Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Year in Review!

Last year I looked back on 2015 on New Year's Eve and it was really eye opening to see all of the amazing things that had happened within a year! Well, 2016 was no exception so I thought I'd do the same again this year!

Last January I spent my Christmas gift money on a GoPro camera, and re-launched my old YouTube channel with all new videos! I've since uploaded many fun videos of step by step designs, product demos, paint kit tours, time lapse paintings and more!

In February I completely re-designed and re-released a new edition of my cheek art face painting book, "Classic Carnival Cheek Art!"  The new book has new step by step designs, and is now offered along with a new design menu sheet and mini cheat sheet!  I also created a new selection of Easter word menu designs for my custom word menu design service!

In March I was so thrilled to place in Illusion Magazine's "Spring" face painting competition with my honeybee design!  I also sold out my first ever workshop, "Achieving Detail with Speed," for local artists here in MN!

In May I had the opportunity to travel to New Jersey to teach at the Northern New Jersey Face and Body Art Guild's monthly meeting, as well as a full day of workshops on "Realism: Raised vs Recessed" and "Achieving Detail with Speed!"  It was an AWESOME experience, and my family was able to come out after my workshop for a few days of touring New York City!

This past August I enjoyed my 4th year painting at the Carver County Fair! It was my best county fair yet, and I also had fun utilizing my GoPro again to record some real time cheek art!

In September I hosted my first ever belly paint jam! It's something I had been wanting to do for a long time, and with several pregnant friends (including a pregnant face painter friend), it really all came together nicely! What an awesome opportunity for artists to create masterpieces without the pressure of a paying client!

October was one of the most amazing opportunities of my career by far! My husband and I traveled to Belgium (happened to fall over our 17th anniversary), where I taught "Realistic Eyes" at the Jamvention! It was absolutely incredible on so many levels, and I really hope to go back again in the future!

This December didn't disappoint! I had a couple new opportunities arise.  One was the chance to dress in full elf wear for an event I painted at for another agent, so I created my first ever elf was a blast! I also had the opportunity to work as a glass painter, decorating perfume bottles for a private event at Nordstrom's! 

So What does 2017 hold?

And now I enter my "dead season!"  However, the dead season is anything but dead for me. I honestly look forward to this time of year, as I've stock piled a list of things I want to accomplish throughout my busier months.  I catch up on housekeeping, soak up lots of FABATV, and tackle new challenges. I'm planning to get back to working on my next book of course, but there's more...

One of the things I've decided is to take online classes in accounting!  Yup...I know, it's the opposite of the creative stuff I love.  But the accounting side of my business and working with Quickbooks causes so much stress in my life, I've decided to put my money where my bad, frustrated language is and do something about it!!  SO, I am taking a series of online courses through Coursera to earn a certificate in accounting, on my path to becoming a better business owner.

Of course, this sort of thing completely sucks the creative energy out of me, so to counteract this, I have given myself a really awesome creative challenge for the year. I'll begin it tomorrow, January 1st, so be sure to check back tomorrow as I kick off one of my most ambitious personal challenges yet!!

Happy new year, and happy painting!!

Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Christmas Season Recap!

We had yet another AMAZING Christmas season at Paintertainment!! Here are a few photos from the events I had the privilege of painting at this past month, both for myself and other agents & friends!

Loving that pixie paint on the polar bear!!

I love working with my balloon twisting and face painting friends, and of course the fantastic Santa Carlucci and Cheryl Claus!!

This was a totally unique event I did this year, hired through another artist friend...painting perfume bottles for a private event at Nordstroms!  Soooo fun to work with glass paint and customize some awesome gifts!

 Yes, I still do plenty of cheek art at Christmas time!!  This particular event the kids are always bundled up, and we are lucky to even see enough exposed skin on their cheeks!  This way they can wear their hats and scarves while still showing off their art!
Love doing this event, usually with my mom each Christmas...we always get a visit from the carolers!

This year I finally invested in an elf costume! I bought a few pieces on Amazon, and modified several items found at Goodwill. I went full elf...from the curly elf shoes to the pointy nose and ears!! It was a super fun project and I'm really looking forward to wearing this again next year! (along with some more additions I'm planning to incorporate for next Christmas!)

One of my favorite December events is at my grandpa's memory care Christmas gift to him!  Each year our family attends their Christmas party and I twist balloons for the residents and party guests in my grandpa Harvey's house.  My little boys love to help too! Sam really loves twisting balloons with me at this event, and this year Toby joined in too! I was pretty excited to find a perfect little Sam-sized elf vest and hat at Goodwill too!!

Toby is my little joker elf. He did NOT want to wear anything elf, but really wanted the Santa hat! He LOVES telling jokes and came armed with some Christmas jokes!

Sam is great at making balloons and visiting with the residents! He's such a great little listener, even when what they are saying doesn't make sense to him. Sweetest elf ever!

Me and my Grandpa Harvey! I always make him a Rudolf hat with a light up nose. 

My grandpa doesn't really remember who we are.  He told my husband he had no kids, no grandkids, and he just kept pointing out his daughter (my mom), myself and our boys.  But his face sure lights up when we visit!  We create smiles and that's what counts!  And I have to say, I was touched to notice this little, shriveled up carrot balloon on his shelf in his room...

...a piece of an Easter bunny balloon sculpture I made for him many months ago! I can't imagine the confusion he must have seeing this thing on his shelf, wondering what the heck it is and where it came from, but some part of him wanted to keep it, and that's enough for me! :-)

Among these fun events, I also had the opportunity to paint my little man Sam (and make a costume) as a black sheep for our church Christmas program, and adorned 13 little "angels" with some Pixie Paint bling! I also hosted a paint jam which was a BLAST as always!!

I hope you all had an amazing holiday season with your families!! I personally had a great Christmas and am excited for some fun things that are coming in 2017! Stay tuned...and happy painting!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Hand Paintings, Jams, and New Products, Oh My!

I haven't posted in a little while as I've been running around crazy since the Jamvention, so today is my "playing catch-up" post! I really want to give the Jamvention the recap it deserves in it's own post when I get a chance, so for now I'm going to just share a few things I've done since I got back! (Though those of you who subscribe to our free e-newsletter will get a mini recap of the Jamvention in this month's issue, going out soon!)

I saw a piece of graffiti/art spray painted on the side of a building in Amsterdam that gave me an idea. Of course I'm kicking myself for not snapping a photo of it as I did SO, SO many things in Amsterdam, but it was a graphic of a hand holding up a peace sign, and the two fingers held up were pencils. It made me think of the art supply illusion hand I had just done recently, but for whatever reason made me think of trying it with crochet hooks instead...

 Yeah, my brain works weird like that.  Anyway, I jotted the idea into my phone and went on my way. I had to give it a try as soon as I got home! Here's how it turned out!
I wanted to film this but sadly my GoPro's battery was dead.  And we artists know, you can't just stop and wait for a battery to charge when inspiration strikes.  Sorry, I'll try to keep it charged and ready so I don't miss any more future time lapse paintings! ;-)

My hand was pretty cramped trying to hold poses for photos after this, ha! But I think it came out pretty cool! And yes, I do love to crochet, by the way. I find that my best paintings are usually those that have something to do with my other my recent piano mask and honey bee designs that I entered in Illusion's contests.

After doing the art supplies and crochet hooks, it made me think of my hand as some sort of pocket knife, so naturally I had to give that idea a try...

Fun stuff!!  Earlier this week I hosted a paint jam.  It felt like forever since our fun belly jam in September, but I just couldn't swing it to host one in October this year with all I had going on.  It helped those of us Midwest artists who sadly couldn't make it to the convention this week feel better, haha! We had a small group of 4 artists but had plenty of space to sprawl out with our kits!! Small jams never disappoint though...we had plenty of chatting, sharing, and AMAZING food to sample as always!

It also gave me a chance to paint something for my November e-newsletter...pinecones!

 Of course, we love it when the kids join in to! My boys were so bummed that this jam was during school so they couldn't join in, but they love to join the fun with their own little kits when I host evening jams!

Loved the adorable gingerbread man done here by Victoria Welch, and the super cute cupcake and snowman design by Anita Beal! I did a little practice on myself and my PainterTemplates.

I have a few new items coming into the shop this month, including the "Next in Line" mats I shared in my last post.  More will be added later this week, but right now we also have these cute little petal sponges, just $4 for a set of 8, great for tiny faces:

Thanks so much for stopping by and stay tuned for more on the Jamvention!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Now Shipping: "Next in Line" Mats!

It's been over a year since I shared this floor mat that I designed and had custom made for my gigs.  There was a LOT of interest in having me sell these in my shop at the time, and I am thrilled to say that I now have a very limited number of these in stock NOW and ready to ship!
I have to say that this is one of the best components of my setup I've invested in over the past year, and that's why I decided to get a few of them into my shop.  This mat not only helps kids to know where the line starts, but more importantly, helps me to define the space that I need to work in comfortably.   Check out this post from last year to see how I use this mat and other tools for crowd control!

This 17" x 27" mat is made of an anti-fatigue foam, and the finish is like a matte felt surface.  As I said, I've been using this for over a year now, and it's still looking great. I did spray mine with some Scotch guard spray before the first use, which I think helps to keep it clean.  It's lightweight, and easy to roll up and tuck into whatever you use to tow your gear!  These are now available (until I run out) for $44.95.  Check them out today in the shop, along with some more crowd control items and fun things to trick out your kit!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and happy painting! :-)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Product Review: NEW 2" Wide "Paddle Brush," wide enough for large rainbow cakes!

I'm one of those artists who just prefers brushes to sponges.  I like the amount of control I get, and I especially like the ability to rinse and change colors without accumulating a pile of dirty sponges.  SO, for years I've been using wide, 2" brushes to match the width of my large rainbow cakes.

Recently someone on Facebook posted the question of what kind of brush to use on a large TAG split cake.  Nearly everyone's answer was some variation of: "a sponge."  I think sometimes we get in such a rut with our products, we tend to overlook some other methods that have been right under our noses the entire time! I like to work under the belief that there is never just one way to do things.  Try out your ideas...sure, you may find the way you did it was the best way all long, but the process of being creative with your tools just leads to more ideas, and often times more efficient ways to do things! So experiment, have fun, and find your OWN way of doing things!

Ever since I posted this new 2" brush I'm now carrying in my store, I've been getting a ton of requests for a video of it in use.  SO, while I didn't think I'd get the time until after my trip to Belgium, I decided to set aside this afternoon to film, edit, and publish this video so you don't all have to wait for answers!!  If you still have questions, please feel free to email me and I'll do my best to answer.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy painting!!

Monday, September 19, 2016

New Time Lapse Paintings: "Art is in my Bones!" and a realistic eye

Whew! Since the boys have gone back to school I've been busy busy busy catching up! I just sent out my FREE monthly e-newsletter last week. If you didn't get your copy, please contact me...I have had a few emails bounce back lately.  Our Halloween shop is also now open, and our brand new glitter tattoo shop is growing!!  Check out all the new products available now!

I've also been getting in a little time to paint! Last week I hosted a belly paint jam, and you can see the work of myself and the other artists here.  But, here's what I painted to enter in Illusion's mask competition this month, wish me luck:
Inspired by the 10 years of piano lessons I took as a kid!

Last night I had another hand painting idea pop into my head as I was lying in bed, so I thought I'd give that one a try.
Art is in my bones!

Here's a time lapse video of me painting this one! I like to call it, "Art is in my bones!"

I'm also gearing up for my hands-on workshop teaching "Realistic Eyes" in Belgium next month!! In preparation I put together another time lapse video of me painting an eye.  Click here to learn more about this workshop!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy painting!!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

September Belly Painting Jam!

This week I hosted my first ever belly painting jam and it was a blast!!  In the end, 6 bellies were painted by 5 artists. One of the artists is also pregnant so she got to be a model, and then we had a couple more artists who just came to hang out, visit and watch!
Photos of the jam in action!
Artists came prepared with pot luck contributions and a design to paint! I also had an assortment of body painting magazines out for inspiration, with belly painting sections marked of course. Here are a few mini paintings that I did on the backs of my practice heads before the jam:

The back of your practice head is perfect for practicing bellies!
I wasn't sure if we'd be able to find enough moms interested, but the numbers worked out just right.  The only catch for the moms to get a free belly painting was that they had to allow the artists to choose the design they want to paint (unless the artist lets them help pick), and then they signed model release forms allowing the artists to use photos of their work for promotional purposes.

The first painting I did was on my beautiful friend Andrea! She has 3 boys and is expecting a GIRL!

 The fox design was inspired by an illustration I found online.  For the background I laid down a base of pearl blue paint. I then brushed on a layer of the new Pixie Paints ("Blue Monday") with a rake brush to give it a cool, chunky shimmer!  This is the first time I've used the pixie paints but they really worked great.  I then used a lollipop blender loaded with a white Mehron INtense Pro powder (lightening) and my BAM 1035 stencil to give the background some soft texture...

It was SO much fun to watch all the artists at work in my house!!  We had artists who have never painted bellies and those who have, but the beauty was that they all got to paint what they wanted, without the pressure of it being a paying client.  Belly paintings are expensive, they take a lot of time to create, and time to design beforehand.  They commemorate an unforgettable and life changing time in a woman's life, and photos go into baby books forever, so there is always pressure to make them amazing! 

All the bellies painted at the jam!

Of course we had amazing artists already, but some pretty amazing things happen when you remove all the stress factors! :-)

I was so super lucky to be able to paint two bellies!!  This one was on my beautiful balloon twisting and face painting friend, Jelly! This design was inspired by some Google image searches of moms and babies.

Here is a great example to illustrate why I always start by having the model stand up while I sketch the design outlines, THEN I have her sit down...

...If you start painting while mom is sitting down, your design will turn into an egg shape when she stands up. As you can see above, the design looks squished while I'm starting it in the top photo, but then rounds back out when she stands up. 

Babies' arms are chubby, so while I was painting I thought, "I need to add some more to that little arm!" Of course that was one moment I forgot about the squish factor...and when she stood up baby grew biceps! Oops! ;-) Sometimes the hard part is trusting your squished looking outlines while painting, and sticking to them! ;-)

We were even fortunate enough to have a REAL photographer attend as well!! So, I may just be updating this post in the near future with some way better photos, ha!

If you're interested in having YOUR belly painted, check out my belly page HERE! I also do belly henna as well.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and happy painting!!


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

So many new products!

Well, I haven't posted in a little while as I've just been crazy busy getting my boys back to school and catching up on the pile of work I've been saving for when the boys get back to school! ;-) But among the craziness I've been adding a lot to the shop!

We are now offering glitter tattoos and supplies! Check out this entire new section, where you'll find tattoo stencils, an expanded assortment of glitter, adhesive, brushes, tweezers, alcohol wipes, mica powder, & glitter storage solutions!

We've expanded our assortment of glitter colors!

oh so many tattoo stencils...this is just one! ;-)

We have tweezers in pointed and this slanted style to help you grab those tiny loose pieces of stencil film!

More new options for storing your loose glitters...

Empty lip gloss containers you can refill with body glue!

Body glue too of course! (order now before it dips below freezing here in MN!)
Mica powder for those pesky anti-glitter clients! ;-)

Brushes ideal for freehand glitter tattoos, sturdy enough to stand up to body glue and alcohol!

Eyeshadow crease brushes are fluffy enough to pick up lots of glitter when using stencils! We have two sizes!

Long handled kabuki brush for brushing away loose glitter

Alcohol wipes, perfect for cleaning the skin before applying tattoos!

And have you seen the new Pixie Paint by Amerikan Body Art?  AH-mazing. I finally had a chance to try some out the other night on a couple belly paintings, and I'm in love.  Some new products you think are really cool, but you'll maybe use them on 1 or 2 designs and it'll end up just another thing taking up space in your kit.  This stuff...well, let's just say I'm going to have to hold myself back from putting it on EVERYTHING.  It glides on beautifully with a fan rake brush, and it's just so fun to watch the trail of bright, chunky glitters appear, staying right where you put them! Want even more glitz and opacity? Simply poof, dab, or spray on more cosmetic glitter while the aloe gel is still wet!

1 oz jars of Pixie Paint, available in 6 colors for $6.99 each!
Last night I hosted a belly painting jam which was a BLAST! So stay tuned for photos from that! Until then, thanks so much for stopping by and happy painting!  :-)