Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga – Discussion

Synopsis:

Emma speaks well and overall, is succinct in her synopsis.  This is an important skill and she still needs some work in this area.  We will continue to practice throughout the year.

Hunter S Thompson travels with the Hell’s Angels throughout California.  He wanted to report on the sensationalism and bias in the media that were representing the gang as ruthless rednecks who abuse their wives – all of which was true.

The typical gang member was not well-educated and got connected with the gang through a peer.  What the author discovered was that most of the individual gang members wanted to gain some recognition.  For most criminals, recognition is a bad thing, but for this gang, it is what they wanted and were easily arrested by the police.  They also showed little remorse for their victims.  Emma believes that this all relates back to a lack of education and empathy.

Emma felt that the purpose of the book was for the author to get a good story and do effective journalism; he wanted to expose the Hell’s Angel’s culture without a bias and just report what he saw to raise awareness.

Emma was interested to learn about the Angels so she could try to understand their motives: what they do, why they exist, etc.  Some wanted to attack people to gain attention, for others it was a social circle.

We discussed the dangers of gathering this information for Thompson.  The Hell’s Angles behavior were largely unpredictable: are they going to put a gun to my head?  He put his work before his life, which he seems to have done throughout his career.

Emma learned that getting a good education and being a productive member of society are critical factors to leading a good life – stay away from bad people.

As for the writing itself, there were no chapters.  It was like one giant article.  Emma found it difficult to read at first as she has never read anything like it before, but after awhile, she enjoyed the style.  She feels that it was well written and smart, appealing to an intelligent reader.  It opened her mind to a different style of writing.

She feels he was successful in bringing these issues to light.  Some people believed that they were not that bad; personal opinions range.  Again, Hunter provided a non-biased view and left it up to the readers to make their own choices.

She enjoyed it.  Emma did not know about the subject and learned a lot.  She likes to read non-fiction.  It is more appealing to her as it is something that is real.  Emma would like to know more stories of what happened and their personal views from both the victims and individual gang members.

This book also enlightened her on a different kind of gang.  She has been looking at cartels and organized crime.  This gave her a different perspective and more knowledge on the subject.

Peeling skin patches Special Effects makeup

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This creation is gruesome yet still has meaning behind it. My initial plan for this was to have pieces of skin peeling off, each one safety pinned together with the blood and meat under the skin being exposed underneath. The statement behind this is that we are all the same underneath our skin, no matter what our looks, race, opinions, style may be.

To do this, I poured about 5 layers of liquid latex on a plate, letting each one dry before applying the next one. Once done I peeled it off and cut the latex piece into smaller “skin flaps” to fit the areas of my face I wanted to cover. I covered them with a foundation that matches my skin tone to make it look like my actual skin. I put liquid latex and thinned out pieces of cotton balls on the spots of my face where the skin flaps wouldn’t be, and picked at it once dried to add texture to my new exposed flesh. I painted with it a thin wash of red and black paints and then proceeded to adhere the latex pieces on with more liquid latex. I took the safety pins and attached each skin flap together (and stabbed my real skin while doing it) to add more of an impact on the effect. I took a stipple sponge and added thick stage blood to the areas around each safety pin and the edges of the latex pieces. I finally took liquid blood and sprayed it on the uncovered areas of my real face and neck.

I am quite pleased with how this turned out. I do definitely think that this makes a statement, although if I’m not sure if it’s very easy to pick up on what it means right away by simply looking at the photo. I might redo a different version of this one sometime in the future, and try different techniques to sell the concept a bit more.

Busting eyeballs Special Effects makeup

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This look is definitely very eye-catching! I had really enjoyed making my loose eyeball in one of the looks I did a couple months ago, and I had a craving to do more. This is kind of like the upgraded version of that one. Somehow in my deranged, disturbing mind I came up with the idea of having a bunch of eyeballs protruding from my eye area.

To make the eyeballs, I sculpted them using cotton balls and rolling them in liquid latex. I made about 20 different eyeballs, varying in different sizes. Once they dried, I painted on a thin wash of a yellowish brown colour to give a more realistic effect, and then added the details.

I covered my real eye with a cotton pad, which is my favourite method since one usually covers the entire eye and eyebrow. I stippled liquid latex over it carefully and added some tissue around and over the cotton pad to blend it into the skin. With more latex soaked tissue, I built a “wall” around the area of my eye I just covered to create the hole for my new eyeballs. I stuck them all in individually with liqud latex and added small pieces of thinned out cotton balls around them to hold them all there.

Once the prosthetic part was done, I painted the whole thing with red, brown and black water activated paints and drowned myself in blood. I made sure to not completely cover the eyes in blood so the details wouldn’t get lost.

I love creating these eyeballs. I want to explore making different body parts in the future, like fingers or maybe organs. I also think it would look super cool to do this on both eyes, although I’d have to do that on a model considering it’s very difficult to maneuver around with one eye covered, let alone two.

Avant-garde clown bodypaint

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For this creation, I was honestly inspired by the aesthetic of creepy clowns, old carnivals, and American Horror Story’s fourth season “Freakshow”. I had also just received the wig that I’m wearing in the photo and wanted to do a cool look with it. I really love the colour scheme I chose, I think that the reds, pinks, white and black look beautiful yet slightly creepy. I did a lot of blending and shading, especially with the neck part, since I wanted it to look messy and dirty. Lightly blending the brown colour under the scallops of the neck piece really defined it and made it pop. This is my favourite avant-garde/bodypaint type creation that I’ve done so far, and I can really see some improvements within each look I do.

My first experience at drag makeup – Inspired by Trixie Mattel

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This was my very first attempt at doing drag makeup. I’ve been fascinated with drag queens and culture for about 5 years now, so I thought it’d be a good idea to finally try it out myself. I took inspiration from my favorite drag queens, Trixie Mattel. Her style is like a very exaggerated barbie mixed with a glamorous clown, and I love it. It’s very different to “traditional drag makeup” which I seem to be more attracted to versus the regular “beauty pageant” queens. I find it more creative and interesting to look at, and I feel as if I can identify with that quirky and ridiculous style of drag better with my personal aesthetic and personality.

After collecting a few reference photos and watching many tutorials on YouTube, I started the look by covering up my very thick and dark natural eyebrows. I had tried once or twice before to block out my brows, and it had been a hellish experience if I recall correctly. To do this, you brush out your brow hairs flat and comb through small layers of glue (from a glue stick), powder them once dried with translucent face powder and repeat the process until the brows are completely flattened and ready to be painted over. I guess practice does make perfect since I think I did a very good job on this part. It’s really important to do this in drag makeup because it erases your eyebrows and allows you to create new, exaggerated “feminine” ones higher up on your face. Since the average drag queen is a biological male, their eyebrows are usually much more different than a female’s so this is a crucial step.

I then proceeded to cover up the eyebrows with a thick full coverage foundation that matches my skin to make them disappear even more, and I dragged it down to the rest of my face and neck. Next, I contoured and highlighted. This is what truly makes or breaks a drag queen because it completely reshapes the facial structure. I studied my reference photo and tried to replicate how Trixie Mattel’s contour and highlight was placed. The cheeks are very rounded and sculpted so I used a cool toned brown cream paint to carve them out. To highlight, I applied a light cream color to the high points of my new cheeks. The nose is very delicate and small, so I painted on two very close lines on each side of the nose with one in the middle using my highlight shade. Once finished, I knew I had to powder the entire face since I was finished using the creme/liquid products. If you don’t do this, you risk smudging or wiping off all the work you’ve done on your face previously. Powders also do not blend on cremes unless the creme has already been evenly coated in a powder product of some sort. The technique is known by makeup artists worldwide as “Paint and Powder”. To finish off the face I applied a heaping load of Trixie’s signature hot pink barbie-esque blush all over the cheek area. This really brought the look together and made it more recognizable.

Next, I went on to doing the eyes. A lot of drag queens paint the crease of the eye over the eyebrow to create a higher set eye which kind of gives an “eye lift” effect. I knew I wanted to do a blue eyeshadow look, so I drew a rough outline of my new eye shape and slowly blended in the blue shades. I put a thick white line on my bottom lash line to make the waterline of my eye seem bigger. After blending away, I added a humongous amount of liquid liner to create the signature winged eyeliner which completely covered my natural eyelid. I stacked on about 4 sets of false lashes on each eye, although next time I think I would use more lashes, as well as bigger ones which I didn’t have at the time of doing this.

Once I had my new eyes down, I drew on my eyebrows. These didn’t turn out how I wanted them to be, but I’m sure that with practice I can master it. The eyebrows weren’t meant to be the focal point of this look, so I didn’t worry too much about them anyways. I completely overdrew my lips to make myself look like I’d had 43 lip injections in the past week, and I was done!

This was really fun to do and a great learning experience for me. I definitely want to try drag makeup many times again. I have many ideas of other drag looks I would like to recreate, and once I start to really get the hang of it I’d like to maybe even create my own drag style.

 

 

 

Creative cartel infographics

While trying to come up with an idea for my project on drug lords and cartels across the world, I stumbled upon an incredible creation; infographics. Unlike a typical graph which to me at least, is pretty boring, infographics are artistic and colorful. They generally give lots of information while still having cool illustrations and visuals to grasp the eye, which is perfect for someone like me who struggles with numbers and bland math.

My idea is to create a collection of infographics using the data I’ve collected from my research on the drug trafficking industry. My main inspiration for this idea is a book by Tim Leong, Super Graphic. “A visual guide to the comic book universe”, the book is filled with beautiful, colorful infographics on superheroes and comic books.

My goal is to create my own infographics inspired/based by these. A few of my rough ideas are;

America vs Colombia

– how many murders cartel did, what drugs they sold, how much money was made

affiliation graph (inspired by super graphics) one side with names & other with names of drugs and cities/countries.
Venn diagram
map: Colombia (Medellin) Mexico city, Harlem, Chicago and Washington dc
where were the drugs going/being trafficked around the world
I have found a few infographics websites and templates that I might use along with completely drawing them myself on photoshop. I’m still in the process of planning everything, so this is a very rough draft of my plans on this project. I am still doing lots of research and will update this as I go.

 

Beat up blistered face Special Effects makeup

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This was something somewhat different for me since my gore looks usually are more “creative”, as in non typical injuries that would only happen in a movie or a really severe accident.

It was meant to be a burnt/blistered face at first, but ended up in more of a bruised, swollen, beat up injury. I think this turned out very realistic and I am proud of the finished look.

To make this beautiful creation, I used FX gelatin to build up the swolen-ness of the face. I used it over the mouth and nose as well which I really think sold the look. I picked at the gelatin to create little holes and dents that I later painted in and filled with coagulated blood.

Colourful pop art inspired zombie Body Paint

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This was my first attempt at body painting. Although this was originally inspired by a youtube tutorial, I switched it up a bit and did my own twist on this look. I used water activated body paints for the first time with this and learnt that similar to traditional painting, the more water used dilutes the colour pigmentation and less gives a richer payoff of colour.

Half-burnt skeleton Special Effects makeup

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This is meant to be a contrast of beauty and gore, as both sides of my face show. I used a lot of shading in the deeper parts of the gore side to add more dimension and pop to the look so it could look somewhat three dimensional in a 2d photo. I think doing this gave me a better understanding on contrasting shadows therefore helping me to enhance my craft. For this I used cotton balls saturated in liquid latex to create the bone structure and depth in my face. I used fake nails dipped in blood for the teeth. I painted it all with alcohol activated and water paints because they’re both very liquidous and seep into the cotton.

Popped out eyeball Special Effects makeup

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This look was inspired by a video tutorial I found online and followed. It was the first time I’d tried the “covering your eye” method and although I completely lost any depth perception I previously had and walked into a few walls, the final result definitely payed off. I learnt a few new techniques such as how to properly anchor things with a bit of weight onto my face so they stick and don’t fall off, as well as completely covering my eye safely. To create the eye, I sculpted several cotton balls with liquid latex and adhered a cotton pad over my eye to cover it.