Ryan was born in Edmonton, Alberta. Obsessed with make-up and monsters in the early 80’s, Ryan’s dad, Dr. Roy Nicholson, brought him to see famous creature movie’s including “The Thing” and “The Howling”.
Moving to Victoria, BC, Ryan played with clay and plaster of Paris, practicing on his friends and family. With his Grandfather supporting him and building a tiny FX lab in the basement, Ryan moved on to molding faces and sculpting stylized creature masks.
In 1994, he opened up a video-store called “Front Row Video”. Renting videos on the top level, he kept practicing make-up FX in the basement. Volunteering to work on stage plays and 16 mm short films, Ryan’s portfolio grew.
Mailing photos of his work to Montreal, Quebec, Academy-Award nominated Make-up FX Artist, Adrien Morot, brought Ryan on board his crew in Eastern Canada. After a year of learning and assisting the Maestro, Ryan flew back to the Westcoast, working with amazing crews and make-up FX designers, his resume grew.
In 1998, Ryan and his Father opened up their first FX laboratory entitled “Flesh and Fantasy FX”. Designing and creating Make-up FX for cult-classic Hollywood hit movies like FINAL DESTINATION and SCARY MOVIE, also travelling world-wide for T.V. commercials.
In 2000, Ryan became a member of the Make-up Dept. in the international film and television union I.A.T.S.E local 891. He was soon nominated for famous awards for Best Make-up, including THE GEMINI AWARD, winning it in 2001 for the sci-fi action T.V. series ANDROMEDA, nominated two additional times. He recently won the Western Canadian film and television award for Best Make-up, THE LEO in 2017 with his wife and Father also winning the award, along with make-up FX legend Michelle Grady.
Between new upcoming movies the Ryan assisted on, like THE PREDATOR and the hit series ALTERED CARBON, Ryan teaches make-up students everything he knows, everything he has been taught on film sets and inside FX labs for over 30 years.
His goal is to inspire and intrigue, motivate and master the students into their professional make-up FX career.
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