Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 15 July 2020

How one Filipino artist is warding off Covid-19 by making horror-inspired face masks

TV prosthetics artist Rene Abelardo has found a clever new way to make some money in the Philippines

With film and television productions halted in the Philippines amid the coronavirus pandemic, one special effects artist is maximising his skills by making scary face masks to raise cash and a few smiles.

Prosthetics specialist Rene Abelardo, 50, has been out of work since March, but hopes to stay afloat financially after discovering an appetite for the hand-made, horror-inspired masks that he initially created for fun.

With help from friends, Abelardo has sold dozens of the moulded masks, from monsters and zombies to the devil and the Joker. He is now receiving hundreds of orders from all over the Philippines.

Take a look through the photo gallery above to see more.

The masks extend down to the jawline and up to the ears and are lined with a conventional cloth mask. They were an instant hit when they first appeared on social media, attracting thousands of likes and shares.

"I tried wearing the mask I made just for fun, and my daughter saw me and asked if she can take a picture and post it online," he said.

"A few hours later the post unexpectedly went viral, and the rest is history."

The Philippines has recorded more than 27,000 coronavirus cases and in affected areas has made the wearing of face masks mandatory.

Each mask takes up to three days to complete and Abelardo sells them for between 300-500 pesos (Dh22-36) per piece.

"We started making more masks since we currently don't have jobs. It's still money coming in and it makes people happy."

Need inspiration for your own designs? Watch The National's video on how regular people are getting creative using materials at home to make face masks:

Updated: June 19, 2020 01:57 PM

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