I’ve always been Artsy Fartsy.
I am often asked how I began face painting. However, before I can even get to how I came to starting my own business as a face painter, I need to tell you about my background. At a very young age, I began making art. I remember taking an art class where I ripped colored paper and made a beautiful collage of mountains. I was so proud of it. In elementary school, I was in Art Club. I went on to Visual Arts Magnet Programs for middle and high school. I attended Flagler College in Saint Augustine for my bachelor’s in Art Education. I have taught high school art and am currently teaching elementary art in a public school.
My preprofessional experience in face painting led me on track to start my own business.
At age thirteen I volunteered to face paint for a Girl Scout event at a local art museum. In college, I volunteered at a community outreach picnic with my church to face paint. I painted a third eye on my best friend, Ashley, because she told me to just surprise her. Haha, so I did!
My best friend, Ashley, painted with a third eye.
At many of my church’s children’s events where I volunteered, Mother Goose would be there face painting and I would watch her every move intently.
In 2012 the Girl Scout troop I’m a leader of did their annual Thinking Day Event. That year we studied the Dominican Republic, so I painted the girls that came to our booth with the country’s flag.
Primordial face painting of the Dominican Republic flag at Girl Scout event.
However, the time that had the most impact on me in becoming a professional face painter was my mission trip to Nairobi, Kenya in the summer of 2012. On this amazing trip, I was the leader of a Vacation Bible School for 441 kids in a school where some of the kids spoke English but the youngest ones only spoke Swahili. I planned and scheduled and prepared for months before we even left South Florida. By the time we got there I learned that pretty much nothing was going to work as planned. Time to be flexible! My team and I stayed up late every single night to reprepare and plan how things would go for the upcoming day. Each day after Vacation Bible School, we would split our group. Part of the team would go into the community to teach about how to purify water, reteach misinformation of HIV/AIDS, and bring the Light into their homes. The rest of the team conducted recorded interviews for the people at our church at home to get to know their sponsor kids from this school. Every day I longed to be a part of the interviews to work one on one with the sponsored children but I was sent into the community daily. Finally, my day had come! The day before we would move on to another school in Kenya, I was asked to work with the interviewing crew. I was bummed at first though because I was not going to be in on the interviews, I would be preparing the kids beforehand. This meant I would clean their faces with baby wipes. Although this seems like a mundane task, once I began to wipe the first child’s face I realized how precious of a moment this was. I was holding a beautiful child’s face in my hands who had all the hope in the world, even though their living conditions were in one of the largest slums in Africa! The next day we moved on to a girl’s boarding school in the country. Our church’s team was going to be playing handball with the girls. If you know me, then you know I am not a sporty person in the least! At lunch, our team met up with a team from another church from America. I was eavesdropping in on their conversation when I, maybe too excitedly, piped up and asked if I could join their team for the afternoon. They would be face painting the girls in a couple of the classes! I was so excited, not only to be getting out of playing a sport (ew!), but instead to be doing something artsy fartsy! Luckily they said yes and I had such a great time face painting!
I had so much fun face painting in Kenya (especially the rainbow mustache)!
A few months later, back in South Florida, I volunteered to work with a face painter at Access Life Expo, an event for people living with disabilities and their families. I wish I could remember the face painter’s name who I worked with. I picked her brain about everything professional face painting, business related, how to get started, and where to get my supplies.
I started Dizzy Doodle Face Painting in the Spring of 2013.
Basically, the rest from there is history…
As many beginning professional face painters’ events are, my first event was a volunteer event. It was a Girl Scout “Me & My Guy Dance” with a princess theme.
This is from one of my first paid gigs. It was a mermaid themed Grand Opening at a McDonald’s in North Carolina. It was so much fun! I love dressing up. 🙂