Monday, August 2, 2010

Interview with Emmy Award Winning Makeup Artist Patterson Regarding NOVA Fashion Week!

Interview with Emmy Award Winning Makeup Artist Susan Patterson

1. What made you decide to participate in NOVA Fashion Week (NOVAFW) and how do you feel about the event concept and location overall?
I have always wanted to become involved in a community based event in my hometown region that was a good fit for my professional talents and cosmetics retail business, and that shared a passion for charity work. NOVAFW was that perfect opportunity that finally came along, and I jumped at the chance to be a part of a fast growing popular event that was very successful in its maiden run last year. I very much like the fact that this is run like good business plan which, as a business owner, I can really identify with! Best of all, their business focus is on raising money for worthy charities.

2. As an artist working with another artist (the designer), do you incorporate and/or suggest your own ideas for each model?
I definitely think that good collaboration between the clothing designer and the makeup/hair stylists is essential in pulling off a fabulous look for the model that shows the piece well on the runway. The designers are just as visual as the artists, so they often contribute great ideas that help build the budding concept into the best design achievement. It’s very much similar to the way a movie or TV series makeup/hair department is run. We will have production meetings with the director’s conceptual input on the character’s look that we incorporate in to our makeup designs. We then work up charting within the actor’s ability to carry off the look.

As the show’s makeup and hair department head, I have to have the best Key Makeup Artist on the line with the best makeup artists and assists working under her. My key on this event, Victoria Stiles, is a highly accomplished Virginia fashion/editorial/print makeup artist in her own right and fashion shows are one of her specialties. The hair stylists we bring in will also be working with us to bring the concept full circle in hair design.

3. Can you please tell me a little about your Emmy(s) and what that means to you as an artist?
It was a great honor to be nominated again, and this year for a National Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup Design. It was for special makeup effects on an Easter special shown on CBN-TV last year. My previous win was a Regional Team Emmy for a commercial for the ABC-TV regional series, Choose to Save. It also involved special makeup effects.

Just being nominated for Televisions’ highest award is a great achievement because it comes from your peers who are at the top of the craft, and who find your work worthy of this prestigious nod.

4. Is there a particular makeup line that you use/endorse?
Having worked in film and television for so many years you come to depend on high performance makeup that not only meets or exceeds the criteria of a long shoot day, but looks completely natural on or off the set, especially in HDTV. Graftobian Makeup and Natural Born Cosmetics are two of my staple lines that I use almost exclusively now because they meet my high standards for the work I have to do in HDTV. I particularly love the skin care from Natural Born, because it was formulated for very hyper-sensitive skins, like mine, so I am definitely a walking testimony to the effectiveness of this line. Good skin care is really crucial now for actors, especially those appearing in HD. It is now more about how good the skin is under makeup rather than how good the makeup looks on the skin! You can see more of the skin in high resolution (HD) than you ever could before, so actors are really having to step up their skin care with good products that really do work.

5. What are two things about you that the media doesn't know, but you wish they did?
Number 1: Our store, Paint and Powder Cosmetics was created nearly 6 years ago solely as a source of income for the charity we support in South Africa, called Baby Haven. All of the proceeds of our sales go to them in support of their work in saving the lives of abandoned and dying newborn aids babies and toddlers.

Number 2: I have been working with the military for the past 7 years utilizing my special makeup effects skills in helping to train military combat medics in casualty simulation. This is the most rewarding experience that I have been involved in, and it’s a tremendous feeling knowing you are using your skills towards an end that may directly help save a life on the battlefield! On a very personal side: as the wife of an Army Colonel, and the mom of two soldiers who served valiantly in Iraq, this is particularly meaningful to me, that I can serve my country this way.

Thank you to Suzanne, a kind and incredible artist. We wish you much continued success!

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