We sat down with special effects makeup artist Alexandrea (Alex) Fiorante, 19, to learn about her art.
The path to her mini career was not expected. A lover of art itself, her special effects makeup career began from watching just one YouTube video. She loves Halloween and the month of October, and bases most of her face painting off of creepy Halloween characters.
Sarah: What got you interested in special effects makeup artistry? Alex: Youtube back in the 8th grade I would watch all of these makeup artists all the time. There was one girl that I specifically found …. And I was like oh that’s so cool! And then I made one video, back in ninth grade for halloween, and I was like I want to do this all the time! I just did it once a year, and then last year I was like, I want to do all of October, and it just continued on to this year, and I hope I do this next year… But it was literally one girl on the internet - and I was like YES.
S: Who or what inspires you? A: There’s a girl, her [YouTube] name is madeyewlook by Lex…. She’s a big advocate for art. There are girls I know who do art - like the face painting - for publicity reasons. They’ll do it [to say] Oh look what I can do!... and they’ll get mad when people copy their look. She’s making tutorials so people can copy them for the sake of learning and the sake of creating, and I really respect that as an artist. I want people to take from me as well, and to build how they want their own style.
S: What is the difference between where you started and where you are now? A: I did it because I do fine art as well, like with paint, and it was just something fun to do. I was like that’s really cool - I can put this on my face, I can make myself look like this person! And at first I did youtube to share with my family. And then I made a couple friends on the internet who were sending me videos as well, and we kind of did collaborations together - it was like a community type of deal. And then since that , Lex on madeyewlook created a video talking about the concept of the family - like you’re an internet family - and you’re doing things to teach people, to inspire other people, and I was like, Yeah I respect that as well and I want to do something like that. So when I make videos, I make them step by step so that people can also create them as well. I like to inspire people .... I want people to make something cool from my cool.
S: Did you ever expect to become this involved? A: I wanted to get into art, but then I was told by people, like, what are you going to do with that? Are you gonna paint forever? Are you going to be a starving artist? And I was like yeahhhh, but then I was like well it is just a side thing - something for when I was bored… and it was something I didn’t think would happen. I was like oh there is no way I could make a living, because at the time, it wasn’t something I knew a lot about, so it wasn’t really something I had thought about at the beginning. And then as I started doing it I was like I could do this on a personal stand; I could do this forever, I could enjoy doing this for the rest of my life.
S: How are you expanding your audience? A: I was really difficult to even reach 100 followers. I feel like the best way to build yourself is to respect other people’s art, so I follow and leave comments on the things I like. I was a beginner as well so I knew that everyone needs a boost, everyone starts off one way and then they can become a great artist. It is difficult to find people who wanted to help, who are going to push you to continue. Some people would just disregard your comment completely, or wouldn’t follow you back - I’m not upset if they don’t follow back - but to build a brand is difficult.
S: Are you working with anyone, or mainly independent? A: I only have about 500 [Instagram] followers, but I’ll talk to people I know, and family, who work in movies, or friends who work on short films. I have people say to me, In the future maybe we could do this, and sometimes it doesn’t always work out or out or I’m still waiting on something like that to happen. So I’m still in the very early stages of creating myself and finding out where I want to go with it.
I want [collaborations] to happen for the sake that I can learn more, but right now it’s very difficult aside from doing little halloween pieces. So I wait until halloween to do makeup.
S: Anything new upcoming? A: I wanted to do the zodiacs. So every month I was gonna do [them]. I’m really big on astrology. Also, I wanted to do all of the original horror stories, like Frankenstein, and kind of just reinvent those a bit throughout October. It’s going to be fun to do that blast from the past, because everyone’s a devil for halloween or a cat, so I’ll make it into something no one’s seen or have a different take on it. I want to do cute ones as well… and not everyone is into that sexy kitty… and not everybody wants to paint their entire face and look like a cat. I want to target everybody so everyone has ideas of what they want to do and how they can take from mine and make it theirs, or how they can use aspects of mine and make it sexy or make it not as sexy… maybe cough up a hairball, I don’t know whatever anyone wants.