LA 2024 Speaker Bios2023-11-05T15:27:45-08:00
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Kirsten Coleman

With over 18 years of experience across features, commercials, TV, branded content and the corporate world, Kirsten Coleman is a veteran in the field of makeup design. She served as the Makeup Department Head for Boots Riley’s debut film “Sorry to Bother You” and recent HBO series, The Idol featuring Lily Rose Depp. She also received a Prime Time Emmy for her work on Season 1 of HBO’s highly acclaimed “Euphoria.”

Kirsten’s love for feature films narrative sets her apart, as she strives to create authentic and realistic character makeup that not only physically transforms an actor but also aids them in developing their roles. Her subtle yet effective techniques are designed to blur the line of realism on the big screen.  Her approach with makeup also focuses strongly on skincare and the use of products that are ethically made with plant-based and organic ingredients.

Kirsten is known for her strong artistic vision and style, which stemmed from her unique background. Her upbringing in the cultural and artistic hub of the San Francisco Bay Area was anything but conventional. She is daughter to a spiritual channeler and granddaughter to a renowned jewelry maker and artist. Having been exposed to the unorthodox in all areas of life, she gravitated towards the arts, taking an interest in painting, illustration, jewelry making, and graphic design. However, her love for makeup and hair design in her early teens eventually led way to attending the San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology.  There, her teacher and mentor, a union hair stylist, began taking her on film sets, exposing her to the world of film and television that she has called home since. She is currently based in Los Angeles and is a member of Local 706.

John Robert Wrightson

John Robert Wrightson is a Local 706 makeup artist. The eldest son of horror artist Bernie Wrightson, John developed a love for makeup, monsters and movie making at a young age and would later put his love to good use when he moved to California in 2002. Since then, he has worked as makeup effects artist, a sculptor & painter on projects like The Walking Dead, Star Trek Beyond, The Orville, Logan, Gotham, Man of Steel, Star Trek: Discovery, Love and Death, Alita: Battle Angel, Deadpool 2, and Captive State.

Tom Hester

Tom Hester

Tom Hester has designed and sculpted for Hollywood for over 35 years. Inspired by his father’s profession as an orthopaedic surgeon and his mother’s work at the Natural History Museum, his knowledge of anatomy and fascination with the natural world were instrumental in his early work with Rick Baker, on such films as An American Werewolf in London,  Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Harry and The Hendersons, Gorillas in the Mist and Gremlins 2.

Aside from live action film work, Tom was the lead Character Designer for the animated blockbusters Shrek, Shrek2  &  Shrek The Third.

Simultaneously with his film career, for decades, Tom has pursued his Fine Art Sculpture. It is now his primary focus. His subject matter includes figurative, wildlife and fantasy, with an impassioned emphasis on the severely endangered big cats. “I hope to bring attention to their desperate fight for survival and to highlight their phenomenal power, elegance and majesty.”

Faina Rudshteyn

Faina Rudshteyn, a New York City native and freelance makeup artist, transformed her passion for art into a successful career. She holds a degree in Fashion Marketing from New York City College of Technology and honed her makeup skills at Make Up For Ever Academy NYC. Faina’s journey includes working at Make Up Forever Pro Studio and Immortal Masks. Her passion in special effects led her to achieve 2nd place in the Character/Prosthetic Competition at the International Makeup Artist Tradeshow in Sydney, Australia, in 2014. To further her expertise, she moved to Los Angeles in 2015, attending Cinema Makeup School and becoming a semi-finalist on the 12th season of FaceOff on the SyFy channel. Faina works primarily in the Film and Television industry as well as music video, and commercial department heading and keying various projects. Her work spans character makeups, fashion editorials, and body art, all fueled by her dedication to learning, creating, and educating.

Brian Van Dorn

Growing up in the Midwest, and as an avid fan of classic horror movies, Brian aspired to be a solid contribution to the makeup effects industry in Hollywood.  His talents eventually led him to the workshop, particularly the mold department.  With over 25 years of mold experience, Brian has worked on countless projects in the motion picture, television, and commercial industries including multiple Oscar and Emmy award winning projects; working with Rick Baker, Greg Cannom, Todd Masters, Steve Johnson, Rob Bottin, Vincent Van Dyke, Mike Marino, Kazu Hiro, Spectral Motion, MEG, ODD, Illusion Industries, ADI, Jim Henson’s, Matthew Mungle, and others. And, as one of the top mold makers in the industry, he has also supervised mold departments for Göran Lundström, Christien Tinsley, Glenn Hetrick, Jason Hamer, Jose Fernandez, and Joel Harlow.

Corey Kovacs

Corey Kovacs is a seasoned marketing and branding professional with eight years of expertise, specializing in social media. As the founder of “The Go-To Creative Agency,” she leverages her experience to provide insightful consultations, guiding individuals and companies in crafting effective social media strategies for impactful brand presence.

Richard Espinoza

Richard is a Los Angeles native with over 14 years of experience in the beauty industry. He is dual licensed in cosmetology and esthetics from Citrus College, Glendora, California.

Richard has created his own unique style, based on bringing out the inner beauty of his clientele. He tastefully applies cosmetics to enhance one’s natural features, rather than camouflaging them.

His work has been featured in print, TV and film, fashion and red-carpet special events. Richard’s ultimate passion is teaching makeup and skin care. Over the course of his career, Richard has taught over 2,000 students in a variety of beauty institutes, and privately in his salon studio based in Hollywood, CA.

Vicki Greco

For over 25 years, Ms. Greco has assisted her client maneuver and succeed through California’s civil legal system.  Whether in court or analyzing her client’s contractual rights and obligation, her goal is to zealously advocate for her client and provide effective, cost-efficient and practical guidance and counsel.  Through clear and effective communication and a keen sense of justice, Ms. Greco has earned the respect of her clients, opposing counsel, jurors and judges throughout the state.  She is known as a collaborative, goal orientated advocate, who can zero in on the real issues while avoiding the pitfalls of nonsense.  She takes pride in her ability to evaluate both sides of an argument and can effectively anticipate her opponents’ position so her client is informed and prepared.    No issue is too big or small and Ms. Greco understands everyone deserves to be protected and know their consumer rights.

Ms. Greco has had the privilege of representing individuals, both everyday folks and high profile celebrities, deal with a myriad of legal topics ranging from contracts, sexual abuse, #metoo, employment related issues, catastrophic injuries and death.  Her corporate clientele have included William Morris Endeavor,  Pfizer, Farmers Insurance, Walmart and multiple production companies.

Göran Lundström

Göran Lundström has been in the business for 30 years and has worked continuously as makeup supervisor & designer through his own workshop, but also as a freelancing makeup artist/ sculptor for other colleagues the world over. With a portfolio of work that includes a widerange of genres, from horror to fantasy to drama, his dedication to his craft and his unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional results have made him a respected figure in the world of special makeup effects. His credits include work on The Last Voyage of the Demeter, House of Gucci, Coming 2 America, The Batman, The Wolfman and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. His highest acclaim to date is 2 Oscar nominations for his design work on the films “Border” and “House of Gucci”. He has an additional 5 MUAHS award nominations, a Variety Artisan Award and American Cinemateque award.

Kazu Hiro

Kazu Hiro is a contemporary hyperrealist sculptor, prosthetic makeup designer living and working in Los Angeles. After working 25 years as a special effects makeup artist in Hollywood, Kazu decisively shifted focus in 2012, dedicating himself full time to fine art sculpture. Using resin, platinum silicone, and many other materials, Kazu constructs three-dimensional portraits in a scale two times life size.
Kazu is a self taught pioneer in the craft of using contemporary materials to create the illusion of life. Having discovered the art of special effects makeup for himself while perusing American magazines as a teenager, he developed skills through mimicry, trial and error. In 1987, he found the address for Dick Smith in Fangoria Magazine and initiated a pen pal student/mentor relationship with him which eventually resulted in Kazu’s first film gig fresh out of high school. As an early pioneer in Japan, Kazu founded one of the country’s first companies of its kind, Makeup and Effects Unlimited, and worked with director Akira Kurosawa in the production of Rhapsody in August.

These experiences made him the obvious choice to instruct the first classes dedicated to the emerging craft of special effects makeup at the newly founded Yoyogi Animation Institute. In 1996, Kazu was sponsored by Rick Baker to work on Men In Black in the USA. This prompted a decade-long collaboration with Baker where Kazu was project supervisor and makeup artist. In 2007, Kazu started KTS Effects Inc. in Los Angeles. In retrospect his film career had served as a laboratory for developing cutting edge styles of portrait painting, photography, and sculpture. This led to a collaboration with Contemporary Artist Paul McCarthy where Kazu was hired to supervise the projects that have become some of McCarthy’s latest major works. The recent work he has exhibited widely at major art fairs and museums, has magnetized the attention from collectors, press, and visiting art enthusiasts alike.

2018 Kazu received numerous awards including Academy Awards Oscar for his work in Darkest Hour to help Gary Oldman to portray Winston Churchill. 2020 Kazu received numerous awards including Academy Awards Oscar for his work in Bombshell to help Charlize Theron to portray Megan Kelly, John Lithgow to portray Roger Ailes.

Armando Kole

Armando Kole, also known as Kole MUA, is a certified celebrity makeup artist that is making his mark in the world of professional makeup. At just 13 years old; Armando was balancing middle school by day and bridal parties by weekend. With his now 5 years of experience, Armando has not only worked with some of the most prominent celebrities in the industry, but has even created his own signature “soft matte glam” style that has caught wind in the beauty world and inspired many other makeup artists to take his classes and learn his techniques to emulate onto their own clients. Because of it’s popularity, this past year he released his own eyeshadow palette called “Served Soft”, giving makeup artists and makeup lovers alike the opportunity to recreate his signature look on their own.

At an early age, Armando found his passion in art through drawing and pop culture. He would paint faces and eyes, even on his own arms, to bring his ideas to a skin canvas. While taking his natural talents and self taught knowledge to the next level at Artist Makeup Academy; it wasn’t always easy for Armando.
He had created his “@Kole_MUA” Instagram handle, purposely leaving out his first name, to hide his passion from his peers in school, in fear of being bullied. However, concealing his talent was short-lived when Armando was quickly noticed for his ability. Featured in the American Student Association, Armando started as a role model for young individuals looking to already start professional careers. He was quickly respected by not only his peers, but his teachers alike. While maintaining good grades in his honors curriculum based school, he balanced his already developing professional life with grace and ease. Though he’s young, Armando has a broad perspective on makeup and is constantly learning and growing. Despite having his own signature style, Armando has explored and is well capable of many genres of makeup – ranging from “No makeup” makeup, to bridal, to celebrity makeup, and even more adventurous mediums such as editorial, theatrical, and SFX. Armando makes an effort to not only be knowledgeable of his own makeup aesthetic, but to remain well rounded with all aesthetics as well as past and future styles of makeup.

At the now tender age of 19, Armando is now a seasoned veteran in the world of beauty. His unique style and growing reputation has landed him top celebrity clients from Nikki Baby and Emily B to Monique Coleman, Adrienne Bailon, Lil Kim, Ashanti, and Cardi B – he has been recognized by some of the most influential power house women. You can find his work published in Ellements Magazine, Imirage Magazine, Plus Models Magazine, and Luxe Kurves as well as in campaigns with Nike, Lilly Lashes, Absolute Products, and Nalabe; just to name a few. Armando is quickly becoming a leading artist and strives to continue to learn and grow. “At the end of the day, my ultimate goal is to make each and every client of mine feel like the most confident version of themselves.”

Tisha Thompson

A trained professional makeup artist turned beauty business maven, Tisha Thompson, is the Founder and CEO of LYS™ Beauty with more than 20 years’ industry experience in clean beauty product development, brand management, marketing, finance and operations. Unapologetic in her pursuit to diversify the marketplace, Tisha built LYS™ as a landing-place for makeup and skincare solutions that are uniquely catered to various skin types, textures and tones, while addressing common skin concerns, like hyperpigmentation, dark spots and sensitive skin. With ingredients as her tool and confidence as the goal, Tisha is on a mission to dispel the myth that clean beauty, deep shade ranges and high-performance products cannot coexist.

Following a listen and respond approach to innovation, Tisha has spent years intimately studying the beauty consumer to fill gaps in the market as it relates to performance, shade offerings, undertones and marketing representation. Truly becoming one with the lab, she relays these consumer concerns for a final result that gives you the immediate payoff you want with the lasting benefits your skin needs. Because when it comes to your skin, compromising shouldn’t be an option.

Innately curious and hungry for change, Tisha dedicates her time traveling the world to discover best beauty practices, emerging trends and consumer-facing concerns to create products that break down barriers and build up confidence. She is known for celebrating the non-conforming views of beauty through globally recognized campaigns.

As a millennial mom of two, beauty enthusiast and undisputed go-getter, Tisha understands the industry’s need for clean products that are equal parts effective and inclusive. She dedicates her time traveling across the world to discover emerging trends, ingredients and practices and consumer-facing concerns, which are echoed throughout the company to produce a carefully curated collection of products that satisfy the needs of the global consumer. When she’s not at the baseball field with her two son’s, you can find her testing products in the lab, conceptualizing beautiful packaging or brainstorming strategies to break down the barriers in the beauty industry.

Dakota Patton

The World’s Youngest Makeup Artist Sensation.  Dakota Patton is not your average 6-year-old. At the age of 3, she made history by becoming the world’s youngest makeup artist, a feat that turned heads and captivated hearts. Her extraordinary talent has led her to the global stage, with appearances on top-notch media outlets, including Access Hollywood, Fox News, Daily Mail, Entertainment Tonight, Steve Harvey, and more. Dakota’s story is a testament to the limitless potential of youthful creativity and dedication, leaving a colorful mark on the world of beauty. Follow her journey as she continues to redefine the art of makeup, one brushstroke at a time. Dakota Patton: A pint-sized artist with a world of talent.

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