Hi, my name is Ashleigh and I’m 16 years old. I have always been a bit of a “girly girl” type of person. I started doing makeup when I was about 13 and my Mum showed me her makeup and taught me her routine one night when we were going out to dinner. It was all so interesting to me, this lead to me doing a little makeup every-time we went out somewhere. Once started high school, I was wearing a little makeup to school. All my friends at the time thought makeup was pointless and and waste of time, it seemed to be seen as a weakness. I hid my passion for makeup because of their opinions.
I started off being really interested in Photography as well as makeup and I focused a lot more on Photography and decided that was my dream. my only problem was I had this mindset I would never make it, as I struggled at school because of my long term effect after overcoming my anxiety disorder “Selective Mutism”. Which is where you struggle with talking to new people, which I had from Kindergarten to Year 5. I didn’t talk to any students or teachers, so it has affected a majority of my learning and also affected my ability to socialise and make new friends and also did afterwards when I was confident enough to start speaking to students and teachers.
In Year 10 my mum discovered from the school newsletter a program called “Big Picture Education”. Big Picture Education is independent project-based learning where you are able to take an interest or passion you have and turn it into your career by studying it as a project. At the end of each term the work is organised into a Portfolio and an Exhibition that we have to present to our Teacher, Parents and then some students that we would invite. My first term project was on Photography, I did all the Science, Maths, English and HISIE in Photography and ended up with 100 slides in my Presentation at the end of the term. The students saw how I was working and how much work I was doing and either got motivated or realised it wasn’t the learning that needed. My teacher says that I changed the program for the better as new people joined that were just like me and completed all goals, and have discovered their own pathways. the result from my first Exhibition was nothing I would ever have thought I’d experience, seeing my Mum tear up with pride and my Dad with a big smile on his face… it was the best feeling!
After my first term in the program, I had a meeting with my teacher and my parents. As a group we decided maybe I should look into makeup and Beauty as its a pathway with many careers, as Photography isn’t as popular anymore. I decided Photography would be kept as a hobby and makeup was the path I wanted to look into. I have been studying makeup as project for the last 4 terms I have done a project based on Makeup. I started with the basic project where I did Chemicals in Makeup, Skin Care, the method of application etc, I then did the Business side of the Beauty Industry, then Drag Queens where I went behind the scenes of the Priscilla Musical and now I am doing a project on how to get in the Makeup Industry. I have built a website, a Facebook page, an Instagram account and a Youtube Channel.
Now I am focusing on building my Social Media platforms and getting clients to help get out in the Industry, this is truly what I’m passionate about and where I want to go in the future. I wouldn’t have done it without all the support in and out of the program and even before the program I have come so far and I cant wait for whats next!