Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Give and Get

Yesterday was the Rutherford Street Fair, a very large fair at which my mother has been telling  me I should be painting for years now, but I've always had other gigs that day.  Besides, they've already got a couple of regular face painters, though from what I understand one will no longer be there after this season.  She's just not in the mood to do fairs anymore, and that's reasonable.

It's a tough kind of day, painting at a fair.  For birthday parties, I normally arrive 10-30 minutes before my start time to set up.  That's all I really need.  Well, with street fairs, they need all the cars off the street by a certain time, and I'm not just bringing my table, chairs, and kit.  I'm bringing my 10x10' canopy, my glitter tattoo and face painting kits with a table for each, and all of my signage.  It's a lot.  Heck, my canopy, which claims to be "easy" (it's a lie) requires help to set up!

Then I'm painting for 7 hours straight, usually with no breaks, and then have to take everything down and pack it up again.  There's a risk, too.  What if the fair is small and no one shows up?  What if too many people just aren't in the mood for body art?  What if it's pouring rain or deathly hot?

So I can see why this other face painter may be tired of it.  It's a lot of work, but I'm still at a point where I really do love it.  Plus, when it's a big fair I bring Eric with me to help.  He can help me set up and tear down, and talk to the parents and kids who're waiting while I'm painting, so everyone stays entertained.

Yesterday was different, though.  Yesterday I was actually asked to come and paint on behalf of Giants of Generosity.

It's a really nifty group (definitely check out their website) that really just finds random people in need and gives them a hand.  As they state it, "Our mission is to respond to the most pressing needs of people who are experiencing desperate times, right here in our own communities."

Who can argue with that?

When a man landed in the hospital with severe injuries after trying to assist a woman who was being attacked, they paid his medical bills.  That's the sort of thing they do.

So they paid for my booth at the fair, and in return I donated back 40% of my proceeds from painting yesterday.  It was a slightly slower day for me, unfortunately, so that amounted to $150, but I was glad to be able to give that to them in addition to the donations they were taking at their own separate booth.

I did a lot of painting and a few tattoos, and here are some of the fun ones...

I did this GoG logo on one of the volunteers at their table.  Lettering's not my strong suit, but I think it came out pretty good!

This boy's mom was skeptical about his desire to become a dragon until she saw his face.  Then even she was a fan.  He absolutely loved it.

This young lady just wanted a heart on her cheek, but you know I can't stop with just that.  So she got to be a heart princess instead.  When she saw the mirror, she was ecstatic with the improvements.

These two were funny.  They came up together in a group of giggly girls, wanting a butterfly and... wait for it... a jellyfish.  A jellyfish?  Heck, I'll try anything once, and they were happy.  To her, jellyfish are pretty, and I did make it shimmery of course. 

Personally, they freak me out.  Seriously, I don't understand them.  Where are the parts?  Where's the brain?  Eyes?  How does it think?  Ah, to each her own.

I had a few takers for the glitter tattoos, like this dolphin and the Irish skull.

The most fun thing of the day, though, was that my friends Denise and Bill came to the fair with their son, Kody, not knowing I'd be there.  I painted at Kody's first birthay, but of course now that he's almost 3, he doesn't remember that.  He had me do a snake on his arms, and loved how it's running up one arm and down the other, so it looks like it's running right through his shirt.

A lot of people thanked me for being there and for helping out such a great charity, and it felt great.  I hope they have me back next year!


  1. I once worked at a community art place and we offered face painting at a lot of our community events. You are right about it being a lot of work but there was a lot of nice payoffs, kids are cool most of the time, lol.

  2. What a neat thing to do - I haven't been brave enough to do a festival yet! <3 Sarah www.fabfaces.co.nz



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