Today we’d like to introduce you to Janet Debris.
Janet, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Ever since I can remember I have always been into art. I carried my sketchbook around with me everywhere I went, drawing and creating every chance I could get. I used to love going to CD stores and browsing through all the album covers of my favorite bands just to see some of the amazing artwork that was being created. I was also a big fan of horror films, so my artwork at the time had more of a darker and surreal look. I loved to draw monsters and creatures. I was introduced to Photoshop when I was 14 years old. It changed my whole perspective on how to create. I was able to take some my illustrations and recreate them in Photoshop. I would play with colors, multiple layers and textures; finally, being able to bring life and realism to these surreal creations I had been drawing. I would build worlds and stories for them within Photoshop. I also became fascinated with the ability to take one image and completely transform it into something else. With Photoshop, the possibilities to manipulate and transform an image are limitless.
Eventually my artwork caught the attention of local bands/artists at my high school, which would lead me to creating albums covers, logos, and flyers for them. The more I produced, the better I became, and the more I fell in love with creating artwork for others. While I was building myself a portfolio for my graphic design work, I was also spending a lot of time playing with make-up. I would always do beauty make up for my friends and family, but I was also very interested with how some of these creatures were being created in movies. So, using the techniques I learned from doing beauty make up, I began to play with special effects make up as well. Instead of just creating these monsters and creatures in Photoshop, I was now able to create them in real life. After many years of practice at both disciplines, I am now a professional Beauty and Special Effects Make Up artist, as well as a professional Graphic Designer.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I’m an Illustrator and Graphic Designer. I am also a Beauty and Special FX Makeup Artist. I spend just as much time doing one as I do the other and for many of the projects I have worked on, I have had the opportunity to incorporate both of my artistic abilities. I have worked with several bands creating their album artwork, logos, merchandise designs, websites, and flyers. I have also done graphic design for companies, both large and small, in-store and online. I have also worked as a makeup artist on short films, music videos, and photo shoots. Being able to take concepts that are given to me, or to take concepts that I have created myself and bring them to life is a crazy feeling. It’s exhilarating to create these worlds and stories with just one image or a moving image. It’s fantastic to watch someone look in the mirror see their reaction; to look and feel like as if they are a whole new person. I love it and wouldn’t trade for any other profession in the world. I tried to take the “ideal” career path, but I never gave up on my art. I kept on working to be better than I was before. I challenged myself, worked hard, and never gave up no matter what my current circumstances were. When people see my art, I want them to know that it was all created with passion and a love for what I do. I hope this inspires any other artist out there to not give up on their dream. If you love what you do, then do not stop.
The sterotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
It can be very easy to lose track of what you love and only focus on day-to-day life. My best advice is to stay inspired, stay motivated, and keep creating. Always dedicate some time to express yourself creatively. The more you create, the more you put yourself out there, the more of a chance you have of someone coming across your work. Never be afraid to put your work out there. The more eyes that come across, the more opportunities will come. Also, if you are trying to be a professional, never be afraid to put yourself out there. You have to network to build a client base. Also, step out of your comfort zone; you may learn or create something you didn’t even know you were capable of. Support and follow other artists, especially ones who practice other forms of art. Sometimes those can be the best source of inspiration. If you work hard at your craft, and you put your work out there, you network, and you challenge yourself, people will see your work and everything else will follow.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
My website has portfolios for both my Make Up and Graphic Design, as well as links to most of the projects I have worked on. I also post my work on Instagram. I am always up for working on new projects, so if anyone is interested, shoot me an email!