Since graduating at the top of her class in 2018, CMU Double Diploma alumna Chloe Houseley has found success as a freelance artist working in the worlds of makeup artistry, digital art, and illustration. Her exceptional prosthetic skills can be seen in the new short film Where Monsters Live, and you can follow along with her work via Instagram. Here Chloe shares her background, what drew her to CMU, and what advice she has for future students.
When did you become interested in makeup artistry?
I first fell into makeup artistry in my high school physics class. My teacher had this program where each student would spend one hour a week teaching themselves a new skill, and I discovered body painting. After that, I didn’t do very well in physics.
Were you artistic otherwise?
I’ve always been making things since I was little. Drawing and painting play a very big role in how I conceptualize makeup.
Why did you decide to pursue an education in makeup artistry?
I sought an education in makeup artistry as opposed to remaining self-taught because you’re often working on real people and I wanted to learn proper procedures out of respect for their comfortability.
Why did you choose CMU? What program did you enroll in and why?
I enrolled in the Double Diploma Program (Comprehensive Makeup Artist and Digital Effects). I chose this program because I wanted to learn everything the school had to offer me.
What was your favourite class and why?
My favourite class was ZBrush. I thought the program was ingenious and collaborated well with our education of practical effects. It taught me the power of digital effects and all the applications it can have, which I think is very useful in this growing industry. Of course, the relentless modeling of anatomy also proved to be very beneficial in creature design as well.
What’s the most important piece of advice or thing you learned at CMU?
The most important thing I’ve learned at CMU is that everybody has a different approach to makeup and you can gain so much knowledge by simply watching and learning. I can’t tell you how many “eureka” moments I’ve had watching an artist for five minutes reinvent the way I’ve done something for years. Nobody is ever done learning.
What have you been working on since graduation?
I am currently a freelance artist. I’ve worked on several productions of various sizes both in the makeup and prosthetic departments. I’ve also begun work as a freelance illustrator thanks to my instructor, Jorge’s, introduction to digital art.
What has been your favourite job so far and why?
My favourite work includes months spent in a prosthetic shop helping to create monsters with people who I now consider great friends. The comradery of building creatures as a team is very fulfilling to me. It’s hard to birth multitudes of monsters together and not bond.
Do you have any advice to give anyone thinking of enrolling at CMU?
My advice would be to think about what you want out of a makeup education and remember it throughout your program. It is very easy to forget yourself in this competitive industry, and I encourage anyone considering a career in makeup to keep in mind why they were passionate about it in the first place.
What’s your dream makeup gig?