Visiting Yael Hupert at her Antwerp artist’s studio

Looking at Yaels’s artwork is like meeting interesting people – they look at you in an intense way and the vibrant coloured paintings and details of fashion give them a feel of modern-day appearance. The Antwerp artist, a former make-up artist, can’t stop working ever since she found her inspiration, from travelling, fashion and art. IRMA had a chat with her.

IRMA: How did you develop your painting?
YAEL HUPERT: It became the sum of many elements that were in my life: my work as a professional make-up artist, my love for interiors, and generally being inspired by life around me.

IRMA: How does a typical workday look like for you?
YAEL HUPERT: There’s no typical day! I can go on a painting frenzy for days if the inspiration is there, losing every sense of time. The flipside of this is that when I don’t feel inspired, I won’t touch my brushes for weeks.

IRMA: Your favourite artist?
YAEL HUPERT: I’d have to pick Kris Knight, for his amazing talent and use of colours. I love his cool, modern take on portraits. It’s funny because he paints only men and I do only women.

IRMA: How do you develop your skills?
YAEL HUPERT: I have a good base as a make-up artist, and always have been creative as a kid, so the mix was natural… Then, it’s only hours and hours of frustration trying to get it right – totally worth it when it happens.

IRMA: Your favourite place to look at art?
YAEL HUPERT: Museum, definitely. I love to visit modern art museums in cities I travel to.

Yael Hupert in her Antwerp studio. Photo by Sylvie Vandewalle

IRMA: Is there a source of inspiration you keep on turning to?
YAEL HUPERT: I get mostly inspired by fashion: details in garments, magazines, catwalks etc… I also love to get stimulated by the work of other artists.

IRMA: How do you find your subjects?
YAEL HUPERT: It can be anything: a magazine, a detail in a picture, the attitude of somebody I fixated on and observe, a colour combination that strikes me in the street … its quite random, there’s unfortunately no magic recipe to inspiration! You just need to pay attention.

IRMA: Is your workplace a reflection of you as a person?
YAEL HUPERT: Absolutely, I need to work in a space that inspires me. It’s an organised mess with all the little things I love: nichos from Mexico, Daruma dolls from Japan, and a ton of quirky stuff I accumulated over the years.

IRMA: Where would you like to live and why?
YAEL HUPERT: Barcelona. I need city life; and I find that sun brings so much life to your everyday. My husband lived there before moving to Belgium, and we’ll go back one day.

Photos by Sylvie Vandewalle

IRMA

IRMA travels the world, writes and illustrates the life she lives.

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