Make up artist Cydney Sjostrom is no stranger to being told that she needs to move to Vancouver to find work, but Sjostrom said she’s doing just fine here.
The Qualicum Beach resident was a part of the short film Mining Moon, which is finally making its Island debut this Friday on Shaw TV (Channel 4) at 11 p.m.
Mining Moon was shot in Nanaimo in 2014, and has played in more than 70 film festivals and conventions around the world, and has won 47 awards, said director Brian Morelan.
Morelan said Sjostrom won two film awards and received two other nominations for her make up on the film.
While only being one of the make up artists for Mining Moon, Sjostrom landed her first key role as a hair stylist for the short film.
“I wasn’t key make up, but then Brian was initially looking for a hair stylist and I said, ‘You know what, let me jump in and do that because that was part of my training at school, too, was to learn film hair and your basics,” said Sjostrom, adding that it was very exciting.
Mining Moon was also Sjostrom’s first time working on a science fiction film.
“I had never exposed myself much to the world of sci-fi before,” she said. “It made me a little nervous going into it, as I knew how important makeup is when it comes to sci-fi films.”
Since Mining Moon, Morelan has approached Sjostrom to key make up for two of his other short films, Sjostrom said. Both films are in post-production.
“It was nice to actually hear from Brian because before that, it was just me going out and me pursuing everything and nobody knows who you are when you’re fresh out of school. It was just putting myself out there as much as I could,” she said.
Sjostrom graduated from Blanche Macdonald Centre in Vancouver in 2012. It all started when an older cousin went to makeup school, she said “In my mind, that wasn’t even like a thing. To know that you could actually do that as a career blew me away.”
However, Sjostrom said the struggle was trying to find a school on the Island where she wouldn’t have to move.
“After countless amounts of failures with schools closing down or things not working out on the Island, I had just decided that I’m going to take the jump and move to the city and take school there.”
At Blanche Macdonald, Sjostrom said she took the global makeup program where she learned makeup fundamentals; makeup for fashion, stage, TV and film; hair for bridal, stage, TV and film; and makeup for special effects.
“When it was done, I knew I’d have everything I needed to pursue whichever direction I wanted to go,” Sjostrom said, adding that she didn’t know what area she wanted to pursue at the time.
“It’s funny, when you’re in school and you’re learning so many different levels — one week you’ll be doing bridal and all this stuff and then a few weeks later, you’re into special effects and you’re like, ‘I hate special effects. I never want to do that.’”
She said it’s not until the program was over that she remembered what her favourite parts were.
“For me, it was listening to my instructors. Any instructor who was involved in a production, or like on film, I found the most interesting. I was like, ‘Oh my God, you can actually do that?’ I wanted to tell those stories.”
Now Sjostrom is able to tell those stories. Since graduating, she worked on a Netflix film Kid Cannabis and two Hallmark movies Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Impossible Dream and The Gourmet Detective: Death Al Dente which is in post-production, according to IMDb.com.
In between working on films, Sjostrom works part time at Hudson’s Bay Company and has her own bridal makeup business.
“I find it really important for me to stay connected with The Bay and with my companies there just because the amount you learn with professionalism is huge because that is a main set etiquette rule on set.”
And with wedding season coming up, Sjostrom said she is fully booked.