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Meet the Artist Behind Our Planet-Friendly Holiday Packaging


We’ve always been about helping our community look good, feel good and do good. But this season, we’re taking that commitment a step further. Our 2020 Holiday Collection is not only packed with skin-friendly ingredients, but comes all wrapped up in more sustainable cosmetic packaging than we’ve ever made before — so you can feel good about gifting.

On our end, we minimized plastic and integrated recyclable materials. But we also wanted to inspire you to minimize your own carbon footprint this season. We were able to create gift boxes so covetable they didn’t need single-use wrapping paper or ribbons by teaming up with Brooklyn-based artist Sarah Bachman. Sarah’s whimsical, nature-inspired illustrations for our holiday packaging design not only capture the spirit of the season, but also the planet-friendly mission behind this collection. We sat down with Sarah to learn a bit more about her career as an artist, what inspires her and how she strives to live a life that’s good for the planet.

Tell us about your path to becoming an artist.

For as long as I can remember I have been interested in art and design. I grew up rummaging through yard sales, looking at old publications and album covers. I saved lots of little things like clothing hang tags if I liked the paper or the embossing. I actually still do all of those things, but I have a better understanding of what I am looking for now! Artists like M.C. Escher, Georgia O’Keeffe and Yayoi Kusama were some of the first major artists that inspired me. When I began to look into art as a career, I learned about the world of design from people like Louise Fili, Paula Scher and the Pushpin Graphic Publication. These are just a few of the people who have paved the way for current day graphic designers and illustrators.

What currently inspires your work?

I know it will sound cliché, but in nature! I am of course also inspired by other artists and designers, seeing how they interpret their world on paper. I love to study my surroundings when outdoors: the forms, the color palettes and how those things are affected by light. I take a lot of photos that I use as my library and stimulation for drawing.

Photos by J. Ryan Ulsh

What’s your preferred medium?

Colored pencils.

Tell us a little bit about your process.

I spend most of my time bouncing back and forth between raw materials and the computer. If I am developing a product, I will start by studying the competitive landscape, figuring out where the product falls and how it will be different and unique. Typically, I will have parameters which I will lay out as my structure, do a bit of writing to describe what I want to create, and then interpret those words visually. With my artwork, it is much more sporadic and intuitive. I usually start with a photo or collage of photos that I make to guide the composition. I tend to keep a healthy work-life balance by setting deadlines for myself. I don’t think I will ever grow out of the occasional late-night work session though — sometimes you hit an unexpected groove and you gotta go with it.

What do you say to people who aspire to be artists?

Give yourself a daily or weekly challenge to make something, even if it only takes 15 minutes. It is a good way to keep fresh, try something new, and hold yourself accountable when you are busy with other things.

Who is one artist from history who inspires you?

Sister Mary Corita. She was an artist and designer with an innovative approach to education. She delivered beautiful messages of peace and social justice to the world gracefully and in a graphically stunning way.

What kind of impact do you want to make with your work?

At this time my artwork is not super conceptual. I want to make pieces that are dynamic and lighthearted, something you want to keep close because it makes you feel good and puts you at ease.

Is there an underlying social message you like to support?

I am most passionate about protecting our earth; I will always support that message when given the opportunity.

Do you ever work with sustainable materials?

I always try to incorporate recycled and recyclable materials such as papers, inks and adhesives where I can — especially with packaging projects. I always eliminate plastic use as much as possible.

What interested you most about working with bareMinerals?

I am aligned with the brand’s ethos of honesty and prioritizing the health of our bodies and the environment.

Do you find that people consider sustainability and beauty mutually exclusive? What’s your take?

Some might. The fact is, people will always want skincare products; they can make us feel good and confident and that is important to us. It is tough though, knowing you are contributing to the inevitable waste. There are companies that are doing a multitude of things large and small to improve their social and environmental performance. I would encourage anyone to do a little research, and you can support the brands that are making an effort in ways that are important to you.

Photos by J. Ryan Ulsh

Do you have a favorite bareMinerals product?

I use the BAREPRO Performance Wear Liquid Foundation for blemishes.

Sustainability is a big part of our 2020 Holiday Collection. Can you speak to how you interpreted that through your design?

All of the ideas I pitched included responsible goals, such as minimizing the box sizes and removing all plastic vac forms and windows. Each concept was to be created with biodegradable and recyclable packaging materials that are carbon-negative to minimize waste. The chosen concept was the package direction I created to feel like it was covered in wrapping paper, taking it one step forward, suggesting that you do not need to waste any more material to prepare it, that it is celebratory as is — and readily giftable.

Tell us about the specific symbols you drew for our holiday packaging.

The symbols were created to celebrate nature and illustrate the brand’s love and appreciation. The icons were drawn with a brush pen and scanned in. The pattern was assembled and tweaked in Illustrator.

You said of the packaging, “Beyond the product, it creates interaction and engagement.” Can you expand on this statement?

With the playful quality of the line and the style and arrangement of the icons, I developed a celebratory spirit for the narrative. I believe the message will speak to the consumer who has a growing sensibility for brands that are responsible.

What’s your favorite way to present a gift?

When someone isn’t expecting it.

For our clean beauty community, any tips for giving beautifully without extra waste?

Reuse flower paper, newspaper, fruit nets, etc. Try to save interesting materials that end up in your home. Open gifts carefully and save that stuff too!

Outside of your work, do you embrace sustainability and clean living in your personal life?

Yes! About 50% of my clothing and housewares are vintage. I carry a big Nalgene for water on the go, make coffee at home and use tote bags until they are completely shot! I believe that those little things which become habitual make a difference.

What’s one good way that anyone can give back?

Avoid buying single use plastics. 🙂

What’s one good habit you’d like to have?

Tech Shabbat: Tiffany Shlain’s practice of 1 phone-less day per week.