Makeup Artist Training & Education
Like anything these days, getting training that allows you to stand apart from the rest of the working world is going to be advantageous. There are vast arrays of options to get the training and background one needs to break into the film industry. Before you can even determine how to break into the business, you have to have training that equips you with the knowledge and skill set to be a working makeup artist. Much like any education institution, there are countless schools that train individuals in the art of makeup. As to not be overwhelmed by the choices, there are some things one should consider when choosing the right training so let’s start there.
Location, location, location. Just because Hollywood is where the major motion picture studios are, that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s where you have to be.
These days there are satellite studios all over the world. What is more important is getting training that will lead you to film. Now that begs the question, what does that even mean? Because film is a popular medium, most Universities now have an active Film program. I should preface that with saying most ACCREDITED Universities have film programs.
It has always been worthwhile to work in an overall film program because you will have an opportunity to work in all aspects of film. Even if you know you want to be a makeup artist, learning how to work a camera or how to light a scene will only be to your advantage when you’re actively working. It is worth mentioning this because if you are a student pursuing an undergraduate degree it really is good to know there are creative programs that can get you where you want to go. The added benefit of learning the entire scope of film and the art of filmmaking is you will learn good and bad habits. Filtering out these habits while in school will sharpen your senses and hone your skills to the place that will allow you to work right out of the gate. The other enormous benefit is that you will already have a reel featuring your work and your portfolio will only build from there. Knowing directors, student or otherwise, opens the door to a world that few get to experience. Film is not an easy industry to break into so it is always going to work in your favor to put yourself in a position to establish working relationships in the infancy stages of your career.
Examples of recognized film programs in the United States are:
- the USC School of Cinematic Arts,
- UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television,
- The Art Center of Design,
- The Kanbar Institute of Film & Television,
- NYFA (New York Film Academy),
- Columbia University School of the Arts,
- and quite notably, AFI (American Film Institute).
Granted there are smaller film programs but these were mentioned for those just starting out and looking into University-based Film Schools.
If you are not looking into an undergraduate program and want to go straight into technical training as a makeup artist, there are so many programs out there, what will matter most is looking at their accreditations, as well as looking into admission requirements, tuition, course requirements, and whether or not they specialize in makeup artistry for film and television.
The other thing to consider when choosing a private or specialized Makeup program is what their track record is in terms of students actually working in the Industry. You can obtain a State license to practice makeup by completing Cosmetology or Esthetician School. Each division and state has their own requirements. With that said, some examples of additional schools that offer programs and are recognized in the Industry as great educators are: MUD (Makeup Designery), Westmore Academy of Cosmetics, Studio Makeup Academy, MKC Academy of Fashion, Beauty, & Print, and Cinema Makeup School. While the schools mentioned here are primarily on the West Coast and located in the United States, every country and state has a variety of programs.
What is best is to research and research and research some more. There are emerging artists coming from all around the globe, some most recognized from India, China, Europe and Canada where the film communities are ever expanding and have been at the forefront of filmmaking since film’s inception.