Laura Tyler is best known for her work on the Sy Fy television series Face Off, having competed twice as a contestant and having won once. In the coming season (airing Tuesdays on Sy Fy) she returns once again, but this time as a mentor for the new contestants. We got a chance to talk to her about the new season, some Renaissance artwork and sci-fi classics.
: This season some of the past winners are returning as mentors for the new contestants. How does this change the overall dynamic of the series?
Laura Tyler: It changes the dynamic quite a lot…. and at the same time, not at all. The contestants will still be competing with each other individually, but Anthony, Rayce, and myself will be coaching them, which in and of itself may make for some very fun and interesting television. On a personal level, I enjoyed the opportunity to really pass on information about this art form/ competition while at the same time drawing attention to the joys and difficulties of teachers in general.
GP: Are there one or more sculptures that you would use as inspiration for those that you are mentoring?
LT: This doesn’t give anything away, but some of my personal favorite sculptures come from the artist/sculptor Bernini. They were always very lifelike and realistic while at the same time conveying a certain weight of motion and emotion. I would have loved to show examples of his work, however in a competition that is not allowed.
: Does being a mentor bring back memories of competing? And does it seem strange to be going back to the same studio but in a different role?
LT: It does bring back a lot of memories of competing. Part of me wanted to get right back into thick of it and start sculpting and applying make up again, while another part of me just wanted to sit back and relax because I could…. Yet I have to admit there was quite a inner struggle going on most the time, fighting my natural instinct to dive right in and help as much as I could, as I’m so used to doing on set. I guess you’ll have to wait and see what I do and how all that plays out. ;)
GP: Last season former contestants came back for one episode to help the judges compete against each other. Are we going to see the same with the three mentors?
LT: Given the opportunity to do any kind of volunteer/charity work where Rayce, Anthony and I could all have fun and be artistic against each other, (or maybe work with each other on the same project?) I would jump at the opportunity. Nothing planned yet, but who knows. Maybe if enough fans want it…..?
GP: What can the fans look forward to seeing this season? Anything particularly crazy planned?
LT: Some of my favorite challenges of any season are definitely on this one. Some of the makeups are going to absolutely be the definition of ‘creative’ and I can’t wait for the fans to see all the cool new ideas and guests.
: How have things changed for you since you won Face Off?
LT: I try to do as much work on film and television sets as I can, as had been my goal all along. I was a makeup artist for 3 films in 2014, plus I joined the union after my 5th season win, which is a huge stepping stone to more professional work in big budget stuff- which is my passion. I’m always working on something or another.
GP: What inspires you?
LT: Like anyone else I’m inspired by all kinds of movies, television, and like minded art stemming from fantasy and sci fi genres. If you haven’t checked it out, look up the annual art book Spectrum. Amazing work by other artists is always a motivator to want to be my best and produce my own art.
GP: If you could work on any modern movie on the special effects makeup, which one would you choose?
LT: As a disclaimer, first I have to say that there is a real art to makeups on screen you would never know was there unless someone told you. Invisible old age makeups that absolutely make the character, I truly appreciate. Subtlety is difficult to accomplish sometimes with these makeups, and there is a real skill to doing it right. That said, I loved The Guardians of the Galaxy’s makeups. A beautiful job on a fantastic new kind of space opera… But the nostalgic in me will always go back to answers like Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars for this question. Lots of creatures and aliens, which to me have always held my obsessive like interest since I was a child.