Central Florida is home to all avenues of entertainment and the arts at large, perhaps that is why local talents like Sissaundra Lewis (The Voice), Robert Bennett ( Jim Hensons Creature Shop) keep making waves on the national stage. Professional body artist Nix Herrera is no stranger to the national stage either appearing on Face Off Season 2 . Last weekend Nix generously shared his expertise with some aspiring students at AEO Studios in Orlando. "I believe in giving back" to the artistic community says Nix. He believes in the philosophy that artists benefit from working together in a supportive environment.
He began his career as a airbrush artist when he discovered an old airbrush in his fathers garage. "Can I have this Dad", he asked...little did his father know but that 'find' would set Nix on a successful career course. He told the class how he lugged around his fathers huge air compressor doing temporary tattoos as a fund raiser for his High School. Although he was just a teen he was savvy enough to save aside money to buy better equipment to grow his business.
When the I-Drive attraction Skull Kingdom opened it doors Nix seized the opportunity to work in a Halloween atmosphere all year round. his first job was as a 'stunt double for the electric chair man'. "Everyday I sat in the makeup chair and came out with abs of steel and rippling muscles painted on... and though yeah I could get used to this" says Nix with a smile. After only one year an opening for makeup artist apprenticeship opened up, and he gladly took the job. Bill McCoy took him under his wing and "taught me everything he knew " said Nix adding " that's one of the reasons I like to share my knowledge as a way of giving back".
He learned quickly and soon got an offer to go overseas to China to create looks for a major production of a Halloween show. Alan Ostrander had this to say about Nix, "As President of AEO Studios in Orlando, I have had the honor and privilege of working with the Amazing NiX on a variety of projects. I have known NiX for many years, since he was painting monsters at Orlando's Skull Kingdom more than a decade ago. We were able to bring him over to Hong Kong to work on our makeup team & as lead for the Ocean Park Halloween Bash for several years, the largest theme-park event in Asia. In addition, we have collaborated on numerous projects here in the US, and welcome every opportunity to work with this Amazingly Talented Artist, whether for Halloween or in any genre of Make-up."
His star studded client list includes Playboy's Super Bowl party at the Playboy Mansion , Black Eyed Peas NYC show ,Usher, John Mayer, Donald Trump , John Travolta, "08"Jay-Z 40/40 Club NYC , Paris Hilton & Benji Madden's DJ Tour Tampa,Danny Masterson from "That 70's Show" DJ show Tampa FL., Adrian Grenier from HBO's "Entourage" New Years Eve Party and more.
His reputation has earned him a spot as a platform speaker for various industry trade-shows. He also hosts workshops for all forms of body art painting at various locations including the AEO Studios (located near Full Sail). During his recent workshop for beginners he went over everything you could ever want to know about air brush makeup application, spray guns, air compressors, products from a-z. He demonstrated how to assemble, disassemble, clean, trouble shoot your air spray gun properly and more. He then went over various painting techniques designed to strengthen your ability to spray properly. After the students gained some confidence in airbrush spraying he taught them some basic face painting techniques. He was a very patient teacher and assisted each student according to their level.
With Halloween approaching Nix offered also offered specialty class on horror makeup. Both novice and experienced artists attended hoping to take advantage of learning tips from the pro. Students received step by step instruction on how to create scary zombies, sexy vampires, aged faces and skeletons. Most of the techniques were practiced on paper , but students were also given 3D heads to work their makeup magic on, which could later be taken home for practice.
Both of the workshops were very intensive and informative. Nix has a way of putting everyone at ease so the pressure is off and the inner artist can come shining through. He truly is giving back to the art community in a big way. If you are interested in becoming a part of the world of air brush makeup art I highly recommend you study with Nix Herrera.
Check out his amazing work at:
Suggested makeup suppliers
AEO Studios - 2200 N Forsyth Rd, Orlando, FL 32807
Iwata Airbrush systems