If you hadn’t already heard from my 300000 Twitter posts, I spent the past weekend at Toronto ComiCon 2016. It was such an incredible event, and you can hear all about what I did/saw/bought in this video. Combining geek culture and makeup has always been one of my biggest passions with this blog, so I was so excited when Daniella Pluchino (the celebrity makeup artist for Toronto ComiCon 2016), agreed to answer some questions for the blog. She is a total sweetheart, so please go show her some support and check out her website! If you want to hear about Daniella’s career in makeup artistry and some of her tips, keep reading!
How did you get into makeup artistry? Have you always known that was the career you wanted?
I love the idea of using a human body as a canvas. It brings your art to life in a much more literal sense.
I remember experimenting with simulated injuries in elementary school before I even knew special effects was a possible career path for me. (Gave myself a few fake black eyes to avoid gym classes…. Shhhhhhh don’t tell.)
I pretty much always knew this was the career path for me.
You work out of Toronto, so do you find the market for special effects or any type of makeup artistry is smaller than it would be in Los Angeles or Vancouver? Is it a difficult city to try to break in to the industry in?
Toronto’s film industry is an entity of its own. It’s been evolving so rapidly in the last few years or so, there’s a lot more demand for artists now- consequently there’s a lot of competition also.
Hollywood and Vancouver both have more feature films currently in production than Toronto does- hopefully that’ll be changing soon!
How did you get involved in doing celebrity makeup for conventions? And, were you attending cons before you started working at them?
I definitely was a long time fan before I considered makeup as a career. I loved cosplaying (still do!) Every convention in Toronto, I was there. I would spend months making props/costumes. Conventions are where I’d meet fellow cosplayers, meet talented artists, buy unfathomable amounts of merch and comics, and MAYBE be able to get an autograph from my favourite celebrities.
So, when myself and fellow MUA Margaux Thornton were approached with the opportunity to work at our first convention together, we jumped at the opportunity! There was no way I could say no – now we just wrapped ComicCon Toronto, we were very happy to be back!
(Shout out to Margaux, she’s an insanely talented MUA check out her Instagram page @MakeupbyGaux)
What style of makeup that is your favorite to do for work (special effects, glamour, movie/tv. etc)? Do you have a particular shoot or project that stands out as your favorite/best work?
I love sculpting so prosthetics/special effects is definitely one of my favourites. I love doing straight film makeup.. Having to make someone look flawless with a “no makeup make-up” even in 4K.. Exhilarating!
I know working at conventions you probably have to hold in your fangirl quite a bit! Who is one of the most exciting celebrities you have worked on?
You’re totally right! I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan. I had the chance to meet Tom Felton, Rupert Grint, the Phelps twins while in the green room prepping for a different client last year. I remember I consciously tried to play it cool around them but when I left work that day I fangirled like crazy! I told everyone I met them, changed my cover photo on Facebook to a photo I took with the gang. Same scenario with Mads Mikkelson from the TV series Hannibal!
What do you have in your kit that is a complete MUST HAVE item?
In my professional kit- My Dermacolor camouflage cream palettes – hands down! MUST HAVE in every kit!
In my personal kit- TARTE Amazonian 12 Hour Clay Foundation – Medium to Full Coverage.. Paraben free and SUPER gentle on easily irritated skin.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of becoming a makeup artist?
Have humility! I’m not afraid to say I don’t know everything. I embrace and encourage constructive criticism from those more experienced than myself.
Start Practicing! Use forums to get feedback on your work- take advice and improve.
If you’re interested in specifically SPFX- Reference photos! Reference photos! Reference photos! Find images of REAL wounds, abrasions, scars, skin abnormalities and learn about how skin reacts when undergoing trauma. Also, STUDY ANATOMY. Make your work realistic and anatomically possible. For example- It’s not anatomically possible to have have a water bottle half way through your forehead or a pencil through your nose (damn you YouTube tutorials plaguing young artists!
Thank you again, Daniella! I’m sorry we didn’t get to cross paths at Toronto ComiCon, but next time. Be sure to go check out Daniella’s website to see more of her amazing work.