How did you get into the business? I had a friend who was painting cheek art with acrylic craft paint at a local “Night Out” event. She called and asked me if I could help her. At that time I had no experience painting faces and wasn’t very good with a paint brush. My first unicorn looked a lot like Scooby Doo with purple hair, but the kids were great! I turned the mirror to the first child and got that great big smile and I was hooked! I started adding glitter to everything.
How long have you been doing this? I think that first event was around 2001. I made it my full time business the following year, so it’s been 11 years now but I have been drawing henna since I was in High School. That’s a lot longer than 11 years ago. (28 years.)
What is the most memorable event you ever worked at? I have so many great memories! Celtic Fling at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Festival several years ago comes to mind. I was painting the Vendor Coordinator’s son’s face and I put him to sleep.
I also painted at Lunch with Santa at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium one winter where I was more popular than Santa. The kids were all in line to get their faces painted and no one wanted to get out of line to go talk to Santa. I kept telling them I’d be there when they got back, but they just wouldn’t get out of line until they were painted.
Why do you like doing what you do? How can you not like drawing on people and getting paid for it? I really love face painting because I get to make so many children smile! I live for the high fives and the smiles when they look in my mirror. I never was very good at getting up at the same time every day to go sit at a desk in an office. I enjoy being able to go somewhere different every time I work and seeing different people each time.