Peak Performance

April 19th, 2017

April 19th, 2017

Across the Pond our North American colleagues host many more pro make-up events than are to be found in the UK and one of the best known is The Artist Summit created by Warpaint’s US contributor, Michael DeVellis.  Held in early October, it’s fast becoming a destination for European pro artists wanting to mix and mingle with fellow creatives.  We get the lowdown from the man himself on what visitors can expect.

tas welcome

WP:  What is The Artist Summit 2017?

MDV:  The Artist Summit is three day inspirational and career focused program for those in the professional make-up and beauty industries.  The event consists of a series of keynote seminars and panel discussions on everything from business development, creativity in our industry, finding your voice as an artist and even to wellness.  We truly have a program that hits every aspect of the world of the pro make-up artist.  It’s three days of insightful and inspiring discussion about artistry, career and industry.


WP:  Who comes to this event?

MDV:  Artists, educators, students, brand owners and business people from every area off pro make-up and beauty.  Our primary audience is, of course, the pro make-up artist, but attendees will find themselves sitting next to founders of cosmetics lines, national artists from the most pro-focused brands, and even the heads of make-up and hair departments from television networks or films.  It doesn’t matter how long you have been doing make-up or what area of the industry you are in, everyone can benefit from the program.  The one thing every attendee has in common is that they are the most committed, focused and driven pros in our business – and they are ready to grow.


WP:  How did you come up with the idea?

MDV:  I had started The Makeup Show a few years prior, and I while that event did have a very strong education platform, I wanted to create an event that was primarily focused on education and inspiration – not so much about selling products.  I thought we could use a supplementary event that would partner well with The Makeup Show – that would be produced half-a-year later and give our community another opportunity to come together to celebrate the career of the professional make-up artist.  I partnered with James Vincent, our Director of Artistry at The Powder Group, to create the first The Artist Summit event and we have partnered on the event ever since.

WP:  So how long have you been doing this program?

MDV:  We launched the first The Artist Summit event in 2008, so we are going into our tenth year.  We did the event in New York City, then Miami and Chicago.  Then we moved the event to Provincetown, MA – which is a gorgeous artists colony and seaside resort town on the tip of Cape Cod.  We have held the event there every two years since 2013.  So this is our sixth program and third in Provincetown.

provincetown2   provincetown
WP:  Why Provincetown?

MDV:  I always say that until you come to Provincetown for one of the events there, we couldn’t really explain successfully why we host the event there.  It is the most magical, inspirational and artistically focused place on the planet.  We produce three different events there, The Artist Summit, a five-day artist retreat called Evolution and an art-focused program called Creative Exploration Workshops.

WP:  What about this program makes it unique in our industry?

MDV:  It’s funny, when James and I launched this program, there were literally no other events like this in the industry.  Now, as with most cool ideas, there are a lot of knock-off programs.  But the thing that separates our program from those is two things.  First, our attendees.  These are not your average, run-of-the-mill pros – these artists are super-driven and über-focused.  They are also the best example of a strong community I could ever have hoped for.  Our TPG Pro members are so welcoming to new artists to our family and so excited for each other’s successes.  It’s a wonderful feeling in an industry that can be so cutthroat at times.

Then, our presenters truly make this a unique event in our industry.  They are not simply working artists, they are the industry’s best examples of following your passion and pushing hard to create a successful business for yourself.  These presenters are the most inspirational people I have ever met and I am lucky to call them all friends and colleagues.

Bethany  Carl  Orlando

WP:  Who are some of these presenters?

MDV:  We have more than a dozen industry leaders speaking at The Artist Summit 2017.  They include brand owners AJ Crimson (AJ Crimson Beauty), Sheila McKenna (Kett Cosmetics), Rae Ann Silva (Beauty Blender), Danessa Myricks (Danessa Myricks Beauty) and Alphonse Wiebelt (MUSE Beauty Pro).  We also have agency owner Ryan McKnight (Kreative Kommune) and one of his top artists, and most iconic creatives in our industry right now, Ryan Burke, presenting a session called Breaking the Mold.  We have Sutan Amrull of Ru Paul’s Drag Race fame along with 20 years as an entertainer around the world.  Bethany Townes and Orlando Santiago who are both key educators at The Makeup Show doing a program called Artist to Artist, and we have Carl Ray, Michelle Obama’s artist for her entire time in the White House and still to this day.  Rounding out the energy of the event we have wellness leader and shaman, Sarah Rigano of Form+Light and Executive Director of Provincetown Art Association and Museum and Chris McCarthy who will be presenting a panel of fine artists discussing finding your voice as an artist.  I am so excited about this line up!

Chris  Danessa  Raes

WP:  Will you be presenting at The Artist Summit as well?

MDV:  I will be hosting, along with James Vincent, so I will be a big part of the program throughout the entire event.  But we do have a special session that I will be leading called Ten Words.  The program is a panel discussion, but is based on a book I am just now publishing called Ten Words for a Stronger Career, More Meaningful Connections and a Remarkably Focused Life.  It’s a long title, for a short book. haha.  The book has been a seminar, keynote talk and a workshop and launched ten years ago.  Now it is in print and I am so excited to be doing this special event at The Artist Summit based on the book.

Ten Words

WP:  Will any of them be doing make-up demonstrations?

MDV:  These are all inspirational presentations speaking to the speaker’s journey, struggles and successes, but there may be some make-up thrown in now and then as well.  I mean, with this lineup, could we resist?  We do also have two supplementary days of hands-on workshops on the days following The Artist Summit.  These are at an additional cost but only open to attendees of the full program.  The attendees will have the opportunity to work with some of our Summit presenters in hands-on sessions and get their hands into some great products.

Ryan B  Ryan M  Sarah

WP:  So is there an opportunity to purchase products at the event?

MDV:  We don’t have a retail area of the event, but we do have an amazing group of event sponsors, some of whom might just surprise our attendees with a little something.  I am so honoured that so many of our industry’s most pro-supportive brands have joined us this year as The Artist Summit sponsors including MAKE UP FOR EVER, The Makeup Light, Bdellium Tools, Kett Cosmetics and IT Cosmetics.  Skindinavia is also a sponsor and they will also sponsor, as they have since 2013, our Welcome Reception at Provincetown Art Association and Museum.

Sheila  Sutan1

WP:  What are you most excited for about the event?

MDV:  That’s such an easy question – the energy of community in the room and the effect that the program has on its attendees and speakers.  This is a program that truly raises up everyone who is a part of it.  The relationships that are created, or reinforced, in Provincetown that week are game-changing for careers and even for personal development.  We look at this program as possibly the single most important thing we have created at The Powder Group since I launched the company in 2003.  The power that comes from this event, the strength of the community, and the way everyone leaves Provincetown incredibly elevated and ready to take on the next part of their own journey – it is just mind blowing.  It truly leaves me speechless.
The Artist Summit 2017 will be held at Provincetown Inn in Provincetown, MA on October 1-4, 2017.  Two supplementary hands-on workshop days will follow on October 5-6.  Participation starts at $690.00 and details can be found at and



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By Emma Rutherford

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