Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Best Weekend of the Year

Wicked Faire!  This year's theme:  Halloween.  Dude.  Halloween.  My favorite holiday.  You know what that means, right?  Anything goes!

Yet again, it was held Friday - Sunday on the weekend after Valentine's Day at the Doubletree in Somerset, NJ.

And this time, I got there early.  But let me start at the beginning.  First of all, I had time to do myself up, and decided to have a little fun.  So... here it is, a '50s vampire.

Not the best job I've ever done on my face, but it was fun and got comments.  Besides, I got to show off the poodle skirt I made many years ago, long before I had a sewing machine, by hand and with tiny little crazy stitches.  Go me.

Also, I had time before I went to use one of my awesome new Cthulhu glitter tattoo stencils.

Anyway, I got there about 4:20 on Friday, and set up my shared space with the phenomenal henna artist, Robin Jaeckel of Henna Rising

While watching one of the many bellydancing acts, I met this sweet girl, who then came to Robin for an amazing henna tat.

On Sunday, I did her face, but we'll get to that.  I'm still on Friday.  Friday's a slower day, when everyone's arriving and checking into their rooms, getting situated, and finding out where everything is.  There's so much going on at this faire that it's impossible to take it all in, so you need to schedule your choices.

I did have some welcome customers, though.

My very first was Patrick, who I've painted at several Wickeds past.  He's got a good face for it.

He wanted "loud eye makeup," and I came precariously close to turning him into the Starman from KISS, so I went the way of tribal.

One of the best things about Wicked is that I get a lot more free rein from my customers.  Unless they're matching their costumes, most will either just give some basic parameters or say, "do what you want," music to an artist's ears.

A good example of costume-matching, though, was this Nightwing.  He had apparently purchased a mask with his costume, but it was chafing his face terribly, so he came and got one painted on instead.  Score one for face painting over masks!

Speaking of which, this poor guy came gasping up to my space pulling off a full-head rubber skull mask that came all the way down his neck.  It was an awesome mask, to tell the truth, but it was hot and made it difficult for him to both see and breathe.  When he heard I could do a skull in just a few minutes, he plopped into my chair and let me have at it.

He was as pleased as I was, and the next day came back to tell me that he'd even gotten compliments about how well I'd worked with his facial hair.

Speaking of facial hair, I had two big body paintings planned for Saturday, one awesome chick, and one goatee-sporting man.  And by the way, I have the best body painting models ever.  No, really. 

I'll do this chronologically, which means the goatee comes later.  First, Kiki.  Last year, I painted Kiki as a peacock.  This year, she left it to me as far as design, so after thinking a bit, I suggested a head-to-toe tiger.  She loved the idea and found a covering and a pair of ears that were perfect to finish off the look.  We agreed to meet at 10 a.m. on Saturday so she could wear her "costume" all day. 

I got started sponging the base as quickly as possible, sipping my coffee in between.

It's a physical job, body painting.

I'm glad it was a comfy dress I was wearing, but all that velvet & crinoline got pretty toasty.  The room was pretty warm for Kiki's sake.  Or maybe it was normal and all my movement made it seem warm.  One or the other.

Finally, I got to start on the details.  I started with her face.

Once that was set, I gave her her stripes.

It was a lot of stripes.

A lot.

All in all, it took me just over two hours.  But so worth it!

And later on, she brought some friends by my space to become her victims!

Meanwhile, I had to get to another appointment, to behead Anne Boelyn (and stitch her back together... mostly).

And then this guy needed me to copy a design he showed me from online, Dr. Facilier from Disney's The Princess and the Frog

And then I ripped someone's face off... at his request.

I got a compliment later in the day from someone else who had seen him.  Although it looks too bright and fake in this photo, the guy thought it was actually a prosthetic, not just body paint!

I also had takers for a couple glitter tats.

And then... another big body painting.  This one I did by my booth space, out in public.  I made flyers and my model, Dave, posted on various forums for people to come watch.  He likes attention as much as I do.

Speaking of Dave, he was sent to me by Toni, who I've painted in previous years but who was going to be too occupied with volunteering for the faire this year.  He was another completely awesome model and gave me complete license to do what I wanted.

Once we determined that I'd be painting him, the ideas started running through my head until around 4 a.m. I finally got the idea for a half man/half reptile, stitched together.  That'd account for that goatee and I wouldn't have to fight to paint over it.  I'm brilliant.  We scheduled the appointment for 1 p.m. and he showed up at a quarter of.  I got started on a whole lot of green.

I'd bought this awesome lime green for highlights and scales.

Some blood around the edge where the two skins joined, and added some horns.

I actually took a break from base work to do some detail.  It was a lot of green.

I spent so much time bending and twisting that Dave took pity on me and started moving for me, even though it meant him hurting himself a little.

Also a totally worth it endeavor, finished in about 2 hours.

Sticking with the reptile theme, my friend Grazina, who always comes up with the niftiest ideas, suggested these snakes.

She's a character, which is part of why I love her so much.

And then... it wouldn't be Halloween without the undead (besides me).

Another awesome thing that happened at faire... I met Hanna!

I have good reason for being excited.  I've known Hanna for quite a while... over a year at least.  She's another face painter, you see, out in Pittsburgh, and we're both members of the same online body art forum.  But this weekend, we finally got to meet in person!  She's great, as is her husband Bill.  And those wings she's wearing?  She made them.  She'll be selling them soon, so I'll post when they're available.

That night, we went to some afterparties before driving home, so Sunday was a very tired day.  Still, I had a few requests.  In fact, although vending started at noon, I got there early.  I realized that my life is not typical when that morning I had to say to Eric, my husband who was exhausted and sporting a nasty headache, "Hon, c'mon, you need to get up.  I promised Papa Smurf I'd be there at 11 to turn him blue."

Yes, really.  Look.

And then there was that cool chick who got the back henna on Friday, who wanted something pretty and swirly that wouldn't interfere with her glasses.

My friend Joey needed a little help with his Adam Ant costume.

And even my one butterfly at this event was atypical.  A Steampunk butterfly!

Now I'm waiting with bated breath to find out next year's theme so I can start working out body painting designs.  Next year, I'm hoping for four!

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