ARTIST & CREATIVE INTERVIEW SERIES, Harry Potter, The Art of Transformation, and Charlotte Pingriff‘s creative philosophy on being weird.

I’m pretty giddy about this interview series for various reasons. Mainly because it has very little to do with me and very much to do with the intriguing stories of OTHER fascinating human beings. It gives me a chance to leave the funky, if not somewhat deep and firework-y depths of my own noggin and enter the amazing worlds of others.

Please note: This interview contains adult content. Some images contain horror and gore. 

Charlotte PingriffAs great as the last interview with Fred China was THIS latest creative continues to uphold the high standards in artistry. Here’s the Scooby Doo flash back as to why THIS interview with Charlotte Pingriff is so cool for me.

I outted myself previously for being the movie and horror geek that I am in the interview with Terry Wolfinger. And I can’t let that cat back into the Pandora’s box of crazy so I’m just going to go with it.

I first met Charlotte in Marie Forleo’s Bschool. (If you don’t know Marie’s work or Bschool seek them out. Bschool is like a mystical business school for magical unicorns and Marie is the beautifully coiffed and seriously savvy head uni who created it.) But it wasn’t until later that Charlotte’s work caught my eye. We were in a group of fantastic women from all over the world brought together by Sacred & Sexy’s Kerrie Louise Duggan and Charlotte had this amazeballs profile photo made up of all delightful things zombie and gore. There was a bit of hub bub because a poor soul saw the image and was a wee bit dazzled or faint of heart over its gloriousness. (Or should I saw goriousness?) Anywho, the poor woman’s sensibilities were set a tizzy and the fallout caught my attention. Being a geek aka aficionado bottle fed on Fangoria and of all things gore and horror I was trying to noodle out the reaction to Charlotte’s masterpiece. Thus the birth of my first FX crush since the great Tom Savini. (Side note: I’m typically clueless about most things going on around me that involves other humans. I’m still trying to figure out if being clueless is a flaw or charmingly endearing. For now I’m going to go with endearing.)

*Scooby Doo fade back to the present*

I could geek out about Charlotte and her work forever BUT she’s agreed to do this interview so let’s get on with the show. *takes off fan girl outfit and puts on professional interviewer pants* Presenting Charlotte Pingriff

shari: WHEN DID you get your artistic start?
charlotte: I’ve always been artistic, ever since I was old
enough to hold a pencil. It’s in my blood!

shari: IT CAN BE A TOUGH gig so what inspired you to continue following a creative path?
charlotte: I couldn’t not, it was non-negotiable. I tried to go the ‘normal’ route, with a ‘normal’ job, but I was miserable, and suffered majorly with square peg in round hole syndrome! You can’t suppress that creative urge for long!

shari: WHAT IS YOUR personal philosophy when it comes to art and being creative?
charlotte: Be weird, be you, spread your wings, and experiment.

shari: DID YOU START with special effects or did you start with another medium?

Charlotte Pingriff's Wolfman

Charlotte Pingriff’s Wolfman

charlotte: Professionally, I have always been in the special effects field, though I also do life casting, and prop making. But I have tried out many areas of the arts in my time – painting, drawing, singing, dancing, writing, and many, many more. Variety is the spice of life, and I love trying new things.

shari: DID YOU TRAIN formally with any art/creative/special effects classes or did you take a more organic, non academic approach?
charlotte: I trained formally. I did several art based GCSE’s at school, then moved on to art based A’levels – dance, art and English, then did a foundation art course, and a theatrical make-up diploma, and rounded it off with a BA Hon degree in make-up and special effects.

shari: IF YOU HAD TO pick one what would be your favourite medium? The one you couldn’t live without?
Make-up, without a shadow of a doubt! I’ve always been fascinated by the art of transformation, and by the body and face as a canvas. I love how make-up allows you to explore all sides of yourself and be whoever, or whatever, you want to be.

Charlotte Pingriff's Nosferatu

Charlotte Pingriff’s Nosferatu

shari: TELL US ABOUT your creative process. Does it differ from medium to medium?
I’m not much of a planner. I see an idea in my head, and I’m itching to get it out – whatever medium that is. I’m inpatient and want to see my creation brought to life straight away! This can backfire, as I’m not the most technically minded person, but it allows creative freedom, and means I make many mistakes to learn from! Hehe! Although, I’m forced to be more methodical, if I’ve been commissioned, or am creating something for a client.

shari:  WHO ARE YOUR main creative influences?
Dick Smith, the Godfather of special effects, and Rick Baker – his prodigy. I also love many quirky artists such as Mr Finch, Colin Christian and Dustin Bailard. And, of course, horror and the supernatural – massive influence!

shari: DID YOU FALL INTO it your personal style or was it developed over time?

Charlotte Pingriff's Zombie Queen

Charlotte Pingriff’s Zombie Queen

charlotte: It’s still being developed! I don’t think it will ever stop evolving, and I’m inspired by so many things.

shari: TELL US ABOUT YOUR favourite project to date?
My 31 days of Halloween – a tutorial every day in the month of October. I didn’t QUITE get 31 days out, due to a nasty bout of tonsillitis, and a few other things, but I learned so much, and got great feedback. Of course I had to make it more difficult for myself, and also create 100 years of horror – creating an iconic horror look from each decade in the last 100 years. But I’m always too ambitious, and it regularly bites me on the bum!

shari: WHO IS the one person (or people) who supported you throughout your creative journey?
charlotte: My friends and family and been EPIC! My Mom and Dad especially. My finances have been rather challenging as I’ve been building my business, and they have helped me out loads. My boyfriend was endlessly patient whilst I was MIA over the whole months of September and October too. Plus I have to give a massive shout out to Marie Forleo, and the online business community in general – B Schoolers especially.

( Interview continued after the video jump. )

shari:  TELL US A LITTLE (or big) something about yourself that no one knows.
charlotte: I worked on Harry Potter – as a puppeteer of all things!

( Interview continued after the image jump. )

Charlotte Pingriff's Voodoo Doll

Charlotte Pingriff’s Voodoo Doll


shari: WHO IS YOUR ONE dream client and why?
It’s a collab rather than a client. I would love to collab with either Jordan Hanz, or Mykie from Glam & Gore. They are both epic special effects Youtubers, who I love! Also, Graveyard Girl – she’s just epic!shari: IF YOU COULD COLLABORATE with anyone (living or dead) who would it be and why?
charlotte: Haha, I refer to my previous answer. Though I would love to have met Dick Smith, he was such a pioneer in the special effects field. He died a few years back. Just one more – Kevin Aucoin, he was an amazing make-up artist, taken way too young. I loved his philosophy of make-up having no rules, and just being yourself. Want to rock bright red lips, and a smoky eye? Why the hell not! Go for it!

Charlotte Pingriffshari: IF YOU HAD TO PICK another career other than the one you have now what would it be and why?
charlotte: Performing – either singing or dancing, I love it!

shari: IF THERE WAS ONE THING you’d want people to know about you and/or your work what would it be?
charlotte: Primarily, I just want people to know I’m here, and I have so much to offer! I’m great at make-up, and rubbish at self-promotion! I’m a ‘very well kept secret’! Other to that, I want people to know that my YouTube community/family, is open to anyone who has ever felt that they just don’t fit, anyone who is beautifully weird!

shari: IS THERE ANYTHING else you’d like us to know? Your next project?
charlotte: I have many exciting make-ups coming up on my YouTube channel, a few collabs, and also, I plan to bring my online Etsy shop, where I sell handmade bits and bobs, in line with my channel with some brand new pretty and scary products. It’s currently called Little Shop of Happy, and was an off-shoot from my casting business (which I closed last year after realizing my heart was in make-up).

( Interview continued after the video jump. )

Thanks Charlotte for the great interview! Anyone wishing to view more of Charlotte’s work, contact her or follow her can do so through the following websites:

(Click any of the links below to take you to instant Charlotte.)

Charlotte on Facebook

Charlotte on the Instagram Interwebs

In peace, love and art,

Shari Mallinson

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