GARFIELD, N.J. – When Erika Galloza started doing makeup and body art a year ago, she wanted to showcase her creativity.
Armed with a cell phone camera and a window where the perfect light came into her Garfield home at exactly 3 p.m. every afternoon, her @erika.fx Instagram account was born.
Galloza now has nearly 43,000 followers who get to see her creativity at work.
“Everyone’s face is a different type of canvas and every type of makeup is a different type of paint,” Galloza said.
“I could use eye-liner, not for my eyes, I could put it on my lips. I could use eye shadow to color in things that you would never think to use eyeshadow for.
"I love innovation and thinking outside the box.”
Companies send Galloza products to try, and she displays the results for her followers.
By harnessing her talent for creating optical illusions and special effects, she transforms her own face in amazing ways – from clown, to skeleton, to witch, to blue-lipped beauty.
She is also contracted to do makeup and body art on other people for photo shoots and live events. Most of her work is in New York City, but she has done work for a few clients in New Jersey, including Bergenfield.
Galloza attended cosmetology school in Hackensack and graduated from the Tom Savini Special Effects Makeup Program in Pennsylvania.
But she taught herself to do body art.
“I always just doodled and drew in my spare time, and then I started seeing body paint artists online and I decided to change my medium," she said.
"So I changed my canvas basically to my face."
Galloza was bullied growing up, and was diagnosed with depression and ADHD later in life. Her art has become “a fantastic way to translate what is on my mind," she said.
And she wants others to be able to freely express themselves too.
“I want people to express their minds and not be afraid," she said, "because we would live in a boring world if everyone did the same thing."