The monster maker from Mansehra

Published: November 14, 2019
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Some of the workd of special effects makeup artist Darakhshan Uzair. PHOTOS: EXPRESS

Some of the workd of special effects makeup artist Darakhshan Uzair. PHOTOS: EXPRESS

PESHAWAR: Whether it be Frankenstein’ monster or the alluring X-Men villain Mystique, Special Effects (SFX) makeup has long been used to bring imaginary creatures to life. Put that with computer-generated Visual Effects (VFX) and entire fictional worlds can take form on screens before the very eyes.

Taking inspiration from masterfully-created productions like those of Tim Burton, K-P’s Darakhshan Uzair has been busy creating her own monsters in district Mansehra. However, in the absence of a local industry, Uzair’s spine-chilling creatures are left to haunt only within the confines of her social media.

Uzair, who is a chartered accountant by day and a self-taught SFX make-up artist by night, has invested years to perfecting her craft. “I made my first attempt in 2013 with a gory scar my brother’s bicep. It was so convincing that all his friends thought he’d actually been injured in a fight,” she told The Express Tribune. “We had a good laugh at their expense but since then, I’ve never looked back,” she added.

Although, for many the sight of open scars and gauged eye-sockets can lead to several sleepless nights, but for horror movie aficionado Uzair, it serves as an inspiration for her art. “Whenever I watch a good horror movie, I have this itch to recreate the horrifying creatures down to every scar but I have no one to practice on but myself and at times my brother.”

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According to the aspiring SFX artist, who’s also a member of the United Kingdom Chartered Accountancy Body (UKCAB), her craft is appreciated by her friends and family but there are no opportunities for her to grow. “Special materials are hard to source in this little town,” she lamented.

“When I first started off, I’d mostly use materials like cotton, glue, tissue and paint to create the special effects, but now that I’ve gained some appreciation on social media, I’ve requested a friend in the UK to send me professional products to create the prosthetics.”

Talking about future possibilities, Uzair expressed that although her day job leaves her little time but if given the opportunity, she’d want to focus more on perfecting and exhibiting her craft.

“SFX is all backstage, so my family has no apprehensions about me pursuing my craft. They’re in fact quite amused by my gory creations and would love to see me do more,” she said.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 14th, 2019.

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