Artist Interview: My chat with Face Off’s Ve Neill

One of my favorite moments from The Makeup Show in Los Angeles this year was having the opportunity to sit down and talk with the one and only Ve Neill!

20140301_192935You may know her from  SyFy’s Face Off, a great reality show where special effects makeup artist’s compete in fascinating challenges to create the best human artwork you have ever seen. The show gives you a look into the process that goes into what it takes to create special effects characters, like aliens and horror characters,  that we see in the movies.

If you haven’t see the show (you should watch because its fascinating!), you may not have seen Ve Neill, but you have seen her work for sure. She is the master of makeup behind some of our most beloved characters, such as Mrs. Doubtfire, Edward Scissorhands (I think this was one of the first movies I saw in the theater and it was life changing!) and Beetlejuice. She was the creative genius behind the looks we saw in the Hunger Games, Pirates of the Caribbean and the first Star Trek film. Her thirty year career is impressive and it was an honor to sit and talk with such an amazing artist.

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I wasn’t expecting to be able to have the opportunity. It first day of the Makeup Show, and I was fighting the exhaustion of the previous day’s travels from the East Coast. It was easy to keep going because there was so much excitement around me from the amazing education to the products the brands had to offer. As a blogger, I had a press pass and I got an unexpected invite to a press event that evening right after the show ended that day. The event was put on by Crown Brushes and was hilighting the new brush line they had for Ve’s brushes. I wasn’t going to miss that!

20140301_181349 Luckily, I had the forethought to jot down a few questions in my notebook, JUST IN CASE, I had the impromptu chance to talk with a pro that you may be interested in. I had no idea it would be her! Below are a few questions that I asked her…

What would you choose as a career or job, if were not a makeup artist?

She said she would either make jewelry or have an antique store. I thought that was a pretty brilliant answer! Then she shared with me that she used to make jewelry for fun, and as a hobby…can you believe this woman has time for a hobby?  A little known fact, the beads that Johnny Depp wore in his hair for Pirates of the Caribbean are from her jewelry making collection!

What is the project you are most proud of? Or a project that was most challenging or most fun?

She has done so many impressive projects, I was embarrassed to ask this question! She did tell me that she is very proud to have created brushes for the everyday woman to use. (You can check them out here, Im seeing like 10 more that I want now!)

I also asked Ve what is next for her, she said that she would love to have an exclusive line with a department store like Nordstrom. She also wants to create tools and products at a price point that would make them available to students. Ve believes (and I agree!) that students must have great tools available to them to excel! I would love to see Ve create a product line, how about you?

What is your must have, can’t live without tool or product that is always in your kit?

Ve loves this Kabuki brush for applying liquid foundation and liquid products. She is never without it!

What is your biggest piece of advice for someone at any phase in their journey as a makeup artist?

“Never compromise your art!” She added that you must be flexible enough to make adjustments but do not compromise your art! I love this. Thank you, Ve Neill!

20140301_183350 Just having the opportunity to talk with such a talented artist and legend in the industry was an honor! Seeing her new brush line, by Crown Brushes (shown above) was amazing. But watching the talented special effects artists, work on these characters, live at the event was super impressive.  If you have the chance to make it to the Makeup Show in Orlando this weekend, do not miss it! Its the last one of the year, so if you can’t make it, plan to visit one next year.

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Im thinking about trying to make it to Chicago in June or Dallas in September. Which one will you be at?

Thank you, Krystal from Beauty By Krystal, for sharing your photos from that evening with me. I met at The Makeup Show in Los Angeles, she rocks!. See her post on her chat with Ve here. 

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Tweet: New post on #MMMUA of my interview with @veneill at @TheMakeupShow @crownbrush event earlier this year. http://ctt.ec/ZdbN1+

The Makeup Show Los Angeles 2014

There is so much I want to tell you about my experience at the Los Angeles Makeup Show this past March. I don’t even know where to start! (which is why it took me so long to write this!)…..I posted my recap of top moments on my other blog that you can find here.

One (of the many) thing that really rocked my socks was being able to sit down and chat with some industry greats. I got a chance to talk with James Vincent, Orlando Santiago and Ve Neill. Here is a little snippet of what we talked about.

Let’s start with Orlando, an education focused beauty artist. I really enjoyed talking with Orlando. We share a passion for beauty makeup and on going education.  One of the first questions that I asked Orlando was who is ideal client is. He told me that his ideal client is the every day woman, which was nice to hear. It is a common misconception that an artist with a resume like Orlando would only be interested in  high fashion or celebrity clients. It is nice to hear an artist like Orlando talk about real beauty on real women.

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In addition to being a working artist and educator, Orlando recently launched his own academy in Orlando, Florida. When I asked him what project he has worked on that he is most proud of, he said the school for sure. The answer was the same when I asked him to tell me about the biggest risk he had taken in his career. It is no surprise that the academy felt like a big risk but is also his total pride and joy. Thinking big and taking risks, leads to big rewards and that is what keeps a driven artist like Orlando moving onward and upward.

The academy offers both day and evening classes to accommodate people’s needs. Two week intensive programs are also available. Even though I have been a working artist for going on 12 years now, I would LOVE to have the opportunity to experience a 2 week intensive at the Academy! That would be a total dream come true! And don’t worry, I would report back on all the juicy details because you know I love to share!

I asked Orlando to share his biggest advice for an artist at any point in their career. It was no surprise that his answer went right back to his passion….education! This guy has great experience and knowledge of the beauty industry to share. If you have the opportunity to learn from him, soak it up!

One of my favorite questions to ask any person who has excelled in their career, is what would they be doing if they were doing something totally different. This is always a fun question for creative people. Orlando says that he would still be something creative, probably a sculptor or clothing designer. Given an extra minute to think about it, he says “or a UFC fighter!”, which is just an awesome answer!  I could totally see it, Orlando is super fit!

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Follow Orlando on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. For more information on the Academy, email them here.

If you get the opportunity to attend The Makeup Show in any city, make sure to sign up for a class with Orlando.