Words: Matisse Andrews, Interview: Kristom Parson.
California native, Matisse Andrews, has a captivating presence that, much like sunshine, radiates in such a way that it lingers once it hits you. The makeup artist turned model has been featured in numerous fashion editorials and brand campaigns. Her warm personality and straightforward life approach are natural to pick up because they remain the same online and in person. She is outspoken about what matters most to her, and holds people accountable for their words and actions or lack thereof. An advocate for social justice and mental health, this visibility has enabled her to create awareness around causes in critical need. She is currently focused on food insecurity and supplying necessities to the Los Angeles area’s unhoused community. Together, these qualities amount to one unmistakably magical being that we are glad to have in our orbit.
We have watched nearly a year come and go and adapted our lives often to new ways of existing through a global crisis. Collective effort goes into shifting priorities to the more mindful and less material. Even still, it proves somewhat effortless to get caught up in cycles of presuming what is adequate through the individual measure of comparison. Because this game is freely available at our fingertips, quite literally in the palms of our hands, it can become an unhealthy habit to kick. A reality check for us came when Matisse responded to our question around what sort of legacy she wishes to leave behind with the following: “I feel like it’s a lot of pressure to live up to a set of standards or accomplishments for people to remember you by after you die. Life is already stressful enough. My goal is to be a good, empathic person who has an open heart and mind, the rest is a bonus.” It seems reasonable, yet we easily forget the sentiment while we’re predisposed to the pressures of striving for endless achievements.
Matisse reminds us that one of our most significant responsibilities is looking inward and accepting ourselves as constantly evolving works of progress. As she reassures, “Everyone’s path is different and yours doesn’t need to look like the person’s next to you. Timelines are irrelevant. I’ve put expiration dates on myself which only ended up holding me back from what I really wanted. As long as you do what brings you joy it doesn’t matter when you start or how old you are.” With that we say, be good to yourself so you can be good to others. Check in with yourself and check on your friends.
DC: Tell us a little bit about yourself – where did you grow up and how did your path lead you to where you’re at now in LA?
MA: I was raised between Orange County and Los Angeles, SoCal is home. I plan on leaving one day but sunshine keeps delaying my departure.
DC: You’re a makeup artist, model, advocate for social justice, and mental health. We are in awe of your beauty inside and out. How do you keep your balance while staying so active? How do you spend your free time?
MA: That’s very kind. With COVID, life has really slowed down which has been its own battle mentally. I spend a lot of time cooking and baking. As a self proclaimed amateur at home chef I like to challenge myself in the kitchen, try new things. Feeding people good food makes me happy.
DC: Is there one particular channel of creativity or a cause you feel more attached to right now?
MA: At the moment I feel connected to community outreach and mutual aid. It’s heartbreaking and unacceptable how the unhoused community is treated. I do what I can even on a small scale like dropping off extra food at a community fridge in the area. If you live in LA check out @lacommunityfridges to donate if you have the means. Another thing you can do that’s simple and extremely helpful is having extra feminine hygiene products or baby wipes in your car to hand out when you see someone. You don’t realize how much of a luxury those items are to someone who hasn’t felt clean in a while. You can change someone’s entire day.
DC: We are grateful to see you in front of the camera, you’re stunning. Who or what convinced you to give modeling a chance after years of being a makeup artist?
MA: I had to convince myself that I deserved to be in that position. In high school I had entertained the idea silently to myself but there were approximately zero people that looked like me in mainstream media so I never thought it was a realistic option. Now the industry is full of celebrated diverse bodies so when I was approached to model I decided to walk through the door and see what happened.
DC: How has this visibility helped shape you, cultivate relationships, and/or open conversations you might not have had before?
MA: It’s helped me love versions of myself I never thought I could. I’d be having the same conversations whether I was visible or not because that’s just who I am. I’ve never been shy to share my opinions and views with whoever is interested in hearing them.
DC: What has been the most important realization in your own journey inward?
MA: I’m still on the journey, I don’t think it ever ends. It’s so easy to compare, spiral, and be envious of what someone else has and I gently remind myself that everything that’s intended for me is coming my way.
DC: If you had one piece of advice for women of any age feeling stuck or struggling to find their own identity, what would you tell them?
MA: Everyone’s path is different and yours doesn’t need to look like the person’s next to you. Timelines are irrelevant. I’ve put expiration dates on myself which only ended up holding me back from what I really wanted. As long as you do what brings you joy it doesn’t matter when you start or how old you are.
DC: For some, this year has brought up the idea of legacy and what they will leave behind. Do you relate to this, and if so, what do you hope to be remembered most for?
MA: Not really, I feel like it’s a lot of pressure to live up to a set of standards or accomplishments for people to remember you by after you die. Life is already stressful enough. My goal is to be a good, empathic person who has an open heart and mind, the rest is a bonus.
Your favorite street:
What you listen to in traffic:
Where you find peace:
Where the forest meets the ocean.
You can’t live without: