Suzanne Patterson

Two-Time Emmy® Award Winning Makeup and Special Makeup Effects Artist

Suzanne’s interest in makeup was strongly influenced in childhood by her world famous rodeo clown and stage/film actor father.  His clown face character was painted with theatrical greasepaint colors that she would often play with in his makeup case. Growing up in the 50s and 60s around her father’s famous western film and TV star friends, she was encouraged in particular by close family friend Academy® Award winning Actor, Ben Johnson to follow her budding interest in the makeup arts.  

Pursuing her creative talents, Suzanne drew inspiration from the signature styles of two legendary makeup giants in the industry:  British makeup artist, Mary Greenwell, famous for creating the clean and natural cover girl look in the 80’s supermodel era; and veteran Italian makeup artist, Francesca Tolot, world renowned for her renaissance artistry style with dynamic color palettes. She soon developed a strong interest in makeup special effects and was privileged to be trained and mentored by legendary Academy Award® winning special makeup effects artist, Dick Smith along with Emmy® Award nominated speciall makeup effects artist, David Dittmar, and multiple Emmy® Award/Academy Award nominees Marvin and Monty Westmore, of the famous Hollywood Westmore brothers makeup dynasty.

Known for her signature clean beauty detail techniques in UHD and master skills in SFX work, Suzanne’s 40 plus years of professional experience in thousands of productions include straight beauty and special makeup effects, hair, and costume/wardrobe styling for movies, television shows and specials, sports programs, commercial ad campaigns, PSAs, documentaries, stage productions and print work.

She has worked on some of Hollywood’s major stars such as Queen Latifah, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Melanie Griffith, Don Johnson, Jennifer Love Hewett, Mario Lopez, Charlie Sheen, Academy Award Winner, Ben Johnson, and numerous other celebrities, sports stars, and high profile clients.  Based in Metro Washington, DC her professional grooming expertise is sought after to provide services to the Presidential Staff, National politicians, famous personalities, and corporate executives in and around the Nation’s Capital.

With the onset of the digital signal format in the early 90’s Suzanne was among the first in the professional makeup industry to recognize the urgency in revamping standard definition makeup practices into a more precise and progressive technique skill set conforming to the rapidly evolving High Definition resolutions.  She developed some of the accepted makeup application principles and techniques used by many other professional artists working in Ultra High Definition (UHD) film and TV today.   

Suzanne is recognized internationally as one of the leading authorities, educator, lecturer and consultant in UHD makeup science, technology and technique for film and TV production.  She created the popular High Definition Makeup University (HDMU), along with textbooks and videos, as an educational protocol to instruct and guide the novice and pro artist in achieving top notch UHD tactical makeup expertise and skill in performance. 

Suzanne is frequently sought out by film and television studios to personally prepare and instruct customized UHD curriculum for makeup department personnel moving into this resolution format.  She has taught her HDMU makeup workshops all over the US and at major international makeup industry trade shows, where she has been a Keynote Speaker and educator for the International Makeup Artist Trade Shows, The Makeup Show, and Beauty Expo South Africa.  She has also taught courses to organizations such as Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and the IATSE Local 798 Makeup Union.  She has also taught HMDU courses to TV network and film studio personnel in several countries, including Great Britain, Germany, Canada, South Africa, and Belgium.

Besides heading her professional freelance makeup, hair and wardrobe styling company, Creative Artistry & FX, Suzanne is also the Director of Education for Graftobian Makeup Company, where she has assisted in creating and developing cutting edge makeup products for beauty and special makeup effects that are fully compliant for use in UHD. Her wealth of professional film and TV makeup experience along with her skill and expertise in Graftobian product knowledge and application is the perfect marriage for Graftobian’s Educational Outreach Program. Her reputation speaks for itself as a master artist and instructor, and has been continually demonstrated through her own workshops and seminars over 3 decades, and with thousands of students attending from all over the world.

As a veteran magazine feature article author Suzanne's editorial experience includes Associate Editor of 1st Hold Magazine, Airbrush Editor of Face Painting International Magazine, and West Coast Contributing Editor for FilmCrew Magazine. She continues to write independently as a makeup industry subject matter expert with feature articles and blogs. Some of her makeup and skin care advice and articles are presented exclusively in FAQ and at the Learning Center.

On a personal note, Suzanne is passionately committed to the mission of saving the lives of newborn abandoned babies and orphaned street children in South Africa though her tireless fundraising work for Baby Haven and African Havens.   In 2006, she created the internationally known and respected cosmetics company, Paint and Powder Cosmetics, as a non-profit income stream dedicated solely to these worthy life-saving organizations.


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