April 15th, 2015
United Makeup Artists expo arrived in a flurry of creativity and inspiration last weekend, and Warpaint once again played host to another fantastic competition showcasing talented media makeup artists. Tasked with creating a World War One character in just 90 minutes, the standards were high and the assignment was exacting. This year, our winners were:
1st Place – Becky Kerton
2nd Place – Lauren Tween
3rd Place – Helen Jauregui
We have no doubt in our minds that this year’s competitors will go on to create some really amazing things!
In the approach to the show, we got to thinking about last year’s winner. We’ve run several competitions in our time and one of our favourite creations came from Jodie Strachan at last year’s UMAe. When head judge Sian Richards arrived to commence judging, she had no idea that the moustachioed Napoleonic officer at the end of the line was actually Jodie’s mother. Her impeccable prosthetic application and attention to detail shone through, even in the competition’s constraints. One year on we caught up with Jodie to see how her career was progressing.
WP: Career-wise, where were you a year ago? Were you studying?
JS: A year ago I was in my second year of my degree studying BA (hons) Special Effects Make-up Design for T.V, Film & Theatre at the Grimsby University Centre in my hometown. I’m very lucky to have such a unique and amazing course right on my doorstep and I have enjoyed my time spent there.
WP: What prompted you to enter the UMAe competition?
JS: I wanted to push myself to try something new. At the time I was in my second year of my degree and I knew it would be a different experience to what I was used to: my make-up would be viewed and constructively criticised by industry pros, and I’d be competing against other talented artists with a buzzing atmosphere. I certainly did not enter expecting to win; I did it for the experience.
WP: Tell us about your winning design.
JS: I have always been intrigued by gender swaps and knew this would be a challenge of its own. I also knew I wanted someone a different age to myself, as I was used to working on people of roughly the same age on the course – so I used my mum, who has more delicate skin. I had to think about the time allocated, and what was achievable and effective. The main aspect of my make-up was an aged scar which I made using a silicone transfer made from Probondo. I knew this would be an easier application rather than using a prosthetic piece made on a flat plate mould, where I would have had to wait for the glue to dry. With this method it would apply directly to my model’s face with minimal clean up. To colour it I used a wash of Skin Illustrator colours, and to finish I added a small amount of pearlescent powder to give it that extra aged effect. I then used ridged collodion to make smaller scars around the larger scars, as though shrapnel had hit them.
On the opposite cheek and under eye area I did a small, fresh bruise, as though my character had been in a recent fight. This was also done with Skin Illustrator. To make my character look dirty and exhausted, I asked my model to scrunch her eyes and applied a brown coloured powder around her eyes, as though protecting them from gunpowder. To be a convincing man, I added side burns and a moustache, and for the smaller detailing, blood from the ear, as though the loud gunfire of battle had burst an eardrum. I also coloured her hands to look worn and dirty, and of course continuing the make-up down the neck into the costume to complete my character.
WP: What problems did you run into on the day and how did you overcome them?
JS: I did have one problem, and it was with my main scar in the silicone mould. It appeared not to have cured correctly on the day, but I did plan ahead and had a back-up of a similar size of scar made from prosthetic grade gelatine, just in case it had turned into a disaster! Luckily everything else went to plan, which was helped by my planning and the fact that I did have an idea of what my character should look like.
WP: What have you been doing since then?
JS: A year on, I have been creating my final project to finish my degree. I would like to be a creature and character concept sculptor, as well as everything else – there is not one aspect of this industry I do not enjoy. But for this project I have sculpted two sea life creature maquettes of my own design which I have then moulded, and they will next be cast in polyurethane resin and painted. I have also worked on some short films, both making and applying make-up, and creating latex masks for theatre companies. Just recently I was approached by the production company of Face Off to enter Season Nine; the past year has been very busy.
WP: Do you think that the experience of competing at UMAe helped you on your way to become a better artist?
JS: Most definitely! It gave me a big confidence boost in terms of my application techniques, and in knowing I am able to do something I love and enjoy, and be able to do it well. I also learnt from the competition that there is always room to grow as an artist, and work to do on aspects from the feedback sheets given from the judges. I love practicing make-up, and practice makes perfect. Competing really helped me to come to the realisation that something I want can be reality.
We’re sure this year’s winners will have just as many exciting opportunities to come. Plans are already in progress for next year – but until then, here are a few of shots of this year’s competition. To see our full gallery of this year’s Greatest Pics from UMAe 2015, click here. Photo credits can also be found there.
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