An incredible special effects make-up artist from Weston Mill has shown off his talent for turning the everyday into the extraordinary.
Ash Linton, 29, who taught himself everything he knows about the art and currently works from the back room of his home since he left his job and went freelance.
He hopes to create a workshop in the city for all those who love to create fantasy creatures and bloody figures.
The impressive artist, who has worked alongside famous directors, Bafta winning actors and highly-acclaimed make-up artists from films such as Star Wars, showed us how its done.
Ash told The Herald how he began his dream career: “I guess it started when I was quite young. I was always into Halloween and making masks and stuff and was interested in how they were made.
“I realised that making masks was too hard but I realised there were things you had to learn before getting into making masks. I decided makeup was an easier and cheaper option.
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“Growing up in school I was quite arty. My family are quite arty – my mum’s into art and my brother – I’ve always enjoyed painting.”
Ash took the plunge and became a freelance makeup artist five years ago.
He quit his day job as a laminator for Princess Yaughts and pursued his creative passion.
But he says that the work is not dissimilar to his previous nine-to-five job as he still works with moulds and uses similar types of materials.
Ash admitted that he has returned to his previous job and has to fit in his make-up career on the side as he needs a consistent wage in order to buy all the materials he needs to continue.
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“It was quite a leap of faith – I’d say just go for it you might fail or you might succeed but you’ll always kick yourself if you don’t try.
He said: “I like changing someone into something else – it’s the illusion you create with these pieces – you can create the illusion of depth – you can make them look like pieces are missing.
“It is quite gory but I try to take influence from the animal world and from our world, certain textures and incorporate those into certain makeups.”
But when asked how he deals with real blood, Ash revealed he cannot cope and struggles to even watch it on television in a realistic setting.
And Ash is one hundred per cent self-taught – teaching himself using Youtube videos and social media inspiration.
“There’s a lot of trial and error, there’s a lot of failing and kicking yourself but if you want to do anything you have to stick at it.”
Ash said the proudest moment of his artistic career to date was working on a feature length film in North Devon and spending 26 days on location.
He said: “That was amazing – everything was paid for and we stayed in a cottage and met actors and actresses and that’s what compelled me to leave my job and go self-employed.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Tim the director who got me on that – that was really cool.”
The 29-year-old recently attended the International Make Up Artist Trade Show – working with prestigious actors and actresses who have won Oscars, Baftas.
He and two others created the impressive Lizard Man which took hours and their combined skill to create.
“Social media has been a massive help for me because I never realised I could do this full time as a job before social media.
“I was quite a reserved self- conscious guy but I put some wounds I had done up on Instagram and the response I got was amazing and realised I was alright at this.
I stumbled across other artists sharing their work online – There’s a really big network of people sharing images and inspiration online it’s fantastic you can share stories, share materials.
It’s really easy to get a reaction from – something so visceral. I love seeing the outcome and people’s faces when they see it.
“I’ve met so many amazing, creative, funny people along the way – I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Planning on opening up a shop in Plymouth that caters to the local industry and sell masks. I would really like to have a studio space for other people I have met in Plymouth to come and work with me too – because there’s bigger things that you can do like animatronics that other larger studios do already that I believe I could achieve in Plymouth.
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“I’m working with chemicals too – it’s not ideal to be living around it.
Collaboration between me and two other guys, Dean and Chris Gardner to create a lizard man – prosthetic appliances for the man and the weapon.
Ash uses a splattering technique, not one solid colour, to make it the wounds appear more realistic on Hd film.
He usually prepares the silicone with a photo of the actors skin to get the right pigmented tone.
And the avid artist is the only one of his friendship group to take up the venture which has been an obstacle he had to defeat when he started out.
“Coming to terms with telling my friends I do makeup was difficult,” he said.
“They’d laugh and say ‘well that’s a bit different isn’t it’.
“But once they’ve seen how far I’ve taken it and how passionate I am about it they’re really supportive and super happy for me. I now have a queue of people asking me to do something on them.”
Ash said depending on the size of the piece you are creating it can take many hours to complete.
For example in the Star Wars films actors have been sat waiting for make up to be completed for six or seven hours.