Avant-Garde & Colourful A Glimpse Into the Mind of Makeup Artist Anita Chan

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By Alyssa Laube

 

About: Although Anita has a Degree in Communications, she is currently studying her true passion at New Image College of Fine Arts: makeup artistry! Her dream is to work in the entertainment and fashion industry, and to run her own company where she can apply all of her diverse skills. At this year’s Expo, Anita will be demonstrating her body painting skills for the AWE audience.

Youre a student in Makeup Artistry and Film/Fashion Design. What made you interested in these specific studies, especially film and fashion? 

My love for the fine arts started with drawing lessons when I was little. My teacher taught me the fundamentals:drawing straight lines without a ruler, shading, working with different mediums, tracing, colouring, and sketching. Later, myGrade 6 art teacher, Ms. Kolaric, inspired me and taught me new techniques; I learned to create a swan wing out of tissue on construction paper, use a sponge to make a background look like papyrus, and work with paper maché!In the curriculum, Ms. Kolaricintroduced us to Mesopotamian, Greek, and Egyptian history– it was like a grand tour of world art history!

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Later, when I worked at the Park (movie) Theatre, I was able to get hands-on experience with creatingsets for the lobby. I replicated scenes from the film that was showing at the time, and even got to recreate some of my favourites: Lord of the Rings and Apocalypse Now! After my cousin graduated from the Visual Arts program at Emily Carr and started working in the film industry, I realized that it’s a great place for me to express my creativity. With film, the sky’s the limit.

My official interest in makeup artistry started in 2008 when I became a volunteer with Anime Evolution. There, I was exposed to many talented cosplayers, photographers, and designers, who led me to pursue my passion as a makeup artist.

How do you think that social media is important for artists? 

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I manage seven social media channels for work and understandhow time consuming – yet important – it can be. It’s a great way to inspire, promote, and catalogue your work. You can use it to create a portfolio, help with your research, and mentor or connect with other artists. Still, one important thing to note is that one should always be careful of what they post. Always show respect and professionalism, as you are on displayall the time!It’s also important to remember that personalization is key; A catch phrase or a logo is what sets you apart from other artists.

Would you suggest your school, New Image College of Fine Arts, to other artists? 

Absolutely! The small class sizes at New Image College are great. I’m in an evening class of 10, which I love because we really get to know, learn from, and inspire each other. I also receive more one-on-one time with teachers who provide constructive feedback, help the students realize their potential and turn their ideas into reality. As a whole, the school is responsive and adaptable in regards to problem resolution.When aconcern is raised, the president and teachers sit down with the class to discuss probable solutions. This opens communication between students and teachers, which fosters an inviting environment for all!

How has your education changed your work? 

Key assets I learned in makeup school are to be flexible and open to new ideas. Each artist has their own unique style, some of which may extend beyond your comfort zone. When this happens, I embrace it and ask myself, “Why not?” At school, I also learned how to think analytically and ahead, which is critical in the fast-paced and ever-changing makeup industry. After all, you would not want a bride to become “Bridezilla” because you forgot to include extra eyelash glue in her take-away kit!

Where do you get the inspiration for your work? 

I get my everyday inspiration mostly from the world of science fiction, fantasy, and Japanese anime, especially goth and punk. When it comes to techniques and mediums for communication, I draw on an art history course I took in university. In particular, the styles of Picasso, Lisa Steele, Yoko Ono, and Jackson Pollock inspire me.I also travel a lot and have been to different places in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North,Central and South America, which inspires my work both visually and expressively. Lastly, my grandfather taught me skills specific to the art of Chinese finger painting, which influences my work as well.

Do you consider yourself to have a niche in the makeup artistry industry? 

To quote my Makeup for High Fashion teacher, Tiana Tran, my style is very “avant-garde and colourful”.

Do you cosplay, or help others cosplay? 

Yes, I’ve cosplayed as Minion Dave and turned my friend into Minion Kevin from Despicable Me. Other cosplays I’ve done before include Poison Ivy from Batman, Ryuk from Death Note, and Sailor Galaxia from Sailor Moon. In total, each cosplay took me about 48 hours to complete.

What advice would you give to future makeup artists? 

Volunteering for events is a good way to network and meet mentors. Jump at the opportunity to work on a gig, even if you don’t feel like you meet the qualifications. Tag team with a classmate or friend so that you can support each other. Keeping a positive attitude also helps, as negativity can affect more than just you. Most importantly, show respect to everyone you work with.

What will you be showing at this years expo? 

In line with the fairytale theme, I will create a look based on nymphs. In Greek and Latin mythology, a nymph is defined as a minor female deity typically associated with a particular location or landform; They are the spirits who make nature come to life.

How does your personality or interests show in your work?

I love colours, and my favourite is purple, so I use a lot of it in my work.As a person, I’m a happy-go-lucky girl and feel that my work proves that; they’re upbeat, funky, and fun! I also love adventures and experimenting with new things, so the process of creating my art is equally as important to me as the art itself.

Your long-term goal is to have your own company. Can you explain what this would look like, and how/when you plan to get there? 

During the next 3 years, I hope to build my repertoire as a makeup artist, event planner and communications specialist. Overall, I want to incorporate all of my skills and provide a one-stop, home-based shop for my clients! I think that the toughest task to do is coming up with a business name and going through all of the administrative and legal procedures.My family owned a floral business for over 20 years, so once the setup is complete, coming up with a business plan will be fun and easy. In 10 years, I hope to have a thriving business and have both local and international clients.

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