Meet self taught SFX artist David Harris. From his bedroom to…..Hollywood?
Necessity is the mother of invention. Or in David Harris’ case, the lack of Halloween costume ideas was the reason for his plunge into the world of special-effects make up. ‘I was struggling to find ideas for a Halloween costume so looked online and I stumbled across a special-effects makeup tutorial online. So I gave it ago and now I love it.’
Harris’ Instagram page is a homage to his love for blood, guts and gore. No detail is missed, from the scalded faces, gashes, burns and numerous household objects embedded into his face. Whilst he has worked on other types of special effects, horror remains his forte. ‘I’ve done stuff other than gore yes. Just only small stuff though. Such as old age makeup and scars.’ His favourite piece? ‘It’s hard to say because I love each piece in my own way, but if I have to pick one I’d pick it would be the card stuck in my cheek as everyone loved that one.’ Being self-taught doesn’t come easy and whilst every piece of work has its own challenges, ‘the most challenging one would have to be the ones I do on my cheeks – duct tape and razor ones- as the product is hard to smooth onto that area, plus it’s hard to see especially with glasses!’ As he continues to post more of his work, ‘the biggest challenge is thinking of new fresh ideas and pleasing everyone at once is hard. But my followers are amazing and love everything I do.’
Harris’ presence continues to grow online and whilst he has ambitions to eventually work on a movie set, he’s currently working on growing his brand. ’I’ve had a few companies contact me but nothing to the extent of a full time job – no. So for now I’m still doing it as a hobby. I’m also not sponsored either so I buy everything myself which can be pricey.’ Nonetheless, he’s happy with the recognition that he’s receiving. ‘For now I’m happy with that I’ve achieved. A good social media fan base!’
And for those looking to work in special effects, ‘the advice is to use cheap products to begin with so you’re not wasting money as you’re learning – you’ll waste so much stuff! The essential for me is a good wax, liquid latex and a very good blood. Also a nice cream coloured pallets such as a master bruise wheel.’
Given how realistic his work is and how well received his work has been so far, Hollywood may not be unrealistic. Our advice? Watch this space for SFX by David Harris.
Our thanks go to David Harris for making this interview happen.
You can check out his work on Instagram @sfx_by_david
Article © of IYO Magazine