I am so incredibly excited to have Joo Skellington as our Artist Feature Friday this week. He has been sweeping the internet and gone completely viral with his outstanding self applied Disney character makeups. We’re talking truly INCREDIBLE! I am so honored to have had him as our What It Takes Makeup Challenge winner not only once, but TWICE! I am sure you can all see why haha
1. Tell us about yourself! (Where are you from, how/why did you get into makeup?)
I am from Guadalajara Mexico and my Real Name is Jose Davalos. Since I was very very young I loved Arts, Like Drawing, Painting and Sculpting. I started doing my first prosthetics out of paper pulp, and I always loved transforming myself into characters from Movies. Also I used to steal my Grandma’s makeup and and I adored the way she was always glamorous with red lips and makeup! So I started doing that on my face, as well as wearing her vintage clothing to create costumes.
For sure at first they were all like… what is wrong with this dude wearing makeup and wigs, but whatever I never really cared too much about negativity… I also used to do makeups with my mothers beauty products.
I consider myself a Self Taught artist because I really never took anything and I manage to build my own portfolio by doing trial and error and experimenting.
And when I was in Middle, and High School I was in my own world making theatre plays, scenery, props and prosthetics. My mom and family always encouraged me to do art. And after a few years they also supported my makeup passion. My mom was always very supportive about me dreaming to become a disney artist and character designer.
I still practice everyday, so I would say that practicing and experimenting would be the way to go! and also getting out of your confort zone and challenging yourself everyday and try to be better person and an artist.
When youtube first started there was no makeup tutorials or gurus like nowadays, I would just watch the behind the scenes from movies, and I used to watch Rick Baker’s Channel on youtube, he is my inspiration since I was 8 years old.
2. Your makeups are outstanding, and self applied! How long does it typically take for you to apply these makeups?
it depends, if they are prepainted ita just a matter of Gluing all in place, blend the edges, match the color and so fome final shading, so usually an hour and a half if is not very complex. When its a Multi-Piece prosthetic it takes me about 2 to 2 1/2 hours, Bald caps often take me 40 min. And if my pieces are not prepainted, I have done it in 3-4 hours. Also if I am using Silicone or Acrylic based adhesive timing will vary.
I will often do a makeup test because I don’t like carryng to much stuff that you end up not needing, even for films, for the test I will have all my makeup in there, from beauty to Special Effects and after I am done with the design and final presentation I would make notes of what I used, what worked and what to be improved next time.
3. It’s so funny when people assume that it only takes 30 minutes to do a prosthetic makeup. Have you ever come across anyone who has thought it would only take you maybe an hour to apply these makeups?
All the time, and even more in this independent movies. But I really don’t care and I always manage to get enought time for me to do something. Even if the director is stubborn.
4. You attended makeup school, How was your experience? Do you feel it was vital in helping your career?
Yes I did! It was a beautiful experience! It’s my opinion that if you already know you like something and you have a previous experience, like learning by yourself, going to school will help you a lot to improve your skills.
I have a lot of friends that think by going to the best makeup school will make them a true artist, but I feel its more about your attitude and the people you decide to get around with and also your background. Going to school is just something to have a certificate and to challenge yourself with finals and being surrounded by the best artists from the field, but once you graduate you need to figure out what to do next.
5. Have you ever come across roadblocks in your career or times of struggle?
Yes, specially because I am not american and it seems to be a big deal here hahaha. This is my hardest struggle
6. What do you do to stay motivated during these times?
I try to be as busy as I can! that gives me energy and confidence! Also reading and asking for advice and trying to get around with people that are better than you that helps me a lot to grow and an artist.
Also Sculpting, I try to make a a lot of sculptures, doesn’t matter how many you make but if you make one it’s gotta be good. So I try to always push myself when sculpting, because we are lazy sometimes and we like saying “that is my style” but I feel that having a wide range of scultures helps a lot
7. What is your favorite part about being a makeup artist?
I love lab work, but finishing the final makeup is also very fascinating to me!
8. What has been something you have learned over your career that you would like to share with someone who aspires to be a successful makeup artist?
Not giving up even if the first result was not as you expected or if the crowd did not clap at it, Do your own research about how to do stuff and be creative in order to have nice Problem Solving Skills. Do not expect someone or somebody to make you the best at what you want to do in life, because at the end it is you who chooses the path and dream to be chased.
And latetly a lot of people will often confuse that Special Effects is taught by watching a cotton and latex tutorial and its not, there’s books now and really easy to find as well as Magazines like Makeup Artist Magazine and Prosthetics, who actually tells you how to do things right.
9. You were the top winner for TWO of our What It Takes challenge, tell us about your experience with that!
Oh wow it was great! My First one was my favorite! I loved meeting Erik Soto and all the Makeup from Kat Von D that I still have (and I am running out) gotta find more was amazing!
The 2nd contest was amazing as well! I loved the fact that the Judge was Doug Jones! I love his careeer and his Personality. After this contest a lot of my friends got to know what it takes and some of were inside future contests so I think is a really nice way to challenge yourself.
10. Lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring artists who are at a point of struggling to keep pushing forward in their careers?
Well life is about hard work, and working hard will pay off after time! So just keep practicing, be positive, challenge yourself and love yourself and what you do!
We can’t wait to see what else you create, Joo!
Follow Joo on Instagram @Jooskellinton as well as his Facebook page!
Joo has some serious talent and he always inspires me to push myself to be a better artist. Does anyone else agree?! haha!
Be sure to check out our website www.whatittakesfilm.com where you can find fun quizzes, inspiration, and freebies! Also, get your copy of our film What It Takes on either DVD or Digital Download. It is jam packed with nothing but passion, motivation and inspiration for those of us pursuing this crazy industry of makeup!
Until next time!