Today we will be having a quick chat with Alistair Arkwright, who is our Senior Lecturer here at ACSM!
Let’s start with a little bit about you and what you do here at ACSM.
My name is Alistair Arkwright and I have been the Senior Lecturer here at the ACSM since 2014. I look after the Stage, Screen, Special Effects and Prosthetics units of our Diploma of Screen and Media course. I also manage the Student Runway shows along side our administrations team for our students at the end of their studies.
When did you become interested in the make-up industry? What sparked that interest?
When I was 13, my best friend (who was quite the delinquent) was placed into an out-of-class program geared towards helping struggling students find a new career opportunity by exposing them to different industries. She refused to go unless I went with her, so I obliged even though I was quite content at school. The second week was all about special effects make-up! We learned how to create bullet wounds, cuts, bruises and used lots of blood! It was never something that I thought I would be interested in, but it was love at first sight! Since then, I began to build up my special effects kit by saving all my pocket money, birthday money and Christmas money and spending it at make-up and costume stores on special effects products!
Courtesy of Facebook
I later contacted a SFX make-up artist here in Perth by the name of Freena Hamilton when I was about 15 and went to visit her. I wanted to meet with her and speak about this industry and what I was likely to expect. Freena showed me plenty of new products for me to play with and buy, as well as what to expect when I get into the industry. Over the next few years, I kept in contact with Freena until I decided to study my Diploma of Specialist Make-Up Services in 2012.
What is your biggest achievement in the make-up industry to date?
In 2016, one of my fellow ACSM trainers Mercyll Cooper, landed a position as the Head of Department for Make-up on a Western Australian film called ‘The Decadent and Depraved’. Mercyll asked if I would be interested in assisting her as Key Make-Up Artist on the film. My role was to look over some of the main cast members, as well as sculpt, produce and apply some prosthetic pieces on these characters.
It was a challenging and rewarding 3 weeks I spent on set in the middle of outback Australia. I learned a lot about on set etiquette, perfected my continuity skills and met an amazing assortment of talent in the Western Australian film industry!
Courtesy of Facebook (The Decadent and Depraved Facebook Page). Images by Kate Sanders-Tye
What are some aspirations you have going forward in the make-up industry?
An aspiration that I have in the make-up industry is to further my special effects and prosthetics skills by studying at Cinema Make-Up School in Los Angeles. They have amazing, world renowned trainers like Ralis Kahn, Michael Spatola, Neill Gorton and Ve Neill to name a few. The opportunity to be taught by make-up artists I have looked up to since the beginning would be phenomenal.
Another aspiration that I have is to land a role working on a AAA Hollywood film, even if its just to clean brushes or tidy up the workshop. Being around all of that creative energy and seeing the masters at work would be an opportunity I would never forget or pass up!
What’s your favourite part about being a trainer?
My favourite thing about being a trainer is seeing the students on their first day and looking at their first make-up applications and then seeing them at the end of their course and how much they have grown. It is a tremendous feeling of pride and joy seeing students that you have assisted and moulded into fine, amazing young artists! It’s a feeling that you can never replace. At the same time, these students that we help grow also help us grow, not only as trainers, but as make-up artists, too. I never close my mind to new ideas and application techniques – so when a student comes in excited to show me a new technique, I’m eager to learn it and try to adapt it into my own style of make-up.
Why do you think ACSM is the best place in Perth to study?
When I joined ACSM in 2014, we were a small college. Over the years, our past lecturer Sharon and I spent countless hours honing and perfecting this course with one brief in mind. We were determined to create a course with fun and exciting possibilities that we wish we had received when we studied. The course that we have created is extremely high quality and something that hasn’t been seen in Perth before. We go into amazing depth in fashion make-up, special effects and prosthetics that I wish I had access to as a budding, young SFX artist.
You’re stuck on a desert island and you can only have one make-up product with you. What is your go to product?
I don’t wear a lot of make-up myself day-to-day, however when I do I can’t go without my Napoleon Perdis Mighty Concealer Pen in Pink Beige.
Alistair is the Senior Lecturer for our Diploma of Screen and Media course. If you would like to learn more about this course, please click here.