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Jessica Jean Myers

Shanghai – How I Got Here!
Indian Straight  I Tip  Human Hair Extensions Fusion Hair Extensions  For Short  HairSo a few ppl have asked me to inform my story about how I came to live and work in Shanghai in these recent mths. So I will try to clarify it as best as I can w/out being too long winded and boring (umm definitely ended up being long winded, hopefully not too boring lol). I feel it is actually a reasonably interesting story but I guess that must be for you guys to decide 🙂

Okay well I will start w/ a little bit background info. I am actually a pretty new MUA. I’ve actually only been finished school slightly less than 2 yrs now so in the grand scheme of things I am still a rookie! I was doing shoots while in school but officially I’ve been at this less than 2 yrs now…overall I’m pretty excited and happy w/ how I’ve grown as an artist these past two yrs and what I have been able to perform and do so far. I wish I had some pics from my very first shoot so that you guys could see just how much I’ve grown but I’m pretty sure I’ve burned all that evidence lol! Actually here is a pic from my third ever photoshoot (it was for school). The model is my beautiful friend Sophia. I actually still really like this pic but I can let you know they weren’t all winners like this one!

I’ve been able to find just a few pics from shoots I did while still in school…ugghh I am unable to believe I am going to show these to you guys but I believe prom hair half updo they may motivate and encourage newbies that they will/will get better. Also it should show I didn’t always work w/ great photographers and models! Regardless that I had some hits (ice princess above) I definitely had some misses and still do and I believe it is important to see and realize that not ever shoot is going to be amazing and it is good for the expansion process to sometimes suck lol! Here they’re (btw these aren’t the worst…those don’t exist anymore lol):

This was for a faculty assignment not a real shoot just my digital camera – see even I did cliches like sprinkles on the lips lol! It is actually not that bad I mean my lines were clean…always a giant thing for me!
This was my take on Kate Moss’ The Biba look in Kevyn Aucoin’s Making Faces

This one actually does make me cringe…it was suppose to be pheasant inspired or something stupid…this was a shoot where I just felt oh no this is sooo not working! Btw same model as the pic above.
This was sort of a Halloween inspired look…for me the lines aren’t clean like they needs to be!

Okay so that’s a visit down memory lane now I’ll get to my first “big break”. About 6 mths after I finished school I saw an ad posted in Craigslist searching for an MUA for some magazine editorials. I believed this sounds kind of crazy (I mean what legit photographer advertises mag editorials on Craigslist lol) but whatever what did I have to lose! So I responded and the photographer got back to me and we arrange an interview at Starbucks. So I went to the interview that day and that’s after i met photographer Todd Anthony Tyler. He looked through my book and explained why he was in search of an MUA for mag editorials on Craigslist. Seems he didn’t know any Toronto MUAs b/c he was just in from Shanghai, China visiting his family in Toronto and wanted to do a number of mag editorials while in town.

So anyway, he explained that he can be shooting editorials for 2 mags – Maxim China (male fashion editorial) and Vision (female editorial). We talked for a long time about his travels, work, fashion, the business, life…everything lol. I really lucked out b/c the MUA that was suppose to come back after me never arrived so I talked to him for over an hr that day (I’ll forever be thankful to that flaky MUA lol)! He interviewed quite a lot of MUAs that day but he just really enjoyed my enthusiasm and excitment about the shoots and his work so he took an opportunity and hired me on the spot for the two editorials even though I can inform you my book was definitely not that strong!

So the first shoot we ever did together was for Maxim China w/ the male model. This started off awfully and thank God he didn’t hold at the present time against me! I needed to take the GO train out to the location (his mother’s house lol) and that i made a mistake and got off on the wrong stop. I was waiting for him to pick me up for over an hr and I used to be freaking out that I was blowing the biggest opportunity of my life. I kept trying to call him to seek out out what was happening but I couldn’t get through b/c he only had a Chinese number. I used to be ready to cry right there and give up when finally this woman came frantically as much as me “Jessica ” she asked…”Yes!!” I answered…it was his mother that they had somehow discovered that I went to the wrong stop and she found me! YEAH! I felt soo bad though b/c I’m super anal about punctuality and all of that I even spoke to him about this in our first meeting…thankfully he didn’t hold it against me lol!
Here is a few pics that were featured in that editorial (it was an X-mas shoot). The model’s name is Justin:

So now on to the second shoot! The large shoot! I mean a male model is nothing but the following one was a female model…my makeup and hair concept! So this shoot was on a Sunday and that i almost royally screwed up this one too! Again I needed to take the GO train out to Whitby but I almost did not make that train! I forgot on Sundays the subway does not start until 9 am in Toronto and that i literally almost missed that train…OMG my heart actually starts racing after i think about it! The train was set to go away at 9 am I got to the station and bought my ticket at 8:57 I then needed to run through the station and up about 4 flights of stairs to get to the train…did I mention I had my kit w/ me in fact! Now that is why I am so glad I’ve always been one to condense my kit and never believed in those kits on wheels. Counting on the metro and living in a city w/ loads of snow in the Winter a kit w/ wheels just doesn’t make sense so I’ve always had something I can throw over my shoulder and run w/. And man did I run….OMG I ran up 4 flights of stairs and that i literally was able to throw my body through the doors if the train was closing I did not care what kind of bruises I’d have gotten! I mean are you able to imagine after the other mishap saying to the photographer umm I missed my train you’ve to come back get me in Toronto the next train isn’t for an hr! I got on that train w/ 1 min to spare. I sat there shaking and hyperventiallating for not less than 10 mins once the train got moving.

Once on set everything was great that day! The only real issue was the model – Victoria (Elmer Olsen) was brand new…she was 15. Like aside from a test shoot this was her first real shoot…damn what a way to begin an 8 pg editorial in a world mag! In fact her posing was stiff but Todd made it work for the story. We were shooting at this awesome location. It was this stone, gravel and sand work yard and Todd shot two stories 1. featuring the stone, sand and gravel and 2. featuring the trucks and metal. I personally liked the stone and gravel story better in the end but all of the mags went for the truck story (China doesn’t really have big trucks so I guess it was different for them). Here is just a few pics from the shoot that day. I’m including one pic from the unused stone story and a pair that were actually printed w/ the trucks:

I still love this pic! From the unused story! She’s 15!!
These pics were actually featured in the mags!

Okay so that explains how I met Todd Anthony Tyler and our first couple of shoots together. During the shoots he said something to me about all of the opportunities in Shanghai and how I should think about going on the market to work or something. I am sure he was probably just saying it casually like when someone says yeah come to my cottage this Summer…I mean nobody actually goes to the cottage lol. Well I did not care whether he meant the invitation or not I was going to take him up on it. So before even the second shoot ended I said I’m going to come to Shanghai in some unspecified time in the future! I am sure he did not think I was serious but he was like yeah that can be cool. It is so funny b/c to me it seemed like a no brainer to take this opportunity but after talking to lots of ppl it seems I’m actually a bit crazy b/c most ppl I talked to said they do not think they’d have done it but I looked at it like I might be CRAZY to NOT do it! But I suppose that is what truly separates ppl – some are willing to risk everything to go after what they need and a few like to play it safe.

Anyway, over the subsequent few mths we kept involved and emailed each other every couple of wks. Then I started to seriously talk to him in regards to the prospect of me going out to Shanghai. He was totally up for it and was willing to help me out too much. I decided that I might go in the Summer and check things out. Unfortunately, this past Summer was probably one of the worst times as a foreigner to try and are available to China…umm the Olympics anyone! ! Yes they were in Beijing but getting a visa was an ordeal in itself. So before I left for Shanghai Todd came back to Toronto and we did three more editorials together while he was in town and then I left for Shanghai w/ him! So during my two mths in Shanghai I tried to do as much as I could as far as networking, meeting other photographers, mag editors, ppl within the business etc. Instantly I knew this was a a lot better market for a newer MUA like myself. To be honest it was not that profitable for me in the Summer b/c everyone was preoccupied w/ the Olympics so there just wasn’t as many shoots as usual which sucked but I could see there was potential and i liked town enough that I decided I wanted to come back and give it an actual try a number of mths later.

When i got back to Toronto I made it my mission to build my book as much as I could during the subsequent few mths before I went back to Shanghai. Plus w/ the few editorials I had in my book and dealing in Shanghai for the past few mths I seemed a lot more exciting and enticing to rather a lot of good photographers in Toronto. It is amazing how cool you sound when ppl ask so what have you ever been up to and you can say “well I just spent the past few mths living/working in Shanghai” lol. I mean is not that the way in which in Canada ppl only care about you once you’ve got gone somewhere else and done something lol! So it was during this time that I met photographer Troy Moth and as a lot of you realize some of my fav. work has been created w/ him. It is literally been just like the last 6 mths that my book has just gone threw an amazing growth and change and that i’ve really started to return into my own.

So come Nov. I decided to head on back to Shanghai where I’ve now been these past 2 mths. It hasn’t all been easy as many of you realize from reading this blog. I have been pretty broke and I’ve been working hard but I feel it is all starting to return together now. It’s important to remember that it takes time even when you will have an awesome connection like Todd. I’m really optimistic about this yr. and I am excited to see where this crazy adventure will take me! I mean if someone prom hair half updo had ever said to me 2 yrs ago you’ll be living/working in Shanghai I would have laughed at them! So yeah basically that is my story…I know it’s long sorry lol. But hopefully some of you will see it inspirational or something and that i figure if nothing else I might be the Urban Legend of the Makeup Artist who got her big break through a Craigslist Ad lol!

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