NSCG | Q&A with Jen Cadwallader, Lecturer for HNC/D Performing Arts…
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23rd January 2023

From September 2023, NSCG are pleased to offer learners the opportunity to study for a HNC/D in Performing Arts (Make-up & Artistry in the Creative Industries) at the Newcastle Campus. We caught up with Lecturer Jen Cadwallader to hear all about her time in the creative arts and media make-up industry and to find out more about this exciting new university-level course.

Q. How long have you worked at NSCG?

A. I joined NSCG in February 2022 so still fairly new to the team.

Q.We'd love to hear more about your time before joining the team.

A. I had the absolute pleasure of leading a Media Make-up degree course at a university in London for 12 years. I was freelancing within the industry on a combination of film, theatre and TV, and teaching at the same time. It was an amazing time as I got to share my experiences with my students. I love sharing best practice with my learners and it's always great to be able to relate to real-life examples and funding.

Q. Did you choose to study at university?

A. I studied a Foundation Degree in Media Make-up and then headed down to London to further my studies by 'topping up' to a full Bachelor's Degree. Before this, I studied fine art at college. I am definitely not academic and in fact, I'm dyslexic so the practical, hands-on aspects of the industry are what I love most.

Q. Who or what inspired you to get into the creative industries?

A. I have studied fine art and I really enjoyed sculpting, so that was the starting point for me. I'm not academic in nature so I thought this would be a great industry to get into to express myself fully. And the rest as they say is history!

Q. What did you love most about working in the creative arts?

A. No two assignments were the same. I absolutely loved creating stunning looks within my theatre work on the West end as the atmosphere is electric back stage. I also loved and still do, editorial-based projects as you can create beautiful looks using a range of make-up techniques to make a real impression. So as you can see, the possibilities are so varied depending on your motivations and career ambitions.

Q. What attributes do students need to think about when deciding if studying for a career in media make-up is for them?

A. If you want to work in the TV and film industries, days are long so you need to be extremely hard working and have lots of patience. You're very often first in and last out so it's not for the faint hearted. You need to be a great planner from the very beginning to the end and also have the ability to meet tight deadlines.

Q. What would your advice be to anyone looking to study this brand new course at NSCG?

A. Really think about what you would like to do long-term within the industry. Build up a portfolio, take lots of images and get as much inspiration as you can to help you to prepare for a university-level course. Set up an Instagram account to showcase your work as this is a big deal within the industry and share ideas with your peers. Building a portfolio within the arts is very important.

A creative mind is what we're looking for. This is degree-level study so it is hard work, but you will get so much out of it.

Q. What are the benefits of studying the course here at NSCG over heading off to university?

A. University is a great experience, wherever you choose to study. What I love most about the team here at NSCG is that nothing is too much trouble and we are all in this together to help to support you. We offer smaller class sizes so we can give you the personal touch, whilst working to industry standards. And we're on your doorstep, so you can cut down on those accommodation costs. This is the media make-up course of it's kind across the region, so this is a brilliant opportunity to study an amazing course close to home.

For more information about studying this HNC or any other of our university level courses at NSCG, click here.

Jen Cadwallader LR