Zombies, injuries and eyeliner! Desiree tells us about a traumatic day in the Artswork office…

Date Created: 31st Oct 2017

Young workshop participant Desiree paints fake blood on to an injury she has designed on the arm of another participant

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*WARNING: This article contains images of a graphic nature – no young people were harmed in the making of this workshop.

Creativity Plus participants were treated to a theatrical makeup workshop full of tricks and tips – perfectly timed for Halloween! Lead by acclaimed makeup artist Kate Griffiths, the group enjoyed a practical session in various gruesome makeup techniques including the art of Moulage (trauma simulation), commonly used in Kate’s work for stage and screen. Our very own apprentice Desiree gives us the gory details…

We were greeted by boxes and boxes of makeup as soon as we walked into the room, and Kate was sat there with a friendly smile on her face. All of the makeup and equipment that we would be using for the day was laid out on the table ready for us.
She started by introducing herself and what she does as well as how she got to where she is today. She had so many interesting stories to tell and we had so many questions for her. Her work has taken her all over the world and back, from film shoots in Finland for the third LOGAN movie with Hugh Jackman to working for the NHS to simulate injuries to be examined by doctors completing their studies in Life Support. She explained how she loves doing workshops because she has always enjoyed teaching but that she wanted to teach in a more creative way with practical hands on sessions. Once we had all finished getting to know Kate she asked for a volunteer. ME, ME, ME!

Group of young participants experimenting with trauma and special effect makeup lead by a professional makeup artist

She started by putting makeup on my face, slowly dabbing different colours around my eye, I couldn’t see what she was doing but I could see everyone’s faces whilst she was working on me which was a bit scary! I wasn’t allowed to see what I looked like until she had finished. When I did look, I looked like a cat had attacked me and been dragged through a bush – amazing what a little bit of eyeliner and fake blood can do!

She then demonstrated how to make it look like you have chopped your finger in half (using me as the volunteer again!) It was crazy how real it actually looked! After demonstrating what we had to do she let us crack on and do it ourselves. It was so much fun and we all had a go at lots of different gory looks which we could easily recreate with cheap materials or things you can find around the house! By the end of the day we had a room full of zombies!

Collage of images showing the results of a trauma makeup workshop with fake injuries and special effects to create gory body parts in fake blood

Credit: Desiree Bratcher

Overall this workshop was a great experience, it was so much fun and I learnt a lot about how to create theatrical makeup looks and about Kate’s career path. I am looking forward to practising some of the awesome grisly techniques I learnt on my friends and family and would love to do another workshop like this again!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Words: Desiree Bratcher

First Published: 31st October 2017


For 15 – 25 yrs Work-based learning

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