Getting a certification is hard work. Yes, you have to read text books, yes, there is homework, and yes, it can cost you a pretty penny. A certification is not always required in order to work in the Special FX field, but getting yourself one can work miracles when it comes to your career and professional development. Remember, anything that can potentially give you a leg-up in the job market should not be overlooked!
You should never feel that pursuing a certification means that you’re tying yourself down to one field or career—sometimes people get professional training just because they’re passionate about special FX makeup and want to improve their skills. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to master your craft!
Whatever your reason, if you want to learn and develop your SFX skills, you may want to look into getting certified. Here’s our list of the top 5 benefits of getting your special FX makeup certification!
1. Employers / clients know that you’ve received specialized education
First things first, a certification in special FX makeup will impress any employer who sees your resume. It’s easy for people to have a passion for makeup; however, being able to show you’ve completed professional training is a whole other ball game!
There’s a big difference between watching beauty gurus on YouTube and receiving real tutorial training from a professional makeup artist. In your certification course, you’ll go into pro techniques and skills that are unknown to most SFX junkies. Tutorials will mostly go over specific looks, leaving you without the foundational techniques that you absolutely need to create looks on your own! Do yourself a favor—use YouTube for inspiration and product recommendations, but go to school if you really want to learn to be a pro!
2. The entire month of October is a celebration of your skills
Accountants get the month of April and wedding planners get the entire summer season—why shouldn’t special FX makeup artists get their own month? The spookiest time of the year is also the most exciting for makeup artists. You get to show off your skills during the annual zombie walk and get praised on the street for your spooky take on a Disney princess.
When your whole skill-set is based on transforming your client or model, you have enough in your arsenal to create a different look for all 31 days. Not only will you be able to show everyone what you’re made of, but you’ll also see other SFX kindred spirits who you can build connections with and even pick up a few tips for your next look!
3. Making industry contacts
The SFX makeup industry is growing at a faster rate than ever. With so many people entering the field every day, and with makeup artists becoming celebrities in their own right, it can be harder than ever to catch your big break. Having another pro on the inside who can attest to your skills will be a godsend! This is where networking comes into play. During your makeup classes, be sure to connect with other students in your forums and social media platforms. There will more than likely be others in your area who are practicing the same skills. Who knows, maybe you’ll even find a future business partner!
4. Recognition is easier to achieve
As a certified special FX makeup artist, you’ll likely have the opportunity to work on editorial makeup projects, theatre, television, and movies! This means you’ll be able to get your name into the credits of any of their productions, big or small! If a client posts a photo of your SFX makeup job on their Instagram or Twitter, you can also request that your name or social media handle be credited there.
This will do wonders for your exposure, reach, and portfolio. Plus, who doesn’t like to feel a little famous every once in a while? Well-known makeup artists are often asked to write columns for major magazines, work with companies like Sephora, and even get their own TV shows or television segments. The possibilities are endless, so get your name out there!
5. You’ll have a budding portfolio before your first paid gig
You’ll be able to practice and add to your portfolio even before you graduate. One thing that self-made artists won’t have access to is the expert eye of an experienced special fx artist. You’ll be given the opportunity to have a professional with years of experience in the industry to help you improve and pick out the best examples of your talent and skill! This will lend you credibility and you may even get cherry-picked to work with your mentor or instructor on future projects if they like what you do!
Picture this: working side by side with Michele Mulkey gore-ifying hundreds of extras for the most anticipated horror film of the year. Not only will you be using your industry contacts to secure a job, but you’ll have an impressive portfolio spread and production credit. Tell us again why you’re hesitating to get a certification?