when one of my favorite brands held an Instagram model search. Funny enough, I hadn’t worn makeup for weeks before this all started. Personally, I was feeling completely uninspired. As a makeup artist, I’m used to working with other creatives on set to pull off “the look.” Now, I had to be the makeup artist, hair stylist, photographer, set designer, and creative director. This challenge, was exactly what I needed to get my creative juices flowing again.

Anika Stewart

Source: @ArtfulAnika / @Anika Stewart

I ended up producing three shoots in three days and even though I wasn’t chosen for the model search, my IG fam loved it! Many of them were inspired to stage their own at home shoots. However, creating content daily was starting to get overwhelming and I couldn’t keep up the pace. The process of getting dressed, shooting and editing was wearing me out. I decided to take some time away from media (social and otherwise) and create on my own terms.

During this detox, I came to realize that it’s deeper than makeup. Beauty, fashion and entertainment IS important. Watching people make something beautiful out of the mundane is what gives us hope, and we need hope now more than ever. Like many artists stuck at home, I started going live on Instagram. It’s been a great way to reconnect with people and share the transformative power of makeup. I still have a photoshoots after because who wants to waste a beat face!?

Tune into @artfulanika every Friday @3pm to get ready with me and learn how to take bomb photos at home


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