Industry Speaks: Don Lanning

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“If you feel you are an artist, you owe it to yourself to be an artist.” Don Lanning

Don Lanning was born in Van Nuys, California in the heart of Hollywood’s creature effects community. With early heroes Dick Smith, John Chambers, Stan Winston, Rick Baker and Rob Bottin as guides, Don started sculpting creatures at 10 years old. Don is known for his consistent ability to deliver the highest quality work at lightning speed on projects from conservative realism to the archetypes of horror, fantasy, and science fiction.

As our Industry Speaks guest last night, Don took us through his career—a career that got started 10 years after his initial opportunity. He told the story of meeting Dick Smith at age 17. Mr. Smith being a helpful mentor to many artists, was also there for Don, giving him the phone numbers to people who might help him get his start in the industry that held his heart and passion. But, there was something, or someone else who held Don’s heart and passion—a girl—and Don chose a career in real estate, perhaps assuming a steadier path. After 10 years, Don took a good look at himself and didn’t recognize the person he saw. He described it as feeling like he was in someone else’s clothing, living someone else’s life.

Shortly thereafter, he had the opportunity to sculpt for a commercial. It was during that process wherein he acknowledged his calling. He said, “I was found.”

Don’s story was the premise for the rest of the evening’s conversation as he encouraged MUD students to stick to their dreams. “If you feel you are an artist, you owe it to yourself to be an artist…you are the most beautiful when you are creating…art is the only thing worth doing.”  While Don shared his impressive portfolio, the true inspiration may have been in the pep talk he gave for living the life you want.

Don has recently received high praise entering the world of fine art with his modern take on pop icons Batman & The Joker and his elaborate reimagining of The Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, and Tinman from “OZ.” His work is featured in more than 50 motion pictures and he continues to live out his passion, recently opening up a shop in Van Nuys, California.

Don’t miss out on these valuable opportunities extended to you to meet and speak with industry pros at our weekly Industry Speaks events. Our monthlyevent calendar can be found on our facebook page: facebook.com/mudschools

Don Lanning Instagram: @don_lanning

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/twoeyestwohands

MUD and Beauty Launchpad Magazine

Beauty Launchpad December 2013

MUD Los Angeles photographer Derek Althen had the opportunity to work with Beauty Launchpad Magazine and recruited two recent MUD grads Lisa Ribar and Natalie Stow to assist Linda Flowers (Hair Dept.Head/ The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and Marie DelPrete (Make-up artist/ The Hunger Games) for the shoot. Derek also recruited MUD grad Denise “Dee” Zamora to assist with photo shoot production.

The magazine gave credit to Make-up Designory for providing the studio space as well as credit to the MUD grads for assisting Make-up and Hair.

Other Artist involved:
Michelle Bouse: Make-up specialist/ Lips, eye lash & brows.
Guy Tang: Hair for male model. http://www.beautylaunchpad.com/video-tutorial-hunger-games-inspired-winter-lavender-hair-color

Link to Beauty Launch Magazine digital version.
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/creativeage/launchpad_201312/#/60
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/creativeage/launchpad_201312/#/52

Beautiful work everyone!