I have long regarded myself as a creature and character designer. I‘ve definitely done my share of appliance and makeup work (especially on “Babylon 5” back in 1993), but I have not considered myself a makeup artist by any stretch for many years. So it is with a mild amazement that I find myself rediscovering my fascination with makeup and the art of transforming an actor. While I love masks and maquettes, there is an undeniable fascination I have with seeing my characters come to life, animated by an actor or actress, someone who can give a sculpted character movement and personality. Naturally, I am more drawn to the idea of monster and creature design makeups than character makeups, but it is interesting to note that my first real love as a kid was character makeup; I made myself into a hobo, Charlie Chaplin, a clown---endless varieties of people---and I was aided by my mother and father’s old wardrobe that was kept in a trunk as my ‘costume box’. It was a grand time.
There is so much one needs to know being a makeup artist (especially nowadays), that I have felt somewhat daunted about re-entering the arena; this is probably why I have shied away from this kind of work for over two decades now. Yet I can’t deny my interest in seeing an elaborate character makeup brought to vivid life by an actor, despite whatever learning curve I may have to grapple with. There are so many new materials to choose from as well these days that it can be difficult to even get started without knowing exactly how everything is going to be constructed from the start. Silicone, urethane, resin, foam latex, gelatin, collodion and slip rubber….yeesh. Lots to learn! I never allowed anything to get in my way of learning anatomy and sculpture, however, so I certainly won’t let anything stand in my way of creating some cool makeups.
Here’s to the future.