Today we’d like to introduce you to Makie Dawson.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I’m a small-town, Korean-adoptee turned special effects makeup artist. I have always loved theater and film, particularly the art of transformation. I loved watching behind the scenes time-lapses of actors getting their makeup done. It was the original movie magic in my mind.
I discovered a love for makeup when I played the Tin Man in our high school production of The Wizard of Oz. At that time, I was on the opposite side of the process, but I loved watching my makeup artist take me from a normal teen to looking like a metal man. For the next few years, I loved using makeup as a way to express my own personality. I always thought I was going to be an intellectual. I got a degree and then discovered that the job market was a lot harsher than I initially prepared for. I came to a serious turning point in my life where I thought to myself, “do I persevere with academia, or do I seek out a forgotten passion?” Much to my own horror and surprise, I picked up my life and moved to LA to pursue a dream I had long forgotten that I had. I attended Cinema Makeup School, learned a whole new craft, and I’ve now been in the industry as a freelance makeup artist for a little over a year.
I often have moments where I look internally and freak out a bit by what I’m doing.
Please tell us about your art.
Simply put, I’m a makeup artist. But in more complex terms, being a makeup artist is never boring. You can be doing beauty makeup for a bride one day to making monsters on your next project. Many people specialize and hone a skill they want to do exclusively. I love being versatile. I specialize in special effects, particularly the fabrication of prosthetics that are applied to actors or models to make them look like something completely different. I have always loved working with my hands, and being able to make something from nothing has always been something that brings me joy.
Another part of being a makeup artist that I love is collaboration. Even though I’m fairly new, I’ve had amazing opportunities to work with others who have amazing vision. Students working on student films, freelance photographers, other makeup artists, everyone knows something that I don’t know. It’s always inspirational for me to learn from others both in my field and those that I collaborate with on projects. It’s one of the most amazing feeling when you talk and talk about a concept, and then suddenly it all comes together to make something that all parties are like “YES! That’s even better than what I wanted.” I think collaboration is so important, and it inspires me to no end. Just like this interview, being able to lift each other is such a great feeling. I hope that someday I’ll be able to inspire others like the people I’ve met have inspired me.
We often hear from artists that being an artist can be lonely. Any advice for those looking to connect with other artists?
I’m a firm believer that all artists know what we’re all going through. We may not have the same medium, but that doesn’t mean a painter empathize with my struggle. I’m an introverted person, so it’s sometimes intimidating for me to put myself out there. But collaboration is such an amazing part of being an artist, that potential creative outlet outweighs my nervousness.
My advice to others is to take that job you think you’d like even if it’s not paid. Trade art for art with other people. If no one is out there, do your own project. If you want something in your portfolio, do it! More importantly, if you feel lonely, reach out. Artists are generally generous people and believe me, we all struggle, so we know and we listen.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I have an Instagram and a website! Or people can definitely email me directly. I tend to be on Instagram the most because it’s got my portfolio on it.
- Website: https://makiedmua.wixsite.com/makeup
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/makie.d.mua/