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Meet Bray Mua

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bray Mua.

Hi Bray, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I have always been an artistic and business-minded person. I spent my early years selling toys and drawing on people with gel pen in school lol. I eventually took my art a bit further and set out to begin tattooing. I worked as a tattoo artist for about four years, during this time I was able to land my first job at the age of 16 as a children’s art educator. My time spent doing that shined a light on a passion that I never knew existed, teaching. I settled into both of those art ventures until the next adventure made itself present. I’ve always been a lover of scary movies. One day I was watching the movie 13 ghosts on dvd. The dvd had a behind the scenes where it showed the creation of the ghosts and the makeup process. It was at that moment I knew I wanted to do special fx makeup. I began studying and practicing on my own, meanwhile I researched some schools and came across a makeup school in central fl. I had made up my mind that I was going to travel 1000 miles to make my dreams come true of being a sfx makeup artist, and that is exactly what I did. May 2012, I packed up and my family helped me make the trip to Orlando fl. Before going to school, I had zero interest in anything beauty and fashion-related, but slowly my love for it all developed. During this time period things were very rough, being in Florida with no family, no money, and many other stress factors made my vision of being a professional makeup artist seem unattainable. I stuck it out, pushed through, and spent the time perfecting my craft and learning from anyone I could. I did so much TFP that I was sick of all the other letters of the alphabet, lol. But in the long run some of those people I worked with became close friends that are a part of my life today.

Learning more and networking landed me my first legitimate publication in Destination weddings and honeymoons. Seeing that my dream was attainable and being hungry for success lead me to other publications and opportunities. My work has been published in Elle, Essence, photo vogue, Lucy’s, Vogue, and more. I have also had the opportunity to work with projects for companies such as CND nails, Jagermeister, Panasonic, We TV, WWE, The player’s Tribune and a list of amazing celebrities. Today I still work freelance with clients and companies, I also teach makeup artistry at a college and teach private classes. As a gay, black woman with a disability, none of this has been easy. I approach every job opportunity with the thought that I will have to work 10 x harder than the average and that is was I continue to do. I also take pride in instilling that grind in my students. The ability to persevere through any and everything. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I was born with a syndrome called Beals. It is a connective tissue contractual disorder which causes muscle weakness in some areas of the body and also limits the ability to be able to straighten out. This syndrome mainly affects the limps but can also affect the eyes and heart. I spent a significant amount of my younger years in and out of the hospital. That alone made things very challenging, but I understood at a very young age that if I wanted someone I was going to have to work extremely hard for it. 10x harder than the average person and that I have continually done. I used a cane for a while and now mainly am in a wheelchair. Being in a very vain industry, I have been judged on multiple occasions. Because I am judged, I have to prove myself a lot which can be tiring but has been accepted as something that will need to be done. Beyond that, there has been a lot of other hardship during my career that has made things difficult. From losing loved ones to domestic issues that I have had to overcome. I can’t say that I have done it gracefully but I do try to be an example for anyone out there with obstacles and challenges who thinks they cant get through it.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a professional makeup artist and educator. I am a freelance makeup artist, I travel all over working with clients and companies. I do every genre of makeup and love them equally, but a lot of people know me for more of my creative fashion/ avante garde looks. I believe my ability to do all genres at the same skill level sets me apart from the rest. I can adjust from doing sfx makeup to high-end beauty fairly smoothly. The thing I’m most proud of in my career is working with other artists and helping to mold many aspiring artists into successful business professionals in the industry today.

What’s next?
I, of course would love to continue to be freelance but right now, I am interested in combining my love of makeup artistry and professional development by creating an Agency. I think it’s the perfect happy medium for what I currently do. I also have the hopes of opening a makeup artistry school that mimics my teaching style and classes that are put together. Other than that, I still will be creating cool stuff and having fun with my peers. I recently got my tattoo license again and look forward into going back to where it all began with awesome art on people’s skin.

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2 Comments

  1. Maddy

    March 2, 2021 at 8:39 pm

    This was an amazing article on Bray! She is an Amazing Teacher, Motivator, Artist, friend & Someone I am forever grateful for! She has taught me soooo many things about makeup, about the type of artist I want to be and the Field in general! She has instilled such great values in me that I still hear her voice in the back of my mind, lol when I am either working on a client or creating something of my own ! She is an amazing human being ! Congratulations Bray on this Feature you deserve this and more!

    • Lorraine

      March 16, 2021 at 5:48 pm

      Great article on Ms Bray! She was my makeup instructor and continues to be an inspiration.

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