Interview with Durand Carter
By Savannah Grier, Age 17
Durand Carter is a makeup artist who has been in the beauty community for many years. Throughout those years, he has honed his skills and has become someone to recognize. On top of his artistry, he is very giving towards his community. Durand Carter is an amazing mentor for the younger generation and we are honored to share his story.
Q: How did you get into the beauty industry and how has it brought you joy?
Durand: I modeled at one point, admired the industry, and had a passion for the industry on the beauty side. Which is what I discovered and stopped fighting and went for it. I wanna say that’s what brought me joy… The industry just kinda pulled me in me tryna figure out what I wanted to do. I was in college and I loved the artistry and I stopped fighting it...I found my lane. I found what brought me joy and what brought me joy was being able to service others and help them achieve something that maybe I saw in them, as well as the creative aspect. So the creative, the talent, the intuition, and the know-how of the aesthetics all came together for me to appreciate this talent that I had to help people see a vision...a bigger vision for themselves. I saw the confidence it gave people as well as the confidence it gave me. All of those things together brought me joy and I found my calling.
Q: Were there any issues you faced establishing your brand/name and how did you overcome them?
Durand: There were many (issues) I was able to surpass by just focusing on what I loved to do. Asking the right questions. Knowing my worth and value early on because I had little time to focus on the negativity or someone not wanting me for the job. By pressing my skill set and abilities, I began to learn and sharpen those skills so that I was less affected by the hurdles. At the time, I worked for a brand line for a specific area where there were not many males that looked like me… So I had to find the confidence in that and just the ability to know that ‘I’m here and I’m gonna do a great job and you're gonna get the result. So overcoming it was by maintaining focus and groundedness and being humble and appreciative and making that direct connection so that I was not being bamboozled… I worked my part, my best doing all the things that lead to professionalism.
Q: I understand you have held a lot of positions. What would you say is the most important thing you have learned or gained from the industry?
Durand: I did a huge runway show in Las Vegas for L’Oreal company and that was 1 out of 25 global makeup artists that were chosen to work for this company as an international artist for a show that was presented to 30,000 people. Another was the opportunity to work with a brilliant line I saw as a child and a pretty prominent African American product line, that was Fashion Fair cosmetics. I was to assist one of their top artists while I was still learning the trade. I don’t want to forget those things. Those are the stepping stones that helped gain the confidence to now be the respected artist that was selected by the company Chanel as a two time representative artist. I just celebrated my five years as the national brand manager of the year for the company Chanel. The most important I learned or gained from the beauty industry... was to not forget the steps along the way, the challenges, the adversities, the moments of acceptance and recognition as well as the opportunity to give back.
Q: You are a big supporter of Chanel. I understand you represent them. How has that been for you?
Durand: Amazing! As a company, they have given back by recognition and appreciation of my talents and work and dedication to the brand. I started with the company in 1991 and not all this time, I have worked with them throughout those many years. Five years ago I was requested to come back and work with them… I had never worked as a brand manager for them before, I was a freelance artist and was on the National Artistry team. When I was offered to work for the brand in-store, I accepted and five years later the work and dedication of not just myself but in the position of leadership for this brand in Fresno, I was recognized as the National Manager of 2019. I am recognized. That is pretty big and special.
Q: You are very involved in your community. Do you think that is something an upcoming artist should pay attention to?
Durand: I enjoy and love being connected with our community. I am a board member on the Fresno State Alumni Association so that is another connection I have with our community. It doesn’t necessarily entail my passion for artistry but it entails my passion for our community. I am honored to be in that role as the VP for the board. I also think, yes, upcoming artists should pay attention to their surroundings. It takes a village for our community to be shifted in the right direction to recognize talent. There are also things in our community that can be changed by us. Young adults need our support, our recognition, our thumbs-up, and maybe direction. Everybody contributes something if they choose. I hope they choose to do so because it goes so much further than they would know to uplift and hold a community. It makes such a world of difference.
Q: Do you have any advice for upcoming artists?
Durand: Enjoy the moment of it all and to learn from so many different things and not to be afraid to create. Some of those brilliant artists have done some of the most obscure things and it's profound how they think. To take a chance and challenge themselves. Be prideful of their mistakes because a lot of the time they may not even be mistakes, but the best thing you can do from a mistake is to learn from it. As an artist, you don’t know what is going to be the next big thing. It’s nice to explore and create and be in the moment when creating and finding the space and the opportunity to shine and share it. Share it with the world.
Q: I understand that you do a wide range of events. You received a certificate from the City of Fresno for working with the film “The Face of Cancer”. Can you describe other events/experiences you do?
Durand: I am now one of Chanel’s elite artists. I am an alumnus of a special elite group of Chanel artists. I have done media, I have been on the KSEE24 as a representative of the Macy brand. I have been working with Blair Media for quite some time, they’re the ones that book me for commercials. There was a really big project that happened a few years ago called The Face of Cancer that was recognized by the City of Fresno. They recognized my works in the film, I didn’t do that with any expectations. It was something I wanted to give to such a powerful message. A documentary that led such a beautiful message to those who are struggling with their fight against cancer. Also, just to see the gracious faces of the girls pushing as young adults in the Fresno Black Girl Magic Project. The opportunity to work with the archbishop of the Greater Los Angeles Area Diocese and the most recent film The Divine Plan has brought me to connect with great people of all ages and meaningful moments. I just love doing it.
Q: How can people contact you?
Durand: Instagram: @durandcarter.