Special movie effect artist on the value of art in movies

Faustine Iradukunda

Faustine Iradukunda is a 21-year-old artist whose creativity and enthusiasm led her to learn special makeup effects. These effects make videos and movies stunning and real.

Since the simple art and graphics she learnt in high school wasn’t enough for her, she watched many Hollywood movies and tutorials on YouTube on how she can learn the special effects.

She talked to Sunday Magazine’s Joan Mbabazi about the essence of art in film making and her future plans

Why did you choose this kind of art?

I love to be unique, since I had watched many movies where in some scenes someone was stubbed with a knife or shot dead with too much blood flowing or even becoming blind and I wondered how such makeup is done to real bring out the picture of blood yet it is not really blood.

I started watching tutorials in 2015. In 2016, I bought that specific makeup online and I tried it out, the effect was awesome. It looked like the one in the movies I had watched, however I kept on perfecting it with time. This encouraged me to pursue it as a career.

Recently, I started up an Instagram page known as “The Mystique art” where I posted my art work with explanations that it is just art so that people don’t view it as violence. This has enabled me get a number of followers though some people don’t believe it is just mere art.

How long does it take you to do the make- up?

It depends, if it is character effect, it can take like thirty minutes or one hour. Changing someone from young to old, or creating wrinkles, turning  hair from black to grey, making a wound, or causing an effect of blindness can take me about 30 minutes to one hour .It is just playing around with make up to make special effects.

Which special effects artist has inspired you?

There are quite many and most of them are Hollywood special effects makeup artists, and I am always checking up their makeup tutorials on YouTube.

What challenges do you encounter in this job?

The special effect makeup is very expensive since it is not made in Rwanda, it is bought online. Some people don’t look at my job as something serious, some think I should just focus on only pencil art.

Rwandans have not understood the essence of special effects yet. If they are taught how to do it, our local movies will be more interesting and creative.

Which movies have you applied your special effects so far?

I have worked on three movies which are all not yet out. There is a Hollywood movie about genocide that I am working on; it is called “The six hundred” and another one called is “Rebe.”

Some of the special effects that Iradukunda has done. Courtesy photos. 

What else do you do apart from special effects?

I am a makeup artist, I make up people for special occasions like weddings, parties, or work. I also draw portraits and nature using both pens and pencils. My art pieces and portraits’ prices depend on the size and message behind them. Prices range from Rwf 80,000 and above.

I believe you are a student, how do you balance school and art?

Yes, I am a student at Rwanda Polytechnique, Kicukiro.  I study during day. Art is something I do in my free time. I always get time for art because it is passion.

Tell us about your future plans.

I have to make Rwandans understand art especially special effects through explaining to them on social media platforms about the beauty of art. I want people to know that when they see someone’s head cut off or wounds in movies, it is not real, but just art.

I will try to make what I do useful. People need to see the before and after effects in movies. I have also started teaching some girls about makeup so that they earn a living from it.

I am also looking forward to manufacturing different types of makeup so that I stop importing or buying them online.

What advice would you give to the youth who have talents but don’t know how to use them?

Learn to do something your own way, that’s what makes you unique and special. Identify what you are good at, you don’t need to have much money; what is important is the ability to keep learning. Do not be discouraged if you believe what you do might impact someone.

Would you say art is a treasure?

Yes, because through art, I developed my talent that have always had a passion for. I can earn some money to cater for my needs so that I don’t ask everything from my mom. I was raised up by a single mother who showed me that hard work pays. So I have started testing the fruits of my hands.

I am glad that I have worked with Hollywood movie stars because of my talent. I have done makeup on celebrities like Bruce Melody and Khalfan in their song titled, “Power” and Igor Mabano in a song called “Back.”