Courage to Create: Value from Waste

Years ago, when I started painting using old and expired cosmetics, I had one goal: I want to see my planet full of life once again, fascinating and beautiful as if it got a makeover! I was the first artist globally to take waste sticky, melting, and dry products from people and recreate them in an eco-friendly way. It was the process and the cause that motivated me to continue and work harder to prevent more cosmetics from reaching the landfills. I introduced a new word, naming myself Artientifique (A person who practices Art and Science simultaneously). Statistics kept pouring in, words started framing into sentences to spread awareness about the vast destruction caused to nature by just throwing away one lipstick in the bin. Many young students joined in as volunteers, together we were creating a huge impact across continents. Today, Artientifique has reached several countries, makeup painting is not only a form of art, but it is also an environment conservation activity, a symbol of beauty turned into beauty.
In the hustling bustling busy world, where there is no time to even watch the flock of birds flying swiftly above our heads, the mesmerizing shades of the colorful sky. I just wished if there could be some kind of a pause button to make us realize how cute the squirrel in the backyard looks after grabbing its nuts, understand that every fall gives you a new beginning, raindrops are a perfect example. It was then when I decided to reflect on these values in my artworks, which would act as a pause button for us. Something more than a painting, a frame making you smile, as if it was a mirror. It should give you a chance to stand still and dive deep, observe every single detail, then enjoy the big picture.

You need to take a lot of preventive measures while working with discarded cosmetics. I wear gloves, cover my nose if needed, making sure no waste residues are left on the desk. Every cosmetic bottle/tube/palette needs to be cleaned first before upcycling the material inside it so that it becomes germ-free and safe to use for the artist. I have separate tools for extracting the material, designing motives, creating new textures, intensifying the color, and improving their durability. These tools are not mixed with my other art tools at all. If you are working with one or two products, you may not feel the need to do all this, after all, it is your own makeup and you know its condition. But when I work in my art studio, I mean kilos of cosmetics, literally big boxes full of oozing foundation, and leaking nail paint, broken shadow palettes, and dry kohl. But when these products are given a new identity as an exclusive painting to adorn our walls, they again show us that beauty is everywhere, we just need to search for it and value its presence.

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