Where Do I Fit

I wanted to write about something I struggle with as an artist, and I know many others do as well.  It’s natural as an artist to look to other artists and compare your work to theirs.  I think in some ways this is how we grow and push ourselves.  For example we see a beautiful sculpture, and suddenly become inspired to achieve something that level.  It is at this point there is a choice.  To practice daily to try to reach something comparable, or to say “I will never be that good”.

 

If you decide to practice daily, you will gain skill.  Here’s the hard part, we all will gain those skills at a rate unique to us.  Some people will be sculpting at a high level in a year, some 5 years, some 10, some 20.  Some people will give up after a year.  Others will soldier on.  Depends on their drive.  Innate abilities.  Everyone is unique.  Everyone has a different path.  Everyone has different opportunities as well!  Some are stuck in a basement teaching themselves, others have a master teaching them.  The person who did that original sculpture had a lifetime of opportunities, experiences, and choosing to continue before it resulted in that sculpture.  You don’t know if it took them five years or one to get where they are.  You can not compare your experience to theirs.  The only thing you have control over is working on your technique.

 

This was a hard lesson for me.  I discovered I am a generalist artist by nature.  I know a lot about many art forms, I pick up quicker than most at the start because I love learning.  In practice however, I’m not exceptionally good at any one thing.  I grow in skill slowly, because I’m practicing 20 different art forms at the same time instead of focusing on one.  Surrounded by specialists that shine at their art form this can be very disheartening.  My innate artistic ability is “meh”.  I had to accept myself and that it would take me longer than most because of how my brain works.

 

The thing that really helped me was a informal lecture I attended by Dick Smith at one of my first IMATS.  He showed a picture of one of his early sculptures, and it was awful.  He explained how he knew he needed to practice after doing that sculpture, and he did.  He got better, focused on learning, eventually became famous for his work, but it took him longer to get to that level than many of his students.  He had to accept he was going to get there at his own speed, but he loved the work and focused on getting better.

 

Looking back over my portfolio I’ve grown a lot in ten years.  I could have progressed faster probably if I had gone to LA from the beginning or not raised a family.  I made choices.  I’m good with those choices, and I’m going my speed.  I’m going to get better.  I’m going to keep practicing.

 

You are not alone if you feel despair sometimes looking at a beautiful piece of art.  Keep going.  Enjoy your work.

 

 

IMATS LA 2018

Well, it was a whirlwind weekend!  I think this year was one of the best I’ve attended, and I’ve been going since 2005 or 2006.  It’s been a while. 

 

Some of the highlights for me in regards to demonstrations were Richard Redlefsen and Jason Collins silicone makeup application.  Richard transformed a beautiful model into an aged “Ladybird” Johnson, and Jason transformed Eric Koo into a wizened Native American.  Nix did a beautiful Art Deco inspired body paint that blew my mind on the first day.  Chris Hansen was tearing it up doing some super fun aliens at the Pro Aiir booth.  Cinema Secrets and MUD both had some really inspired makeups.  There are too many to list, and many makeups I admired but wasn’t sure who applied.

 

The panels this year were also great.  Favorites for me were the making of Thriller, the Orville and Discovery panels, the women of fx. 

 

One of the biggest treats of the show was getting to meet in person so many of the artists I’ve been following on Instagram and corresponding on Facebook for years.  

 

Looking forward to the next time I can attend.  It was a memorable show. 

Happy New Year

Well, it seems I haven’t blogged for quite a while because I’ve been a busy, and not so busy bee!  Lots of work followed by a long vacation that was overdue.

2017 was a big transition year for me.  After 6 seasons, the much beloved show Grimm came to an end.  Grimm was in large part why I became a full time makeup artist, and was able to do a career change.  It also was my family.  It will be sorely missed.

I worked on Dean Devlin’s feature Bad Samaritan next, which was a real treat.  I got to know the crew of The Librarians better because of it, and we went through some crazy times in the snow! 

That film was followed by Ecco, which filmed in Seattle.  I had never filmed there more than a day or two before this film.  It was fun putting faces to the names I had been hearing about for years on the crew scene.  I also got lost daily, but by the end of the film I was doing much better!

This summer I spent in Oregon City with crew of Everything Sucks!, a new show from Netflix.  What an amazing cast and crew!  We had a blast recreating the 90’s.  There were some fun flashback moments for the crew that were the right age to remember those times.   We also did some prosthetic work for the Librarians and Portlandia.

There was a commercial for Kroger that brought back some of my favorite characters.....the Kroger vampire, witch, and werewolf!  An orc for Microsoft Mixer followed.  There were other projects scattered in there as well.

What a year!

I wrapped it up by going to Europe with my husband for our 10 year anniversary.  We spent 20 days together.  That’s the longest we’ve hung out since our honeymoon!  Well, we had a blast and can’t wait to go back.

I am headed to IMATS tradeshow next week and looking forward to catching up with old friends and meeting new ones!

 

 

Fear is the Mind Killer

My husband likes to say.....don't compare your behind the scenes with everyone else's demo reel.  He says this because I sometime become despondent as an artist when looking at social media.  Part of me is excited to see the artwork and ideas out there, the creativity and imagination at work. It inspires me.  Part of me wonders if I'm ever going to get to that level and I become fearful of the future.  I still have a very long ways to go, even after all my hard work.

It's not always easy to start a project, because if you start you are that much closer to finding out if you are going to be a success or failure.

Fear of failure can be crippling.  Combine that with fear of being judged (which you will always be judged when it comes to your artwork)......and you have a creative who is trapped.

I struggle on every project with a split personality.  The crazy kid in me going "wheeeee!  This is going to be challenging and new and interesting!"  Then there's the other part of me that is terrified I'm going to goof it up, let people down, or be judged by my peers.  The kid usually wins, because kids are just tenacious that way.  Thank goodness.  But it's not easy.

So, if you are a creative looking at social media and feeling despondent.....you are not alone. You don't know the reality of what that artist had to do to get to that point.  Let your inner kid win and go have some fun making art.

 

Wheeeee!

 

 

 

Living On The Edge

I remember the first time I had an effect go south on me on set.  It was my very first slit throat on my very first feature, and I had watered down the blood mix too much.   So embarrassing!  In the world of ultra low budget film, there is rarely money or time for tests.  Sometimes you will be asked to pull something out of thin air right before a shot.

One of the funniest but scary moments I had was a director asking if I could do an eviceration scene on a guy that was going to shoot I n about 20 minutes.....because they changed the script but forgot to tell me.  We ended up making intestines out of pantyhose, cotton, and gelatin on a tarp....took a female autopsy prosthetic and flipped it upside down with the breast tissue removed....and made it work.

You never want to be put in that position.....but some days you will.  So when it comes, just roll with it and try to enjoy the rollercoaster.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaah! 

Good Times

Well, it's been a busy winter on Grimm season 4.  Still working on the special makeup fx team and also making props.  I've learned tons this year, and am very grateful for the opportunities I've had this season.   I've gotten to work with some amazing artists, and boy has it been exciting.

Good news for the Portland film scene.....Grimm, Librarians, and Portlandia are all renewed!

Combat Report aired its final episode of the season on TuffTV. It's a Midwestern cable channel, but you can watch the episodes at www.tufftv.com.  It was a blast to work on, and my fingers are crossed for the series.

The shop is bursting at the seams.  We've had to do some rearranging just to fit everything, but it's much more efficient now.

I'm hoping to post new pics soon!

 

 

All work and no play.....

Makes Christina a little crazy.

It's been a good summer so far!  Ravenous Studios has been able to work on the new TNT show The Librarians, supplying props and getting to do a little makeup as well.  Portlandia is back in town, as well as Grimm (which is been so kind as to order a lot of props so I can keep the teenage creature that lives with us fed adequately).  I've been working on a new TV show called Combat Report as well, which I'm super excited about.  It has a really fantastic cast, and I hope it gets to continue.

Of course, I have no pictures I can show until these episodes air.....so hang tight.

I've been learning quite a bit while making props.  I've got Smooth-On foam estimation down pretty good, which can always be stressful the first time you run a mold.  Too much foam mix and things can get exciting in the shop.

I have a large amount of sculpting to do, masks to make, and a belly to make as well.  Not sure how I'm exactly going to get it all done, but I'll figure something out.  Onwards!

Latest News

Well, a lot has happened since my last posting of a random shop oddity.

As soon as Grimm wrapped I was lucky enough to get to make some props and do some makeup for the new TNT show the Librarians.

Laura Loucks and I did a Zombie 101 class for the West Coast Haunters Convention that was a blast!  Great questions during the class.  Hope to do it again.

I also got to spend 5 days at the coast with Road's End Films doing a proof of concept trailer for a new TV series called Runestone.  Made a lot of new friends.  What a fantastic crew! 

More news to come.

 

 

 

Happy New Year!

New year, new website.  I hope you enjoy the new layout, and please drop me a line at info@ravenousstudios.com to let me know what you think!  I'm still getting the hang of how to use this new program, so more content coming soon.

 

Wow.  2013 went by in a flash!  It was a year full of surprises.  Season 3 of Grimm has kept me very busy, but I was also able to work on 3 features this year during different breaks.  One even took me out of the country!  I got to see Lithuania, and it was an absolutely amazing experience.  The Parlor and Deep Dark are currently in post production, and The Dark Place is completed.  Seal Patrol is a feature I did in 2012, but just was released by Lionsgate on DVD.  There were several short films in there as well - Persophone, Stalker, The Phoenix Project, The New Herald, The Phoenix Project, and more.  We also had the second year of our haunted attraction "Morbid Nightmares" in Vancouver, WA this year.

I have high hopes for 2014.  We're currently looking for a new location for our haunted attraction.  Ira has a fantastic new web series he wrote that I'm very excited about (sci-fi fans....you're absolutely gonna love it), and we hope to start shooting it around February.  We also have a horror script in development, and a couple more projects coming up that I'm very excited about (but can't discuss yet).  It looks to be another exciting year!