Cassandra Love Lambert – BottleRock Music Festival
During the 2015 season of BottleRock Music Festival in Napa Valley, California, I was drawn towards an electric pink oasis with walls wrapped in pop culture references and meme posters; this wine booth’s interior atmosphere was drenched in all pink everything, and metallic confetti–a notable depart from the festival’s feel. I wandered into the fantastical realm belonging to Gia Coppola Wine with my festival crew during a break between sets. We were immediately welcomed in by Cassandra Love Lambert, Creative Director at C-Love who was gifting festival-goers with body art. We were so in awe over the fact that this even existed–the chance to not only meet her, but to be adorned with glitter and paint by an artist while enjoying some wine.
Cassandra and the C-Love team are constantly en route to a variety of music festivals and nightlife events to “love people up,” so find out where she’ll be next and have the chance to experience her magic by following along with her Instagram and on Facebook and read more about this gifted creative and dedicated mother below in my Q+A below!
What inspired you to become an artist and when did you first realize this is what you wanted to do?
I have always been a very creative person. Even as a kid I was in dance and art classes and theatre; I literally wanted to do it all! It was actually hard for me to choose just one creative outlet because I loved doing them all so much. So as I got older, I kept studying these different creative outlets because I loved them but I wasn’t sure how I would be able to make a living doing any of them. The most fascinating thing about this is that I never had a goal of ever doing makeup, face and body art as my profession or being known for it; I kind of stumbled upon that happening…I never really had thought of it as anything significant because makeup came so easy for me. I always thought I had to do something hard — it never dawned on me to do something I was really good at because it’s a gift. I wasn’t able to see doing makeup as a gift because it came so easily for me — so silly I know, but sometimes our greatest gifts can be right under our nose and we aren’t able to see or recognize them. It was something I loved doing already without getting paid for it, and was very therapeutic and relaxing. I failed to see it as a significant gift to offer the world.
My advice for others is look at the things you love to do naturally that you spend your time doing without getting paid – pursue those things and also be open as they evolve into other mediums.
Tell me about some of your favorite moments from the road.
Some moments that stick out are when someone had sat down to get painted and they just let me go for it and I was totally in my zone and worked my magic. When I was done I showed this person their face in the mirror and they started to cry; they were blown away at how I “got them” how I “saw them” and then created that on their face.
Another moment was when a guy came up to my booth at a festival and was really sad and crying because of a situation with his friends. Something drew him to my station and me, and he decided to get his face painted. By the time I was done working my magic he was smiling and laughing and taking lots of selfies with me and by himself. He ended up reaching back out to me post-festival and thanking me for supporting him in feeling better and shifting his energy and asked me to be a part of a future event with him and his crew.
When I first started down this path of doing my body art, a woman sat down in front of me at Burning Man and asked me to make her as beautiful as everyone else that was around us. I looked at her and said she was beautiful already and told her I would just enhance what she already has so she can see what I see – When I was done with her and showed her, her whole being lit up with joy and love – I ended up bumping into her 2 Burning Mans later and she came up to me and hugged me and thanked me again for that day because she said I truly made her feel beautiful and it has stuck with her ever since.
There was a night event I did in SF-it was a Burning Man fundraiser and this 80-something year old man sits down and told me to make him beautiful, with this huge ear-to-ear grin on his face! I laughed so hard tears came out of my eyes and he was very, very serious so I worked my magic on him and made him extra, extra sparkly too and the way his already contagious smile increased, made my entire being and heart expand. So precious LOL.
There have been sooo many special, beautiful, authentic, deep, loving moments I could probably write an entire book with them. I have literally had the honor of sharing time and space and moments with so many people. So many beautiful souls have trusted me with being in their bubble to adorn their face. When I sit back and really think about it, we don’t really just let anyone touch our faces or get that close — it’s a very intimate space! And somehow, people whom I have never met before will sit down and trust me and allow me to be in that space with them and to adorn them within seconds, which is very special and sacred to me. I feel very honored to be on this path.
Do you ever feel creative burnout, and if so, how do you navigate that?
I am definitely human and I go through burnt out phases in life, period. Juggling parenthood as a single mom while also running my art business feels like having two full-time 24/7 responsibilities. When I feel spent, I take the time to slow down. I have learned to listen to my body. I will focus on spending more quality time with my daughter and resting and fill myself up with things that nourish me like quotes, beautiful images, and listening to music that lights up my soul. I am not really one who can sit still for very long so when I just allow myself to rest and take a break, a fire builds up within me and boom!…I am back in the driver’s seat in no time with a bit more umph than I had before.
Do you continue being creative in your personal time outside of work?
I am a living, breathing, walking creative machine – my challenge in life has not been around being creative, but in learning how to monetize my creativity so that I could live my life truly doing what I love so it never feels like I am working. It is work, however because I love it so much and it feeds my soul versus chipping away at it, it ceases to feel like “work.” It’s more like play and passion; I am beyond grateful to have figured out a way to do what I love and create my life around it and I continue to learn how to do that on a larger scale and help others do the same.
What has been your all time favorite festival(s) or event experience? Favorite place you’ve travelled for your work?
There have been too many amazing places, people and experiences – I cannot even count them. So many times I have showed up to an event or festival in complete awe of like “how did I even get here” because it was mind blowing serendipitously magical and even better than I could have ever fathomed. There is something truly special about doing something you authentically love and that you put a lot of heart and soul and love into. People can feel it and it ripples out and becomes a magnet attracting all sorts of awesome to you. It is not something you can fake; I am beyond grateful for being on this path doing something I genuinely love because it truly keeps me in this vibration of magic where the places I end up at and the people I meet inspire and amaze me. I always end up at the places I am meant to be, with the people I am meant to serve, and therefore I cannot choose a favorite because I am grateful for them all.
What is the most challenging part about being both a creative director and an independent artist?
I am also a single mom so one of my biggest challenges comes from still figuring out and constantly balancing my art business and being a mom and there for my daughter. I would say the next biggest challenge is that I am naturally a giver, and thank god for my daughter because she supports me in standing firm in my value and standing up for the value of my work. A lot of people will want and or try to get everything for free. I have also had the experience of people not seeing the value in what I do because they will box it into “face paint,” when what I actually do is create an entire experience for someone and connect with them heart to heart, soul to soul, and through that connection, a custom mixed media art piece will come through and enhance their already inherent beauty which they may not have seen before. I pull it out for them so they clearly see it. They think I prettied them up, however the truth is I just supported them in seeing the truth of who and what they already are! I see them and love them up so then they can see themselves in the light of love.
If you could give yourself advice when you were first starting out, with the knowledge and experience you hold now, what would it be? Any advice for aspiring creatives?
Pick something you already love to do for free that fuels you and you have FUN doing, and go out there and do that! Get yourself out there as much as you can and meet people. When you meet people, stay connected to them: Find them on Facebook and Instagram and build your network. See how you can be an addition and a contribution to others so that you aren’t showing up with open hands to take only; always see how you can help either with promotions or how you can offer something in exchange for help. And show appreciation even for the littlest acts of someone helping and or supporting you, gratitude goes a long way! And hustle your ass off.