It's FRIDAYYYYY! Woohoo! I am so excited to have this week's featured artist, Kyrsta Morehouse. She is an incredibly talented artist who got her first job running and creating prosthetics in the 11th grade! Her passion could light up an entire room, and her talent will leave you in awe. She won 2nd place at IMATS in London. I can tell this one is a true gem in our industry and I can already see she is going to be AMAZINGLY successful in this industry.
1. Tell us about yourself (where you're from, how you got into makeup, etc)
Im from Sonora; its a small town in northern California in the middle of nowhere. I started out as an actress actually, I even went to a performing arts high school and everything! Then sometime in my sophomore year of high school I fell into the blood and gore side of special makeup effects and got hooked! Everyday when I got home from school I would just go and lock myself in my room and create something (keep in mind this was before I knew professional tools and was just using Elmers glue, tissue, and the really bad gel blood from Halloween stores). I slowly started to research and find the professional methods and tools for makeup and was obsessed! I ended up getting my very first makeup job my junior year of high school in Sacramento. I worked in the shop creating and running prosthetics. We also fabricated different costume and prop pieces, then also worked doing application of all the makeups at a Callson Manor. After that, I realized that my crazy hobby could actually be a career.
2. You attended MUD, what was your experience like?
Yes I went and did the Master Program immediately after I graduated high school! I loved my time at MUD! It really helped me refine my technique and skills. It also opened me up to the world of beauty makeup. Until that point I had only ever enjoyed doing crazy special effects and blood, beauty was so boring to me. However, I fell in love with both beauty and avant garde in school which was something I did not expect at all. One of my favorite things about MUD is that it feels like a family from the staff members and teachers to the students. Luckily, that family still exists after you graduate and my teachers have been huge blessings in my career.
3. Your work is so incredible, where do you get your inspiration from?
Thank you so much! Inspiration is always such a loaded question! I feel like you can find inspiration from just about anything if you are just open to it. In the last year I have been super inspired by paintings, specifically thick acrylic paintings and watercolor. I love the way the art really feels alive in them. Its so satisfying to me to watch videos online of artists painting and just seeing their use of colors and mediums to bring their images alive. As a makeup artist we start with a 3d canvas but they have to start with just a blank page and that is so inspiring to me. I also have always had a fascination with abandon things and how they weather when they are left alone. A great example of this is abandoned amusement parks, there is just such a beauty in the juxtaposition of a happy joy filled place now overrun with weeds and spider webs.
4. Tell us your experience winning at IMATS!
Battle of the Brushes was an incredible experience! I first competed in 2016 in London which was unforgettable if for no other reason then I got to go to London! Then to take 2nd place on top of that the all the talented artists and connections I made there, it was amazing. I was also fortunate enough to compete again in LA this year and take first place. It meant so much because you know that the judges are professional makeup artists in the industry, so they really know what they are talking about when they critique your work. The whole experience really pushed me as an artist in many ways but mainly because you have to learn to design the paint scheme of the character but you dont actually know the shapes of the face or anything since you dont get the prosthetics till about a half hour before application! Talk about nerve wracking!!
5. What is your favorite piece of work you are most proud of that you have worked on?
My favorite makeup that I have done is probably a watercolor inspired clown that I did as a demo for MUD at Monsterpalooza in 2016. I still see things I would love to change or do differently if I ever did it again, but it was just a really fun makeup to do and still draws me in whenever I look at picture of it. But my favorite project would have to be a film called 'Ben Is Dead' that I was the makeup department head on. There was nothing outrageous or special about the makeups that I got to do but the experience itself was unforgettable. We filmed up in Minnesota and back in LA with a super talented cast and crew that became a little family. Our incredible director Lisa Dooley made it an amazing experience for everyone involved and all that teamwork payed off to because the movie itself came out amazing! Huge thanks to my key makeup artist Chris Finley!
6. Who are your biggest mentors?
Big go to mentor to ask for advice is Ray Shaffer who was actually one of my teachers at MUD. He and I both have very different styles so we are able to teach each other new things or new ways of doing things which is really cool. He is also really good at pushing me outside my comfort zone and I always know I have him in my corner for help, advice, or a pep talk.
7. If you could work on any project or for any artist, what would you choose?
I feel like for this generation of makeup artists this is the go to answer but I would love to work for Eryn Krueger Mekash specifically for American Horror Story, but any project really! We met back at IMATS London when she was one of my judges and I hope one day we get to work together. She has such a amazing eye for makeup and working on a show like AHS, that gives such a variety of makeup opportunity, is any artists dream I think. Fingers crossed!
8. All of us go through times of struggle as makeup artists, what do you do during these times to keep yourself motivated?
It can definitely be really hard sometimes, especially during the slow time in freelance. But something that I am really blessed to have is a really supportive family who is my team of cheerleaders when I get down. My parents are really good at pushing me to never stop chasing my dreams, even when its hard. Something that Deverill Weekes always says is "You arent a makeup artist because you want to be, you are because you have to be." I think of that alot when I am struggling and it pulls me back. There is always something that pulls me back not necessarily because I want to, but because something inside me has to and I think all artists have that whether or not they are aware of it.
9. What advice would you give to other aspiring makeup artists who want to get into this industry?
I would say do what you can to make yourself the best artist you can be. Practice, practice, practice. Research, research, research. Be professional and love what you are doing.
10. Describe “what it takes” to be a successful makeup artist today:
I think it takes passion. That might seem a little simple but I think its true. If its not something that your passionate about then you will just sit back and hope something comes to you. But if this is your passion, then you will work as hard as you can to reach your dreams.
You can find Kyrsta on Instagram at @dramaticfx_makeup and see her full portfolio at www.kyrstamorehouse.com
And guest what! We are gearing up for our next makeup challenge coming this Fall! We will announce the guest judge and the theme VERY SOON! If you would like to sign up to be on our waiting list to join the fun challenge, submit your email below!
I hope you enjoyed this interview and picked up on some inspiration! Don't forget to grab your copy of our film What It Takes! This film will inspire you and motivate you while the times are tough. With over 20 award winning makeup artists sharing their wisdom and support, you are SURE to leave undoubtedly inspired and empowered to live your dreams!
You can purchase an extended DVD of the film HERE
If you would like to purchase a digital download, CLICK HERE
Follow us on instagram @whatit_takesfilm
Have a wonderful FRIDAY!
Amber Talarico and Kenneth Alexander. Amber is the Director of What It takes, and Kenneth is the producer. Our mission is to motivate, inspire and empower freelance makeup and special FX artists around the world to pursue their dreams by sharing knowledge, encouraging artists at all stages, and bring a voice to our industry as professional makeup artists!