It Makes A MommaBird Proud

I can honestly say, that some of the most memorable moments of my makeup career, were not on set meeting my favorite celebrities, but instead meeting a group of students that would forever change my life.
I was asked to teach at one of the most prestigious makeup schools. I jumped at the opportunity ! What I encountered, was part legend, part insane assylum, and all worth every minute!
I have to admit, my first day I was nervous as hell! Who did I think I was ? I was a working artist, I had taught before, but never in such a formal setting.
I was thrown to the lions without a curriculum. How was I going to be the teacher that they needed, that they expected? All I could think about was the sign on my bulletin board that I had cut out of a magazine…

I could only hope that I didn’t let them down. As the weeks went on, I realized that I had found a new love! My passion for makeup could finally be transferred. I could talk about Makeup all day, and nobody rolled their eyes and told me to shut up? On the contrary, what I encountered was 22 pairs of eyes staring back at me hungry for more!
Instead of reading from textbooks, I decided to break a few rules. I made them throw their brushes across the room and use only their(sanitized)hands. I wanted them to feel the contours of the face rather than just looking at a picture that told them where to put the makeup. The rebels responded immediately!
Instead of a written final exam,I did something unprecedented, I made them act out the part of a platform artist, taking center stage. I wanted to see if all that I had taught them actually translated. What I saw that day was a metamorphosis.
Gone were the insecure students,the ones that were intimidated & the ones that weren’t even sure if this was the life they wanted, what stood before me on that stage were blossoming Artists.
I was crying like a proud mama. I think it was that day they started calling me MamaBird, a name that has stuck to this day.
I can’t explain the feeling I have toward my students, they have my heart ♥, and have touched my life in ways I never thought possible. It was today that I found out that I also had that affect on them.

I told some of them that I was interviewing for a new teaching job, before I knew it I was flooded with letters of recommendation. I couldn’t stop the tears as I read their words of appreciation. Is it possible that I had actually become “The Teacher Your Students Remember”?
I like to think so.

Here are their letters:

To Whom it may concern;

Let me first preface this letter by stating that the phrase “those who cannot do; teach” is the virtual opposite description of the talent and ability that is Dyana Aives as a makeup artist, and teacher. She can, and she does, and she provides and educational environment for people to succeed at the same! Crucial details about a difficult industry, and the process of developing a body of work that proves not only talent, but the drive to make the most of it, are things that are lost to students from average instructors. Ms. Dyana Aives is NOT an average instructor.

In short, during my time as a student under her, I of course had expert instruction in the fundamentals and technique, but also the backbone of career preparation. She is always honest and willing to share her real life accounts of what is, what is not, and what may be. I believe that nothing can totally prepare you for what comes after education, but having someone there who is immersed in that reality to ease some of the unknowing helps tremendously. She brought up so many things that I would have never thought to ask, because many of them are things that you don’t think to learn about until its too late…like what to do if you remember your full kit, and forget your brushes! I can honestly say I can produce a beautiful full face of makeup with my just fingers thanks to Dyana! Her desire to see her students succeed really come through in her teaching. Dyana also has a way about her of making everything seem comfortable. Even when she is constructively criticizing, it is in a way that inspires you to push your limits and try harder each and every time. She brings a warmth and maternal quality to her approach, and that when coupled with her enormous insight and creativity, breeds the perfect environment to help her students succeed. I loved that she was always so cheerful, and ready for anything, spewing idea after idea of what would be gorgeous, or delightfully disgusting to add to my projects. Dyana is fluent in so many facets of makeup application and genre, I was never short of amazed by her demonstrations! I was also consistently inspired by her, in career aspects as well as personally, by her bright and loving personality. I also loved that all of her suggestions come with valuable tips and tricks that only years of trial and error can earn you! Insider information at it best! I got such a head start from her instruction, that I believe several of my interviews and gigs went the way they did solely because of the way she prepared me for them. It would be a terrible waste to lose the opportunity to have her as an instructor! I hope this can provide some insight beyond the amazing collection of work and experience Dyana Aives has, into the equally amazing teacher, person and mentor she is for me and so many others. Please feel free to contact me further regarding her.

Sincerely yours,

Valerie Libertine

Mascara Hero Makeup Artistry
To Whom It May Concern:

Over the past year and a half, I have gotten to work with Dyana Aives, first as an instructor, then as a mentor.

As an instructor, Dyana demonstrated a drive and motivation to truly help students succeed. I was her student for beauty and airbrushing, and with every task assigned, Dyana presented with clarity and coaching to ensure that no student was overlooked in times of detailed hands-on understanding with technique and product. She made sure that all lesson take-aways were engrained so that no student was just rushed off and onto the next thing. Dyana took care to serve her students as a knowledgeable and personable instructor.

Dyana’s artistry and approach to business is to be complimented. She was very good to not only teach us how to do makeup, but how to be makeup artists and represent ourselves professionally to make it in our industry. As she does with her own work, and as an instructor, she has a larger picture view of the needs of the situation. Just like being a piece of the whole on set, in a classroom, Dyana is able to include, encourage, and illustrate everything we needed to know to launch with skill and confidence.

Coming from a place of having had a lot of formal education in undergraduate and graduate school prior to my media makeup training, I have always had high expectations for my educational experiences. Dyana was able to reach students of all levels in a meaningful way that went beyond simple theory and demo. She has become a foundational mentor in my work as a prominent artist in my market and as a studio owner for media artists, providing the same kind of mentoring and encouragement that I was shown. Dyana was an outstanding inspiration in helping me define my career and life goals, and inspired me to take the steps I needed to take to get to where I knew I needed to be. When you begin to find real success, you have to look back at those who made an impact. When I look back, Dyana is there.

I cannot recommend Dyana highly enough, and if she is chosen, you will not be disappointed. She has always developed genuine relationships with those she has worked with and taught. Dyana has made a valuable mark on the evolution of the makeup artistry education community. Regardless of where she is and what she is doing, she makes a difference, inspires, and mentors; it is only natural that she should do it in a formal setting.


Brett Dorrian

Brett Dorrian Artistry Studios, LLC

Owner, Operator, and Lead Artist

100 W. Franklin Ave, Suite 104

Minneapolis, MN 55404

To Whom It May Concern,

My name is Kristalynn Price. I would love to recommend Ms. Dyana Aives as not only a talented makeup artist, but also as an extraordinary teacher. I had the pleasure of having Ms. Aives as my teacher at the Joe Blasco Makeup Center East for the Masters II course throughout a large portion of 2010. I attended this school primarily to learn special effects makeup. I am a huge horror buff and wanted nothing more than to be the person behind the camera that makes audiences scream and squirm. However, Ms. Aives opened a whole new world to me. She taught the beauty/fashion portions of my course and what a great ride it was! I wasn’t just taught how to apply makeup. I learned how to properly treat my clients and talent. I also was educated on how to promote myself and my work. She gave me the foundation tools needed to become a viable and sought after artist. In summation, Ms. Aives prepared me for the real world of makeup artistry. For this, I am forever thankful. If I had to pick one word to describe her it would most definitely be passionate. Due to Ms. Aives’ absolute love for her craft, this crazy little horror geek (I’m talking about me) is not only a well-rounded artist but I’m on my way to bigger and better things. Dyana’s positive “go get em” attitude towards the future is infectious. It’s safe to say she has influenced me in a big way and I have no where to go from here except up. Ms. Aives is a great addition to any crew or staff!

Thank you for listening,

Kristalynn Price

To Whom It May Concern:

Two years ago I decided to become a Make Up Artist. My first day was February 2010, nervously, I walked into school having no idea what to expect. I sat down right as my teacher, Ms. Dyana Aives walks in and says “HI CLASS!” everyone laughed and it immediately broke the ice. Right away when a teacher exudes that much personality off the bat, it only means one thing “score! Awesome teacher”

Ms. Dyana was not only a fantastic teacher, but she was a comfort zone when a student needs it the most, at school. The way Ms. Dyana taught, it is clear she enjoys teaching, she makes it easy for students to trust her. Not too many students can say they look forward to going to school, and are late leaving because they’re actually interested in what the teacher has to offer.

Ms. Dyana was very detailed in her teaching, dedicated to each students understanding and most of all was extremely knowledgeable. Ms. Dyana Aives made school turn out to be nothing like what I expected, but everything I needed.

Sincerely with my recommendations,

Shiren Tehrani
I just wanted to write you a little note to tell you how much your teaching has
inspired me. I never thought that a person could tap into the creativity inside
me. Before I went to Joe Blasco makeup center I knew I loved makeup, but I never
knew I had the talent hidden inside me to make it into a career.
I have been building my portfolio with the tips and tricks you taught me.

Thank you for teaching me the basics of networking like joining Model mayhem to
meet models and photographers. I have impressed employers with professional
photographs using professional models and photographers and the skills you taught
me to make the models looks flawless.

Also, I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate you teaching me how to be
sanitary and not get my makeup full of germs. Working on set of Charlie’s
Angels, a lot of actors told me that they preferred coming to my makeup station
because they noticed that I was cleaning my brushes after each actor and
sanitizing my hands before I touched them.

I also never got the chance to tell you how much I appreciate the fact that you
went out of your way to get extra literature/handouts for us when the school
wouldn’t provide them for us. I still refer to The Period Makeup handouts when I
am called to do period makeup on set.

I hope that you understand that you have made a huge impact on my life and I
hope you get to inspire many more aspiring makeup artists in the future. You
were the best cheerleader/motivator when I wasn’t sure if I chose the right path
in life, and now I can’t thank you enough for always pushing me to strive for
the best I could do.

Thank you so much.

Eternal hugs and kisses,

Nancy Mendoza
Makeup Artist
I will never forget those acclamations or what they mean to me.
I never thought of myself as the maternal type, but it’s times like this that I realize, some of us were meant to have children, and some of us, were meant to have students.