Kathy Durkin, Real Talent partner and makeup artist finds new faces for corporate clients

WHO SHE IS: Makeup artist and talent coordinator Kathy Durkin teamed with photographer Markus Giolas’ Real Talent agency two years ago this month.

WHAT IT IS: Growing at 50 faces per month, Real Talent has a 1,500-picture library, offering Hyatt, Motorola, Sony, Wrangler and others clients a unique brand of flow and continuity.

“Digital guy” Brett Sweeney, the third principal, uploads photos to their website.

WHAT SHE DOES: Besides makeup, she deals with clients, manages bookings and does “a lot of hand-holding on both ends,” explaining things like industry terms to mostly novice talents.

PROS: “A flexible schedule.”

CONS: “There are more hours than a regular job required when a new business is starting.”

MOST MEMORABLE PROJECT: Shooting in the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. while the normally bustling establishment was closed down for cleaning.

BIG BREAK: When Giolas, her friend of some 20 years, asked her to come on board his new talent company.

HEADACHES: “Last minute booking itinerary changes.”

KEY TO SUCCESS: “Being prepared. Being good at what you do.”

BACKSTORY: Durkin started as a make-up artist at 14 who was involved in community theater in her home town of Waukegan. She moved to Chicago in 1979 and has freelanced as a make-up artist since 1982.

ON THE SIDE: Gambling, not always winning?but playing!

WHAT CHICAGO COULD USE: The comeback of half the national clients that were formerly based in Chicago.

ULTIMATE GOAL: “To have Real Talent branch out to other cities.”

WORDS OF ADVICE: “It’s not the product as much as technique and application.” Her favorite lipstick, by the way, is “Wet ?N’ Wild.”

Real Talent is located at 1759 N. Humboldt Blvd.; phone, 866/549-1200. Email, kathy@realtalentinc.com. See www.realtalentinc.com.