Italians are known in the industry for being highly skilled artists. We feel very fortunate to have trained many top Italian make-up artists, who, like many of our international students, made a serious choice to relocate to London and train here. We decided to interview 3 of these Italian graduates who have graduated within the past 6 years. We hope this interview is a really helpful and honest read for any prospective Italian students.
A little background on these graduates:
- Giorgio completed the 1 Year Cert HE Professional Make-up Design Course here over 6 years ago with a distinction. He is often referred to as one of the most talented students we have trained, especially with period wigs.
- Since leaving Delamar, Giorgio has gone on to work on some huge feature films including: Spiderman: Far From Home
- Wonder Woman
- The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle
- The Personal History of David Copperfield.
- His TV dramas include:
- Ordinary Lies
- Downton Abbey
- Horrible Histories
- You, me & Them
- Nadja is one of our most creatively talented graduates with the ability to work confidently with wigs, prosthetics, body painting, SFX, props and fashion make-up techniques.
- On graduating from the 1 Year Cert HE Professional Make-up Design Course in 2017, Nadja has enjoyed a wide and varying remit of work:
- E4 Naked Beach
- Aretemis Fowl
- The Brit Awards
- Above The Fold
- Coco & Eve brand campaign shoots
- And many more…
- Claudia completed the 1 Year Cert HE Professional Make-up Design course in 2018 and returned in 2019 to complete the Advanced Hair course
- She has been in the industry for little over a year but has already made a great impression on various heads of department
- Her specialism was Advanced Prosthetics, and she shone on the course with her excellent work, creating a nuclear waste victim with melted features.
- Her work so far includes:
- The Royal Academy of Music shows
- Annabel’s Mayfair re-opening
- Various short films
Why did you leave Italy and come to train at Delamar?
There’s a time in your life when you feel that an experience abroad is what you need. That was me 10 years ago when I decided I fancied a change and began my London adventure. I knew that London was going to be a great place to start my career as makeup artist considering the scale of the industry, the abundance of work and the craftsmanship. Delamar offered a comprehensive course that covered everything I wanted and needed to learn to begin my career and offered great insight and contacts into the industry.
I’ve decided to leave Italy to become a makeup artist, but this decision took me ages. I started thinking to a career in makeup back in 2011 when I was still studying at university. The process has been long because I wanted to make sure to be sure about what I was doing. I knew from the beginning I wanted to work in film especially because I wanted to experiment with SFX make-up. I did all my research about makeup schools in Italy and abroad. In Italy the majority of schools seem to focus mainly on beauty and fashion makeup, there are very few schools that give some knowledge of SFX, prosthetics and wigs. From the research I did, I had the feeling that the teaching wouldn’t have been very advanced or up to date, and also the aftercare seemed to be quite poor. In Italy in this moment is very hard to find a job after university or after any professional course. I really felt I needed to spend my money wisely and give myself a real chance to make this work for me. At the end, after doing some research about the career in the US I decided to come here in the UK and Delamar was one of the schools I have found to give the most complete education, taught by professionals working in the industry, as well as being close to central London where I could have found a job to support my living.
I knew that I would not find the training I needed in Italy, nor would I build up my money there with the economy being bad. The UK has a much busier industry for many things. Delamar has an excellent reputation worldwide, so after lots of research, I knew I had to go there. Prior to starting at Delamar, I was living in Dublin where I worked many jobs over a period of time – always at least two jobs at the same time, from Mac cosmetics, to hosting jobs and bar work.
I spent years saving and working hard to invest into training at Delamar, and it was absolutely worth it. Don’t be put off if you don’t have money, you can work hard, use various funding options and work while you train at Delamar.
Did you have any challenges moving to London? What was this relocation process like?
My decision to relocate to London was quite sudden so I didn’t have much time for planning ahead. Since the beginning I was very lucky, some amazing friends that pointed me in the right direction and helped to settle in supported me. It needed a few trips back and forwards to carry all my belongings but overall it was a pretty smooth operation. I enrolled straight away into a full time English course for a few months to improve my language skills and then I was ready to start the course at Delamar.
The relocation was hard at the beginning. London is very expensive and I’m not quite sure I was ready for that at the time. I moved in 2016 and I spent one year and a half working full time to save money for my education, also trying to get used to a different way of living. An Italian moving here need to be ready to support himself without any help, she/he needs to be ready to work very hard and make sacrifices: living in a shared house and have a small private space, dealing with homesickness, working part time meanwhile studying just to pay the rent, having a side job as support to the makeup career, dealing with different legislation and rules, learn how to make everything work and enjoying the process at the same time.
At the beginning it is a real challenge to get used to this life, which is so different from the comfort of the life at home. I just keep going, I focus on what I like to do: creating with makeup. Going back is not an option anymore when I consider how much effort my family and I put into this career path.
I’d already been in Dublin for a while, so the change was not much. Once I settled in and started the year course I was still working in the evenings in a bar and training my fitness. In order to learn at Delamar and be able to live in London, I had to work hard and have no regrets about this. I still managed to succeed on the course, which is completely possible. The course day finishes at 4pm which leaves you plenty of time to have a job or do whatever you want to. The second semester required some longer hours as I specialised in prosthetics, but my flexible bar job worked with this. It has been tough I must say, but the long days of work and studying were the best preparation for the makeup industry.
How has your career worked out after leaving Delamar?
After leaving Delamar I started working straight away through the Delamar Agency, with a mixture of theatre and film jobs. This variety allowed me to figure out how the industry worked and what I liked best. After a couple of years I settled within the TV and film industry and it’s still where I predominantly focus my work. I had the privilege of working in several different countries visiting stunning places while doing what I love the most. While working I got to know amazing people that have now become very good friends. The industry is tough but if you have good people to rely on and share the difficulties with then everything becomes easier.
Delamar gave me and it still giving me great support. So far the best jobs and opportunities came from Delamar team, tutors and fellow graduates. After not even a year out in the industry I feel I’ve learnt and grown so much! There is still so much more to do but I’m happy about my career so far. I’ve alternated periods where I was able to work with great productions and professionals as trainee to periods where I had to do mainly shorts, student films or smaller features. I find there is always something to learn and something challenging to do, this is what I really like about the makeup artist job, I know I will never stop learning and hopefully improving.
Once I got my first few jobs from Delamar, one thing led to another and I have been lucky enough to have worked on big feature films, TV shows, brand campaigns and fashion shows. Delamar tutor Brian Kinney took me and several other Delamar graduates onto a big Disney Feature film, which was an incredible experience. The hours are quite intense and can go over 10,12 hours a day minimum. The big difference is that I absolutely love what I was doing, so it’s very enjoyable.
Thank you to Giorgio, Nadja and Claudia for taking the time to answer these questions. For more information on our courses you can click here.