Tue | May 26, 2020

C’Eleen Burke: Using art as a stepping stone to her career

Published:Friday | August 23, 2019 | 12:00 AMVanessa James/Gleaner Writer
C’Eleen Burke showing off her creativity with make-up
Burke modelling her work as a make-up artist
One of C’Eleen Burke’s body portraits.
The gift Burke gave to her one-year-old niece on her birthday.

Being self-motivated is probably one of the most important attributes needed to achieve one’s goals. It keeps you going even when everyone else has stopped. C’Eleen Burke is one of the lucky ones, she knows exactly what she wants to become, and is using her talent to motivate her to get there.

Burke, at 22 years old, is dominating everything in the world of visual arts. Along with being a student at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, she is also a make-up artist, with the bravery to take risks and still make them work.

“My interest in make-up started in 2014 when I got my make-up done for my high-school graduation,” Burke shared, “I would watch YouTube videos and practise on relatives, before I got certified at the D’Marie Institute,” she continued.

Burke explained that she attained the Level 2 certification and was encouraged to move on to doing the degree, but could not because of time constraints.

“The time for the degree ran between January and June, but I could not go because I would be overseas from April to September because of work,” Burke disclosed.

She went ahead and started an online business as a make-up artist, where she displays her work on her Instagram handle @Cee_Aurora.

Along with this, Burke also paints and draws. With a preference in doing body portraits, she has also used some uncommon means, incorporating her loves, to complete her creations.

“I started out with animal portraits, but soon started doing human portraits. I prefer drawing or painting the body, though, because you get to see the different shapes and silhouette of the body,” Burke stated.

Though Burke started drawing at an early age, she admitted that she did not feel confident about drawing or painting until she started doing make-up.

“I incorporate my make-up and drawing skills; I have combined crayons and make-up when doing body portraits, and used make-up only when doing face portraits,” the artist explained.

She went on to explain that she thinks she developed her talent from her mother’s own talents and influences when Burke was growing up as an only child.

“My mother, Noga Brown, is a creative person. I think, growing up, she didn’t want me to get bored, so she would find different ways for me to complete various tasks,” Burke shared, “She loved colouring, too, so I think I got that from her also.”

Hoping to be a vet

In the midst of colours and creativity, one would think that this is Burke’s future, but this is not so; she hopes to have a career as a veterinarian.

“To become a veterinarian, the training is nine years, so my plan is to build an income before starting my studies so that I do not have to worry about fees and all the costs associated,” she explained.

When asked why she wanted to pursue this career path, Burke stated, “I grew up with pets and I was born in a family where animals were always present.”

She told The Gleaner that she spent two to three months volunteering at Noah’s Ark, where she was allowed to work alongside the veterinary technician, observing and assisting with flushing wounds, artificial inseminations, bathing and feeding, among other tasks.

Burke also plans to have a one-stop shop for all event planning needs, from weddings to social events.

She currently works at Knutsford Express and will continue to do so when she starts her final year at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.