Cree artist inspired by her surroundings uses makeup for Indigenous designs

·2 min read

A young Cree woman from the Thunderchild First Nation in Saskatchewan is taking her love of makeup to the next level.

Nightsong Wapass's steady hand and intricate eye shadow designs are catching people's attention.

"I usually get inspiration by landscape, sunsets, other people's art and of course my culture and Native designs," said Wapass, 20.

"I find it's a way to express the love I have for all this art. I have love for all types of art but makeup is definitely my favourite. It lets me express who I am."

Nightsong Wapass
Nightsong Wapass

She said culture and art have always been a part of her life, dancing since she could walk and creating her own designs in her own regalia. Now she uses makeup to create detailed Indigenous-inspired designs for the eye using a very fine paint brush.

"You have to have patience because it does take a while to create looks," said Wapass.

"I do get asked to do crazy designs a lot, but I don't have too much time on my hands. I do work and am a single mom."

She said it usually takes her about two hours to complete a set of designs.

Submitted by Nightsong Wapass
Submitted by Nightsong Wapass

Her Facebook and Instagram are gaining thousands of followers, offering tutorials and showcasing her work.

Wapass has been hired as a makeup artist by several people within the community for business functions, graduates as well as family and friends.

"I don't even do makeup, myself," said Hailey Okanee, a Thunderchild First Nation community member who hired Wapass for graduation makeup.

"She was the person I knew did phenomenal work. The first one I saw was the purple design. It was gorgeous. I love the designs she does now, amazing work to see on an eyelid."

Submitted by Nightsong Wapass
Submitted by Nightsong Wapass

Growing up the middle child of seven, Wapass's childhood was focused on sports and culture.

She learned to sew and bead from her mother, and she and her other siblings dance powwow as well.

"I taught her how to sew and bead and she went a step further with her creativity," said Renita Wapass, Nightsong's mother.

"She is creative in so many ways…. As a parent you have to encourage your children wherever their heart goes. Let them go and just follow and encourage them as much as you can."

Next spring Wapass will be relocating to Edmonton to attend MC College to expand her skill set.