“Never put your faith in a Prince. When you require a miracle, trust in a Witch.”
― Catherynne M. Valente,
Okay, so they may not be witches, but we think they’re just as badass. They are a team of four makeup artists from Brisbane; Jessica Ritchie, Madison Griinke Visser, Sophie Thorpe and Taylor Regan. As recently graduated artists, they all shared a hunger and desire to continue creating and learning; a practice they felt worked best when they worked together. Consequently, The Coven FX Crew was born. This fierce girl gang of talent have spent the past year growing their creative collective by constantly challenging themselves to create different characters and makeups with their ever growing skillset.
Despite their tendencies to veer towards horror and fantasy concepts, they also love the thrill of doing realistic wounds and beauty looks as well. Nothing is off limits, and nothing is impossible when they work together. “Something that we’ve learnt by working as a team is that we all compliment one another’s strengths and provide ourselves with the opportunity to learn from each other to stay motivated.”
(Encapsulated prosthetic by Madison Visser, Group shot at Fright Night 2016)
Despite studying at the same Academy, these four girls happened upon each other for the first time last year, when offered the chance to do work experience for Warner Bros. Movieworld’s Fright Night event on the Gold Coast. A crew of artists and students were hired and had the fun task of creating a myriad of character makeups for the event. At the helm was Emma George and Sean Genders (of JMB FX Studio), backed up by a team of makeup artists to guide the students. As the weeks passed, the four girls hit it off and worked perfectly in sync as a team. Sean noticed their enthusiasm and offered them new challenges each week.
“We found that we worked really well together. We fed off each other and created more as a team than we could have on our own. After graduating, we knew we didn’t want to stop creating monsters and growing our skill set so we started setting our own goals, creating our own ‘assignments’ and from then on we became the Coven FX Crew.”
(Aging with Latex by Jess Ritchie, Honeycomb disease by Madison Visser)
It seems they find inspiration in both common and unlikely places. “There are no boundaries. Sometimes we’re inspired by other artists, paintings, random household items, nature eg. patterns of leaves or even by historical figures or different cultures. Majority of the time we’ll be walking through the aisles at Bunnings and OP shops sourcing out different materials to work with when an epiphany will kind of just hit us in the face. Even when going for a coffee together we are constantly bouncing ideas off each other and inspiring ourselves to go bigger and bolder.”
There’s no doubt that the reason they’ve learnt so much in the past year is motivation, encouragement and the simple act of ‘doing’. “We keep motivated by surrounding ourselves with people who share our passion and teammates who push us to do our absolute best.”
We are currently existing in a time where makeup schools are churning out hundreds of students a year. When I asked them what their advice was to other fellow up-and-coming artists, their answer proved to me that taking in the wisdom they’ve been given and showing true passion has set them up for a bright future.
“Stick to your guns and believe in yourself. Don’t ever doubt your abilities, because once you do, others will too. Be critical on how you can improve and always take constructive criticism in your stride; a thick skin will get you far. Be humble, be the hardest working person in the room, that means the first to arrive and the last to leave, even if it means you’re cleaning up everyone else’s mess.”
(Demon by Taylor Regan, Warrior by Sophie Thorpe )
Take a closer look at the awesome work they’re doing on their facebook. We love to support artists who are being assertive and enthusiastic towards improving their skills. “We love a good challenge, working with likeminded people in an industry where you have to give it your all (+ 10% extra), and to be always creating and learning.”