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Anna Schafer: An Eye for Art

Hannah Youkhana

By Hannah Youkhana, Staff Writer

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Special Effects makeup is the process of using sculpting and molding techniques to advanced cosmetic effects. Special effects artists, like senior Anna Schafer, spend a lot of their time using different types of makeup to create the appearance of bruises, cuts, deformities, and mutations. They do the opposite of typical makeup artists.

“I started to get into special effects makeup around Halloween my freshman year. I started to learn from watching YouTube tutorials and picking up basic tips and tricks to make the gore look more realistic,”  Schafer said.

Special Effects artists have the unique ability to morph themselves into different characters. With practice and precision, any type of look is possible.

“My favorite part about special effects makeup is being able to completely transform myself or others into a totally different creature,” Schafer said. “It’s so fun to take a before and after picture and be able to see progress throughout the look itself and how it became so realistic.”

Over the years, Schafer has decided she wants to pursue a career in special effects makeup.

“I am looking at a school called the Douglas Center of Education for the Tom Savini’s Special Effects Program. It’s not like most schools or universities because it’s geared towards special effects makeup. My main goal is to get a job in special effects makeup, which is why I want to attend this school. They have very specific job placements, and right now I’m focusing on putting my portfolio together to submit to schools,”  Schafer said.

Schafer has not been alone on this journey, she has many friends and teachers who have been there to support her. Senior and Schafer’s longtime best friend senior Marc Magdaleno has been with her since the beginning.

“Anna has had a huge impact on my life. When we were younger, she showed me that being weird at any given time is okay. My favorite quality about her is her determination. When she puts her mind to something, she gets it done. We’ve always been able to be our true selves around each other,” Magdaleno said.

The creativity Schafer has brought to her friend’s life is huge, and she has also helped Magdaleno become more comfortable with himself.

“I think the special effects makeup she does is super cool. I envy the fact that she is able to do it. She’s amazing at what she does and I really hope she goes far while being able to do what she loves,” Magdaleno said.

Schafer’s teachers have also noticed how creative she is, and how she’s always willing to learn new things about herself and others.

“I know Anna because she was in my theater workshop course. Anna is very kind and considerate to others, she is open and curious about the world,” the Director of Fine and Applied Arts Pattie Anne Ford said. “She is unique in her drive to seek out multiple perspectives. Anna exhibits unique talents in the specialized field of special effects makeup,” Ford said.

Being able to complete a full look takes a lot of time and patience. Over the years, Schafer has mastered being patient with herself. She has fallen in love with special effects makeup. It helps her express her creativity through a unique display that many people are awed by.

“Just in general, I love being able to make art because I also do photography and graphic design. Even though special effects makeup is a different kind of art that not many people at Niles West do, it is still an art itself. I love doing it because it’s so unique. It’s different than everyday normal makeup,” Schafer said.

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