Sheila is a special effects makeup artist located in Memphis. “I am passionate about the homeless people within our city, children affected by traumatic diseases, and all things humanity basically.” With a passion for our Memphis people and undeniable talent, Sheila took us deeper into what allowed her to get started on her path to being a makeup artist.
“I just started casually.” As a big fan of Michael Jackson, Sheila watched the making of Thriller as a young teen and found the process intriguing, sparking her curiosity for the craft. “If I see something or visualize it, I can do it.” Her company was founded in 2007 and picked up in popularity as people wanted her to do their makeup. Sheila was complimented by the makeup director of Wicked when the production came to Memphis, and her career blossomed from there. The makeup director invited Sheila to go on tour with her and the Wicked production. “I came back to Memphis on fire. Ekundayo had me doing the makeup for The Wiz. I feel like I’m the only African American woman who does special effects makeup in Memphis.”
What motivates you
Sheila’s keys to success is time spent in study. “Study the greats, perfect the craft.” She is always reading about different makeup artists to “hone in on my skills and stay relevant with the latest trends and looks.”
We asked Sheila about what motivates her to keep moving forward.
“The gift. I want to make sure I’m honoring God and not taking the gift for granted. It’s a blessing to have the gift of makeup or any gift someone may possess.”
Memphis as inspiration
“Memphis reminds me of a smaller version of New York. It’s a melting pot. When people come here from all over the world we accept them. In spite of the bad things that go on, there is a great amount of good. I love that people love to celebrate the arts and come together collectively. “
How does Memphis inspire you?
“It inspires me a great deal. I feel that Soul started here. Soul is Memphis.”
Sheila credits Memphis’s history for pushing her to complete her goals. “Memphis brings the best out of me even during the hard times when I feel I’m inadequate. Soul led and was the soundtrack to the civil rights era. It makes me proud to know that’s a part of my heritage.”
How does our city of soul inspire you?
“Memphis is dignitized because of the assassination of Dr. King. We own and honor that culture and, hopefully, soul is bringing out the best version of ourselves. “
Sheila’s passion for future children in the city is as strong as her pride for the city that bares them. “I want to see more growth, I want to see the elimination of homeless population, better schools. I want to make sure the kids are taken care of. I’d like to see the city take ownership of that. Taking care of the students and the teachers. Tell the real story so we all know the real history of soul.”