Critique #1: Sarah W.
You seem to have a real knack for collage. Your precision with the cut paper is highly impressive and you’re really making excellent choices when it comes to the various materials you’ve chosen to use for each item and surface.
My favorite element of the piece though is the text. Specifically, the little phrases you’ve chosen to include in the labels, the repetition of the terms “perfect” and “natural” strike me as effectively ironic. It’s as if you’re listing all the traits of your appearance that you’re trying to fix or hide, rather than just the brands of make up you use.
The way you do your handwriting in a way reminds me of Maira Kalman, who is a great illustrator. Her painted still lifes frequently integrated bits of text around the subject in a sort of journalistic way that is kind of similar to what you’re doing here, or it could be.
I do think you have a lot of room to explore with this sort of thing in the future though. Just the way that the text and image interact. Currently, you’re displaying a lot of control in almost every aspect of the piece. While that definitely contributes to the advertising look you’re going for, some kind of small break in that control could be really rewarding, and suggest a deeper intent for this piece in a way that goes beyond just the contradiction of the phrase “I hate my face.”
Right now there’s a nice dissonance with the meaning of that phrase, especially in the tidy way that it’s written, but imagine if one of the letters were smudged a little. Or maybe if that text literally disrupted the rest of the image. If the typography was huge, taking up the space of the table, and knocking the various objects over, that could be kind of interesting. Or maybe it’s the make up bottles on the text. You talked about the mish mash of bottles in your make up bag, but that kind of disorder isn’t really on display here. A composition in which the make up is obscuring portions of the text could be really interesting.
You could think of it in this way: what role are these different elements playing on a kind of metaphorical level? Another great artist for you to look at would be the surrealist photographer Claude Cahun. She deals a lot thematically with similar issues of identity and gender and make up plays a prominent role in her self-portraits. Her collage work could be especially helpful to you since her compositions have a nice balance of chaos and order, and also tend to incorporate text.
In short, you’ve hit on a subject that you’ve expressed visually that is really compelling, so it would just be exciting to see you push this further in the future.