Hey everyone! I hope you've been having a fantastic Halloween and Bonfire night! I have been completely overwhelmed trying to get through the mountain of things that are going on in my life and I wanted to give some updates!
So firstly... we have installed Grammarly on the new mac's so please forgive me for my language when it came to my written blogs. I have a quite enduring problem that I've spoken about a few times called Sensory Processing Disorder. When you're younger, this can be something that is misdiagnosed as ADHD and there are multiple symptoms that look from the outside as the same. But what's actually going on is either an overload of sensation or a lesser reaction process. Relating to the senses. So some people have this issue with metallic objects which describes an overloaded sense of touch, like biting on a fork or hearing a scratch on metal. Or even the sound of scratches on a chalkboard. Some people can't touch velvet or fabrics. Some can't go into a busy environment. It's a broad way of saying that I'm hyper sensitive to stimuli which I can't control and because I'm older, I've moved past the sensory details and it's manifested almost like dyspraxia. I literally have no spacial awareness because I'm focusing intensely on the basics to get through the day. If I want to type something, I hear myself saying the sentence in my head, almost as if I'm hearing it through a muffled vocoder and I'm transcribing it into text. I often plan out a sentence as if I would say it, my process is delayed and I type it as if I've heard a similar sound. That's the best way I can describe it. I am extremely annoyed by it as it's prevented my progress into journalism... a natural avenue for the work I've done so far. But hopefully, this will help everything! I'm liking it so far anyhoo...
Let's talk Youtube! A lot of people ask me questions about the payments and I'd love to touch base on this through my written blogs. So you create whatever content you do through January and have adverts running, you amount a months money and then Google Adsense essentially checks and holds it. That money is paid to you at the end of the following month of February. So you work January first, you get paid March first. That's the process pretty much, but to add more layers to that, contracts with MCN, read my last blog for details, are yearly by default and mostly automatically renewed. To break a contract with an MCN, you need advance warning as well, so although it's a lucrative career when handled right, it's very irregular and has a delay to everything.
With my channel, my issue was never in relation to the money I earn and everything to do with the placement of my content in today's searches. Because that was my perception of how people find you. Well that's not quite the case... So we've changed networks successfully, worked through that delay process and entered the working period of my new contract and welcomed the new team. We've gone through 210 or so public videos and remounted all the adverts, which means seeing things half way through the video on longer blogs, making sure they are user friendly. We've also changed the entire titles of each video which now shows to me how they would appear in the search results, that part I love. Google, unfortunately however has forced this generation to check out updates through their recommended videos in the home page, not in the searches... This is why people are shown videos that are relating to whatever hot topic they've been into recently and idiots can create clickbait style political pundit vlogs, based on very serious news updates. AKA, SJW content that get's as many views as the CNN video of the same name. So according to the new network the goal is to build up cult loyalty, their words, which means that you have to drive people to your work and then trick the system with consistent posting onto a schedule... Lord. I don't do well with that level of organization so that means creating enough content so I can just simply automate it to a schedule.
So it's been very hard and very difficult for me to strategize a way of enjoying myself whilst getting my work in the places it should be because it's all designed around this notion of perpetual playlists. So... I think we have made 44 or so new videos? That's how busy it's been. I am a work whore-se and I get my shitttt together very quickly when I'm ready for it. I'm working with four publications and a tv network to showcase some of this new work and as soon as I get approval we're good to go! It's all traditional JH with a twist. It's gonna be something I am excited to share with you and for this period, this is about the art. I guess you can say we're testing the waters? But this is my motivational project to get me back into the swing of things.
You can see in my videos that the tutorials I've rebranded have jumped up in views which I think is great! I'm so grateful now that we've had such an incredible outpour of support and I have to thank my team. The new network has done several meetings to get this going and check in with me to make sure it's all fitting the outline of what they want. My assistant and best galpal Abbey has been so helpful with the website and other bits we've done on location! So everything's coming together. We have just been to the Urban Decay launch, Benefit Halloween at Thorpe Park, Beauty Bay launch (which I will spill tea about), Freya Wood smoke... It's been busy honey!
A major milestone on my channel is the views we've created so far. JHMemoires has 15.8m views public. 9.6m views private. Perfect Androgyny 5m. JHCosmetics 3.4m. 33.8m views! So I'm really proud of all the legacy work I've created and the fact that it's been such a success.
So let's jump to Halloween! I've been talking about my idea to do an Optical Illusion series for years and I'm so glad I had the chance to do it! Now so many people have linked me to Mimi Choi from Instagram, fucking fabulous. I adore her work. My inspiration was actually an old school blogger called CaseMake who did this five years ago. He actually inspired me to get into my first ever Halloween series and I got to pay homage. I wanted to create an unwrapped face as a metaphor for how I've peeled back the layers and started to create something new. I also think it's fascinating how the world and things we know are starting to unravel.
I edited my graphic designs to show the illusion more clearly, I love making the final outcomes this way and thought the contact move was super fun for the final detail.
Next was an optical illusion makeup and I thought when I saw these looks that people had missed a trick. Because they're based on grids and tessellated shapes. So like my pop art tutorial, I showed how to work through that and create a grid of squares, with some overlaid diamonds. I love this look and I'm glad it got such amazing feedback!
It was more of a backup look to the original idea I was going to do but it fitted better as a series. I used monochromatic to add to the contrast factors and again, I remembered all those amazing books I saw as a kid where you'd have to like go cross eyed trying to figure out the hidden image behind the patterns.
Secrets upon secrets.
Next I wanted to create something experimental as I'd found a way of obscuring the nostrils for the first time. I've also seen a lot of drag queens create overdrawn features with clever placement of lines so I had a tutorial finished that was a human Bratz doll look. I just didn't think it worked as well as doing another illusion so I wanted it to stay in keeping with my whole body of work and keep it innovative in it's context. I don't play the game of repeating what's already there and that is the true test of my work.
'When you're a true artist, you never stop being creative.'
So here is my third and final look for Halloween and I used a paper wig to finish the look! Thanks Nina Bonina for that inspiration aha.
It's so important to remember with my work, that I have described what I do from the start as a visual artist. Not a makeup artist. Never, have I ever called myself in an interview, article or bio that, because it's never been just the makeup that I do. I fell into doing work on other people because my career as a model wasn't financially lucrative. I was working in Tokyo, Takadanobaba in 2009, the photographer literally wanted me to repeat how I'd came to set onto his other clients and it clicked to me like those universal directions often do, that I needed to swap gears. That was when I was seventeen... So yes I've had a huge portfolio with makeup, but that is a job. As soon as I got back to the UK I put into production my first ever makeup products with the manufacturer and if you remember that pink brush from JHCosmetics that I had from the start? Or the cosmetics I had made and created a palette from a note book? Doing makeup on other people validated my want to be a brand, it was never about doing the makeup as much as it was an access point to creating things. Building on that, I think it is such a shallow misrepresentation of the extent of what I do as an artist to try and infer that my work is designed to improve the appearance of what it is, instead of accepting the final image as something that was intentional. I don't understand why there is this misconstrued ideology that there are rules to it. Because if we're going to be perfectly blunt, I was invited by the photographer Greg Bailey to paint a number of queens from drag race. Some that had contacted me as men, prior to ever working in drag, and he asked me to translate their drag into editorial beauty. So even though I denied a lot of people inclusive of Jodie Harsh or Sharon Needles, I sat back and created sketches of the drag race queens who I thought would showcase the biggest change of look. Because it would create more momentum. Hence why I agreed to Alaska and to Jinkx.
I later worked with Milk, Willam, Detox, Charlie etc, but I figured out a way out of making their faces look softer and introduced how I cut a contour in, how I used soft blending and not the traditional lines, how I changed the lip to nose space ratio, the drawn in hairs of the brows and everything that we all know was not present in youtube videos before I got it. They're not original content, they're things I reintroduced on a new platform but that's valid enough to make the point. They took my lessons and continued the looks. Then, as drag race became popular and people started to want to be drag queens, more people went to my work which was unique against Pixiwoo's and Silicone Drops who were the only people with similar views for drag in the search results, and the gurus started to take inspiration and copy the drag queens from the show. Not just my videos, but Silicone's, Arabia Felix. Michael James, Sphirex. Later came Fendi & Fame. But we had a dialogue back in the day with Nikkie Tutorials and I think Luxeria just mentioned this for the first time in a vlog, we knew these people before it became todays climate. Nikkie is a great example as she did a collection that her generic everyday audience imitated with all my techniques in, because of this osmosis that's happened and that is unknowingly sharing information that was unique to my work since the very start. My ideas are out there on everyone's faces who want to get into this game, which is why brands like Wunder2 took my thumbnails and built up a brand profile online with my actual images. So ideas are more important to me because that's how you make change and that is the reality of how it works. If I wanted to sit back and be Makeup by Mario I'd be in Los Angeles working the reality scene as that pays the most, get's you immediate audience retention and I'd rather set my face on fire. If that's your gig, fabulous. But forJH it's not.
I am a predominantly a painter and I love to work with digital mediums, I love photography. I make clothing, I create the wigs. I go to the lab and physically make the cosmetics I've developed. I create ideas. My favourite thing to do which is giving away some psychology in this, is I can sit back today, provoke someone by playing the boastful card and make them think that they can do what I've done better. I let them get carried away trying to prove to themselves that they're a better creative and they end up creating a portfolio of work that's simply secondary to my own. Whilst I'm working on something in an entirely different avenue.
But the process of retouching is part of the painting, I take a photo after I've finished my tutorial and I literally put it into photoshop next to the image I've started with. If it's Marilyn Monroe, I have her face next to mine in the image. I then remove the makeup I think is too much, add where I need to, change the shape, and take the second image. I put that second image over the top of the first and combine the two as a painting. I have been VERY open about this since the start and showed on my channel what I've accomplished in my edits. However this has nothing to do with images of me as me, ya know? If I'm taking a photo of me as a selfie, it's me. It's not a showcase of some makeup look, I'll save that for a purpose. I didn't even know how to use Face Tune before I went on holiday in May, I had never thought about editing candid photos so this is nothing to do with vanity and everything to do with design.
I hope that makes it clear relating to my work cos there is such a hot spot about retouching in the community and you can clearly see in some cases where people have built a social presence by lying about a softbox at a high school photo shoot. Well the kids not a creative and has simply supplemented that Subtext Fantasy chick who is amazing and made it more mainstream. I get why people have some agitation cos that's almost deceptive. But that is not what I do at all, in fact like most of the time with my work I share with the world it's building blocks to something I'm doing under an alias. There are many layers going on with me that I don't reveal to the world so differentiate haha.
I am SO excited for the next part of this blog. We're sharing ALL of the secrets.
See you soon!