Do you need specific training for your job? To be a make-up artist you will need to achieve at least a Level 2 vocational qualification or equivalent in Media Make-up, and should have the equivalent of four years professional experience. As it is essential that all Make-up Artists keep up to date with new methods and materials further qualifications and additional skills may be acquired by attending specialist, industry approved short courses. Experience of working in theatre or with prosthetics makers is also advantageous.
What tasks are associated with your job? Make-up skills including: glamour; ageing face, hands and neck; contouring effects; some specialised techniques such as making and applying bald caps; applying and dressing facial hair; creating special effects such as skin diseases, cuts, burns, scars;tattoos and body-painting; Effective communication and diplomacy skills; Good presentation skills; Ability to work effectively as part of a team; Ability to work under pressure to external and departmental deadlines; Must be self-assured, without appearing over-confident. The ability to cope with stress, Work long hours in pressurized, often cramped environments The work can be physically demanding, involves many hours of standing or bending over Actors. Make-up Artists work very closely with Actors in a physical sense and must therefore be tactful, sensitive, patient, and able to put people at their ease. Creative problem solving and flexibility are essential, as is the keen eye for detail needed to oversee continuity.
What is the most important responsibility of your job? Make-up Artists should be able to break down scripts in terms of Make-up plots for their Artists, and need an understanding of story structure and character arcs. They must understand the research process, and be familiar with both period Make-up, and contemporary looks. They should understand the overall look of the production and be able to re-create it. They need a good eye for colour, and an understanding of the anatomy of the human skull and facial muscle structure. They should have the artistic and technical skills, and manual dexterity, necessary for the application of make-up styles and effects. Language skills may be helpful for foreign shoots, where the team may include local Make-up personnel. All members of the Make-up Department are expected to have their own kits. knowledge of the requirements of the relevant Health and Safety legislation and procedures.
What is the most interesting problem you have to solve in your job? Called in at last minute for the set of Dr Who This was very challenging. It was very time consuming because it took almost 5 hours to complete. It was one of the hardest jobs I have ever had to do. It was all worth it at the end though.