“I love my job. It’s an awesome job. I come to work every day and the creative challenges that pop up, the different things I have to figure out from all different mixing and matching of materials and creative solutions, creative problem solving, and out-of-the-box thinking,” Freitas said.
Freitas is a multifaceted artist creating special effects as well as commercial art.
“What I started out doing was to be a special effects makeup artist but because of where I’m located, I evolved my company into special arts services. All the technical skills and things I use for movies — I’ve applied it to all levels of venues based upon what phone calls I get,” Freitas said.
Freitas has done special effects for television shows such as “The Walking Dead,” “Teen Wolf,” and “Vampire Diaries.”
He adapted his technical skills to meet the needs of customers and has completed a wide variety of projects including sculpting clients’ children, creating a dinosaur for Fernbank Museum in Atlanta, creating the Stations of the Cross for a catholic church, creating a fountain at a university and a mask for a wrestler of the WWE.
The Internet has taken Freitas’ business globally, and a phone call determines his work.
“It happens that quick. I’m a very prepared artist. I stock all materials almost like a 24-hour deli — anything you need, anything you want, I can produce it for you instantaneously or at least be prepared for it because I understand the particular industry sometimes makes decisions in the last minute. I’m always prepared for whatever the circumstance,” he said.
“You start realizing there are similarities running between things. Things work in parallel but the outcome is either a Halloween costume, a shoulder pauldron in armour, or a gas tank, but they all have roots in the same understanding in how pieces go together.
“I see Marietta as a base. My stuff goes all over the place,” he said.
Freitas sees no limit to his artistic opportunities.
“Had I packed up my bags and gone to L.A. with the mindset of only being in special effects makeup, I would not have made costumes. I would not have made giant dinosaurs and wrestling belts and all other kinds of stuff,” said Freitas, who graduated from Wheeler High School in 1990 started his company in 1991.
“I’m always a student to artwork 100 percent. The more skills I have, there’s more opportunity,” he said.
Freitas, a self-taught artist, lived all over the world in countries such as Singapore and Iran. He said his mother, an artist and art teacher, influenced his drive. As a child, Freitas drew monsters and his mother responded by purchasing a Monster Maker toy for him.
“That was my first introduction to that and some mask making stuff,” said Freitas, whose family moved to Marietta from Hawaii in 1980 for his father’s work at Lockheed.
Freitas recalled his mother sewing and making his Halloween costumes.
“Me seeing that at an early age caused me to understand that there wasn’t a limit into what I could make. Opportunities came up for manufacturing and designing costumes. I adapted my thinking of what I would like to see if I had an opportunity to make that,” he said.
“I was always around art. I believe when she passed away when I was 8 (years old) my own internal mechanism to be bonded with my mother was to continue making artwork. She supported me,” Freitas said.
Freitas also said his post high school work at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. and with special effects companies in California influenced him.
“That exposure prior to the Internet caused me to adapt the classical style of the Smithsonian model makers and builders and the fast forward techniques of special effects artists that design stuff under extreme deadline. I blended the two of what I’d seen to create my company,” he said.
“Over the 23 years of doing this, there’s pretty much nothing I can’t make and there are very few materials that I cannot work within,” Freitas said.
To learn more about Freitas, visit afxstudios.com.