My name is Yana Stoyanova and I am a movie make-up artist!

My whole life has always been revolving round the movie reel. Since 6th grade, I have been attending art classes. When I saw “Dark Crystal”, “Never ending story” and “Willow– I was instantly obsessed with the idea “to do such stuff”.  There were no classes or any kind of SFX makeup education in Bulgaria.  There were only stage/theatre makeup classes.

The closest major to my dream was Classic Animation Directing and I started doing Stop motion animation…

In 1999 I got my first movie job with Nu Image/Millennium film.  I became VFX assistant and second unit director’s assistant to Tim Douglas. I was excited!

On September 08th, 1999 at 8.00 next day, I had my first 24-hour-day ! We were shooting “Octopus ”. That night I will always remember – the tentacle, the guys were making all summer, blocked on the first take…..

I did show the Supervisor Willy Botha my art job, paintings and I was hired as an artist in the shop….

Still being a student, I started to do molds and everything a small creature shop is doing. We were never separated by divisions, a crew of 6 or 7, everyone was doing everything (live casting, foam latex, etc. ) !

We were learning from each other, videotapes, and our own mistakes….

Then Jean-Claude Van Damme arrived with his own makeup artist – Danny Belenc/In Hell dir. Ringo Lam/.  Danny, my supervisor and I did Van Damme’s head cast.  Danny, asked me, if I wanted to study makeup in his school.

I had no money to pay the tuition, so he offered me to do his Project “Fancy heads” to finance my education (12 caricature heads of famous people that I sculpted, molded and casted prototypes).

I managed to get job in several movies as free-lancer. First as assistant makeup artist, than as Special Effects Supervisor. After long hours and hard working and a lot of researching people began trusting me in Heading my own make up department.

I have learned the most significant skills, being assistant to a lot of “real makeup artists’.

(Eduard Henriques , Greg Funk, DDT, Dean Jones, Arjen Tuition, Mauricio Trani , Giuseppe Desiato , Mell Tucker, Jeff Farley, Brian Wide, Brian Penikas, Ken Nibermayer, Timothy Huizing  and others.)

I started attending Makeup Trade shows in London, where I managed to build a professional network and continued learning.

Almost everything I know is self-taught.  The key is that I know, this is exactly what I want to do in my life, so I do the best I can.

Recently, I realized that I was doing things, I have never imagined I will!

I was Key FX make up and the only effects make up in “Messengers 2-Ghost house” (I had only one assistant on set, one mold maker-daily and 2 more lab guys).

I did “The Grudge 3” with only one person.

I was applying and supervising for P13-Robert Kurtzman’s “Boogeyman 3”.

The “Hall of Fame of the Horror movie make up legends” and me! I am extremely happy and honored!

In Dark Castle Entertainment’s “The hills run red”, I did Key make up and some of the effects.  My moment of pride was when the Director said to me one day “Sorry, I did underestimate you. You had to do all my effects “  This is enough.

I was the Head of Effects and Make up on the “Wrong turn 3!

I still cannot believe it!Stan Winston, Three finger!

I sent a picture to a friend who worked with Stan. He showed it to the supervisor of the first “Wrong turn”.  The feedback – I had done a good job!

So, this is me!

I Headed Makeup dept. in a movie directed by Renny  Harlin and another, in which Donald Sunderland and Christian Slater were starring !

I was a part of the Teem of Scott Wheeler and Shaun Smith for the reboot of Conan.

I have participated at the Oscar Nomination of “The way back” in an Iconic team (Ed Henriques, Greg Funk, Yolanda Tossing ).

I have been,  since then, honored to  be spending my life, fulfilling my dream, working with amazing & inspiring actors, directors, make-up professionals an all the wonderful people who dedicate their energy & creativity to bring the movie magic to life!

A long walk.

A moment at a time, I am doing my best, to be able to grow and do what I love!

Dreams do come true, only if we work on them!