CMU Alumni Ashley Vieira graduated from our Complete Makeup Artist Program in 2012, and has now found success working on Film & Television sets, Music Videos, Editorials and Print Ads. Her work has been published in Make-up Artist Magazine’s Art & Design Issue; in the issue, Ashley talked about her love of transforming the body and face into traditional-looking paintings through the use of makeup and body paint. Here Ashley talks about her experience at CMU and her flourishing career.
What do you love most about being a Makeup Artist?
There are so many things I love about being a makeup artist; I don’t even know where to begin. When you first start out in this industry, you get hired to do what the client wants. It’s usually natural, clean makeup unless you are doing FX. I often craved to let my artistic creativity out but paid work usually restricts that, especially when you’re fresh out of school. A few years into my career as a makeup artist, I can happily say, my favourite thing is FINALLY being able to do what I love: get crazy with colour and just paint. It’s been so rewarding and my work has unexpectedly started to receive attention, as well as presenting me with exciting opportunities such as painting at the Toronto IMATS, Vancouver IMATS, and getting featured in Makeup Artist Magazine.
What inspired you to pursue a career in makeup artistry?
I had studied art for three years and kept wondering how I could turn my art education into a full time career. Weeks before and after finishing my program, I kept playing with the idea of attending CMU. I had always been fascinated with Special Effects and already had experience with sculpting and painting. I instantly thought FX would be the best career choice for me. After my school tour, I decided to sign up for the Complete Makeup Artist Program. Prior to attending CMU, I didn’t know anything about makeup. Enrolling in the Complete Makeup Artist program made sense to me because I would be learning the fundamentals. I knew this program was going to be a HUGE challenge; I had a lot to learn but knew it would be worth it in the end.
What did you enjoy most about attending CMU?
I loved the fact that we got to do portfolio photoshoots at the end of each course. I was fortunate to have a very talented photographer who explained the process and what to look out for – I learned the valuable lesson that flyaways are evil and hairspray should be an essential part of my kit. He was incredibly detail-oriented, as I am, so it was much appreciated. My first photoshoot was during Fashion. I remember being so incredibly nervous. I hadn’t done makeup on anyone other than my classmates for the last six weeks and here I was with four agency models designated specifically for me. My first model was so sweet and unfortunately, saw a very stressed out Ashley trying to do a perfect makeup on her – I came into school the next day to find a note taped to my mirror, wishing me good luck, telling me I was going to do a fantastic job and to just relax. To this day, I am appreciative of her and that note; it was the motivation I needed to get through those shoots.
What have you been working on since graduating from CMU?
I’ve been up to a lot! I’ve worked in film, television, webseries, music videos (my first music video was with the Monowhales, I have been their personal makeup artist since – it’s now been three years and counting), commercials, events, corporate, editorial, headshots, and print ads. In the past year, I got the honour to paint Rupi Kaur for her book reveal for The Sun And Her Flowers, as well as her beauty makeup for promotional material. Because of my experience with body painting, I got recommended for Star Trek: Discovery. I had been hearing so much about this production for months, I never would have guessed I would be working on it. I got to paint aliens beside my CMU teacher, Neil Morrill – that was surreal since I had learned how to airbrush in his class, I never would have guessed I would be working beside him. I’m really excited to see what 2019 has planned for me…
What inspired the makeup look you created for your feature in Makeup Artist Magazine?
“My inspiration was my love of body painting. Since body painting Van Gogh’s Starry Night at IMATS Toronto last year, I started falling in love with brush strokes and imitating paint. There is something truly satisfying with making my makeup and body painting look like traditional paintings, especially the textures. I love when paint pops off a canvas and has a bumpy texture, I knew I had to incorporate that at some point; I did it in her hairline/hair, I wanted it to look like gesso.” (Makeup Artist Magazine, pg. 43, issue 131)
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
I strive to constantly improve as an artist and continue to reach my goals.
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