Contributor: Svenya Nimmons
They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but in the case of Jordu Schell, what frightens you, makes you create an imagination of your own. At a young age, he gasped at an image of someone being chased in a movie and his mother quickly shut the television off. Fearful and curious, the artist-to-be was then left to imagine what the creature looked like.
His curiosity continued as he began experimenting with masks during his youth, landing him at a tradeshow in Chicago where he was the first boutique mask maker showcasing his works. The rest is history.
With such credits as Alien Resurrection, Men in Black, Avatar and Edward Scissorhands, this industry vet has 30 years of experience in painting, sculpting and designing. You can find him at work in his studio in Chatsworth, CA. His lovely and talented assistant Emily Deroski helps with sculpting and her attitude of just showing up to do whatever is needed for the day is admirable. Plus, she’s great with auto mechanics which adds to her cool factor.
So what makes an awesome character? According to Schell, a well-crafted piece with an expansive imagination of form really brings it home. His advice as an artist looking to be taken seriously in the industry is quite simple: Be prepared for whatever opportunity comes your way with a website, business cards and a knack for networking that shows your genuine interest in what you do. “You’re not entitled to anything and the world owes you nothing,”- great advice from the guy from Philly that learned to love horror films in a way that has shaped his career.
As always, we are immensely grateful to Jordu and all of our guests who give their time, knowledge and expertise to help our students through this diverse industry!