Rona has taken time out of her busy filming schedule (working alongside Peter Swords King) as his Main Team Junior on Spiderman – Home Coming 2, to tell us about her experiences since graduaion.
When did you decide you wanted to be a makeup artist?
Upon graduating with a Graphic Design degree in 2012, I realised I didn’t want to pursue a career in graphics. As much as I enjoyed the collaborative and creative aspects of the industry, I knew I didn’t want to be glued to a computer screen all day. Therefore, I decided to go back to the drawing board and list ALL the artistic fields I could potentially try… A Butcher, a Baker, a Candlestick Maker?!
‘Make-Up Artist’ was something that stuck, and before long I began to build a portfolio and submitted an entry for the Illamasqua ‘Distinction In Make-Up Artistry Awards’. Weeks later, I had been shortlisted for the final at BAFTA, and won my category! Everything really just snowballed from there…
Did you have a particular field you wanted to specialise in?
I’m currently working within Film & TV Drama, learning as much as I can from every specialism within these fields. My strengths lie within beauty make-up, but I love when I can push myself out of my comfort zone with hair, wigs & prosthetics.
Why did you choose BAMM?
I chose BAMM for many reasons. Firstly, it came with a fantastic reputation due to Peter Swords King as Creative Director and an incredible repertoire of industry-professionals as tutors. Secondly, the kit was second-to-none. As advertised, I received an abundance of well-known products and reliable tools that I continue to use to this very day. Lastly, the location was ideal. I adore the city of Bath and, living in Bristol, it was a perfect commutable distance for me.
Did your ideas of what you wanted to do following your training change during the course?
No, I had been building a career as a Make-Up Artist in the Fashion industry for a couple of years before re-training at BAMM. I decided Film & Television was where I wanted to progress my career, and that BAMM was the best place to refresh my knowledge and begin a new journey in the field.
What was your favourite bit?
My favourite bit, by far, was the prosthetics module with Darren! I started the module with a rather unusual idea for my final piece, however he was was so supportive of the concept and gave me so much trust and guidance throughout the making of it. I’m really proud of the work I produced, and learnt so much.
What was your first job following your training?
Following training at BAMM, my first job was as a Trainee on ‘Black Mirror’ for BAFTA Award-Winning Hair & Make-Up Designer, Magi Vaughan.
How long after leaving BAMM did it take you to get a foot in the door
It took a good three months or so. From endlessly researching credits and contacting industry professionals for opportunities, to demonstrating my skills and collaborating with local students on short film productions. I worked tirelessly, travelling to London on 3am coaches, creating custom props & prosthetic pieces, sleeping on location at caravan sites, etc. Needless to say… it wasn’t easy!
How did you get your in?
I was very methodical and persistent at contacting the right people, at the right time. Magi just so happened to need a Trainee at the time that I contacted her, and my tenacity thankfully paid off!
What have you worked on since?
Since ‘Black Mirror’, I’ve worked as a Trainee for several designers in Television & Film (‘Poldark’, Kiri, The War Of The Worlds & Born A King) and as a daily Trainee in crowd on ‘Artemis Fowl’ and ‘Stan & Ollie’. Most recently, I worked with Peter on pick-ups for ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ and I’m currently his Junior on ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming 2’!
What have been your highlights?
There’s too many to count! My experiences to-date, have all been so unique and wonderful, and I’m so grateful for all the amazing people that I’m meeting along the way.
Anything you would change?
What advise would you give to your younger self?
Do a barbering course… ASAP! (Speak to BAMM about the post Peter Swords King Barbering course)
What’s the dream?
I’d love to continue growing as a Junior in Film, with a view to progress to Artist when the time is right. Perhaps one day I may feel ready to supervise, or even design, but for now I’m so happy to simply learn from those around me and knuckle down on the job-at-hand.