Chit chatting ​with Craig Lindberg

There are many diffrent paths in Art. You have contemporary, Graphic Design, Sequential, and even Tattoo art. One style/category we are focusing on in this article is makeup art. Now I know some of you might start to run a list of makeup artist in your head.  We wanted to focus on the artist that have given us the special effects we have seen on the small and big screen.  

Mr. Lindberg, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with Inbeonmag. Can you give us a brief introduction and what inspired you to become a makeup artist?

I was always an artistic person, especially as a child. I would draw, build, and paint. I made a lot of plastic model kits and often made up things to play with. I’d often act out stories using my toys. My parents were big movie goers and they would take me with them. We would see different genres of films. Also, there used to be the 4:30 movie in New York on channel 7. They would have theme weeks like monster, Sci-Fi, Horror, Apes, etc. So, I would see different types of films. So, combine my parents love for films, my love for monsters, add into that a creativity and there you go.

From 1997 to 2005 you were the head of the makeup and Education Department at Christine Valmy. You created their Makeup Curriculum during your time spent there. What were some of the challenges you faced creating the curriculum? 

At that point I was teaching at Christine Valmy Esthetic School, New York State had a requirement that all students taking esthetics needed 70 hours in makeup. When I started there the makeup notes were included in their books, but it wasn’t thorough. So, when I took over that dept and doing makeup, I turned it into its own course. The administration saw that I had good intentions and they let me create a whole new curriculum that taught color theory, determination of facial shapes, foundation mixing and 4 types of beauty makeup. Also, I introduced the students to basic makeup effects. I created the curriculum to contain a breakdown of steps explaining what the they do and why they are done. The curriculum also covered explanations of terms and the understanding that all parts make a whole.

Being the comic geek that I am and looking over your IMDB resume, I know you have worked on various comic book film properties like The Tick and Spiderman. Which comic book property was your favorite to work on?

Actually, my super geek moment happened when I walked onto Spider-man 3 for the first time and saw a truck with the daily bugle logo on the side. Spider-man was my favorite hero growing up and seeing all that and the guy in the suit was awesome.

 From my knowledge of makeup art, I know you can create the illusion of something real and at times scary and beautiful. What is your favorite makeup effect that you have done? What is your least favorite? 

I don’t have any true favorites. I try and do my best for all of it. If I have to put a “favorite” label on a makeup, I’ll have to say the makeup I did for an episode of Law and Order:SVU. I had to create a makeup on a young actress that had Williams syndrome. Her look had elvish ears, uneven teeth, and puffiness around her eyes.When her makeup was completed people spoke about her ears and teeth. Nothing about her eye bags. I took that as an accomplishment and a compliment, but I appreciate what I’ve been able and aloud to do in creating characters.

 Stepping away from art for a minute, you acted in a movie called Rock ‘n’ Roll Frankenstein as Man in Van. Can you tell us more about this experience and how this came to be? 

My acting for Rock and Roll Frankenstein was due to the director giving his crew small cameos in the film. Also, could have been because I owned a lab coat.

I love monster makeup and I am a big fan of this type of work. I saw the Toad Man on your Instagram and he looked pretty scary. When you are doing monster makeup, what is your process for creating and bringing these creatures like Toad man to life? 

 The toad man was made for a Comedy Central/The Onion television show. When I create a makeup, I look at real things as most makeup artists do. Something real tangible, it adds to its realism.

Have any of your creations ever spooked you out?

Never has anything I’ve made given me the willies.

For someone who is looking to break into makeup and special effects, what advice can you share with them? 

For those wanting/wishing to get into the business, I strongly suggest that you have passion. Passion will drive you, make you better, help you get through the difficulties. It will help you want to do and be a better makeup artists. Without that you’re wasting your time. Also, you have to give yourself time to grow and not be hard on yourself. Practice a lot! Look at real things and not other makeup work, unless you want inspiration. Create your own style and remember that every time you pick up a brush, you are better than the last time.

How important is networking as a makeup artist?

 Networking comes in when you are ready. It’s important that others see your work, your work ethic, and your personality. Too often the beginner doesn’t want to do the legwork and learn the craft. You do a good job and people will not hesitate to recommend you. Be patient.

Another thing that caught my eye on your resume was your work on SNL. You have 168 episodes under your belt. How was it working as a makeup artist on the show? Can you share one of your favorite moments with us?

I’ve been with SNL for 14 years. I figured I’ve done more than 168 episodes. I consider SNL to be an oasis. I get to work with an amazing bunch of artists that I can call friends and not just coworkers. Favorite moments? Difficult to say. It’s all good. I get a chance to do many different styles of makeup and have to do them fast.

What are some projects that you wish you could have worked on in the past?

Not so much projects, but directors or actors. However, I’d love to do a giant monster, horror, fantasy, or science fiction genre film. I have to say it’s cool to be on a set that’s not contemporary.

Can you tell us what future projects you are working on and what the future has in store for Craig Lindberg?

In the next few months, I’ll start my 14th year at Saturday Night Live and the final season of HBO’s The Deuce. After that, we’ll see.

Mr. Lindberg thank you again for taking the time to do this interview. Can you please let our readers know where we can find you online.

My Instagram name is CraiglmkupIMDb and Facebook is my name.