Behind the mask…
Making the Monster
FEBRUARY 2020 — Raven Baker, Fall 2019 Modern Effects Makeup Artistry graduate, put in a lot of hard work and technique to bring her character to life on her model, Tony. Her process included lifecasting her model, sculpting her creation, creating epoxy-fiberglass molds, and creating multiple encapsulated silicone prosthetics. In addition to this she created a custom fit set of character dentures, as well as a rigid mask for her menacing phantom. All the learning, planning, creating, and applying took countless hours, but resulted in a stellar finished product for her final project in the program. Way to go, Raven!
All of our students learn the how to create and apply silicone prosthetics in our Modern Effects Makeup Artistry program. For more information about our Modern Effects program, click here! Think you’re ready to take the plunge? Apply now!
Our First Shot!
This is Us, VAMP
We honestly aren’t sure where exactly to start with this, but it’s us, VAMP. Our love for makeup is far and wide and nearly outshines our love for buying things we don’t need from the clearance Halloween aisle at Walgreens. Do we start with our favorite types of brush cleaner? Our favorite makeup from a busted 80’s film? We don’t know, but I assume by the time I’m finished pulling things from my imaginary Freddy Krueger fedora that I’ll have something figured out and you will be back for more before you know it! Muahahaha!
We want to be the makeup school that takes learning the most crucial ins-and-outs of the industry and makes it fun. We want you to WANT to show up to class and try out new things. Creativity and art have no boundaries, and we are here to push you to be your weirdest, most creative self when you’re in our classrooms. You can run in a lot of different directions in this industry’s playing field, which can seem daunting at times but can also be very exciting. You wanna do makeup for a B-rated horror film? AWESOME. You wanna sell homemade sculpted crafts at your local county fair? AWESOME (…just make sure to grab some fried Oreo’s. ) We are here to help push you in the right direction and help you navigate the wild world of working in creative fields like makeup and fabrication.
So how have some of our students made out after taking our Modern Effects Makeup Artistry program, you ask? Well, we contacted one of our totally radical graduates, Victoria Fox, to see how things were going….
When did you graduate from VAMP?
I graduated July 2017(!)
What got you interested in the industry?
Watching the classic Universal monsters with my grandmother and hearing her stories of how they paid 5 cents to be terrified by Bela Lugosi still has a hold on me to this day. I was astounded to find out that making people look like monsters was an actual job! Growing up with Star Wars and E.T. also really got me interested in effects and creature design.
What was your favorite part of school?
My favorite part had to be sculpting in general. It was what I was most nervous about, having not done it much before, but I fell in love with it pretty quickly.
What was your least favorite part of school?
I would have to say mold making, solely because it’s kind of a one shot thing which I found very stressful. And ironically enough, that’s a large part of my job right now and I love it.
What was your most funny moment in school?
Hands down, it had to be our demo day for beards. I volunteered to be the model on the condition that Brian, our instructor, gave me a Gandalf scale beard. At the time I had pink tips on my hair so he even gave me a little pink tint to the beard. I kept it on for lunch time and went through the Krystal’s drive through with it on.
What do you feel was most beneficial to your career that you learned here?
As cliché as it sounds, I think the most valuable thing I learned is that I can do anything I set my mind to. My confidence level prior to attending VAMP wasn’t very high at all, but learning all that I did really gave me the push to go for the things I want.
Did you ever have to wear the class Dunce cap?
I pride myself in that I never had to wear the Dunce cap. I couldn’t believe it never happened!
What are you up to now?
I currently work for a scenic fabrication shop in Orlando called MAD Creative Fabrication. I’m also working on a lot of personal projects, the occasional makeup job, and I do a monthly makeup tutorial show, Blue Sky Beauty, for Attractions Magazine on YouTube.
What’s a typical day like for you at your job?
Our shop does carpentry, metal work, and fiberglass among many other things so as you can imagine, it can be pretty random. I’m currently working with the fiberglass department casting pieces in molds that we made a few weeks ago. It can be exhausting work but it’s so very rewarding.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I hope that I’ve mastered fiberglassing more fully, as well as carpentry and welding. I’ll be doing makeup more regularly on the side, ideally for a place like Universal. I also plan to have mastered programs like ZBrush and Blender for the purposes of character design.
What is you dream job in the industry?(…I mean it doesn’t have to be in the industry…)
My dream job would have to be working for Lucasfilm in some capacity. If that means working on makeup/masks for a movie, I’m there. If that means being a part of the creature design department, sculpting maquettes and generating characters through computer programs, I’m also there.
Are there any films with makeup effects that really spark your interest?
Of course, and I know I’m being repetitive here, Star Wars. Always Star Wars. Star Trek Beyond and Mad Max: Fury Road will always be full of infinite amounts of inspiration for me as well.
What is your favorite kind of ice cream?
Mint Chocolate Chip all the way.
Favorite brand of brushes for both FX and Beauty?
I had a giant array of brushes before school but I have to say the Bdellium Tools FX brushes VAMP has as part of its kit are the absolute best. For beauty, I’m a big fan of Crown Brushes.
What is a must have in your kit?
Qosmedix has these amazing small fine tipped disposable brushes that I use for so many different things. They’re very convenient, especially for tooth effects! I also invested in a cross body brush holder from crown brushes that is perfect for working on set.
Do you have any advice for new and aspiring artists in the industry?
Just DO IT! Don’t be afraid of failure or let the “what if’s” in your head stop you from trying. I wouldn’t have most of what I have going on if I didn’t take a chance.