Your Dream Design Job: Makeup Design for Film

connie deadly fx.jpg

Your Dream Design Job is an event that is taking place as part of Belfast Design Week this November. It is a day of inspirational talks and workshops aimed to help designers take the right steps to achieve their dream design career. The day will involve design skills training that will provide industry-specific skills and knowledge. 

We got in touch with some young designers who are currently working towards their dream design job and found out about their plans for the future and how the growth of the creative industry in Northern Ireland will help them achieve these goals.

Connie McGrath is a make-up artist, based in Belfast. She graduated from the University of Ulster with a degree in Fine and Applied Art and has worked on many productions of music, film and theatre. Connie has also worked on Universal’s production of Dracula: Untold and The Lost City of Oz. This year Connie has designed, created and started a business selling hand-crafted make-up FX sculpting tools, ‘Deadly FX’.

Initially, Connie decided to start making the tools simply to see if she had the skills, after being inspired by Stuart Bray who worked on Saving Private Ryan and Game of Thrones, and makes his own sculpting tools. After attending the International Makeup Artists Tradeshow, Connie was encouraged to continue making more of the tools after a lot of positive responses by other make-up artists.

Connie continued working with different types of wood and explored many different design techniques to create the rustic look and also to achieve a study grip while sculpting. She aims to grow the business eventually but says “it’s currently a work in progress that I fit in around my other jobs. It’s time consuming and takes a good deal of practice and determination.” Connie currently advertises her work on her website and other online media including Etsy, she believes that often, the advertising of a product is just as important as its creation. “If you want people to know what you and if you feel people will benefit from your product, it is worth putting the effort in and getting your brand out there.”

The rise of film production in Northern Ireland has been extremely beneficial to Connie’s career, “with the newly opened Harbour Film Studios, the creative industry appears to be blossoming.” She observes that there is a lot more demand for skilled artists and creatives due to the growth in film and television and that they will continue to create jobs as they advance.

We asked Connie about her plans for developed and evolving her dream design job, “I would like to continue to create and sell my sculpting tools. … I believe other Artists would benefit from, and enjoy using my product and that drives the creative process. Plus, I love making them.”. This business, she suggests, will run alongside her other business of Beauty/Wedding Make-up and FX as she created the tools to suit her personal needs within the industry and enjoys the creativity that goes with applying makeup and FX for film..

Your Dream Design Job is on Sunday 5th November at the Ulster Museum: