Saturday, July 15, 2017

I'm Certifiable!

Or rather, I'm actually certified!  And though I may be nuts, it's not quite what you think.  I am an internationally "competency certified" face painter!  I am now accredited by FACE:  The Face Painting Association.

On July 6, last Thursday, I sat for an assessment, after completing a fairly detailed written application.  The written application asked about my supplies, my hygiene and business practices, the colleagues with whom I've worked, and what I do when someone asks for a design I've never tried (wing it!)... it was pretty in-depth.  I also had to submit proof of insurance, and a photo of my kit was sent to the panel.

The practical assessment, which took place on the 6th, consisted of me face painting three faces in a timed setting, to exhibit that I've got the core skills FACE deems necessary for competency certification.  Every applicant must complete one face with a solid white base, a two- or three-color tiger, and a three(or more)-color blended bases that results in a princess, an abstract design, or a land/seascape.  FACE is adamant that its members be able to achieve airbrush-like blended and completely solid matte bases, as well as good, sharp, varied lines, distinct edges, and good color choices.

So, here are mine...

If you check out my website, you'll know that these faces aren't entirely my style, but I crossed my fingers and hoped the judges saw what they needed to see.  Then I had to wait, and if you know me, you know I am not a patient person.  It only took 8 days to find out, but I'm in!  I found out just yesterday morning, that I am member #564.

So why did I do this, and what is FACE, you ask?  Excellent question, I say!

It's an international face painting association, started in 1994 in the United Kingdom, dedicated to promoting professionalism and skill within the face and body art community for the benefit of our clients.  To that end, the competency certification is offered worldwide.

As of this writing, I'm one of only four FACE members in New Jersey, and only fourteen in the entirety of North America!

Is certification necessary for face painters?  Nope.  However, when you hire a FACE member, you know that you've got someone who's passed a stringent accreditation test, has ensured that their work meets the benchmark set by the association, and has committed to continued learning and striving to improve those skills.  You know you've got someone who maintains high levels of health and hygiene to protect the faces they paint.  You can rest assured that you've got a face painter who is insured, and uses only products which have been approved for use on face and bodies.

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Kids (or Adults) Can Get Creative Too!

On Saturday, I had the happy job of teaching a 9-year-old birthday girl and her friends how to paint a panda-themed painting in artists' acrylic on canvas!

Her mom suggested the subject, as pandas are her favorite animal.  In fact, the whole party was panda-themed, with an adorable cake, cupcakes, and decorations.

So I designed a panda painting in sketch form, and brought it along to the party with me, together with photos of a real baby panda and bamboo.  In fact, I bring everything we'll need - table easels, canvases, brushes, paint, water cups, palettes, and aprons.

I set up everything for the kiddos and my own easel and table, and proceeded have them paint the background in their own favorite colors, then go step by step with the shapes.

We had such a great time, and everyone was so into it, the kids and their parents alike!

And everyone got to take a masterpiece home!

I knew I liked teaching, but some of the fun at this particular party came from going beyond the borders of the canvas, and talking about how bamboo grows, how pandas are mostly vegetarian, and how perspective works.  We also discussed the placement of features on faces, and how adult features are located differently from baby and child features.

I left that party feeling just exuberant, knowing everyone had fun, including me.

If you want to know more about canvas painting parties or book one of your own, be sure to contact me!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Which Service is Best for my Event?

When discussing her daughter's party with a client recently, I found that she was having a tough time deciding which services to choose for the event.  Do you know which are best for yours?

Face Painting

Face paints are actually a water-based makeup, which wash off easily with just soap and water.  They can be used on the face or body without issue.  I've painted children as young as 4 months, all the way up to really fun grandmas and grandpas.

It's the most temporary of the art forms, which is great if parents want their children to have clean faces right away, if they've got school restrictions against body art, or just because everyone loves it!  Things to think about are that it does sweat off in extreme heat, rub off on things, and come off in the pool.

Temporary Tattoos

Most of the temporary tattoos, whether ink or glitter, are alcohol-based and water resistant.  Glitter tattoos are done with a skin-safe medical adhesive and cosmetic glitter; ink tattoos are done with skin-safe temporary tattoo inks.

Temporary tattoos don't rub off easily, and last from a few days to a week.  More teens and adults are likely to want them too!  They're great, therefore, at parties with an older crowd, pool parties, and dressier parties, like Sweet 16s, graduations, and even weddings!  These won't come off on the bride's gown, and if she loves hers as much as I did mine, that's a definite plus.  The alcohol-based tattoos cannot be done on the face, so they're great for hands, arms, legs, backs, and shoulders.

On the other hand, I have an additional adhesive that's safe for use on the face.  This one washes off easily with soap and water, so it doesn't have the longevity of the other tattoos.  When at an event, I bring both types of adhesive, so they're always available.


Teens, adults, and even some kids love henna!  It's a traditional art form that goes back thousands of years, and with it, a multitude of designs are possible.  Henna is not applied to the face, so it's better at events and during seasons when arms, legs, hands, and even shoulders will be available.

When applied, henna is a viscous paste, and can rub and smear if the wearer isn't careful, resulting in a messy stain on the wearer, so it's not recommended for small children who can't keep track of their tattoo until it dries.  It's also not recommended for events at which there will be water-based activities, such as pools or sprinklers.

A henna tattoo will last for one to three weeks, depending on the skin and area to which it's applied, and cannot be washed, rubbed, or scrubbed off.  That's both a benefit and something to consider.


Everyone loves balloon twisting, from the youngest child to the most mature adult; they're just irresistible!  It's entertaining to watch, and at the end, each guest has received a favor.  However, if your guest list is primarily under the age of three, consider that balloon art may not be the way to go.  Once a balloon pops, it's a potential choking hazard, and for that reason our artist will hand balloon creations only to the parents of your under-3 guests.

While our artist has a menu of balloons he knows well, from which he will work when at a more populated event, if he has time, he's happy to try "winging" new designs, like this adorable bee, which was a first for him.

Canvas Painting

Are all your guests at least 5 years old?  Perfect!  Our canvas painting parties are different from the ones hosted at those static painting locations.  For starters, we come to you!  As long as you have table and seating space for everyone, you're all set!  I bring my own floor easel, a table easel for each guest, and all of the supplies needed.   Also, I don't have a set menu of paintings from which to choose, because I'll paint to any theme with you.  I'll need a couple weeks' lead time to get set up, but in that time, we'll discuss the guest of honor's favorite animal, place, or activity, and jointly design a one-of-a-kind custom a painting to create, geared toward the age group of the participants.

I'll teach your guests about color, and about how to see the shapes in things to create paintings on their own too.  For an idea of the steps we take, look here.


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