Unison Colour welcomes Cindy Barillet as an Associate Artist

Growing up in the South of France, in the Luberon mountains, I have always been surrounded by nature and animals. As a child, I would spend my days exploring the countryside with my dogs, wondering at the insects, the birds, and the flowers around my parents’ house. 

My mother was a hobby artist, painting with oils during her free time. She used to paint mostly landscapes inspired by our region and I used to watch her with keen interest. 

It was only natural for me to combine my love for animals with my love for painting. I remember following the pets of the house with paper and pencils, drawing them over and over, eager to try different tools my mum would provide me, as they were all fun and full of surprises.

Yet, as I grew up, I had no faith in pursuing an art career, therefore I decided to study business. I knew I wanted to create my own job, and for a while I thought I would open a shop to sell plants and flowers, which would be a good excuse to be surrounded by them every day. 

As it turned out I had no love for business and my studies felt increasingly like a painful agony, art came back to my life. Soft pastel was the first medium I decided to explore.

Between dreadfully boring business lessons, I would draw pets with soft pastels and my heart would lighten. I started to publish my paintings online and I soon realized I could paint other people’s pets. This is how I became a professional artist while I was still a business student. 

Then I became a full-time professional artist the day when, freshly graduated, I turned down my first marketing job offer. 

For some years I painted pets from photographs, and I was happy. But it was hard too, as I had to paint from morning to night every day to maintain sufficient revenue. The more I thought about it, the more I feared I would end up disliking my initial passion. How ungrateful it seemed, in the past I had felt trapped when I was a business student and then I felt trapped as a full-time artist. 

In fact, I came up with the same solution: I would paint. 

It might seem odd as I was already painting too much; but I had another purpose now: I would make videos about my painting process, I would publish them, and that would allow me to paint my own subjects. Not my customer’s pets. 

Having a YouTube channel encouraged me to pursue my creative ideas. Soon I was painting landscapes, human portraits, trying watercolours, oils, gouache, I would keep sketchbooks, I would paint in plein air… And also, I would teach. 

So, this is where I am now. Cindy, no art studies, no galleries, no exhibitions, no awards, and yet living from what I have been creating since 2011. Growing my online presence through social media allowed me to create this activity and probably to join the Unison Colour family. Being an Associate Artist means the world to me, as I fell in love with Unison Colour pastels many years ago and they are by far my favourites; and as soft pastel will always stay my first and dearest art love. It is my great delight and honour to be part of such a wonderful brand. 

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Associate Artist Intake for 2022

It seems a while ago since we asked for applications from artists to become an Associate Artists & wow the applications came in thick & fast. So much so it took our Unison Helen a good while to get through them all.

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