10 Questions with Anne Caroline Ayot
Love to interview Paris-based artist Anne Caroline Ayot in this fashion month September (NY Fashion Week followed by London, Milan & Paris). She is a Make-up Artist by day, illustrator by night. Her work as a talented make-up artist for clients as Gucci and Vogue reflects in her beautiful graphic fashion portraits where she combines ink and collage techniques.
Hi Anne, great to have you here!
1/ Could you tell us something about yourself and your background?
I am Parisian, born in the 70’s. I grew up in an unconventional, nomadic and festive atmosphere. Very young, I turned towards creativity, first as a graphic artist, and then I became a makeup artist in fashion, to finally return towards drawing. I now have two activities, makeup artist for 25 years, and illustrator more recently. I’ve definitely been influenced by my childhood in my choice of life style. I travel all the time for my job, no day is ever alike, with constant unexpected and wonderful encounters.
2/ How did you get started as an illustrator & did you go to Art school?
I spent 4 years in a Graphic Arts school in Paris. After I got my diploma I worked a few years as a graphic artist. When my son was born I felt the desire to change, I spent a few months in a makeup school and quickly started working in fashion, a world that I was attracted to since I was a child. My job as a makeup artist includes team work, which I really enjoy but I was feeling the need to develop something personal, to work out what I was able to do on my own.
On a shooting for Vogue in July 2017, I met Pepe Munoz who was there to sketch the haute couture dresses. That was the “spark”! I went back my brushes, the first ones!
3/ How would you describe your style & what is your technical proces?
To be honest, I am not quite sure I wish to, and I think that’s all right. I believe that my style is not yet fixed, or defined. It is a path I am looking forward to, a constant experimentation and as I grow, my work will follow.
I like what is graphic, simple and strong, a balance between softness and definition, always seeking a “twist” that makes the work vibrate and come alive.
I always begin to build my work by doing small sketches with ink and pencil, placing lines, elements, and colours and then I begin, always on paper.
I often mix multiple techniques, mainly inks and collage. I also intend on introducing other mediums. I may finalise with a small amount of digital but as I really love accidents and imperfections, I keep this to a bare minimum.
4/What do you love most about your job & what not?
With illustration, it’s definitely the Freedom that I like the most! I don’t depend on someone else’s wishes, I feel free to explore what I want. But of course I wouldn’t mind to collaborate professionnaly. I know, due to my work as a makeup artist, that despite constraints there’s always room for freedom.
The pendant of freedom is insecurity but I’m used to it, since I started as a freelancer. The thing I like the least are those moments of doubt. I believe it is inherent to any creative process. It keeps me searching and questioning and I try to use that energy as a motor.
5/Who and what inspires you & your work?
The first thing I learned at art school was to become a sponge!Inspiration could be everywhere in my environment and in the smaller details that we often miss, the era we live in and obviously mainly from my job in fashion. Collections, models, shoots, travel; I’m lucky to evolve in a business which is continually focused and nourished by Change.
When I’m not inspired I refer to Art books, cinema, music and fashion icons from the past, magazines and the street.
We live a visual era, we are flooded by images. It’s necessary for me to disconnect sometimes, and see what I have retained of it all when I go to work on paper.
I’m not sure I know exactly by what inspires me. I guess my mind makes its own associations, despite me. I try to stay close to that idea, to allow myself to be spontaneous and intuitive.
6/Wich clients do you work for & what is your dream project?
That will be a short answer. No client yet and I haven’t actually thought about the future. So any collaboration would be pretty exciting!
7/ Working on new stuff that you can share with us?
No big project yet, but I look forward to dedicate more time for new ventures. I’m currently working on limited edition prints.
8/Name 3 things you can’t live without…
People I love (including my french bouledogue), books (novels), coffee/e-cigarette!
9/What illustrators are you following and would you love to see here?
I follow many illustrators and artists in général but those I would love to read interviews about are Cecilia Carlstedt and Aurore de la Morinerie.
10/ Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists?
I believe in work, by practicing everyday, but also to do so with pleasure.
And the words of wisdom I constantly say to myself are: