It’s come to that time when we can start announcing judges for the Face To Face Makeup Awards!

Over the next few weeks we will be slowly announcing our judges on www.twosixandbrush.com so keep your eyes peeled.

I am super excited to be involved as coordinator this year and one of my main priorities for the competition was to have judges involved who are exactly the kind of people whom competitors would (and probably will) fall over each other to showcase their work to. What more could you ask for? An opportunity to meet, show off to and receive valuable feedback about your work to those industry leaders whom can make a difference to your career! The judges we have for 2012 are all amazing in their own careers and passionate enough about the industry we are all working in to freely give their time as a judge. We cannot thank them enough.

We have decided to slowly announce the judges as we don’t believe the judges should be the main motivation for your entry… but a personal challenge for yourself as an artist to challenge yourself and indulge your determination, creativity and gumption.

This year we have two new categories – Beauty Editorial and Film Fantasy SPFX.

What a more fitting way to proceed with our announcements by starting with a star judge from our new category Film Fantasy SPFX.


You know you are an uber talented SPFX Makeup Artist when your credit list reads like this:
Currently working on Mad Max 4 Fury Rd.
The Great Gatsby.
The Cup.
Where The Wild Things Are.
Superman Returns.
Ghost Rider.
Star Wars Ep 3 Revenge of the Sith.
Star Wars Ep 2 The Clone Wars.
Farscape Television Series, seasons 1-4.
The Oyster Farmer.
The Matrix Revolutions.
The Matrix Reloaded.
Red Planet.
Queen of the Damned.
Babe Pig in the City.

Adam Johansen is one of  two directors at Odd Studios based here in Sydney. Odd Studio is a team of artists and technicians specialising in prosthetic make up, creature effects, animatronic characters, special effects, props and models. With each partner having 20 yrs of experience on a diverse range of projects, they have helped to realise and give life to ideas and creative visions.

I spent some time with Adam asking about his career as well as anything that will inspire the entrants of the SPFX category. We couldn’t be more honoured and excited to have Adam on board. If you are entering this category… you are bound to have a super valuable experience!

If you have not already entered … visit here:

It’s not long until the Sydney International Spa and Beauty Expo… time to get creating!

REMEMBER – all details are on the website and the theme is THE OSCARS…. show off! Create! There are no restrictions to your imagination.

May The Force Be With You… ( ha ha sorry Adam I couldn’t resist )

Becca – I get asked to describe a typical day for me at work all the time and I find it almost impossible to answer… as no two days are the same. So I am going to make it easy… what have you been up to lately?
Adam – We’ve been working on Mad Max 4 Fury Rd full time since the end of January. We worked on it for a while last year before it was put on hold. Prior to that we have done a few really nice, subtle make up jobs on various commercials, namely the Bupa “healthy you” campaign.

B – What made you get into spfx makeup?
A – As a child, I was totally obsessed with monsters and aliens and could not get enough of films such as the original Star Wars, E.T., Gremlins, The Dark Crystal, The Thing & The American Werewolf in London to name a few.
To be honest, I really didn’t think making creatures/monsters for a living was an option unless you lived in Hollywood or London. Therefore, although always very creative as a child making, sculpting and drawing characters & creatures, I never considered it something I could pursue as a career until I met someone that had a friend in the film industry. From that point on, with the help and support of my parents, I did pursue it whole heartedly and landed a job creating animatronic creatures and characters for Warner Brothers Theme Parks around the world. This was before Fox Studio’s were built and before the days of the Hollywood blockbuster being made here so by the time that happened, I was lucky enough to already have 5 yrs experience making characters which made me very employable on those projects.

When you were first starting out… what do you think it was that built you into the working artist you are today?
Passion for what you do and a love for being creative are obviously very important to have but I really believe a good work ethic is imperative to being successful in any career choice. When I started out I was very competitive and I think that is necessary to some degree, as long as you are always aware of maintaining respect for those artists that have more experience than yourself and you always show gratitude when they take time to teach you. I was always aware of how lucky I was for having the opportunity to be making a living doing something I love. Actually, that’s never changed. To answer the question directly, hard work, practise, passion, dedication, respect and being sociable to those you work for/with are the things I strived for when I started out and I believe they made me the artist I am today. I have always tried to maintain sight of those things and 20yrs into my career I still think they’re all absolutely necessary.

What was your biggest challenge starting out and how did you move forward?
It was challenging at times to find the patience to do the jobs that weren’t “creatively” satisfying although imperative to the process of creating characters. From an early age and because of my particular skill and understanding of the process, I was often pigeon holed in the mould making department. Although this is one of THE most important departments to be in, it isn’t particularly artistic. To get myself into a position of sculpting/designing for example, I had to prove I was good enough to leave the mould dept. I have done that over the years, but I’m sure it was more difficult for me than if I had started off in the design dept. It just took a little extra effort to prove myself.

What do you consider has been your career highlight?
As stated before I loved the early Star Wars films and characters. Not least was Darth Vader so I was thrilled to be part of a small team that realised the new Darth Vader for the later Star Wars films. Building the new Darth Vader suit remains my career highlight because of my childhood obsession and the fact that Vader is such an Iconic figure.

Sometimes a career highlight is apart from most favourite and satisfying job… what has been your fondest career moment?
Yes, although Vader was the most notable creation, he wasn’t mine by any means.  Often in “film land” an artist and their vision can get lost in the “film machine” as there are so many people involved in any decision. It is satisfying being part of a team but sometimes it’s the lower budget films, tv shows or commercials that allow you to create something which has more of your own, individual stamp on it which can be more satisfying on a personal level. I’m never totally happy with my work and there is always something I’d change in retrospect but I do have some favourites. For me, the factors that make a job memorable are many and include things such as the time given, the budget and or other constraints and how much of your own design ends up being produced. Personally, although it wasn’t the most well received character, Charles the ING Orangutan was quite enjoyable. At the time, it was a real battle and I had a hard time trying to please the client/agency/production company because so much was riding on this new character as they looked to rebrand. In the end, most of his look was my realisation and although some decisions were made without our approval (you can’t have it all your way) regarding performance/voice etc, I find him visually pleasing as did the client.

What advice would you give to aspiring artists looking to get into the SPFX makeup for the film industry?
It’s clichéd to say this, but you need to be 110% committed and sure this is what you want to do. It’s a tough industry to be in and it’s not as glamorous as it sounds. Basically, you need to be more passionate and obsessed with creating characters than just thinking it’s cool! You need to be constantly producing your own work, honing your skills and developing a folio to show prospective employers. Whenever someone comes to our studio to show us their work, someone who has just left school or finished a course, I’m always hoping they have gone above and beyond what the course/school has asked of them.
They are the ones that stand out, the ones that need to create. I’m not too worried about their quality at that early stage, I’m more interested in their drive and dedication to creating work.

What do you think is the biggest misconception of the SPFX industry?
That it’s glamorous and you’ll automatically make loads of money because you work on films!

What advice do you want to give all entrants in the SPFX category?
Have fun and create something that inspires you. Use this opportunity to bring to life something YOU like, not something you think the judges will like.

What’s next for you?
That’s the beauty and the curse of what we do, you never really know.

If there was a machine that made robot spfx makeup artists and you had full control… what features would you include as standard for these robots?
Commitment, politeness and respect, passion, drive and a healthy obsession with film characters!

Thanks for your time Adam! We look forward to seeing you at the Expo!