by Michron Robinson
With the luring love for the arts from a young age, make-up artist Adzil Stuart knew this would be his forte.
Having graduated from primary school and moving onto Combermere School, he said that he was always fascinated by the theatrics of giving people facial transformations.
“I remember always being fascinated with making young people look like old people where the performing arts are concerned,” he told Bajan Vibes.
The hairdresser, image consultant and beautician by profession said that he always liked painting and could appreciate the beauty in things. Although he started out in Physics and the other sciences at the Waterford, St. Michael school, Stuart said that he would always find himself in an art room during the period allocated to Science.
On completing his secondary education he worked with the Wilfred Beauty Academy which closed in 1995 after existing for 74 years. Subsequently it was off to the Christine Valmey Inc. where he did make-up for Broadway and other films.
The man who wears many hats recalled that at one point he got so excited he said to himself he could share all of his knowledge with Barbados and Barbadians so as to push the country “there with the rest”. However, his voice tinged with sadness Stuart said that he now regrets his decision.
“I would honestly say that I singlehandedly opened the doors for a lot of young people. I walk around and I find that young people are interested in doing makeup because when I came home 18 years ago you would not find anyone interested in doing that as a career, period! When I came home there were only like two people who I would have known to be in the makeup industry and that was Philippa Aimey and Judy Macaluso,” he said.
The part time tutor at the Barbados Community said that if he did not choose makeup artistry as a career he would have gone into the ministry of education, although he knows some people would think it weird.
“Actually that might be the next thing I do after I retire although some people think I am not going to retire,” he said with a laugh.
Stuart, who said he is excited to share what he knows, noted that Barbadians are too skeptical in sharing their knowledge. “They want to hold on to what they know and keep it to themselves. That is not how the world was developed; God put us all here to work together to work with each other for a common good and he gave all of us special talents. That is why we should all work together for a better Barbados and better world. So if I know something what is the point of holding it for me and then it is not any use. It is like burying your talents – that is why whatever I know I am willing to share. The point is whatever I know at the end of the day, you still would not be able to do it like how I do it because we all have our special touch,” he stated.
His advice for young makeup artists is simple: “Take all of the rules and then break some of them, so as to create your own thing that is going to be personally you. There are more than 250,000 people in Barbados so we know that there is a market out there for more makeup artists to excel and we have not started talking about the region as yet… . Everybody will find their niche market that will follow them, like their style, and what they do. There is enough out there for everybody, there is no need to hold on to [your knowledge] and hoard it- share it.”
What keeps Stuart going?
“Well, if I wake up and I do not see my name in the obituaries I tell myself there is work to be done,” he stated while busily giving orders to one of his student employees at the same time treating poet Aja’s hair.
In recent years the entrepreneur said that his greatest highlight was working with the ABC team for the movie Bachelor which was shot here in Barbados at the Hilton. He added that he also thoroughly enjoyed working with Alison Hinds having travelled across the region and the globe to a larger extent.
The entrepreneur who said that challenges were something which always arose, feels that ideas are often stagnated and the youth are often on the receiving end of this action.
“I find living in the United States when you meet people, as a young person and you have ideas they always urge you on, but Barbadian people tend to oppose you a lot,” he stated.
He encouraged all young makeup artists and designers to dream big, work on their dreams and follow them.