Friday, February 06, 2009

Verve and Versatility in Makeup Artistry

Makeup Pro Rob Closs talks to Stage Directions Magazine about the importance of diversity for today's makeup artist.

special effects makeup designMakeup pro Rob Closs is well known for his diversity—he's as skilled at creating gorgeous airbrush effects as he is at hardcore bruised-and-bloody FX. Morphing makeup styles not only keeps life interesting—it’s the core message sent at Closs's training mecca, The School of Professional Makeup in Toronto. From the school's inception, Closs decided to blend educational disciplines.

“I started doing makeup in 1981, and eventually was drawn to teaching in the early '90s," Closs recalls. "Having taught facial design and technique at many different schools, I took the strengths of my different teaching experiences, the best of the best, and created our initial program in 1998." Closs approaches the role of a makeup artist from a number of fronts: designer, technician, interpreter of an artistic statement and businessperson. For example, his program stresses prosthetic work not simply from the perspective of straight-up latex craft, but from the need for an artist to communicate effectively with a crew, producer or director. Closs also likes infusing his curriculum with variety, plain and simple.

“I like to tweak the material I teach and grow the program continually,” he explains. Because the work is highly detailed, Closs looks for innately curious students.

“When a student asks, 'How does this institution differ from other makeup schools?' I know that student is prepared, and potentially, motivated,” he says. “In this industry, motivation is everything—it's all freelance work, and if you're lucky to land a job, it has to be because you're motivated to put yourself out there and know your work."

In the end, Closs wants his students to think on their feet—which he thinks is the key to any makeup artist's ultimate success:

"The industry's always changing, and you've always got to change to accommodate it."

Photo: A special effects makeup design from The School of Professional Makeup.

Article source: Stage Directions Magazine. Read the full article here.

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