Lucia Pittalis Creates Unique Portraits Of Famous People — Guess What She Uses As Her Canvas

After taking a look at these pictures of Lucia Pittalis, a 43-year-old Italian makeup artist, you’re going to wish you could hire her to design your own Halloween costume — because there’s not much you can create that will match up with the way Pittalis incredibly morphs herself into, well, pretty much anyone she wants to.

A classically trained portrait painter who lives in Rome, Pittalis uses her own face as her best canvas, creating astonishing, living portraits of such figures as rock star Frank Zappa, Marlon Brando as The Godfather, Sylvester Stallone, and several others. She posts her self-portraits on the Instagram account that is quickly making her famous. But can we really call these pictures “selfies?”

Except for the first shot, below, presented for comparison, none of these photos look like Pittalis herself.

To portray these characters, Pittalis says she must become an actress as well as an artist.

“The process is studying the character — watching photos, movies, videos and saving frames where necessary,” she said in a recent interview with The Huffington Post. “I think how can it be adapted on my face. It is a kind of acting process before. I must be that character. Then I put on background music related to that character to be in the mood and I start to watch myself in the mirror.”

While Pittalis creates these living makeup portraits whenever the inspiration strikes her — sometimes going months between new shots, sometimes only days — Halloween, as you might imagine, is a special day in her life. In 2013, she pulled out all the stops to recreate the Danny Trejo character from the movie Machete, for example.

While you probably can’t commission Pittalis to do your own Halloween get-up, this genius designer has a few tips that anyone can use.

“Love a character and have fun to create with your own possibilities,” she says. “I buy old stuff at markets like wigs and accessories — it is extremely fun searching for good stuff to create a character.”

One other item you’ll require — patience, and plenty of it. Pittalis takes up to five hours to create one of her characters.