Beauty Portraits with Pantone’s color of the year: Living Coral.
This year I used Pantone’s 2019 color of the year, living coral, as inspiration for a beauty editorial. And, I‘m so excited to share this awesome set of images with you all. This is the result of a truly wonderful collaboration!
Artist and illustrator Cecelia Claire designed the custom wallpaper backdrop. Using Pantone‘s 2019 color of the year as our Palette and inspiration. We worked together to create a wallpaper that would add joy and whimsy to the images.
As a color nerd I‘m always excited about Pantone‘s color of the year. I use it as an excuse to research that color and learn more about it. And to think about color in general. How does color influence your life? From the color of your clothes and possessions to the color of your skin.
How does color function in art, advertising, and photography?
The Pantone Institute’s executive director Leatrice Eiseman, says:
“Color is an equalizing lens through which we experience our natural and digital realities”
I wanted to create a set of beauty portrait images where the focus is the color.
In todays world we are constantly surrounded by colors. They serve to enrich our lives in every aspect. Yet, we are living in a society that loves color diversity until it becomes uncomfortable. Yes, I‘m now talking about skin color and not Pantone‘s color book. Because, although I want to share these images primarily to show how gorgeous this color looks, I can’t ignore the world around me.
I often hear people say they are ‘colorblind’ when it comes to race. However, this does us all a huge injustice. There is plenty of information available explaining why being ‘colorblind’ is racist. So if this is a new concept for you, look it up. But, let‘s think about the simple fact that if we are colorblind we loose so much culture and vibrancy. The diversity of humanity is what makes it so beautiful. Diversity of color, taste, culture, and sound is what makes life worth living.
I think Monnica Williams sums it all up really well.
“Let’s break it down into simple terms: Color-Blind = “People of color — we don’t see you (at least not that bad ‘colored’ part).” As a person of color, I like who I am, and I don’t want any aspect of that to be unseen or invisible. The need for colorblindness implies there is something shameful about the way God made me and the culture I was born into that we shouldn’t talk about. Thus, colorblindness has helped make race into a taboo topic that polite people cannot openly discuss. And if you can’t talk about it, you can’t understand it, much less fix the racial problems that plague our society.” – Monnica Williams, PH.D.,
All this talk of racism may feel heavy and sort of unrelated when we look at these images. The images feel joyful, beautiful and vibrant.
“Vibrant, yet mellow PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.”
But my intention with these images was to show Living Coral on two different skin tones. It is a very simple and subtle way to show that we should all see color and the diversity around us. Showing how pairing colors with others changes them is such a wonderful exercise. The diversity is what makes life beautiful. And it doesn’t have to be this uncomfortable elephant in the room. We could just acknowledge the differences around us. Maybe you don’t understand them all, and that is ok. Stay open to learning, be curious, and adventurous. Try on a new shade of lipstick one day, and talk to someone who doesn’t look like you another day. So I hope that comes through with this beauty shoot. And I hope you look at these images and appreciate the differences.
The dream team:
Custom wallpaper by illustrator Cecelia Claire
Models: Chelsea Jeter & Elexia Cook
Photographer: Ella Sophie