Face Paint Lights up Artist’s World


Mindy Luo, Visual Media Editor

Senior Mia Travis has a unique way of showing her artistic creativity.

Travis’ art career began at a young age. She doodled extensively in elementary school, attended the California College of the Arts 2018 pre-college program, and is currently the co-president of Dead Artists Society, the club that organized the 2019 Campolindo Art Show.

“Art feeds my soul,” said Travis. “I just get to share what goes through my head and put it on something legitimate and getting reactions out of people is always interesting too.”

Travis finds inspiration through artists on Instagram, the app that also first introduced her to the art of face painting. “I just found these women painting their faces, but in a very, you know, fine and detailed, delicate way that kind of expressed femininity and beauty and creativity, kind of stepping past the molds of makeup and what defines makeup,” said Travis.

Rapt by the mesmerizing art, Travis decided to buy a face painting kit from Amazon and create an Instagram page for her own artwork. “I kind of feel like I created my small little community, like my small part of the world because I get to just share what I love to do with my friends,” said Travis.

The subjects of Travis’ face paint range from sunsets to abstract floral imagery, but her vibrant use of color is constant. Travis describes her artistic style as “psychedelic” and “surrealist,” a homage to her favorite musical and visual artists, Salvador Dali, Yayoi Kusama, and Lana Del Ray.

Travis likes to explore the theme of femininity in her art. “I really like the idea of femininity and kind of female sadness in a way like, what does that mean? How do women express sadness without being molded into a certain way?” said Travis.

According to her peers, it is unsurprising that Travis turned to makeup as an art form, as it’s her passion for experimentation that makes her so unique. Senior Ellie Guthrie, a close friend of Travis’, recalled watching her doodle in class. “1 time, she drew a full face portrait with just eyeliner and it blew me away,” said Guthrie.

While Travis may not wear her elaborate face-paint to school, her colorful style translates to her everyday makeup and fashion sense. “She wears her art on herself. I remember seeing her wearing glittery golden pants and outrageously colorful makeup and thinking, ‘That’s the kind of person who lights up the world with art,'” said senior Brighton Ying, another student artist at Campolindo.

“Her makeup is always so influential, like actually her face is beaten to the gods everyday,” said junior Sophie Hevel, who was inspired by Travis to try dramatic eye makeup. “I wish I had half the talent she has.”

Travis is also known for her humility. “She put a few of her art pieces in the Campo Art Show she helped organize, but didn’t mention it to anyone or put her name on it because she wanted other people to have the spotlight,” said Guthrie.

Travis’ advice to students exploring their creative side is simple. “If you have a passion for something, you know, spread it,” she said.