TL;DR – Nurse turned professional makeup artist, this gorgeous lady shares about what makes her tick.
First up, we have the lovely Joris Sia who did a 180-degree career switch from being a nurse to being a professional makeup artist now.
Hi Joris! Why don’t you tell our readers a little more about yourself and what you do?
Hello! My name is Joris. I’m 25 years old and I’m a freelance make up artist.
I understand that the type of makeup jobs you do are also not just the conventional bridal makeup etc. What are some of the interesting stints you have done?
I was recently part of the makeup team for the Halloween Horror Nights at Resorts World Sentosa.
Even though it was a series of long nights for that month, I really enjoyed how I got to explore a different type of makeup – theatrical / style makeup is very different from photo shoot or bridal styles and I’m happy I got to explore something new. I also enjoyed the camaraderie forged with the actors and crew on set!
Additionally, one of my work pieces was published in on the cover page of The Straits Times – so I felt a hugeeee sense of achievement from that!
What’s a typical day like for you?
With what I do, I don’t really have a typical day. Every day is different with different schedules, appointments and call times.
I have also started working on my YouTube channel where I share beauty and makeup tutorials so if I manage to find pockets of free time, I’ll try to film and edit some videos or read up for new makeup styles and inspiration.
I also understand that you used to be a nurse! What made you decide to switch into such a different industry?
Actually I really like nursing.
But since I was a little girl, I have always loved make up and dolling others up. I didn’t get a chance to purse this career when I was younger because everyone thinks that nursing is a more practical career. After 2 years in nursing, I decided to attend makeup school and when I graduated, I started taking on part-time assignments. As more and more jobs came, I soon realised that I can’t commit to both, it’s really too tiring.
Also, there was one incident that really shaped me. I was attending to an elderly patient one day when she suddenly begged me in front of all her family members to just let her go to heaven. I stood there, lost and the next thing I knew, I started crying. My colleagues came and took over but that patient reminded me too much of my own grandmother who once suffered from illness too. It got too emotional for a while and I thought that it’s time for a change of environment. Moreover, if I don’t start now when I’m single and with little burden, I will never allow myself to make the career switch in the future. So I planned for months and was very lucky to be able to meet some veteran makeup artists who mentored and guided me along the way. Eventually the opportunity presented itself for me to quit nursing and enter the makeup industry full-time.
What do you think is the main challenge faced when transitioning from having a job with regular pay and security to being a freelancer?
In nursing, I get a fixed income every month plus bonus twice a year. But becoming a freelancer means that there is no fixed date as to when money will come in – it can be as often as several times a week and sometimes maybe just one assignment a week. Additionally, I used to be able to visit doctors for free when I was a nurse but now falling sick becomes an additional financial liability.
Financial management for freelancers is very important – at the beginning I had some difficulties in planning my finances and managing expenses but now that I have started monitoring and tracking my expenses in a phone app, things are much better!
Can you tell me your most memorable moment from this job and also the worst perhaps? Hehe.
From my nursing days, the most memorable incidents will definitely when I see my patients recover and discharge from the hospital. Some of them will even come up to me and say Hi when we bump into each other on the street!
The worst…. will be seeing patients suffer and knowing that there’s nothing you can do to relieve their pain 🙁
As for makeup, I really like how I get to meet new people all the time and how strangers can become close friends with every assignment!
Okay.. since we are on the topic of morbid questions. If you know you’re going to die tomorrow, what will your last meal be?
Salmon sashimi sushi roll definitely – I can eat this everyday!
Lastly! Because we are Singapore, which is a local dish you think best represents you – and why?
Hokkien mee! Maybe because I’m Hokkien myself but this is the ultimate comfort food definitely!