Emerging makeup artist Aya Komatsu died on Thursday. The apparent cause of death was suicide.
Although only 35 years old, Komatsu had a solid string of editorial work, including Harper’s Bazaar and New York Magazine’s The Cut. Comments on Instagram regarding the death by people who had worked with Komatsu painted a picture of a young woman with a lot of potential.
Rebecca Ramsey, fashion director at The Cut, wrote Komatsu was someone she “always admired.”
“Her spirit and joy was palpable and she’s one of the collaborators I was privileged to work with most,” Ramsey said. “I’m heartbroken that I will not see her again.”
Photographer Erik Madigan Heck wrote that he’d seen Komatsu this past Sunday and posted a photo of his that he’d worked with her on, showing a model in a full face of perfectly executed pink and orange makeup, noting she created the look in less than 10 minutes.
“So much of my work in the last half decade was created with her, spending long days on set, talking about nothing, laughing and making art,” Heck wrote. “There’s nothing better than that, being able to come together with another human and create something beautiful for the world. I’m heartbroken. My team is heartbroken. I can’t even look at my work right now without tearing up.”
Makeup artist Lena Koro addressed Komatsu directly in a post, telling her she was a “beautiful kind smart talented human being.”
Responding to Koro, Cindy-Paula Rodriguez of Surratt Beauty said she heard of Komatsu’s death on Thursday. “Shocked and saddened another young, talented, beautiful soul lost.”
Set designer Andrea Huelse wrote of Komatsu’s talent and her “amazing work.”
Photographer Olivia Malone said Komatsu was “a talented makeup artist and a true artist.”
“I loved collaborating with her and wish I could have more often.…She was a dog lover and a beautiful person inside and out,” Malone added.
Komatsu’s death comes just weeks after those of designer Kate Spade and the author, TV host and chef Anthony Bourdain, both also by suicide.