In the last 14 months Gary has demonstrated at 3 different Makeup conventions...United Makeup Artists Expo in London, April, 2013, United Makeup Artists Expo in London, April, 2014, and International Makeup Artists Trade Show, London, June, 2014. Each convention has been a different experience and with a little distance, I think I see a picture developing....
UMAE, APRIL, 2013:
This was Gary's first demo which he undertook because they offered professional photography portfolio pictures. He spent about a month in preparation with a test run here in Italy before setting off to London to do the real thing. In London he was set up in an area at the back of the convention hall, away from the madding crowds, with a makeup chair and a table....simple, efficient, adequate. Nothing luxurious, nothing special.
|Skye, Lizard Lady|
VANILLA: simple, unassuming, unsurprising, yet layered. Gary's goals were clear: create a makeup within a 4 hours period that was clean, film-worthy, stage-worthy, mettle-testing. (oh yeah, and made great photos). This makeup was about the art, the work, the makeup. Like Vanilla, it was pure, clean, deceptively simple, delicious, unencumbered--both the experience and the art were Vanilla.
He successfully met his goals for he was asked by Chris McGowan, one of UMAE's organizers, to demo at the 2014 Convention, Duh, yeah!!
UMAE, APRIL, 2014:
Gary was asked to do two, count 'em, two demos this year! An honor, and he was to do his demos in the MONSTERPOOLZA booth--wowee zowee! When he arrived the first day, he was set up toward the back of the convention center, at the front of the MonsterPalooza Booth, next to the scary monster set with theatre lights!!
His Saturday demo was a zombie, with ever-faithful model, Toby...Gary had prepped the pieces, conceived a "look," and had done a test run in California a few months before. His goals: create and apply a viable makeup. Success!!
|Toby, Zombie Man|
Sunday's demo was a little more complicated. With lovely Skye as model, Gary was using pieces he'd never worked with before, a forehead and muzzle piece donated by Neill Gorton's Millennium FX Shop. He conceived and created the horns and wig piece to complement Neill's pieces and make the makeup uniquely his own. With many messages back and forth, Skye brought a costume that fit the concept, Sian helped with the hair and nails, and viola! a sexy demon was born. The Goals: create a full character, use heretofore unused pieces well, make invisible seams, utilize new painting techniques learned at Neill's Bootcamp. Success!!
|Skye, Sexy Demon Woman|
CHOCOLATE: rich and gooey, decadent, delicious
It was a heady experience, this one...the work was good, the complements flew, shoulders were rubbed. Like Chocolate, it was a fuller experience, moving beyond the mono-flavor into a deeper, more textured, more satisfying palate pleaser. The emphasis changed from simply creating a good makeup to creating a good makeup that attracted attention and elevated G's rep as a makeup artist.
A few weeks after the convention, Neill Gorton asked Gary to demonstrate at the IMATS in June. This is a big whoop---first, because Neil asked Gary, second, because he'd be rubbing elbows with some heavy-hitters in the Special FX world, and thirdly, it was an opportunity to prove he has the chops to play with the big boys.
IMATS, JUNE, 2014
Because this invitation came on the heels of the Prosthetics Boot Camp, Gary decided to incorporate all the steps and techniques learned there to create his makeup. (Those of you who follow him on FB are intimately familiar with the step-by-step process he used to create his makeup, so I won't detail those steps here.) His concept was an aged Klingon Warrior-turned-Soothsayer--blinded after he sustained a wound.
There is a back story here---20 years ago Gary had the opportunity to show Michael Westmore, Star Trek Makeup guru, his Klingon makeup. Mr. Westmore gave G some advice, told him to do it again, then bring it back to him. Gary never followed through--(the Road Not Taken?)--and he has regretted it ever since. His major goal at IMATS was to create a Klingon Makeup Star Trek worthy, oh yeah, and play with the big boys.
The entire process took about 6 weeks, almost every day, all day, for six weeks. This included researching, conceiving, utilizing new techniques, coordinating costume pieces (thank you, Skye!), buying fur, designing hair for the head and the eyebrows and mustache, finding people willing to help. He knew he couldn't do it alone...and people stepped up.
**Note about Gary** he HATES to ask for help, he HATES not being able to do everything himself, he HATES being beholden to anyone for anything....soooo, the fact he asked, and that people stepped up, was a major event for him.
But...things he had depended upon did not materialize, people who had committed to helping, didn't, people who should have supplied support, wouldn't.
So he kicked it into gear--unplanned things happen, you've always got to be ready with 2-3-4 back up plans---among those plans was to ask makeup artists attending the convention if they would step in and help. So Guilia, Daniel, Carl and Ina jumped in, gave of their time, their talents, their advice, and committed to the goal. Testing professional mettle means solving problems....yeah Gar! Problems solved!
|Guilia, Gary, Daniel working on Toby---|
who says he feels like he's getting a Spa Treatment
when he's modeling. (Carl in the background)
|Gary and Toby with finished makeup|
|Toby, for a moment, out of character!|
CHOCOLATE-CARAMEL SWIRL WITH CASHEWS: complex flavors, contrasting textures, salty and sugary and smooth and crunchy.
This experience was like life, full of contrasts and contradictions; enervating and uplifting; valuable and debilitating; frustrating and fulfilling; painful and joyful; exhausting and energizing; satisfying and unsatisfying.
Were his goals met? Mostly. Was the makeup a success? Yes! What's next??? We don't know....
What I do know is this adventure has brought my husband joy and pleasure and validation and confidence. I'm not sure you can expect a hell of a lot more from any adventure...I'm looking forward to the next flavor!
Eat Well, Travel Often