Day 33: Sophie Baverstock

I’d like to take a moment to commend today’s creative (@sophiebaverstockmakeup on Instagram) for her honesty, bravery and commitment to her creative practice in the face of undermining opinions and dissuasion. I am sure many of us can relate to her story and have received belittlement – This. Is. A. Feminist. Issue. So today, I want to celebrate you Sophie, your work is incredible and I am so glad you have persisted because you are a remarkable artist. 

Please may you introduce yourself and your practice.
Hi, I’m Sophie Baverstock (@sophiebaverstockmakeup), I’m a Makeup and Hair artist going into my 3rd year at Arts University Bournemouth.

How did you develop your practice?
During sixth form, I would do the makeup and hair for our schools theatre productions whilst I was applying to English language courses at uni. I was told multiple times Makeup wasn’t a legitimate career choice and sadly belived it. The most amazing teacher told me to re-think my path into further education. A creative himself, he assured me it was possible and so I joined (late) into an Art Design Foundation course at WSC. I did this on my own and without any support from my school after being refused a reference. Luckily, my drama teacher believed in me and the industry, writing a reference for me instead. That year, I really started to develop my style and passion for makeup art. Receiving my certificate from UAL that summer was the first time I felt I had accomplished something important for me. A few weeks after my interview, I got a place at AUB in their ‘Makeup for Media and Performance’ course.

What inspires you and why do you love your practice?
My Mum inspires me. She has always taught me through a feminist lens that in order to be successful you need to work hard and be passionate to do what you love. My sister; (@cbavvv) a LCF graduate, fashion designer and artist who has never strayed from her goal to be part of her creative industry, inspires me everyday. Without the guidance from my drama teacher in school and the tutors I had at college and university lecturers I have now, I would have likely thought it impossible to be in my current situation. Teaching inspires me and I hope to teach in the future, as I think education is the most useful tool we can give to young adults and women especially. Hopefully as our creative industries continue to grow there will be less emphasis on pushing academic subjects as a replacement for arts, but instead combine them to show the impact both have in correlation to our growth and development as individuals. I want to show how important it is to believe in your own capabilities even when you’ve been told otherwise. 

What does it mean to you to be a creative feminist?
I haven’t figured out my specialist practice as I’m very indecisive! I use my work mainly to present ideas around femininity, masculinity and hyper-masculinity. I use the art/beauty movements throughout history that have built up a sense of community and acceptance for women, whilst also marginalising individuals, as context for my work. The makeup industry is considered very female-orientated. However, the closer you get to the top, the less women you see. Alike many industries, this is slowly shifting but this gender imbalance will only change if more female leaders are taught to believe in their capabilities from a young age and are given those equal opportunities to do so. I think to be a creative feminist in my industry you need to focus on the bigger picture and use every chance to share your opinions, but question those who question the legitimacy of your work as an art-form. Progressing forward is always my aim by supporting and educating each-other in the process and recognising our personal privileges as tools to help others. I think it is incredibly important to stay humble, crediting others for their work/achievements and understand that we are all in this giant creative boat together; not against each-other.

I have been so touched by reading Sophie’s story and I want to use this opportunity to say THANK YOU SOPHIE, you and your incredible work are a true inspiration to us all. Please give Sophie the warmest welcome to our community by following her page @sophiebaverstockmakeupand by commenting you love and thoughts below! We are here for you Sophie.

If you would like to work with Sophie on a project please direct message her via Instagram.

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