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EXCLUSIVE Interview With Special Effects Makeup Artist Joo Skellington!

In celebration of the upcoming Halloween season that we are all already looking forward to, we’ve got an exclusive interview with the absolutely astounding special effects makeup artist, Jose Davalos.

It took us only one picture to become completely obsessed with Jose and his work, and truly, we were shocked to learn that he is almost entirely self taught. After talking to Jose about his wide variety of looks, we learned not only which movies inspire him, but also how long it takes to create such intricate designs.

We are also particularly excited to see the looks that Jose is still dying to create, so you’re going to want to keep up with him and his progress throughout his journey- especially after you find out which Disney villain is still on his list of ones to tackle.

Check out our interview with the infamous Instagram makeup extraordinaire, Joo Skellington, down below!

1. You say you’re self taught, how long did it take you to learn how to create such intricate looks? Was it ever frustrating to the point that you almost gave up?

I was always very passionate about art since I was a little kid. I remeber sculpting animals and faces out of clay and also drawing a lot, so this helped me out. Also my mom encouraged me to make arts and crafts, like paper mache and fabrication. It took me like 18 years of practicing literally everyday. There were some times when I gould be just tired or frustrated! But I am always possitive that my dreams will come true if I keep working hard.

Amazing Shot of my Scar Makeup and Costume I did at San Diego Comic Con Photo by: @darthbx #Scar #ScarMakeup #ScarCostume #ScarCosplay #SFX #Prosthetics #Latex #Broadway #DisneyCosplay #DisneyCostume #DisneyVillains #DisneyArts #Villain #SelfTaught #beardedhorror #horror_sketches #feature_my_stuff #sfxaltlas #3DPrinting #LionKingBroadway #DisneyVillainsCollection #Africa #TheLionKing #Prosthetics #MUA #ComicCon #ComicCon2016 #SDCC #SanDiegoComicCon #Wondercon Made by: @JooSkellington SCAR was very well recieved by people and judges, winning best original design, I did this because I have never seen any cosplayer doing Scar with a realistic Lion Hybrid style. Thanks Rene Alvarado for the Pic @darthbx and @joynerstudio for sharing the tag with me

A post shared by Joo Skellington (@jooskellington) on

2. What first inspired you to get into the world of special effects makeup?

I remember watching a behind the scenes movie from Hocus Pocus and Pirates of The Caribbean, and I heard the word prosthetic and after watching Rick Baker and Ve Neil working, I started making my own prosthetics out of paper mache at first [laughs].

3. You do a lot of Disney villain looks, who is your favorite Disney villain and why?

My favorite one, because of the transformation involved, is the Evil Queen from Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs. I love the Old Hag because she is basically a witch, and those are my favorite characters. Design wise, I love Maleficent.

4. What movie has your favorite special effects makeup? Do you prefer the older ones verses the CGI heavy ones?

Yes I do prefer the old ones! I love Dracula with Gary Oldman, Pan’s Labrinth, Hocus Pocus, The Grinch, and the movie series Tales From The Crypt.

5. Typically, how long does it take you to create a look? What’s the longest one has ever taken you?

Usually 4 to 20 weeks depending on complexity. The longest one has been the movie accurate ones like my Edward Scissorhands because it’s a replica, then I would say Lumiere and Ursula because of all the sculpting involved.

6. Does designing looks like these ever take away from the horror of Halloween scare houses? Because you know how they created the looks?

Yes but still I love going to those places to get some inspiration.

7. What is one look you are still dying to create?

I will release more characters of my own, [but] Disney Related it’s [Claude] Frollo and also The Peinguin from Batman Returns.

8. Would you like to work in movies or in television?

Movies. 🙂

9. What is the look you created that you’re most proud of?

Lumiere is my favorite.

10. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received from someone in regards to your work? Similarly, what advice would you give someone starting out in special effect makeup.

When people from the movie industry approach to me to congratulate me about my work, [that] is the most satisfying thing. The best piece of advice has been “be the best at what you do, no matter what job it is”.