Artist Quilapiza Sorimpt is from the Colville Reservation in Omak, Washington. As a self-taught artist she has found a way to use her love for art and makeup to bring awareness to issues she is passionate about. She aims to "encourage indigenous women to wear their cultural makeup again." The beauty in her art and the passion behind her message are both equally powerful. We at CWBG are excited to highlight such a creative artist using makeup as an outlet to share a message which goes beyond the beauty world.
CWBG: How did you choose your creative outlet and what inspires you?
QS: I once got ready for the day after suffering great loss. Look good, feel good was what I was going for that day. I saw a piece of art with a woman wearing warpaint. So I thought "why not?," and instead of my everyday "look like everybody else" look, I did warpaint. I went to the store like this. I was noticed and remembered. That’s when it hit me. Indigenous people go missing everyday. And sadly it’s a subject we get little or no help in finding them. So I decided to bring up the subject using makeup.
CWBG: Your art seems very purposeful and besides it being beautiful, there are prevalent and powerful messages you choose to bring awareness to. Can you give us more insight on your art and your message?
QS: In old times it was forbidden for the indigenous to represent their culture. Honor means a lot to us. So I wanted to take it back. Why look like everyone else. Be your own exotic beauty. We are now allowed to practice our culture. So let's do it and wear it for those we've lost and those we honor in our lives. So I started to study my tribe and its warpaint. Every color, every symbol has meaning, yet it's different for every tribe.
CWBG: What made you decide to use makeup as a form of bringing awareness?
QS: I found that the SanPoil tribe wore paint for beauty. SanPoil is the tribe I represent. I am from the Colville Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and SanPoil is one of the tribal bands of that tribe. I wanted to encourage everyone to wear warpaint to show awareness for our missing people. Also to be remembered and dare to be noticed.
CWBG: Is there an element of makeup you enjoy working with the most?
QS: Most of my looks are made from lipstick. That’s my favorite tool.
CWBG: What is the hardest part of creating a look?
QS: I find it's hard to read my peoples past to try to inspire a look. Then actually do the look and not cry. I paint with my heart. The emotion in my eyes is genuine. I want people to see my soul in my eyes and my heart in my work.
CWBG: What do you wish to accomplish with your art?
QS: I hope that one day I can go out and see indigenous women walking around with pride, with their culture on their face. No one's warpaint is supposed to be alike. Your paint is supposed to be earned. My people have fought for our survival to keep going, keep being strong, resilient and indigenous. We earned our paint and deserve to wear it because we are still here. I want to see my people be individuals and represent themselves to the fullest.