Name: Youveline Joseph, artistically known as Youveline’s Creations
Location: Boston, MA
Bio: Youveline Joseph is a visual artist, born in Haiti but raised in Brockton, Massachusetts. Her passion for art began at a young age. Around the age of five she began to showcase her natural ability to draw and create. In high school she took an International Baccalaureate art class, an advance art class desired to creative students to excel in their art. Later on, Youveline minored in Fine Arts in college while majoring in Sociology with a concentration in Health Medicine. After graduating in 2017, Youveline decided to pursue her art on a more professional level. She mainly paints with acrylic paint on canvas. While on her journey to understand and grow as an individual she began to develop her Afrocentric painting style. She uses a combination of cowrie shells, crystals, and glitter to personalize her artworks. She also incorporates bright, vibrant colors, patterns, and textures into her pieces. Moreover, her inspiration comes from beauty, culture, social media, fashion, adversity, and societal issues. Her body of work focuses on representation and her goal is to showcase and praise the beauty of her people (i.e. the diversity in the African diaspora).
Social Media: IG @youvelinescreations
Describe your experience as a current artist.
My overall experience as an artist has been good thus far but I do think there is always room for improvement. As an artist I think I have a long way to go, in terms of widening my horizon in both exploring ideas and building an audience. I am currently doing art part time but I hope to do it full time in the near future. I have been painting since high school but drawing all my life. I honestly believe that creating art is my purpose. I hope that when people look at my work they feel inspired. I want people to look at my work and feel recognized, appreciated, and beautiful. Overall, I just want people to be able to connect and see themselves in my work.
What was your occupation/education prior to becoming an artist?
As of right now I work full time as a client service representative for a cancer research bio technology company. I do think my current position is related to my major in sociology and health medicine. Right now I am still in the process of figuring out how to start a successful art business. I hope that in the near future I am able to pursue my art full time on a more professional level. I think I came to this realization at the beginning of the year. With the climate of the country and such events like the Black panther movie premiere and Beychella, I felt inspired to start perfecting my craft. I feel like it all hit me at once and from that day forward I decided that I would work until I save enough money and then take the leap of faith. After the success of my art showcase in January I started to get more support. Especially the support of my traditional Caribbean mother, whom always viewed my art as a hobby. Once she began to see the potential in my ability I gain even more motivation to pursue my art career. In January I also created an art Instagram, rebranded, and worked on developing a more concise style, and eventually created a website.
What was your biggest challenge in pursuing art and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge in pursuing my art career is finding the time to paint. Being that I work unconventional hours and have a long commute to and from work I usually do not get home until 9pm most nights. This shift ultimately minimizes my access to free time. Due to this, I try to keep my weekends open, in order to make time for my art. Often times I start projects late Friday nights and work on them the whole weekend and wrap up the piece(s) by Sunday. An internal challenge I struggle with as I pursue my art is trusting the process and believing in myself. I deal with this by thinking back to all the positive feedback and words of encouragement I have received from my artwork over the years. I also talk to friends and vent to get me out of the rut.
Describe your biggest milestone achieved since pursuing your art.
I would say my biggest achievement thus far is the showcases I have been part of this year. I got involved with RawArtists which allowed be to be part of two showcases in January 2018 and October 2018. I was required to sell 20 tickets for each showcase in order to feature my work. To my surprise I sold about 66 tickets combined. I was really proud of myself for being able to exceed these expectations. In addition, I also consider these shows to be great achievements because they allowed me to see the value of my work. In these shows combined, I sold about five original paintings, calendars, and multiple prints. The biggest lesson I took from these shows is finding value and setting appropriate prices for my art work. I think pricing our work properly and fairly is something all artist struggle with at some point. After my first show I learned that I under sold my work severally and after doing some research I was able to better understand art as a business. With this knowledge I priced my art work more correctly and was able to use other means (i.e. prints, mouse pads, calendars) to market my work and still make a profit.
How does your personal style and identity translate into your artwork?
I think my personal style and identity definitely translate to my artwork. I always had an artsy style and loved Afrocentric jewelry, hand wraps, and bright colored clothing which is very similar to the pieces I create. As I get older, I have been able to become more in touch with who I am and embrace my blackness. I believe that self-love, self-confidence, and self-acceptance are some of my most valued ideals. With my growth as an individual, the growth in my artwork followed. I felt that there was a lack of appreciation and representation of people who looked like me, so I decided that my work would focus on showing the beauty of black people. This is reflected in my latest pieces and I hope to explore my other interest and ideas in the upcoming year. I am also interested in fashion and makeup as well. I often like to recreate patterns or makeup looks within my artworks. I also have a small YouTube channel (UV TV) where I explore these interest. Moreover, I hope to experiment with other mediums as I develop my art. I look forward to going back to watercolors and hopefully trying my hand in oil painting.
What is one thing that makes your art unique?
I think what makes my art unique are my subjects. Some physical attributes that make my art unique are the colors I choose as well as my incorporation of mixed media, jewels, pearls, cowrie shells, rhinestones, and various glitters. I believe that the way I paint and the style that I have developed is unique to me. I think my art is unique to me because my art comes from within me. It is a reflection of who I am.
What is your favorite art technique and why?
My favorite subject/muse to paint are women, particularly black women. I like painting black women and black people in general because of our diversity from the shades and hues of our skin down to the textures, kinks, and curls of our hair. My favorite art technique to use is acrylic paint, mainly because of how quick it dries. I am a quick painter so I enjoy the fact that I do not have to wait weeks before completing a painting. Despite this I am interested in eventually adding or transitioning to oil paint because I like having texture in my artworks. I think the oil paint would give my portraits a more realistic look.
How do you maintain your mental health and inspiration?
I am fortunate enough to not have any issues with finding inspiration or dealing with mental health. My biggest challenge as an artist is finding and making time for my art. Some ways I have managed to keep myself motivated and inspired is by following other artists whom are successful and or well established. Following these artist pushes me and ultimately allows me to believe that I too can be just as successful as the artist I follow. Having this mindset is not easy because often times as a creative we fall victim to comparing our own artwork and success to other artist. Once you overcome this and view your art as something of value and worth, you will have an overall better experience when trying to stay motivated. I also like to carry my sketch book with me. Being that I spend most of the hours of my day at my “adult” job (as I like to call it), I often jot down ideas during my breaks or my commute to and from work.
What is some advice or tips you would give to a fellow BGWP interested in furthering their art goals and/or owning her own business?
Being an “artpreneur” is very difficult I would say. I think you have to have a lot of drive and self-discipline in order to do art full time and be successful. To anyone who wants to further their art goals or own a business I would tell them to prepare for the challenge. I would tell time to set aside time to always work and perfect your craft. I would also tell them to seek out help from well established artists or even local artists. It helps a huge deal when you have fellow artist friends whom can relate to your struggles as an artist. You never know who might answer or lend a helping hand. I think it is important to also understand that the success will not come quickly. I believe that all it takes is the right person or group of persons to see something in your work and your business can take off but first you have to see something in yourself. This is something I work on daily. Trying to reach more people and gain an audience is definitely an obstacle for me.
What is next for you?
Honestly, I cannot specifically pin point what is next for me. I hope to manifest all the crazy ideas I have in my mind. I recently did a showcase in October and currently have my artwork up at a local café but I plan to do more as the new year approaches. In the near future, I aspire to go to more art shows and network with fellow artist. My biggest goal is to essentially have a one women show. I also would like to have my own art gallery one day and/or quit my “practical” job and follow my dreams.
What does being a "black girl who paints" means to you?
Being a “black girl who paints” means everything to me. I often tell people without my art I do not exist. No matter how many times I stray away from it, I always manage to return to it. It is who I am and very much a part of me. “Black girls who paints” is a home. It is comforting to see other black women like myself purpose their creative avenues. It inspires me to continue doing what I love.