Battle of the Brushes: Sydney

Battle of the Brushes

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!

Christie Moller

Rose Ripley

Stella Bouzakis

Taylor Schulte

 

 

 

 

 

Battle of the Brushes Competitors

Battle of the Brushes Header

BOTB_collage.jpgBattle of the Brushes brings makeup artists together who share the same passion. What inspires me the most about past competitions is the amount of talent that participants display as well as the amazing judges participating in the event.”
— MUD graduate, Jerry Noriega

Battle of the Brushes is upon us once again! In a few short days, MUD graduates from Los Angeles and New York will be heading to IMATS New York to compete in this exciting event! Students who have graduated within a year of the competition date are encourage to apply. The competition is broken down into two categories — one portion is character/prosthetics and the other is beauty/fantasy. A different theme is selected for both categories each year. 2017’s themes will be Guardians of the Galaxy for character/prosthetics and International Beauty for beauty/fantasy.

We’re so proud of our MUD grads who will be competing! A total of eight MUD grads will be competing this year and we wanted to see what was on their minds as they prepare for battle…of the brushes.

What made you decide to enter Battle of the Brushes?

Korbyn Rachel: I decided to enter Battle of the Brushes because I thought to myself, “what do I have to lose?” I entered the competition with the mindset of “everything happens for a reason,” so whether I got in or not, I would be proud of myself for entering.

Jerry Noriega: The one thing that made me decide to enter Battle of the Brushes was the love I have for this industry and for what I create, along with the support of my friends, family and mentors throughout my career. I think the challenge and having this new experience out of my comfort zone drove me to enter in this competition.

Lacey Buccina:  I entered Battle of the Brushes mainly for the experience. My Beauty 101 teacher, Lisa Leveridge, always pushed for us to compete. I applied for the first time to the NY location and got in and I am so honored!

Crystal Gomez:  I wanted to enter Battle of the Brushes to push myself into creating and designing more make-ups on my own. I also saw it as a way to have my makeup viewed by amazing artists and the people I’ve looked up to for years!

Shideh Kafei: Battle of the Brushes has always been a dream of mine. I attended MUD where my amazing professors encouraged students to enter. My mind was set when Michael Key came in to speak to the us. Now, not only am I super pumped about attending IMATS for the first time, but also to say that I will compete for the Battle of the Brushes!

Chelsea Nowak: I was entering my last leg at MUD, focused on graduating with some awesome final projects and an invaluable wealth of knowledge, when some former students started coming into MUD to practice for Battle of the Brushes LA. They were producing some pretty cool work and I didn’t really consider that I could be ready to do the same thing in just a couple short months. Once the buzz started around MUD about the NY competition, I couldn’t come up with a good reason not to apply. I realized that if I didn’t dive in right then, I would never get the same opportunity again, and I knew I needed to put myself to the test.

BrittanyRose LaFemina: I knew that I was going to apply for Battle of the Brushes the second I learned about it and IMATS. I found out about it when Michael Key came to MUD to talk to us about IMATS and the industry; I was immediately inspired. I had multiple friends that had been in BOTB (and won!) and I had helped them through their preparations, so when it came time for me to apply, they were super supportive and helpful. They still inspire me while I prepare for my own makeup; I always go back to their make-ups for inspiration because if they can do it, I know that I can do it, too.

What was the process of entering like?

Rachel: The actual process of entering was super simple and easy. The prep to enter though, was stressful (yet exciting and fun, of course), but totally worth it. I stayed after class many times during the week to plan out and apply make-ups, and went to the Saturday photoshoots as well.

Buccina: You have to submit 8-10 photos of what you think is your best work. This doesn’t need to be anything like what you will be executing for the competition. I submitted mainly beauty pictures from by Beauty 301 class and one avant garde photo.

Gomez:  It started with me making the initial decision of entering then, brainstorming ideas for make-ups that would showcase my makeup the best. I’m on a very tight budget so I knew it meant that my make-up should stand out and I had to keep wardrobe simple.

Kafei: When thinking about submitting for the Battle of the Brushes, I knew I had it in me, but that I wouldn’t make it with the portfolio I currently had. So when I graduated MUD in November, I put myself to work. I tested with as many photographers as I could, but knew I needed to do projects on my own where I could have creative freedom. I put together shoots with various models, stylists, and an incredible photographer. I did looks that I thought would stand out. I printed out more than I need to submit and only sent in my favorites. And then the hardest part…the waiting game until I found out I had made it!

Nowak: Another competitor and I actually spent a few busy weeks in January working through the entry process together, which definitely made for an exciting start to this journey. We put in some late nights brainstorming, sculpting, pre-painting, and applying make-ups in order to produce creatures and characters we were proud to submit. MUD has been very supportive of us both from the beginning, providing us with the means and guidance to do so to the best of our abilities. For me, it was a gratifying achievement simply to meet the challenge of applying, and being invited to compete was one of the proudest moments of my life.

What is your strategy going into the competition?

Rachel: While preparing for the competition, I will be studying the background of Guardians of the Galaxy. I really want to understand the environment the characters live in, and why they are the way they are. Practice makes perfect, so I plan on practicing many many times up until the competition to get everything in line — so I am mentally and physically prepared.

Noriega: My strategy going into the competition is to micromanage every step, and prepare ahead of time with exactly what I need to complete my character, paying attention to all of the categories that are going to be judged. Practicing a full run of my character and finishing in the amount of time given in the competition would be the best strategy.

Buccina: I have been speaking a lot with the LA IMATS winner, Kyrsta Morehouse. She gave me a lot of pointers on what I should do while I’m there. My strategy will be practicing as often as possible and just trying to keep calm. I am truly just honored to even be one of the 8 selected for the beauty/fantasy portion of this competition and I cannot wait for the experience.

Gomez: My strategy going in is to go to IMATS Battle of the Brushes, not with the idea that I MUST win, but to think of what an amazing opportunity it is to meet people I admire and to show them what I can do in the time allowed. I don’t want my time in NY to be clouded by anxiety and too much stress. I’m preparing myself as much as I can now with practice and design plans and hopefully everything will go well!

Kafei: My main strategy is to have a plan and be prepared. This competition has been on my mind since I submitted in January and even before that. I have made mood boards, have had mock trials, and have changed my mind on the look many times. I want the final look to be something I am totally confident in and passionate about. I think you need to be 100% into something for you to do the best at it. I also want to stay away for doing things that have been done in the past or that is expected from the winner. I want it to be different and unique.

LaFemina: As I prepare for BOTB, I have been doing a ton of research on my subject as well as styles of make-up from all over the world. I began with a fun/stressful trip to The Met to decide what part of the world I would be concentrating on for my makeup. There were so many wonderful pieces that I was flooded with amazing ideas. I was a little torn at first as to what part of the world I would be concentrating on, until I saw something in a store window that I took as a sign. It was perfect! Like a sign from the Universe that this was what I am meant to do.

How do you think winning Battle of the Brushes helps make-up artists in the long run?

Rachel: Battle of the Brushes is a great way for new artists to get out there. The competition helps in the long run by opening up opportunities for the artists that otherwise would take years to build up to.

Noriega: Winning in Battle of the Brushes helps in the long run and not just because you are exposing your work in the industry to makeup artists who can get in connect you to bigger job opportunities, but it challenges you to push yourself , grow and be better at what you do, and inspires people. When I watched past competitions, I see people who are just like me.

Buccina: I think winning Battle of the Brushes would help me to work better under pressure, with time management skills, concept development and hopefully it will gain me recognition from potential employers as well as role models.

Kafei: I would be so honored to win! It would be something I will remember forever and a great stepping stone for me. I will hopefully make a few connections that will open doors to bigger and better things in the future.

Nowak: Winning Battle of the Brushes is such an incredible prospect because of the experience and exposure it entails above all else. Competing alone is an opportunity to break out the big guns and show professionals, amateurs, and ourselves who we are as artists and what we can accomplish under pressure. Winning is essentially an endorsement from the people we admire, a stamp of affirmation that we know what we’re doing and we do it well. Success in this industry is all about networking, and earning first place in Battle of the Brushes is a great way to make valuable connections that will inform the trajectory of the future.

LaFemina: I’m so excited for IMATS knowing that it will be great exposure for my work. People in the industry that I might never have had the chance to meet otherwise, are going to be seeing my work which is the most exciting part about competing. It’s going to be a great experience.

Everyone at MUD wishes all of our grads the best of luck in the competition.

Battle of the Brushes_good luck

May the best brush win!

 

Below is a full list of competitors, their campus, their category and their Instagram: 

Brittany Rose LaFemina, MUD Studio NY, Beauty/Fantasy

Shideh Kafei, MUD Studio NY, Beauty/Fantasy

Lacey Buccina, MUD Studio LA, Beauty/Fantasy

Kunduz Duishenbaeua, MUD Studio NY, Character/Prosthetic

Korbyn Rachel, MUD Studio NY, Character/Prosthetic

Chelsea Nowak, MUD Studio NY, Character/Prosthetic

Crystal Gomez, MUD Studio LA, Character/Prosthetic

Jerry Noriega, MUD Studio LA, Character/Prosthetic