Graduate Feature: Tyler Russell - QC Makeup Academy
qc makeup academy special FX makeup artist Tyler Russell

Name: Tyler Russell

Location:  Springville, Utah, United States

QC Courses taken:

Instagram: @tytyrussell

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I was born and raised in Utah. I am 27. I create props and wardrobe pieces as well as do the makeup for my special effects creatures. My life goal is to have a creature/monster in a feature film produced by Disney or Universal pictures.

Why did you decide to start a career in special effects makeup?

I started drawing when I was really young, and one summer, I think I was 12, my family was taking a trip to California. One of the things on our to-do list was to go to Universal Studios. I remember when we first started walking into the park and there was a small building that was kind of like a museum. It had makeup, props, and tools that they had used while filming all of the original Universal monster movies. At that point, it kind of just clicked. I wanted to take all of the monsters from my drawings and bring them to life.

Describe your favorite special effects makeup transformation to date.

That’s a bit of a hard one, but I think my Krampus shoot that I just did in December was definitely my favorite.

Tyler Russel special effects makeup look - Krampus

Photography by Kace McDonald

Your special FX work shows painstaking attention to detail. How do you stay focused when your elaborate looks take hours of intense concentration?

I connect music to a lot of my creations. Going back to my drawing background, whenever I drew something that was a great piece of art, it was because I had the right music to get me into stride. That trick translated from drawing to doing makeup. It’s funny to have different of music I will connect to for certain projects. One minute I’m listening to film scores, and the next, it’s metal or hip hop.

What’s one thing you wish someone had told you before starting your makeup training?

Buy extra makeup brushes, and keep a large stock of makeup remover.

Special effects makeup by Tyler Russell photo of pop art zombie
Lord voldemort special effects makeup artistry by Tyler russell a QC Makeup Academy Graduate

How do you think QC Makeup Academy has prepared you for working in the field?

So I had already known a lot about the products and how to paint and apply special effects makeup and prosthetics. But QC really helped me fine-tune those things, especially the cleanliness and the way I should be using my tools while with clients.

Do you have any big goals for your business in 2019?

Yes, so there is an adventure theme park that has just opened up by where I live. They have a lot of characters running around in makeup and almost the entire cast of the park is in some form of special FX makeup. Their creative studio is really impressive. I want to be a part of that team, so for 2019, I am really pulling out all of the stops and focusing hard on creating a five-star professional portfolio to present at the beginning of fall 2019.

Special FX makeup artist Tyler Russel's makeup and prosthetic character

Finally, what’s the one SFX product you can’t live without?

It’s more of a makeup tool rather than product. I love my airbrush. It’s probably the most vital thing in my kit.

Interested in trying your hand in airbrush makeup? Check out QC’s Airbrush Makeup Workshop!

Author Celina Feng

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