Where a Career in Special Effects Make-Up Can Take You

What’s so “special” about special effects make-up?

Special effects make-up is one of the most exciting places a passion for imaginative make-up (and an artistic flair) can take you.

Make-up artistry in all its forms is a global career; people all over the world require talented artists. But for those who lean towards the wondrous, weird, and wacky, special effects make-up is a career path that can take you to places you might never have expected.

Jobs for special effects make-up artists

Special effects (or SFX) is not a career confined to Hollywood, although the silver screen has some of the most notable examples of high-calibre SFX artistry.

Movies and TV

Since the early days of cinema, special effects make-up has been integral in transporting audiences to worlds inhabited by monsters and magical creatures. Despite the rise of CGI, today’s on-screen entertainment still calls for an army of make-up artists working hard behind the scenes to create believable characters

Live theatre

If you were lucky enough to catch Wicked, The Lion King, Cats, Frozen, or any other major stage show recently, then you’ve seen special effects make-up at work. Don’t be fooled by how “normal” some of the characters appear, either. The job of a special effects make-up artist is to create that look under lights, using stage make-up and a Mary Poppins-sized bag of technical skills.

Travelling shows

From the Fringe Festival to Cirque du Soleil, live music productions, and even travelling street performances, special effects make-up jobs can help you fulfil your dream of running away with the circus. Creating characters for an intimate live crowd requires serious make-up skills.

Even if you’re not transforming your model into a fantastical creature, working with the combination of stage lighting, physical performance and costume changes, requires the skills of an experienced SFX artist.

How to get your first special effects make-up artist job

If you’re reading this, we can safely assume you have a keen interest in make-up already. Maybe you have even taken one of our short courses and begun experimenting with effects. The next steps are:

  1. Learn from industry professionals
  2. Get hands-on experience
  3. Continue to develop your skills
  4. Build a portfolio

TrainSmart Australia’s CUA51015 Diploma of Screen and Media provides opportunities to complete all 4 steps in just 12 months, as you learn from some of Australia’s most accomplished make-up Trainers. Browse the course overview online, or get in touch to request course information.

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