“Artist and poets, they understand one another and speak a language outside of words.”
The make up artist and the painter. They are worlds apart, yet identical in the issues they face. How are these two worlds so similar, yet so isolated from each other? Is there a bridge where both worlds meet? Our first one on one interview was with Yvonne Alabaster an Canadian artist from British Columbia, Canada. In terms of influences, Yvonne draws from European artist like Van Gogh and Monet. Her artistic style depends on the medium at her disposal, ranging from realism in sketches to impressionism in paintings. We caught up with Yvonne for a one on one interview to discuss her influences in art, her thoughts on the art community, her style and the struggles she faces as a artist. “I suffer from a spectrum disorder similar to Autism, so art is a means by which I communicate complex thought. I think many artist are this way. The piece is an expression of intimate thought or emotion, which only the artist truly understands. It is a piece of yourself that you allow others to see but it always remains a part of you, like the feeling that caused it’s creation.” Expression of intimate thought, whoa! Looking more in depth, make up artists express in almost identical ways. Those lashes and bold daring colors, aiming to make a bigger statement. Colors emerging from a deeper intimate self perspective, surfacing on the skin.
There are phases that artists transition through in their art over time. Periods in their art that remain focused in one style or technique, most times being the conveyor of their emotions/feelings on current topics or situations in their life. What is this process like for the traditional artist? How do they transition in their art over time? Do they stick with the same mediums, do those mediums slowly become apart of a routine? Maybe the beauty community and the art community aren’t so different after all. The MUA changing the way in which they apply makeup, adding new products and trying new techniques that become apart of their routine. Maybe their process is similar…
How do you feel your art has changed over time as an artist? “ I think I have become more critical of myself, and as a result I sketch less. But, I want to paint more, I feel it allows me more freedom to express myself. I am at the point where I want to combine mediums and styles in a new way like impressionist paintings.” What influences have caused you to be more critical of yourself as a artist? “Commercialism, with regard to art, the computer as an artist tool and the demise of hand draw animation. These things have drastically changed the landscape of the artistic world. For years I gave up the pursuit of art as a result of my disillusionment towards it as a means of expression, rather than commercial enterprise.” Hm, maybe that’s the isolated aspect here. Commercialism seems to be a added benefit to the MUA. Instagram, Twitter and YouTube catapulting MUA’s offering more opportunities to the artists in the community. From small indie brands, to larger beauty brands, the MUA has the opportunity to showcase and market their work across a multitude of platforms with a variety of companies. Not all of those MUA’s/influencer’s make income from these avenues, but the market opportunities in a 17 million dollar beauty industry allows plenty of potential for them to over time in the career. Painters and illustrators lack that supportive element. You have a piece that you have poured yourself into, overly criticizing every angle to ensure the message is felt, usually spending hours, some times days on it only to be haggled about your price by a consumer. Its effortless to print out your favorite piece of art work onto a piece of paper and difficult to produce and source materials to make the exact formula to that favorite foundation shade. Commercialism and the new digital age starve the traditional artist and nourish the MUA.
Do you feel artist are now marginalized because of commercialism? “Absolutely! If you are creative and it doesn’t pay your bills it is deemed wasteful of time and unworthy of respect. It is especially difficult for people driven to create who can not do so because of the mundane requirements of the ‘real world' get in the way. There no longer exists a system by which true artist can retain patronage to support them as artist. It is an old fashioned ideal, but something I think is really needed, is to have artist like Monet exist in the real world. If I had a Patreon, I could focus on my art and have a studio to work in. Canvas isn’t cheap, nothing is. ” Do you feel artist lack supportive outlets and platforms to display their work? “In someways I do. Every artist can make a page on Instagram or have a twitter but how do people find you?
Imagination and creation is the soul of our world, and it’s incredibly difficult to witness so many creative artists struggling for supportive platforms to freely and professionally provide support and recognition. Honestly, how do people find you with a lack of legitimate outlets? So we are on a mission to do just exactly that. Closing out our interview, we wanted to know what Yvonne wanted the viewer to walk away with after viewing a piece of her work. “I would hope that they would walk away wanting to learn more about the subject of my artwork, and feel a sense of connection to the emotion behind it and question how this fits into their own lives. I want to startle people into thought.”
Yvonne is currently working on a photo series on beauty products focusing on Iconic brands. If you would like to donate used or old makeup contact Yvonne directly email. If you would like to donate funds funds for this project, links to her socials and donation sites are below.