Upfront with D’angelo Thompson: An Interview with Elizabeth Young
Elizabeth Young was born in San Francisco. A graduate of the Art Center College of Design, she lived and worked in New York City for almost twenty years. Elizabeth currently divides her time between Paris and New York City. Her work has been published in a range of publications from Apollo and i-D to InStyle and Vanity Fair. Her advertising, beauty, and fashion clients include Avon, Bank of America, Inhabit, Johnson and Johnson, Revlon, Shiseido, Ulla Jonson, T-Mobile, and Zoe Lee.
Elizabeth’s work has been published in Nerve: The First Ten Years (Chronicle Books), Unforgettable Color: Revlon Make Up with Confidence (Carlton Books), and Women by Women: Female Erotic Photography (Prestel). Her work has been exhibited in New York City as well as Belgium and Italy. Elizabeth is also the co-founder of the Bureau of Found Objects, an online shop specializing in fashion-related books and vintage clothes.
Note: All pictures supplied by Subject.
DT: Elizabeth, thanks for taking my call today all the way from the 19th arrondissement in Paris. I love that we are listening to your neighbors’ drum circle that honors the French healthcare workers every night at 8 pm. And there’s a DJ who just started playing Donna Summer’s “Love to Love You Baby.” So wonderful that everyone is expressing their creativity during this time in history!
EY: We originally met in San Francisco, California, in the late 90s, when we were doing model tests for our portfolios. Then you moved to NYC, and we reconnected once I moved back there in the early 2000s. From there, we started working together on editorials, lookbooks, portraits, and more.
DT: Has photography always been your first love? When did you get your first professional camera?
EY: Yes, photography has always been my first love. I was in high school when I decided that I wanted to help shape the way we see the world. I got my first professional cameras as a student at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. We were required to have each type of camera format. I started with a Nikon 35mm, Hasselblad (medium format), and Sinar 4×5 view camera.
DT: I’ve known you for over 20 years, and you’ve always had a great sense of style. Name three of your favorite designers and why?
EY: Rick Owens, Martin Margiela, and Helmut Lang because they have/had their own singular vision. I love people who reshape the status quo.
DT: How important is buying ethically made clothing as opposed to fast fashion?
EY: Supporting ethically made clothing is super important to me. I prefer to buy sustainably sourced/made clothing that gives everyone a fair wage at each step of the supply chain.
DT: You have been living in Paris for the past six years…what has this journey been like for you?
EY: It has been intense. After living in NYC for almost 20 years, I wanted and needed a new challenge. Manifesting my dream has been a wild ride, but ultimately it’s been a worthwhile and rewarding one.
DT: What great wisdom would you impart to your 10-year-old self? And to aspiring photographers?
EY: I would tell my younger self to always believe in yourself regardless of others and outside pressures. You are strong, talented, resourceful, and resilient. It might not be easy, but you will land on your feet, and you will survive and thrive.
As for aspiring photographers, I would say develop and follow your own vision. Be open to constructive criticism and advice but always be sure to have your own unique point of view.
DT: What drives your activism as an artist, woman, and person of color?
EY: I want to do my part to make the world a better place. It can be exhausting, stressful, and uncomfortable, for sure. But I think everyone needs to stand up and do their part. Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. (Thanks, Obama!)
DT: Finish this sentence: The shift I would like to see in the world is…
EY: “people finding compassion and empathy for each other and voting blue no matter who, up and down the ballot, in November.”
DT: Any current photo projects you are excited about?
EY: I would love to do portraits of the drummers in my neighborhood’s drum circle. They lift our spirits every night and are one of the best things to come out of this quarantine.
Name: Elizabeth Young
Job Title: Photographer
D’angelo Thompson is a three-time Daytime Emmy Nominated Hair and Makeup Artist, “Guest Hair” Daytime Emmy Award winner for the Wendy Williams Show, an accomplished Author, and Podcast Host.
His most recent credits include Law & Order SVU, Season 21, MTV/VH-1/LOGO (Viacom), Amy Trask (CBS Sports), Food Network, Joy Mangano, Amber Stevens West/Andrea DeBordeaux for Run The World (Starz), and Author, James Patterson. His expertise extends to bridal, editorial, commercial, film, and television. Additionally, for over 20 years, D’angelo has been a consultant and educator in partnerships with Il Makiage, Glamour Dolls Makeup, Chic Studios, Makeup For Ever, Calvin Klein Cosmetics, LORAC, and others.
As an Author, D’angelo penned and published “Enhanced Beauty”, “Enhanced Beauty for Teens “, “Enhanced Beauty: Men’s Grooming”, and “A 100 Days of Gratitude”. All are available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and other online retailers.
He is also the host of “Gratitude Is A Journey” available on Anchor.fm/dangelo- thompson and “Beauty & Gratitude” a series on Soulivity Magazine’s ‘SoulivityTV’, available on Youtube.
D’angelo was educated at Pratt Institute for two years in Fashion Merchandising and Fine Art and through mentorships with Alfred Fornay, Byron Barnes, and Sherry Lee. He further attended The Makeup Institute of California, MAC Pro, Makeup Forever Pro/Academy Workshops, Lash Extension Certification through NYIB, and Basic FX lessons from Daytime Emmy Award-Winning artist, Ingrid Okola. He also holds practitioner licenses and accreditations in Emotional Intelligence, Reiki, Crystal Healing, and Hypnotherapy. Currently attending National University, studying Psychology.
As a community activist, he organizes yearly fundraisers to support AIDS research, education, and advocacy with The Latino Commission on AIDS (2009-2017), youth initiatives, domestic violence, and sex traﬃcking awareness (2000-Present), social justice, and LGBTQ rights & safety (1990-Present).
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