Kosart Studios consists of some of Chicagoland's leading Special FX Artists, and are led by the following individuals:
Founder / Lead Artist / Educator
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J. Anthony Kosar
Director of Operations
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MUFX Artist / Educator
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ABOUT J. ANTHONY KOSAR - Founder / Lead Artist / MUFX Designer / Educator
J. Anthony Kosar is an award-winning artist and entrepreneur who specializes in Sculpture, Creature FX, Special FX Make-up, Prosthetics, Masks, Props, Concept Art, Illustration, and Fine Art through his company Kosart Studios, LLC. He is also a leading FX Educator through his Pop-Up Masterclass series through his studio.
Born in 1985, Anthony grew up with a passion for art, drawing and painting since he could remember. He also grew up on stage and in theater thanks to his mother Lynda’s background as a Dance Instructor and Choreographer. Combining these experiences of visual and performing arts, along with his love for Halloween, monsters, and movies, has led Anthony to pursue a career in Special FX.
After years of winning art completions, and doing his own make-ups for Halloween, in 2002 at age 16, he created his first foam-latex prosthetic, the ‘Zombie’ through self-taught, trial and error as there weren't any resources for FX in the Midwest.
Kosar attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago, IL, earning his BFA in Illustration, and was Valedictorian of the class of 2008. Though he studied illustration to get a strong foundation in art, color theory, composition, and anatomy, he took what he learned from 2-dimensional visual storytelling, and applied those principals to further teach himself the art of sculpture, make-up, and special effects.
In 2007, he interned at legendary Stan Winston Studio, and was part of the team creating effects for Indiana Jones 4 and James Cameron's Avatar, along with several commercials. Stan Winston had been Anthony’s hero since Anthony first saw Jurassic Park in 2nd Grade and learned that Stan was the man behind this and other favorite FX movies such as Terminator, Predator, Aliens, Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, and The Monster Squad. This is still one of Anthony’s favorite experiences, interning for his hero just 8 months before Stan passed away.
During the internship, on weekends while in California, Anthony took sculpting instruction from one of his favorite sculptors, Jordu Schell, learning mask sculpture and the fundamentals of creature design. Jordu offered Anthony a job once his Stan Winston Studio internship was over, but as Anthony had one more year to complete his college education back in Chicago, Jordu recommended him to Chicago-based Zagone Studios, (formerly Be Something Studios), one of the leading mask manufacturers in the world. For many years, Anthony was one of their main mask designers and sculptors, working under his mentor Bill Ystrom, aka BY B.Y. Along with Halloween masks, for the years the followed, Kosar continued creating special effects for theater, film, commercials, and print locally around Chicagoland.
In 2011, Kosar began teaching the Art of FX through his studio, and created a series of specialized classes and workshops. He wanted to bring to the Midwest the type of FX education, training, and resource he wishes he could have had when he was just beginning, but had not existed at that time. He continues teaching specialized classes when he can between projects. To see what is currently enrolling, click HERE
In 2013, Kosar became the Face Off Season 4 Champion. Face Off, a reality-based competition on the Syfy Channel is the biggest competition for Make-Up FX, and Kosar won 6 of the 11 Spotlight Challenges, plus 1 of 4 Foundation Challenges, setting the record of most consecutive wins in a row and most wins by a single contestant on a single season. As one of the series most well-known and respected champions, Kosar has been brought back multiple times during the run of the show. On Season 5, he was brought back to introduce the "Mother Earth Goddess" challenge and mentor the contestants for that episode. Anthony also appeared on Face Off: Judge Match during Season 7 where he helped his judge Neville Page win against the other judges. He also was one of 3 champions selected to coach teams of artists on Face Off Season 8. Kosar has since had several of his students from Kosart School compete and even win on Face Off.
Anthony continues to build Kosart Studios into the leading and most sought-after special FX studio in the Midwest, but is not just limited to just this region. Kosart works across the continent creating the highest quality, custom FX for film, television, web & media, photography & print, commercials & advertising, theater, and the haunt industry, and also produces award-winning illustration, concept art, sculpture, product development, and graphic design. To learn more about Kosart Studios, click HERE
A member of I.A.T.S.E Local 476 Studio Mechanics Chicago, some of Anthony's credits include Candyman (2020), Fargo, Empire, Chicago PD, Chicago Justice, Lovecraft Country, Avatar, Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Shameless, Emporia, Proven Innocent, Beats, Chicago Fire, Chicago MED, Defiance, The Leftovers, and many others.
Besides FX, Kosar is an internationally awarded fine artist, illustrator, and sculptor, having been awarded by the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles, American Watercolor Society, Illinois Watercolor Society, and several others. In 2009, he was named "One to Watch" by Watercolor Artist Magazine. His work has been selected to appear in SPLASH 13: Best of Watercolor, in multiple volumes of SPECTRUM: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, and several volumes of Infected by Art. He was honored by being selected as one of the judges for SPECTRUM 21, and was commissioned to design and sculpt the new Spectrum Awards for SPECTRUM 24 & 25. He has also been juried into the 'Main Show' for IlluXCon for the past 5 years. He also designs and sculpts prototypes for toys, collectibles and medical anatomical models, illustrates for novels and comic books, curates art gallery exhibitions at his Kosart Gallery including the highly anticipated Annual MALEFICIUM Dark Art Exhibitions, and creates fine art paintings and sculptures.
Visit Anthony's IMDb HERE
ABOUT JOSEPH KOSAR - Director of Operations
Joseph Kosar spent his adult life in the medical field. After meeting his wife Lynda, a Dance Instructor and Choreographer who owned her own dance studio Stage One, he also became the stage manager of her productions, building her stage, sets, and whatever else was needed.
They had two children, Melissa and Anthony, both of whom grew up to pursue creative careers, even though Joseph advised them to become teachers or accountants. Despite his advice, like most children, they both chose to not listen to their father. Their daughter Melissa became a Director, and just like with Lynda’s dance shows, he helped any way he could on her first film projects. She is now a sought-after director of scripted television, directing shows such as The Middle, American Housewife, Life in Pieces, Raising Hope, and LA to Vegas.
Their son, Anthony became a Special FX Make-Up Artist and Sculptor, and ever since his first projects, Anthony took over the Kosar house as his first studio. Again, just like with Lynda’s dance shows, Joseph couldn’t just stand by. He and his wife learned to take Anthony’s first lifecast so Anthony could make his first prosthetic, the ‘Zombie.’ Ever since, as Anthony’s projects grew, so did Joseph’s involvement. Whether it was mixing plaster, making molds, running foam latex, building bases, fabricating, giving creative advice, or anything in need of an extra set of hands, Joseph was always there to help.
Today, Joseph is Director of Operations of Kosart Studios and Kosart School, helping to manage Anthony’s ever-growing businesses, and on occasion, will still be there to mix some plaster. Anthony, who lovingly refers to his father at "Pops" thinks of his dad as his "right hand man." Anthony is lucky to be working alongside his dad, and enjoys having his "Pops" accompany him to the many conventions and trade shows across the country. In fact, regular convention goers, other exhibiting artists and vendors, and even Lucian the capuchin all look forward to seeing Joseph at the Kosart booths each year.
Though Joseph's official title is Director of Operations, in regards to him helping his children pursue their creative dreams, he refers to himself as the “Enabler.” And even though they didn’t become accountants or traditional teachers, Anthony became an artist who also teaches his craft anyway. To see the classes currently enrolling taught by Anthony, click HERE
ABOUT ANNA CALI - Make-Up FX Artist / Lead Lab Technician / Educator
Anna Cali is a professional Special Effects and Makeup Artist, Educator and proud member of the I.A.T.S.E Studio Mechanics Local 476 in Chicago, IL. With a passion for movies, monsters and all things Halloween, Anna knew from an early age what industry she was going to be a part of. With goals of being a successful artist, she started her career at the age of 19 and hit the ground running. Now holding 15 years of experience, Anna is making a name for herself in the industry as an accomplished female Special Effects Artist.
Anna began by attending the Aveda Institute Chicago where she studied corrective, beauty and high fashion makeup as well as skin care. She graduated with a license in esthetics which she holds today. Early in her career, Anna was creating work for magazines, photo shoots and fashion shows while also working as a skin care professional, which gave her an advantage as a Make-Up Artist. Busy with full-time work, Anna still made time to continue her education. She took sculpture and special effects workshops while constantly studying and researching on her own.
Not satisfied with where she was as an effects artist, Anna enrolled in classes at Kosart Studios taught by J. Anthony Kosar to excel her skills. With her sights always set on the film and television industry, Anna decided she needed to take a risk on herself and pursue her dreams.
In 2015, she auditioned for Syfy’s hit competition show Face Off, landed a spot on the cast to compete on Season 10. Appearing in ten episodes, Anna, along with her partners, won the first three spotlight challenges and she was on the winning team for the finale.
After the show, Anna continued forward with her goals and began working as a Special Effects Artist and Educator at Kosart Studios. There, she immediately started working on projects for renowned horror photographer Joshua Hoffine, Six Flags Fright Fest, Sandro Films and Nerdist Productions with the Kosart Team. She also was doing makeup effects demonstrations for C2E2, Walker Stalker Con, Wizard World Chicago and was an educator at the I.A.T.S.E. Local 476 seminar on special effects held at Kosart School.
Anna then reached yet another goal and was inducted into the Local 476 as a Makeup Artist. She has been regularly working in the industry on such shows as Candyman (2020), Fargo, Chicago P.D, Chicago Justice, Chicago Fire, Empire, Utopia, Beats, The Exorcist, and more. Her accomplishments extend farther than Chicago, as she works across the country from Los Angeles to New York and everywhere in- between and grew to become one of the main artists at Kosart Studios. Her work is not only seen in television, but also in film, music videos, commercials and theater.
Anna is also a published Make-Up Artist. One of Anna’s biggest accomplishments was working with her favorite actress, Jessica Lange, which was an actual dream come true. She was one of the artists on the Kosart team that turned Jessica Lange into 8 legendary and influential women in history for New York Magazine in 2017. The list doesn’t end there. She has been fortunate enough to create and apply prosthetics, makeup and makeup effects to the likes of John Malckovich, Demi Moore, Taye Diggs, Mekhi Phifer, Xzibit and many more.
Anna prides herself on being a strong woman in this industry with high standards, an unbeatable work ethic and specialized skill sets. She wants to inspire others as she has been inspired throughout the years.
Visit Anna's IMDb HERE