Special Make-up Effects Artist Don Lanning at MUD Industry Speaks

Special Make-up Effects Artist Don Lanning at MUD Industry Speaks

“If you feel you are an artist, you owe it to yourself to be an artist.” Don Lanning

Don Lanning was born in Van Nuys, California in the heart of Hollywood’s creature effects community. With early heroes Dick Smith, John Chambers, Stan Winston, Rick Baker and Rob Bottin as guides, Don started sculpting creatures at 10 years old. Don is known for his consistent ability to deliver the highest quality work at lightning speed on projects from conservative realism to the archetypes of horror, fantasy, and science fiction.

Industry Speaks: Special Make-up FX Artist Norman Cabrera

“Never be discouraged…” This was just one of many pieces of advice that Norman Cabrera gave to a room full of peers, fans, MUD students, graduates, and aspiring make-up artists attending Make-up Designory’s Industry Speaks. With over 20 years of special make-up FX experience and a resume that is just as tall as he is, it was certain that this advice would leave a lasting impression and serve as food for thought for those who were hungry to hear more about Norman’s roadmap to a career as one of the most sought after special make-up FX artists.

It was an informal gathering, almost like having a beer with an old friend -- discussing work, family and the thing you loved most, in this case FX make-up. “I want this to be informal, like a chat,” he said, and encouraged the crowd to throw out questions as he talked. The first being, “How did you get started?”

MUD Alumni Shine Backstage at MISS USA

Ashley Guirdy with Nia Sanchez

And the 2014 MISS USA winner is … Nia Sanchez representing the state of Nevada! Last Sunday, the fourth-degree black belt beauty received the MISS USA 2014 Tiara amidst a cheering crowd at the Civic Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  As the official cosmetics sponsor for MISS USA and MISS TEEN USA, Make-up Designory congratulates all of this year’s beautiful contestants!

It has been an absolute thrill to have taken part in this event which included not only the sponsorship for cosmetics, but the opportunity to have a special team of MUD Make-up Artists chosen by Sean Conklin, Lead Artist to make-up all 51 of the MISS USA contestants for the registration and fitting events, photo shoots, the dress rehearsals and the live show.

The MUD Alumni team of make-up artists included Lauren Smeraglia, Ashley Guirdy, Vanessa Moreno, Chelsea Wallace, Jessica Poche, Jill Pugh and Denise Zamora.

MUD Alumni Spotlight: Make-up Artist Jackie Caruso

At Make-up Designory Schools, our most important goal is to provide our students with the education and experience needed to be successful in the make-up industry. Whether it’s working on a movie set as a special make-up effects artist, or beautifying brides in the billion dollar bridal industry, it is an imperative part our program that we are an available and active resource to students even after graduation. In our “Alumni Spotlight Stories” we are proud to share the accomplishments of MUD Alumni to inspire, take pride in and applaud the great artists in the Make-up Industry.

Alumni Spotlight: Jackie Caruso
Contributor: StaciaMcCarthy

Industry Speaks: Camden Toy of Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Camden Toy of Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Camden Toy is an actor, screenwriter, and editor whose love for acting and make-up runs deep into his childhood. He spent an afternoon with our students, graduates and fans discussing his passions, sharing his love of theater and theater performances, actors and artisans, make-ups and monsters.

Camden has had a fascination with the world of fantasy, classic horror and the make-ups that brought these characters to life from an early age. His father Malcolm was a make-up artist who had worked under Wally Westmore at the Paramount lot.

Camden shares a story of his first experiences with make-up. As a boy of no older than about 8 years old, his father found him rummaging through his make-up kit. Camden fondly recalls how his father leaned into him and quietly asks his son, “Do you want me to show you how to use that?”  Learning to apply old age make-up, with a putty nose and a fake beard, Camden’s lifelong love of make-up began.

MUD at the International Make-up Artist Tradeshow (IMATS) 2014

The Pasadena Civic Center was surrounded by beauty enthusiasts over the weekend with a line of shoppers waiting to get their hands on the latest beauty tools and to see their favorite make-up artists at this year’s IMATS Los Angeles 2014.  The sold out show featured a slew of beauty product companies, schools and more.  Once you were in the door, the music and sounds of happy shoppers filled the air the entire weekend.

This year’s Pro Night was the most successful Pro Night in the IMATS history, tripling in size of attendees on Friday night, just before the show opened to the public.  The MUD booth featured Disney actress and commercial model Jaida Benjamin, as the MUD artists demonstrated several looks including the Deep Forest trend.

Zombie SFX Demonstration


Nothing says “Welcome to America” like an awesome Zombie SFX demonstration. Students from Fukuoka, Japan visiting Hollywood World Beauty College met at the MUD New York campus for an unforgettable class. The 30 students were lead by Craig Lindberg as he discussed the process of application and the art of special effects.

Q&A with Debra Johnson – Makeup Artistry School

Every once in a while I do something called “Just Ask”…meaning ask me anything beauty-related and then I post my answers in this Q&A beauty blog. I found this question pretty neat!

Q: When I grow up, I want to work as a makeup artist like you. I watch tons of YouTube videos about makeup. What is makeup artist school like, how long did you attend, and do you have to graduate from college first?

A: I attended a 4 year university and graduated with a degree in Marketing prior to attending makeup school. This is not something that is required, but the knowledge I’ve obtained does help in the business!

International Beauty Expo in Long Beach, CA

The MUD Team helped hairstylists and other beauty professionals learn more about the latest application methods at the Long Beach International Beauty Expo. Held on June 16th and 17th at the Long Beach Convention Center, this show featured a variety of vendors from all over the country. Sean Conklin, MUD Lead Make-up Artist, taught four classes while Matt Berenty, MUD’s Admissions Adviser, answered questions from prospective students.

Students in attendance ranged from hair stylists from California and Nevada to image consultants from South Africa. Special thanks to MUD graduates Krista Johnson and Ann Beckette, who lent their beautiful faces as models for the event!

A few key points made by Sean included:

MUD Graduate Sean Campbell Shares a Touching Story

Last year I totally thought that Mother’s Day was the first Sunday of May. I had a doctor’s appointment that Saturday at 1 pm, but I decided afterwards that I would drive from Milan to Naples that afternoon to surprise my mother that Sunday morning. The weather was rainy as I set out on the high, but the further south I got, the more the clouds broke up until a rainbow appeared over the hills of Tuscany. As I continued driving and the sun went down, a full moon gradually rose, turning into a super moon (meaning that the moon appears to 30 times bigger than usual.) I was about a few exits from Naples conversing on the phone with a friend when it was brought to my attention that Mother’s Day was the following weekend. None the less I bought my mom flowers and surprised her Sunday morning. She was even more surprised than she would have been if it were Mother’s Day because she was definitely not expecting it. It was one of the happiest times I had seen her those past years.