Anna Makar is a junior student at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Originally from San Antonio, Texas she moved to Savannah in hopes of studying animation. She pursued a major in animation and sequential art, but after realizing that she didn’t truly enjoy either of them, she began to focus on illustration. Additionally, she is incredibly passionate about special effects makeup and discusses the process behind its application, as well as a club she helped founded at SCAD.
Mary Tres: When did you first become interested in special effects makeup?
Anna Makar: I started doing fx makeup in highschool with cheap makeup and household items. No one really understood what I was trying to do. I am from a pretty conservative town and I didn't get a lot of good feedback or support. During my first year at SCAD, I participated in the game called Humans Vs. Zombies. Everyone really liked my work and I started getting a lot of requests to do makeup for films and photo shoots. I used to work for free, but recently my friend Alyssa Rae Johnson and I started a makeup and fx business.
MT: Can you describe the process of designing a certain “look?” Do you start with a sketch at all?
AM: I don't do a lot of preliminary work with my illustrations or makeup. I know that isn't very professional, but if I do a million thumbnail sketches and development, then the idea isn't fresh anymore, and I get bored of it. I like to go with the first idea that comes to mind usually. I imagine it, then immediately go to building the prosthetic, mask or illustration.
MT: How many different products do you typically use?
AM: It depends on the makeup. I have received a lot of good quality makeup from directors from films, but a lot of the time people only want small wounds, scratches or bruises. I use a lot of latex and alcohol based paints.
MT: What kind of tools do you use for application?
AM: I usually use makeup brushes, palette knives, sponges, cotton swabs, and my hands/fingers.
MT: Up to how long can the application process take?
AM: Again, it depends on the makeup. If I'm doing a full face prosthetic it can take a couple of hours, but small wounds only take about 15 minutes
MT: What has been your favorite creation and why?
AM: I recently did a creepy bird mask on myself for an audition video for the show Face Off. It was a lot of fun and it's pretty gross.
MT: Do you usually collaborate with students or how do you go about finding work?
AM: When our business page gets a message, Alyssa and I decide who is going or if we are both working on the job, we decide who is doing what. Then we decide on a price. We do a lot of jobs individually as well, if we get contacted separately.
MT: Are you part of any of the makeup clubs at SCAD?
AM: I am an officer of the fairly new SCAD SFX Makeup Club. The president is Janay Whitehead and we all have different levels of experience. It's fun to share what I know with people who want to learn!
MT: How do you see that special effects makeup is different from typically makeup?
AM: It's a world of difference. Fx makeup must look accurate to the human body if that is the director's goal. If it is a fantasy or monster look, it needs to look like it is party of the body.
MT: Do you think your illustrations relate to your makeup designs?
AM: Yes they completely relate. My illustrations exaggerate flaws instead of concealing them. I use a lot of sculpture in my work and photoshop it onto a watercolor background usually. It is gruesome and unsettling, but my goal is to make the viewer feel something strongly whether it is negative or positive.
MT: Are people surprised at all when they see your body of work?
AM: Yes, a lot of the time. My work isn't innocent in any way and it makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Sometimes people don't expect me to have those images in my head.
MT: Career wise, where do you hope to see yourself?
AM: My style is not very marketable, so I hope that I can develop a following of people who have similar mindsets as me. With makeup, film isn't very popular where I'm from or in DC, which is where I will probably end up after college. Thus, I hope that people will like my work enough to provide travel to film sets.
MT: If there was any movie that you could’ve partaken in for makeup, which movie would it be and why?
AM: Alien. My favorite illustrator is HR Giger and he created the creatures seen in the film. He was ahead of his time as an illustrator and came up with incredible science fiction and horror concepts.
Check out Anna’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RAELFX/
Additionally, you can view more of her work on her Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/onnuart/.
All images courtesy of Anna Makar.