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Grooming Artist

The Grooming Artist works on everything from hair, eyebrows, beard, threads, animal furs. It is about giving shape to very fine geometries.

ESMA has a very strong background in animation cinema and that’s really what we’re looking for. This allows us to have specialized students, very focused on their careers. Students are passionate and highly motivated by what they do.


Director of photography at Pixar Animation Studios

The quality of the films is really palpable. Both technically and narratively, the scripts are developing and getting more complex year after year.

Shelley PAGE

Key Talent and Artist Liaison – DreamWorks, Aardman…

Erik Smitt de Pixar, président d'honneur du jury ESMA 2019
shelley page

Clearly, the Grooming Artist works on everything from hair, eyebrows, beard, threads, animal furs. It’s all about giving shape to very fine geometries.

In other words, the Grooming Artist essentially evolves around characters.

One is not a Grooming Artist by chance, a bit like a musician, it is a deliberate choice, according to a particular appetence.


Let’s face it, you can’t become a Grooming Artist just by snapping your fingers!
To claim to be an efficient Grooming Artist, you have to be a good generalist at the base.
It is desirable, recommended or even essential to master geometry, modeling, rendering, lighting, in particular.

These essential disciplines are obviously taught at ESMA throughout the four-year CG Animation and FX Master Degree (Pro Animation and Special Effects Cinema Cycle) in Lyon, Toulouse, Nantes and Montpellier.

From this generalist training, a student can choose, as they progress, to specialise, to become more particularly involved in this grooming speciality, especially in the final film, to further a career with constantly evolving tools and to transcend them to make an original creation.

A keen sense of observation, “observing the world,” notes Julien Duval, a professor at ESMA, is almost a prerequisite in this specific field, as are the talents of an anatomist who can best express his talent.

In the context of a specific project, it also means listening to your supervisor and having a sense of communication, as in all CG and FX departments.

zoom métier grooming artist


Salaries vary greatly, of course, depending on the reputation of the most experienced people who have already proven themselves in renowned studios or as freelancers who are in great demand.

The recognized talent made is an unavoidable and remunerative asset during the elaboration and negotiation of a contract depending on supply and demand.

A “junior” Grooming artist (beginner) can claim a salary in the order of 1500- 1600 euros, 90 to 110 euros a day as a freelancer, intermittently during the show and then 150 euros with experience.

Grooming Artists are in demand in many fields, 3D cinema of course, but also advertising, in all aspects of cinema from the moment the characters are created. The majority of productions require grooming when characters come into play.

As his career evolves, he can evolve, diversify, and aspire to a supervisory position as the years go by.