With IMATS Sydney soon approaching, that magical time when graduates who have completed school within 12 months of the competition date, are able to compete in the Battle of the Brushes.
In a few short weeks, MUD graduates from our New York campus will be heading to IMATS Sydney to compete in this exciting event!
This time around we have 4 talented grads who will be competing in the Character/Prosthetic competition, with the theme being Guardians of the Galaxy.
Above all we are so proud of our grads who are competing, and we wish them the best of luck! Let’s get to know them a little more before they ship off to battle… Battle of the Brushes!
What brought you to MUD?
Christie Moller: I decided to go to MUD after a few years of searching for a makeup school. Originally, I only wanted to go to school for beauty and then some things came up where I couldn’t attend any schools. Then by the time I found MUD, I was getting really into sfx makeup and once I looked into the Masters Program I knew that’s where I wanted to attend.
Rose Ripley: When I graduated high school, I went to college in Florida but very quickly found I wasn’t happy with what I was doing. After a semester in college, I came back home and I did what I always did when I was sad: I watched a ton of my favorite movies. I’ve loved movies since I was a kid and I was always fascinated by creature design. When I was around 6 years old my dad showed me the film Alien and even though it was a horror film, I wasn’t scared at all. Instead I was excited every time the Alien showed up on screen because I got to get a closer look at it. Watching my favorite movies helped make it click in my head that I wanted to be a part of making movies like that. I’ve also always found myself much happier when I could apply my creativity. I watched behind the scenes vlogs from the set of the Hobbit movies and saw the special effects make-up and what went into it and I thought it was so cool. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that’s exactly what I wanted to do. It was my mom that told me about MUD. She is a teacher and was working with some teachers from a performing arts school who were talking about MUD. After some research I decided to apply for the master’s program and the rest is history.
Stella Bouzakis: When I decided I wanted to get into TV/film, I was looking for a school that taught Special Fx. When I came across MUD and saw that not only did they teach application but sculpting as well, I was sold! Not to mention all of the amazing alumni that have come out of MUD and the fact that the school is highly recognized in the film industry.
Taylor Schulte: I had been dreaming of going to MUD since I was 19 and in cosmetology school. I finally had the means and support to make that dream a reality. I moved to NYC last May to attend the Master Artistry Program.
Make-ups by Christie Moller
What are you doing currently?
Moller: Unfortunately, I haven’t put too much of a dent in my career yet, but I’m working on changing that. I worked as a makeup/hair stylist at a photo studio and right now I’m working on finding more freelance work in my area until I can build up a stronger portfolio.
Ripley: I’ve been working on some short films and I’ve also been building my portfolio.
Bouzakis: I’m freelance right now, trying to get into the union eventually. I’ve been working on a lot of short films and it’s so much fun!
Schulte: Upon graduating in December I moved across the country to Los Angeles. I currently work at Fractured FX Inc. where I am working on a major motion picture!
Make-ups by Rose Ripley
What made you decide to enter Battle of the Brushes?
Moller: I’ve always entertained the idea of entering, but I didn’t really think I’d get in so I wasn’t going to try. Then my instructor for SFX 201, Liz (Pisano), talked me into entering and I went for it, so I definitely have her to thank for getting me to this point.
Ripley: Michael Key came in one day to talk to the classes about Battle Of The Brushes and it sounded pretty amazing. I knew it was a really good opportunity. I love creating characters, so the idea of a challenge where I am given prosthetics and told to make a character really appealed to me. My teacher at the time also had competed in the past and won, so I also got that perspective on it. Then, when I found out the theme for the prosthetic competition was Guardians Of The Galaxy, I was sold. I absolutely adore Marvel movies, especially Guardians.
Bouzakis: Honestly, when Michael Key of Makeup Artist Magazine and creator of IMATS/BOTB came to MUD it made me consider it and my teachers, Liz Pisano and Rich Krusell, pushed me to go. Thanks guys!
Schulte: I think Battle of the Brushes is an incredible opportunity for recent graduates and new professionals in the makeup industry. The exposure one can get from being apart of this competition can very much boost your career early on. I am so incredibly excited for this competition and so ready for the challenge!
Make-ups by Stella Bouzakis
What was the process of entering like?
Moller: It was really simple. I sent in about 8 photos (Most were ones from what I did at MUD). Then I checked off three of the IMATS locations I wanted to enter, which I’m glad I did because I was originally only going to apply for NYC. After I got the email saying I wasn’t accepted into the NYC one, I figured that was it and moved on. So I was very surprised when I got the email saying I was a finalist for Sydney.
Ripley: It was a lot of Saturday photo shoots and convincingfriends and family to let me glue things to their faces. I tried to do as many SFX makeups as I could to build an impressive portfolio and sometimes that would mean turning my dad into a cat man in the kitchen and then running around the pine barrens of NewJersey trying to get nice pictures. That was the fun part .The rest was printing pictures at Walmart and sending them in.
Bouzakis: Luckily, MUD has amazing resources so it was pretty seamless. I made sure I did as many Saturday shoots as possible, which I think was key. I think it was important to submit quality photos to highlight my work.
Schulte: It consisted of creating a portfolio of sorts that contained pictures of my Prosthetic/Character Makeups. I submitted 8 photos of my work over the last couple months. Including some of which I received while participating in the Photoshoots at MUD.
Make-ups by Taylor Schulte
How do you think winning Battle of the Brushes will help you as a make-up artist in the long run?
Moller: Firstly, winning would be amazing all in itself. Besides getting my name out to those in the industry, I think it would definitely help to give me more confidence as an artist. Even just being picked as a finalist is going to help me out in that area.
Ripley: I think winning Battle of the Brushes will help to give me some exposure in the industry. It will show my ability to take a concept and bring it to life successfully and quickly and I believe the skills that are tested in Battle of the Brushes are important when working on set. Winning will help me to prove that I can work under pressure without losing the quality in my work.
Bouzakis: Amongst professionals in the industry, everyone knows IMATS and Makeup Artist Magazine. If you win, you and your work is featured, so it can possibly give some notoriety. But I think just to say you’ve competed sets you apart from others and lets people know the kind of work you can produce.
Schulte: I think the exposure of competing, win or lose, can boost one’s career tremendously. The opportunity to meet and be judged/critiqued by some of the best in the industry is invaluable. I think Battle of the Brushes has the possibility to open doors I may not of had otherwise.
Do you have a plan to keep all of the distractions from getting to you during the competition?
Moller: I think I might actually benefit from distractions. I’m not the kind of person who can concentrate unless there’s other stuff going on around me. Plus it also adds a little bit of pressure to the situation, and I work better under pressure.
Ripley: I’m going to purge myself of all emotion like Spock from Star Trek and not look at anything but the makeup I’m doing.
Bouzakis: Honestly, I was lucky enough to have some great teachers at MUD. They made sure to prepare us for high pressure situations and how to think creatively. So I’m ready for the competition! Thanks MUD!
Schulte: Remaining cool, calm, and collected. Remember that I was 1 of 8 Finalists selected to compete and that is an accomplishment in itself. Also remembering people that are “distractions” at IMATS are just fellow makeup lovers interested in my creation.
We wish you all the best of luck!
If you’d like to help our talented grads raise some money to get them to Sydney please click the links below!