Required Skills to Become a Special Effects Makeup Artist

Special effects makeup is all the rage now when it comes to movie productions and tv shows, with bolder and more intricate designs created every day. However, there are important skills that you must develop and nurture to be able to have a competitive profile in this growing industry. These are some of the skills you need to become a special effects makeup artist.

What is Special Effects Makeup?

Special effects makeup, which you might see in some places as SFX makeup, is the art of changing what’s already there. This can be creating the appearance of an injury, a burn, aged skin, and more. You have probably seen this in horror movies and even in films in which the actors need to appear older than they are.

These unusual designs need to be as realistic as possible, which is not something easy to achieve. This is why you must get the knowledge you require at a specialized place, like an SFX makeup school.

Skills to Become an SFX Makeup Artist

Creativity

If you are not creative, then you might have to rethink your career as an SFX makeup artist. This is because even though you will have an idea of the final result that is desired by the production team, you will need to add to it. You have to be creative enough to think outside the box and understand how to use different products to create something entirely new. And you should have a variety of products with you in a makeup case.

In addition, as your career advances, you will have more say when it comes to the designs and you will even have the chance of proposing your ideas. Therefore, you need to have the creativity to be innovative and provide the best options for the project.

Makeup Education

We touched on this briefly before, but it’s one of the most important things to keep in mind. Going to school will allow you to get the basic knowledge you need to start your career. Most schools also offer advanced courses that even include the use of prosthetics, which further complements your skills.

Furthermore, you will be able to determine if there’s one area that you would like to specialize in. Other skills you can learn at school include managing your SFX makeup career as the business that it is. How to negotiate a contract is as important as knowing how to create a natural-looking injury.

Lastly, going to school might help you get some experience through internships and other opportunities that will give you a head start when building your portfolio. This brings us to the next skill.

Makeup Experience

You have to show what you can do before people will consider you for a job. This is why you need to create a comprehensive portfolio in which you show a variety of skills. This will allow you to have a more competitive profile as well as leaving a great first impression. Things that you should include in your portfolio are before and after photos as well as any photos of projects you’ve worked on.

Also, even if you don’t have vast experience, you can showcase your work on social media, which will allow you to have a platform and make people interested in your work.

Design Skills

Designing is key in the special effects makeup world. The design is what’s going to give you a blueprint of what you’re going to do. Therefore, you need to practice classic and new designs to be able to execute them flawlessly when you are working on a project.

Attention to Details

Details are key when it comes to special effects makeup. There’s nothing worse than seeing a piece of makeup that reveals the entire setup is fake. Movies and tv shows want to make people feel like what they’re seeing is actually happening.

Initiative

As we said before, as your career advances, you will have more of a say on the designs your work on. However, if you don’t have any initiative, this might never come to fruition. After you have some experience, you should be able to make proposals on how to achieve the desired results using this or that technique. Make sure you do so in a respectful way and that you know how to apply the techniques you are suggesting!

About the Author:

Sharon Ober is an experienced makeup artist. She is specialized in costume makeup. Based on her experience she writes articles and she takes pride in providing the best content possible. Currently, she handles the content at Multimedia Makeup Academy.

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