Orientation 2018: Sheila Raghavendran

Video: Academy of Make Up Arts

Sheila RaghavendranMakeup students practice detail, creativity and patience
by Sheila Raghavendran

NASHVILLE, Tenn.__The students in the wig and hair design class haven’t cried in more than two weeks, and they’re proud.

“If you run out (crying), you best believe you’re coming back and putting your name back on the chart,” one of the students, Carson Pack, said with a laugh.

The students at the Academy of Make Up Arts (AMUA) keep the class crying log as a joke, but some days, they have plenty of reason to shed tears — like when they feel stressed after staying overnight in the classroom to finish projects, spending weeks tediously threading individual hair strands onto a wig, or, like today, not noticing until 2:30 p.m. that some had skipped lunch.

Kelsie Stimpert paints the ship she created for a class in wig and hair design at the Academy of Make Up Arts (AMUA) in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo: Sheila Raghavendran)

Since April, their crying chart has only two entries. Mostly, the students just laugh and support each other in their projects. It’s a testament to their high spirits even when stress is high, as it is with their current assignment: creating a ship-themed wig.

Student Julia Gallimore said she was excited about her design — a curled wig, crown of horns and pendant hanging from fishing line. Before enrolling in the class, Gallimore studied special effects makeup and said both sets of coursework are challenging.

“They’re very trying classes,” Gallimore said. “You really have to be…patient and trust yourself and your artistic judgment.”

It’s that word patience that Gallimore’s instructor, Michael Meyer, who teaches The Art of Wig and Hair Design, said is critical in makeup arts.

“We’re learning a trade where good results come with practice,” Meyer said. “That practice is sometimes very time consuming.”

In the special effects class, Gallimore created what she said is her favorite project: a demon character with horns down the head and spikes on the chest.

“The whole process was very long,” she said. “It took like a month to sculpt, run the appliances, and then we had to paint them. It was a mess, but it came together really well. You really have to work for what your idea is to really make it come to life.”

For the demon project, Gallimore said she textured the demon’s body by creating tiny pores over the surface. “I was here until 6 a.m. one night, just doing that nonstop,” she said.

For all the stress and effort, Gallimore said she doesn’t care about getting the credit. She said her dream job is to work on a big movie set, not for recognition, but to see how all the parts come together.

That’s the same sentiment she looks forward to in her own finished projects.

“Watching your piece come together and be what you had pictured in your mind is so rewarding,” Gallimore said. “I can’t even express how much it affects the way you appreciate your skills.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *