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Sunday
Jan162011

So you want to be a make-up artist!  

 

     Stirling's 1st rule: Always take it to the next level. Never settle; there is no reason for any Indi movie or photo shoot to look B grade in this day and age. Take it to the next level or someone else will, and, even if you did it first, your work will wind up looking like a cheap knock off.

 

      The Heart of FX... PASSION! PRACTICE! CREATIVITY! And... People Skills.

 

      Competition is fierce in the FX make-up arena, and seeing what I see it's getting greater all the time. Beauty schools are teaching FX work now as a standard curriculum, heck I'm teaching the teachers. Major schools colleges cranking out hundreds of us a year, in a market where all the jobs are taken by named artists. And you think you have what it takes?

 

     Maybe you do, just maybe you do. But you had better bring PASSION! PRACTICE! CREATIVITY! And... People skills. Oh yes people skills - charm, charisma, negotiating. As with any art it is 80% time to marketing and 20% time to art. If you have two people that are relatively close in skill, the person with People Skills will always get a lot more work. Soon that make-up artist will have far greater skills, because they get to do the art full time.

 

Passion and Time: To gain mastery level of a discipline it takes 10000 hours of practice. Do the math and get practicing. Mind you, you can have a lot of fantastic work and have a lot of fun in the mean time. I myself am no master, far,  far from it. But practice, study, practice, practice on top of 80% marketing time. You have to have passion! Passion and drive! Most FX make-up for the average person winds up in a closet, most books on a shelf. Passion is the drive that pushes we few on in the face of this monumental task ahead.

 

      Creativity: Creativity is one of my favorites; as FX artist we are paid to play. It's one of the greatest things in the world. It's the ambrosia that fuels the passion. It's the magic thing that takes it to the next level and sets you apart from people who just know how to do the work. It has helped me become a leader in the Oklahoma FX make-up. Helped me to do A list FX work on micro budgets. It can not be taught, it is the the IT factor for makeup artists.

 

          Make-up Artists are the first on set and the last to leave... silent, unseen and in the background. Tirelessly we make films better, stars burn brighter. And when it is done we clean up and go. Passion, creativity, people skills. They make us the consummate professionals.

 

 John Stirling

Stirling FX



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