As the founder of The Powder Group, On Makeup Magazine and The Makeup Show, Michael DeVellis has the inside track on what it takes to make it big in the pro makeup creative industries. His more than 20 years of experience working with hundreds of top artists, product lines, artist agencies, trade events, productions and publications make him uniquely qualified to share an insider’s perspective on the career of freelance artists from any genre of artistry. His company, The Powder Group — an education and event production company based in New York City — launched in 2003 and has since produced artist-focused and freelance business development driven programs and events in more than 20 cities around the world including The American Beauty Tour, Makeup 101, Ten Words, The Artist Summit, Creative Exploration Workshops and Evolution many of which he has proudly partnered on with Provincetown Art Association and Museum since 2008. His diverse background includes executive roles at industry giants MAC Cosmetics and MAKE UP FOR EVER along with dozens of other pro-focused businesses. His unique understanding of the creative, business, interpersonal, marketing and branding skills that are essential to creating a successful career as an artist enable him to share the must-have understanding of what’s required to be a success in today’s ever-changing pro makeup and creative industries. He recently published his first book “TEN WORDS for a Stronger Career, More Meaningful Relationships and a Remarkably Focused Life.” Michael is an inspirational leader and mentor to the artist community and Kett Cosmetics is proud to be a sponsor of the Artist Summit this October! We’re also thrilled he made time for “TEN” more, as in our 10 Questions. Enjoy!
Not at the moment, but we’d love to adopt another rescue dog at some point in the near future. Likely another Pit Bull or Pit-mix.
Barbara Streisand. Yes I know that’s super predictable being a 50 year old gay man in NYC. Barbara was amazing of course! But the coolest part was that Hillary and Bill Clinton were there!
It’s a toss up between a gin martini, very dry, with a twist or sausage pizza from Zapardi’s in West Haven, CT.
What was the most interesting or fun event you’ve participated in?
Definitely this past year’s World Bodypainting Festival held in Klagenfurt, Austria. This was the 20th Anniversary of the event and it was absolutely magical. Founder Alex Barendregt did an incredible job on the event as always, but this year seemed even more special. I was also fortunate enough to have been asked to be on the jury for two of the competitions this year and taught a program at the World Bodypainting Academy as well. The artistry, the beautiful town of Klagenfurt, the celebration of craft, the incredible music and the time I was able to spend with so many friends from my makeup family- I wanted it to last forever.
If you won the lottery, how would you like to spend most of your time, excluding travel?
I would develop a business supporting developing artists in various genres, from makeup to painting to music and other fine arts. I love helping those who are following their heart and passion as their career. These are the hardest paths to follow but the most satisfying ones. I’d open a gallery and arts community space in Provincetown, MA as well. It could be the base of the artist support I would be focusing on. And truth be told, I’m sitting with a Powerball ticket on my desk right now, so hopefully we will all find out soon enough if that’s the case.
Have you ever had a work related “faux pas” moment and how did you recover?
Well, of course there have been countless accidental cc’ing of someone who shouldn’t have received a particular email. Those are always interesting to back your way out of.
App that changed your life?
MyRadar. It’s a weather app that shows you the weather radar and precipitation in real-time. I am obsessed with it. My husband called me Doppler DeVellis.
What would be your dream job? Are you living it now?
Honestly it’s what I do now as the founder of The Powder Group. I love having the opportunity to help artists create their most successful career imaginable. I love connecting people. I hope that people find me inspirational. I love putting artists in the spotlight and raising them up and celebrating them. I get a huge amount of happiness out of knowing that I have affected someone’s path in a positive way. It’s why I wrote my Ten Words book to keep the message out there and give people a tool to use to keep moving when I am personally not around at the moment.
You host a lot of artists in NYC for your events. What is your ultimate NYers guide to the perfect “Only In New York” day?
My ideal “Only in New York” day would consist of starting the day at Sarabeth’s at Chelsea Market for a coffee and their Farmer’s Breakfast Muffins (delish!) before heading over to the Whitney Museum for a little art inspiration. Then I’d walk the Highline up to Chelsea to The Frying Pan, which is a bar/restaurant on a barge on the Hudson River, for a bite to eat. Then evening moves to Times Square for a Broadway show with a pre-show drink at Sardi’s and post-show dinner at Chez Josephine. If we were keeping the party going after that, it would be back downtown to Marie’s Crisis for some sing-along show tunes. An exhausting but amazing day.
Do you have a hidden talent / superpower?
I hope my superpower is making people feel inspired and like they can take on the world.