Art student takes facepainting to the extreme

Most people are stuck with only one face, but Caitlin Skjervem has as many as she can imagine.

Skjervem is an MSUM art sophomore. The 19-year-old makeup artist prefers using her face over any other canvas. She was 16 when her interest in the field began after watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”

In holiday spirit, she decided to imitate the famous grouch. She grabbed some makeup a friend had given to her and got to work. Just like Cindy Lou Who, Skjervem’s life was changed forever by the Grinch.

With a few years of practice following YouTube how-to videos, her techniques improved, and she began to experiment deeper. When sharing her creations with her parents, she was met with overwhelmingly positive support. “My parents were shocked,” she said. “They thought it was the coolest thing ever.”

MSUM was the ideal school for her, due to its strong art programs. Skjervem wanted to take in as many tips and techniques as she could to help improve her artistic abilities. Skjervem also knew that the degree would add more credibility to her name.

Her make-up process begins with gathering pictures of what she is recreating, which vary from character makeup, movie makeup or celebrity transformations. She uses them to assist as she recreates the image on her face, which generally takes an hour or two to complete.

Many of Skjervem’s works are influenced by movies, and she loves recreating extreme movie makeup projects, such as the Mad Hatter from “Alice in Wonderland,” though natural makeup is something she enjoys as well.

To gain some public notice, Skjervem has done makeup for children at events. She has also done Halloween makeup and even some bridal makeup. Her favorite public work was when she did makeup for her high school’s one-act play, a parody of “The Wizard of Oz.”  The play made it to state level and was performed at the Empire Theatre in Grand Forks in early 2012. Some of her makeup in the play included the Tin Man, Scarecrow and the Good Witch.

A few more of her projects include Edward Scissorhands, Billy Joe Armstrong from the band Green Day, Mystique from “X-Men,” Neytiri from “Avatar” and Freddy Kreuger from “The Nightmare on Elm Street.” One of her favorite works is her Johnny Depp impersonation. She loves adding to her portfolio, knowing that it helps her chances of gaining notice once she ventures off campus.

Skjervem’s work can be seen at by searching her username, Caitlinlovesgreenday. She is open to the idea of painting volunteers and can be reached on Facebook.


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