Thursday, 27 October 2011

Into the Woods

We showcase our new graduates work in a final show held in June each year. We based the show on themes set around Woodland and this enabled us to incorporate mystical, period and fantasty presentations.
The HND show was "Into the Woods". The video training group recorded and edited a video of the show.  The show was sponsored by Illamasqua who decided on a prize for the Degree Student of the Year which was Emmy Beech and a creative prize for HND Student Rebecca Lingham. The winners were selected by the Illamasqua team and the prizes were presented on stage following the show by Illamasqua Head of Development Spob OBrien.

The categories included futuristic forest, period picnic party, mid summers night and finished with a dramatic celtic legends section.

West Thames College
Most of my blogs will be about my own work and thoughts on the makeup world but this blog is about the college I work at.
I work full time as a Course Coordinator running a two year HND in Specialist Makeup which has 6 groups of students and a BA Honours top up degree with a one group. We have over 100 students studying with us. It is a demanding but very rewarding position and I am very proud of what we have acheived. It is a balancing act sometimes; as I work freelance when time allows and often burn the candle at both ends. I need the creative side to keep up to date with new products and techniques but also to still be a part of an industry I love. I am very inspired and motivated by many makeup artists and while it is a tough industry and the hours are long I am very proud to be a Makeup Artist.

The HE courses at WTC have been running for 9 years and we have many graduates who have worked incredibly hard and gained well earned reputations in the makeup industry. Our graduates have won 1st place at the IMATS competitons in both London and LA. These winners include:
  • Abby Swain -2007        
  • Suki Miles - IMATS LA - 2007
  • Tascia Guerrini - 2008
  • Emily Dowdeswell - 2009
  • Tamara Ramsey Crockett - 2010
  • Loren Hucken - 2011

In 2007 Carolyn Roper & Carly Utting came 1st in the World Body Painting competition in Austria

Two of our graduates, Gerda Lecuite and Lizzie Davies have won traineeships with the BBC through the Design Vision Trainee competition. In 2008 Abbey Swain won a traineeship at the National Theatre, where she is currently working full time in wigs.

Many of graduates work in film, tv and on West End on productions at the ENO, National Theatre, Royal Opera House, The Lion King, Wicked, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Phantom of the Opera, Billy Elliot, Jersey Boys, We Will Rock You, Ghost, The Wizard of Oz and Shrek the Musical.

Others form careers with MAC and other Makeup Retail companies. My team are honest with our students about how tough it is to break into the makeup industry and we hold careers workshops and invite companies like MAC, Illamasqua, Charles Fox and PAM in to meet the groups.

I have a great team working with me, all industry based and each bring something different to the course. I feel honoured to run this programme and am so inspired by our graduates every year during their end of year show which is always attended by professionals in industry.

IMATS 2011 - January

IMATS 2011 - London
West Thames College always has a stand at this prestigious Makeup event and we showcase our students skills in body painting, hair design and makeup. It is a great event hosted by The Makeup Artist magazine and allows opportunites for makeup artists to meet up. There are plenty of stands selling makeup and equipment from PAM, MAC, Illamasqua, Charles Fox and a wide range of American products not available in the UK.

There are usually well established keynote Speakers, this year included Nick Dudman, Danys Sanys and  a masterclass presentation by the multi talented Alex Box. These talks are supported by lectures and demonstrations by makeup artists working in fashion, film and theatre industries. This year there was a panel to discuss the use of social networking in the Makeup Industry and the lineup included the delightful Chapman sisters known as Pixiwoo. It was a very interesting discussion to a packed out audience.

I love this yearly event and it gives me to a chance to catch up with lots of people I enjoy spending time with.

There are two Makeup competitions, Fantasy and Prosthetics for students and new graduates to enter. There are 7 finalists for each category selected by a professional team called in to view candidates photographs at the head office of the Makeup Artist magazine. The finalists have 2 hours to create their design which is then judged by a team of leading Makeup Artists.

Loren Hucken - 1st Place in the fantasy Makeup competition

Graduates from WTC have won the Fantasy Makeup category at IMATS for the last 5 years. It is something we are very proud of.

Our stand for WTC was next to Illamasqua who were creating vibrant and colourful designs. The creative team includes some of our wonderful graduates. There were demos on the PAM stand by Kate Benton, Shaunna Harrison and Makeup Forever.

The MAC Pro team were demonstrating body painting, their stand was in huge demand all weekend. On the equally busy Charles Fox stand there were a wide number of demonstrations going on, including Drag Queen makeup.

There were very creative designs being demonstrated on the AOFM stand for fashion makeup and also expert body painting by the very talented Carolyn Roper  

It is a great event for Makeup Artists to network,share, learn new products and ideas and I would recommend any students studying makeup to save up and attend the IMATS London event in Feb 2012. Details are available at and click onto the IMATS site for details of all their shows around the world.