There was no better way to ring in our summer season on Cape Cod than with our "Meghan Gets Mermade" event, with Tagen Crossley from Cause and FX! We have been planning this day for MONTHS and anticipating it's debut just as much as we know you all were and it couldn't have been more of a success! Tagen grew up on Cape Cod and has been in love with the art of makeup ever since she was a young teenager. Not only did I have the privilege to interview Tagen, but I also was able to attend the event IN PERSON and watch her work her magic. It is no easy task to complete flawless looks with regular makeup, let alone Special Effects styles. Meghan was transformed into a beautiful creature fro m under the sea in such a short amount of time, the results were amazing. "I think this look took the shortest amount of time I have ever used!" said Tagen ...Safe to say the term "blown away" is a complete understatement for this entire day, seeing as though every little thing she showed us absolutely wowed the room.
How did you get involved in Special Effects Makeup?
"I initially got into special Effects because I loved Halloween and horror movies! Especially anything with or about zombies! I just loved all the different variations and levels of creepy they could be! I started looking into what went into making creatures like that! I thought it was so much fun to sit down and create something realistic looking enough to give people a little scare. I have always loved art and always considered myself fairly good with any medium, but when I started out with FX there weren't very many others that knew much about it or how to start with it. It was cool to me that this be my own thing. Something that set me apart a little bit from other artists!"
You're Self Taught (so cool) but did you do any additional "training" to learn this trade? Or- How did you teach yourself?
"I am a super hands on learner. So when I decided I wanted to actually get into this I just sat down and started experimenting! I just used basic household items to begin with.
I did watch a ton of you tube videos! Again, Special FX wasn't nearly as popular when I started as it is now. However there was some great videos out there that I used to help guide myself in the right direction. Especially when it came to doing things safely. As far as what you want to make, there is no right or wrong answer. There are so many open doors as far as the creative aspect goes which makes this field even more amazing. And a lot of it is trial an error. But you want to try and educate yourself as much as possible because you are working with your own skin and body as a canvas. "
Where did the name Cause and FX come from?
"Honestly, I can't even remember how or where the name came from. I remember searching and searching for something that was cool and different. Everyone that was in this field typically had "SFX" or "MUA" in their title. I chose this field because it was so different , and wanted a name to match. Not something that would blend in. Cause and Effect just kind of popped into my head. I of course tweaked it into "Cause and FX". I do remember thinking that I would end up changing it at one point. But as time went on it just stuck. I certainly wouldn't have it any other way!"
How long have you been in this "business" for?
"Technically I have been doing this for 7 or 8 years. I started teaching myself around 13 years old. And though I came up with a name, I don't think I really took it as a serious business opportunity until 2012-2013. And even then it was something I did in my spare time or for fun around Halloween. I think 2015 is when I realized that, with FX becoming more popular, it was an actual option for me as a full-time career. So I mad the decision to dedicate more of my time and money into getting proper supplies, practicing my skills, etc. "
What are some of your biggest aspirations for your business?
"I have so many different ideas that I hope for with this business. One of my biggest aspirations is to simply make this business into something more! That seems vague but I don't think I have ever had one set plan or goal for it because there are so many options and different directions I could go in. But to just know that I built something form the very start is something I would like to accomplish.
I would also love to grow my own knowledge and skill set so I am able to teach others. I don't want to be a business that doesn't have anything to give back to those that support me. I have supporters because they enjoy seeing what I do and create. So I want to provide them with answers and options that I didn't have access to when I started."
Would you ever expand past a one person operation?
"Yes. I think I would always be the primary makeup artist for my business. However, there is much more that goes into my work that reaches beyond just the makeup . I have been doing my own own hair and photos for example, but neither I am fully knowledgeable about. When I am working on myself in my studio its fine, but If I am to be working on clients in the future I would prefer to have a team so that I can bounce ideas around with and have them bring their own skill into the areas that I lack. My makeups can look amazing in person, but if I don't know how to style my models hair correctly, or how to get the right lighting on a set, it can throw off the entire looks and really take away from it. So to have a team of creative minds, where each person specializes in their field, would be amazing."
What do you consider your biggest success in this process?
"My biggest success is my own growth and confidence in myself. As much as I loved creating different looks I really didn't take it seriously for a long time. I wasn't sure I could really go any where with it. I would make a lot of excuses as to why I couldn't do something. Or why it wasn't working for me without putting all my effort in first. There was a point where I almost didn't want to continue because I didn't think I could get any better. It felt like I had been in the same spot for years. However, I felt that I needed to try and put my full effort into it and more confidence into myself as an artist before I decided it wasn't for me. And as soon as I did I began seeing more and more improvements. I focused less on what i thought I had to have or needed and more on what I could accomplish and improve on. I still have so much more I can move forward with, but just getting to this point has been a huge turning point for my business."
What would you say is your biggest challenge?
"There are certainly a few challenges that come with this field. They are all equally difficult at times. But I think motivation to continue making art is a constant roller coaster ride .
I haven't yet reached the point in this business to support my self enough to not have to work. A lot of artists, including myself still work two jobs, if not more, and have to try and find time in between work and life to sit down and create. On top of that, with social media, it is so easy to be constantly comparing yourself to other artists. Sometimes, it can feel like you just cant keep up with everyone else. And it makes you question if you're in the right field.
But at the end of the day, its never really something that stops me for long. I just have to know that, yes it may be frustrating at times, but the negative thoughts will pass, and when they do I create some of my best work."
What is your favorite or most rewarding part of this business?
"I think my favorite part of this job is just how creatively free I can be! There is no exact way to do anything or any rules I have to follow when I create a look! And I love that!"
What are some of your favorite "looks" to do?
"I love creating funky and unique creatures! My "Dragon-Fruit" look is a great example of that! Anything that lets me make use of bright and bold colors! I also tend to lean towards skulls a lot because every time I create one they always come out a little different! And of course post apocalyptic theme has always been a favorite. Anything zombie or survivor/warrior style is right up my alley. I recently created a look for a makeup contest that mixed bright colors, skulls, and post-apocalypse all in one! It has become one of my personal favorites I have ever created."
So you're making Meghan into a mermaid, can you tell us a little bit about what you'll be using?
"Whenever I do body painting I use my water based body paints, they are amazing! Super easy to apply, safe for the skin, and really lightweight and comfortable. Which is really important, especially when you have to wear the makeup for a long time! I have always use the Mehron brand. However, there are several options out there! I use the water based paints for the base colors and the painted in details!
I will also be using a selection of glitters, gems, and other props to really help pull the mystical idea of the look together!"
(and newly pronounced☺) Marketing Specialist and Mini Badass
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