Makeup artist ‘Billy B’ featured speaker at MTA festival and convention
Date(s) - 01/18/2013
Mississippi University for Women
COLUMBUS, Miss. – One of the most successful and sought after makeup artists in the world, Billy Brasfield, better known as “Billy B,” will be on the campus of Mississippi University for Women Friday, Jan. 18.
Brasfield, who is from Aberdeen, will keynote the 2013 Mississippi Theatre Association’s annual festival and convention set for Jan. 17-20. More than 500 individuals, including high school students and teachers, college students and professors, as well as community participants, are expected to participate in the event.
His career path began in 1985, when he left his hometown of Aberdeen and moved to New York City. Brasfield applied for a job at Macy’s Herald Square and after inventing a story of prior experience in makeup, he was offered a position in cosmetics where he immediately began teaching himself.
That experience validated his talent and encouraged him to pursue a career in beauty beyond the cosmetic counter. Brasfield began to focus on a career as a freelance makeup artist, working days at Macy’s and building his portfolio by night in nightclubs. There, he got his break when he met and began working with photographer/director Ken Nahoum.
Brasfield is in high demand in all aspects of his field, including work with leading beauty and fashion magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair and most recently the 25th anniversary issue of British Elle with CoCo Rocha and with Lady GAGA for the cover of Time Magazine.
His work can also be seen in print advertising and commercials, including Christian Dior’s Capture Totale featuring Sharon Stone, with photography by Jean Baptiste Mondino and Solve Sundsbo, as well as the Dior Capture Totale commercial featuring Stone directed by Wong Kar Kai.
Brasfield works with many of the music industry’s icons, including Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Tina Turner, Debbie Harry, Pink, Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliott, Mary J. Bilge, Yoko Ono, Dolly Parton and the list goes on.
Brasfield believes in not forgetting where he came from and says he tries to “pay it forward,” both to aspiring makeup artists and to the town he came from, serving as a lecturer and teacher. In his hometown he has co-founded the nonprofit Save Aberdeen Landmarks (SAL) whose focus is preserving historic landmarks.
His work in Aberdeen has not gone unnoticed. The New York Times featured Brasfield and his work in his hometown, which led to his own six-hour television mini-series titled “Hometown Renovation” airing Jan. 2011 on HGTV. He was recognized by HGTV as a “Community Crusader,” an award given to individuals for outstanding work in their communities.