September 14, 2010

MUD Grad Profile: Ashley Joy Beck

Ashley Joy Beck at work

“I didn’t know how to make a career in LA’s entertainment industry, but I knew MUD would show me the way.”

Make-Up Designory (MUD) graduate Ashley Joy Beck was born and raised in the entertainment industry. As a young teen, she was first exposed to the world of professional make-up while working for her parents’ sound and lighting production company at the International Make-Up Artist trade show in Pasadena, California. In preparation for her career, Ashley earned a degree in art and worked for five years as a retail cosmetic artist for NARS and other Estée Lauder cosmetic brands, before completing the Make-Up 11 Program at MUD’s Burbank campus in 2008.

She says that she initially chose to attend MUD because, “I had no clue what to pack in a professional kit. Even though I had worked in retail make-up for five years, had done a few wedding make-ups, and had helped on friends’ films, I wasn’t ready for where I wanted to be.” While at MUD, Ashley learned skills and approaches that proved critical to her success. “[I learned] what to keep stocked in my kit and how to behave on set – a little lingo goes a long way with film geeks…The teachers are an invaluable resource. I picked their brains every spare second. I would get to class early to have a few minutes with them, and stay late every so often to try and glean any jewels of experience. They are working in the industry, I would tell myself, they know. And so I listened. A lot.”

Since graduation, Ashley has worked extensively in a wide range of industries and media, including comedy film assignments, webisodes (The Guild), short films (Young Hollywood’s interview with Arsenio Hall), promotional/head shot photo shoots for a variety of actors and comedians, commercial fashion print work, album covers, music videos, artistic beauty and editorial concept photo shoots and television commercials for the University of Phoenix and Jinx clothing, among others. She displays her portfolio on her website:

Her favorite assignment so far involved working with four fellow MUD graduates on a Cirque du Soleil show, promoting the Microsoft Xbox 360 Project Natal product launch in Los Angeles. She says, “We were with them for five days, and we got to practice the pre-designed Cirque make-ups with the head Cirque make-up designer. It was so artistically fulfilling to be doing this sort of avant-garde fantasy theatre make-up. By the end of the week, I felt like my dreams had all come true!”

Ashley is continually inspired by nature, and by the inherent beauty she sees in each of her subjects. She says, “Mostly the person I am going to be doing the make-up on will inspire me. I take a deep breath and really look at his or her face, without thought. They I see the make-up on them, and the places where I want to put certain colors, shapes or textures.” She cites the MUD career site as a crucial resource, especially early on, but adds, “It’s good to remember that every make-up artist has something to teach.” Her advice to aspiring artists? “Be brave. When you want to do something, give it everything you’ve got. Remember to take it lightly – it’s make-up – and if all else fails, just throw some glitter on that mess!”


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