A Unique Glimpse Into The World Of Special Effects Genius Don Lanning

Don Lanning Pic: www.facebook.com/twoeyestwohands

On Friday, June 10 I got a wonderful opportunity to meet Don Lanning; a special effects creature designer, fine artist & master sculptor.

You may be familiar with Don Lanning’s work without even knowing it (I certainly was!!).

Don’s work has been featured in more than 60 motion pictures with contributions to Star Trek, The Avengers and many more.

Pic: www.facebook.com/twoeyestwohands

Don Lanning Pic: www.facebook.com/twoeyestwohands

Don was in Titanic Creative Management located on the Ormeau Road, Belfast, hosting a Creature Maquette Sculpting class. Running from Monday, June 6 to Friday, June 10, so I got to drop in on the last day and pick his brain a little.

13451163_972143372905690_64519453_nCurrently as a freelance makeup artist, I focus more on fashion and ‘day-to-day’ makeup looks so I was worried this would have been a little out of my comfort zone – however I did once hear the saying “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” and it was certainly true here.

At first I was quite nervous as I wasn’t to sure what to expect but I am open minded and ALWAYS willing to learn.

I was greeted and welcomed warmly by Erika (TCM Development manager) and entrepreneur Nula Campbell, they made me feel at ease and told me all about what Titanic Creative Management stood for and their motives, as well as the class Don was hosting.

Meeting the students was so inspiring, I was given the chance to view and take some snaps of the students sculptures, which to say are phenomenal would be an understatement they were all soooo talented!

13457739_972144712905556_1429789276_nI asked the students what inspired their sculptures and what amazed me the most was how diverse the range of character maquettes and busts that were being produced.

Each student was so passionate about what they were creating; as they translated their vision to reality.

As I write this now I’m trying to think what my favourite was but I loved them all and I am so excited to see the final results.

(Check out Titanic Creative Management on Facebook and LIKE their page to see the sculptures). www.facebook.com/titaniccreativemgt

After viewing the students work and chatting with them, I got a chance to speak with Don himself.

He was so informative, telling me how he found his love for sculpting, and explaining that having a passion for what you do as a career or anything in life for that matter is more valuable than what any amount of money ever will be.

13451055_972143389572355_1794041513_nDon explained that he believes “teachers are one of the greatest resources we have”, telling me about his first teaching experience when he filled in for a friend in a makeup school in LA of how he influenced a girl to create a magnificent piece of work, who originally hated sculpting and didn’t want to be at the class.

Don revealed that it made him realise that through what he loves he touched someone’s life, and if someone can take one lesson and hold on to it then you’ve potentially changed the complexion of their life.

I could have sat there for hours talking to Don, he was so down to earth.  He told me that although there is limited opportunity in Northern Ireland, he was confident that creativity in Northern Ireland is growing immensely and Titanic Creative Management is leading the way in their efforts to put Belfast on the map.

I have to say the biggest thank you to Nula Erika Clarke at Titanic Creative Management who is the leading agency and training academy in Northern Ireland for elite makeup artists, hairdresser and costumiers for TV, film and stage for the experience.

This not-for-profit social enterprise is the only creative management and training facility in Northern Ireland working with and for elite hair, makeup and costumer artists for TV, film and stage. They provide opportunities to local emerging artists to perform at a national and international level.

Check out their website for upcoming courses with Don Lanning and more talented artists at www.titaniccreativemanagement.co.uk

Check out my make-up artistry page Thee Glamour Fairy at www.facebook.com/theeglamourfairy