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Check Out Madison Burger’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Madison Burger.

Hi Madison, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Ever since I was a kid, I was always caught doodling on napkins, the occasional bedroom wall or two, and my little brother’s face.

Being a creative has always been inside of me and art was and still is my passion & my outlet.

Growing up in P.A., I never really seemed to quite fit in there. It seemed as though nobody really understood my artistic quirks and personal aesthetic. I longed for more diversity and to feel like I belonged.

So, after graduating high school, I was so excited to be accepted into Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and quickly made the daunting move to Georgia.

Finally, living outside my sheltered life and surrounded by other artists like me, I began my journey and self-discovery, not only as an artist but as an individual.

I gained so much life experience during those college years and of course weight gain. I graduated at 23 with a Major in Illustration and a Minor in Painting. Yet after leaving, I honestly felt very lost.

I couldn’t seem to find any work, so to make ends meet, I ended up working as a waitress for around four years. This is where I nearly gave up on this seemingly unattainable industry as a starving artist.

I even found myself at one point homeless & sleeping out of my car. I was so unhappy at that point I knew something had to change. As cliché as this sounds, it’s totally true – one day, I came across the Special Effects TV show “Face Off” and something in me knew then, that was the career I wanted to pursue…. To become a Special Effects Artist.

I took a chance, said ‘Peace out y’all to GA’, packed up my belongings, my dog Swaggy & drove across the country to the city of dreams… Or so I thought.

I had a pretty rude awakening adjusting to the LA lifestyle and reality of the vicious hustle that is required to survive out here. Hollywood can truly chew you up and spit you out if you’re not careful and I’d be lying if I said it’s been an easy ride.

As soon as I finished studying Makeup Artistry & Special Effects at Cinema Makeup School, I was thrust into a world of unpaid work, juggling multiple jobs at a time and sleepless nights to finish fast-paced deadlines.

I quickly realized that if I couldn’t keep up, I wouldn’t make it out here.

A few years (and a few grey hairs) later, I finally ended up landing a full-time position at an awesome SFX lab called ‘Autonomous FX’ as their Lead Concept Artist, where I still am today.

… I did it mom.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Coming out during college was honestly one of the biggest obstacles I had to face in order to find myself and accept who I am. Once I was open about my sexuality, I began to feel this weight lifted and finally felt free to express myself transparently. This also gave me more confidence with my artistic expression and creative works.

In a nutshell, I kissed a girl and I liked it.

Perseverance was also another big one. While running in circles in LA the thought of moving back home countless times definitely crossed my mind. But something inside kept me striving forward. Determined to prove that I could make it out here, not only to myself but also my family.

They have always been my biggest supporters and have always had my back. Somehow putting up with my crazy endeavors, piercings and tattoos which they really hate.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
So, not to brag, but I have a pretty rad job. I get to create creature concepts, like zombies and monsters for TV & film for a living.

The fast-paced environment always keeps me on my toes and in a creative flow.

I feel so lucky and privileged to have worked alongside some totally rad artists, who I don’t just see as colleagues but are friends too.

I’ve learned so much from the people around me that I’ve worked with over the years and one of the biggest things I have taken from it all is a bad-ass team is a key to creating incredible art.

Aside from finally landing my dream job, I am most proud when I see the reactions to my work. There’s something really satisfying about creating a concept that people think is cool then seeing it brought to life. And creeping people out.

Generally, people describe my concept style as morphing reality and fantasy in an androgynous way… And I would like to think that the details draw people in for a closer look – often finding there’s more than meets the eye.

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
Yes. Wear a mask.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Preya Sculpt and paint by me along with huge team and mentors Teeth by Robert Lindsayfx Assistant and fabricator Pedro Rios Model Johnny leftwich Done for Cinema Makeup School/Rick Baker Legends of Creature Design Scholarship Contacts by samhaincontactlenses Bizarro Sculpt/Paint/Costume/Application by me Assistant Jazmin Kradle Actor/model Katie Kotulak Photo by @trevor_toma Done for Cinema Makeup School Thanks to ppipremiereproducts and samhaincontactlenses Cleopsis Court of the Dead ⁣⁣Sculpt/Paint/Application Madison Burger along with huge team ⁣⁣Sculpt/Paint/Applicatio/Lab work Kelsey Waldmann ⁣⁣Sculpt/Paint/Application/Lab work Nicholas Alvarez Sculpt/Yun Nam Hair by Rebecca K Vandervort Paint/Application Ve Neill Sculpt/Lee Joyner Model/Actress Teisha Wheaton Fabrication/Props Evermore Creative Studios Done for Cinema Makeup School Project in collaboration with Sideshow Collectibles: @kelseywaldmann @joynerstudio @_madisonhopeburger_ @brockdapope @cosmicpolkadots @yunnam.mua @irina_strukova_pro @mmmmmiya @therealve @chadhatter @powellartsworkshop @logan_claybeard @evermorecreativestudio @legacyeffects ⁣@robertvinterfx @becsdabest @itstwheaton @carlosgomezfx @lordkaijuulpting ⁣@sideshowcollectibles

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