Complections graduate Said Saffarini was able to take a moment with us to discuss his experience at Complections, his successes in the make-up industry and his involvement with UforChange.
Why did you choose to take the 14-week Essential Make-up Artist Program?
I was more interested in the fashion aspect of makeup. I thought that some special effects and prosthetic experience would help me get jobs and enhance my career, but did not have that much interest in creature design.
What was your previous make-up experience before coming to the school?
I started doing make-up a couple of years prior to coming to Complections. I did a couple fashion shows through connections and word of mouth and did an album cover for Toronto based upcoming artist Troy Jackson.
What was your experience at the school like?
My experience at the school was amazing. I made a lot of great friends and connections that I still use to this day. I still work on shows with some of the girls that I went to school with. My teachers at Complections were great. I still stay in touch with some of them to this day and keep going to them for opinions and advice.
Did you do any make-up related jobs while you were a student?
I worked on Alternative Fashion Week while in school. It was a great experience and a very interesting crowd to work with. Definitely something that I would recommend other students to try and get into and gain experience through.
What sort of jobs have you done since graduating?
I have done a few fashion shows, a photo shoot for an advertising campaign for a Toronto upcoming artist (Domenique Grant), a Bell commercial, a music video for an upcoming Toronto artist, as well as my part time teaching job at UforChange.
Can you tell me a bit more about your runway jobs?
Runway jobs that I worked on really varied from one to the other. Some were busier and more hectic; others were a bit slower but still intense. I have done shows where I was the lead makeup artist such as the show I did for Adrian Wu, a Toronto designer that showcased in Toronto Fashion Week, Vancouver Fashion Week and Ottawa Fashion Week. He now has a store in Toronto called “Adrian Who?” I have established a great relationship with Adrian; I still do his shows as they come.
What has been your favourite job since graduating?
It’s really hard to point out one job because a lot of them have different aspects that I enjoy. If I had to pick one then I would probably say UforChange as it gave me the chance to pass along my knowledge to other kids trying to get into the field.
Can you tell us about the UforChange Program and what you do?
UforChange is a government-funded organization that helps underprivileged youth find their careers in life and figure out what path they want to take. They have different courses varying from theatre to script writing, graphic design and fashion design. Each instructor writes their own curriculum for their class. They then go through a 10-week course with the youth who choose to enroll. At the end of the course, each instructor comes up with ideas for the final projects. The photography instructor and I decided to do a collaboration between our courses, so my youth did a couple of looks each and had them photographed by the photography students. The final pictures were displayed in a gallery in downtown Toronto. Their second project involved the youth doing makeup for a fashion show done by the students in the fashion course at UforChange.
Who are some photographers/clients you have worked with?
I have worked with Drasko Bogdanovic, who just released his first photography book a couple of months ago. Our main two projects together were a spread in Guarro Magazine, a Spanish magazine released in Spain, and Fab Magazine, a Toronto based magazine.
What advice would you give to current students? To grads?
My main advice would be to perfect your techniques and check your work over and over again. Never think you know everything because you never really do. Finally, make as many connections as possible; they will get you places.