Interview with a face painter
I know I used to love face painting as a youngster, do you consider your body painting an upgraded, adult version?
Painting children is likely to be the staple work for any face and body artist and the pleasure of working with children is often what draws you into it, and also keeps you in the profession. Because one of my early contracts was with London 2012 I had the unusual experience of being launched into a job where age wasn’t a factor or an obstacle to the crowds I was there to entertain. I painted from age 2 – 92, day-in, day-out, so I just continued on the assumption that face painting was for everyone. Adult shoots are something I involve myself in for my own creative development and I do enjoy the heightened level of scrutiny that comes with that work. I also like trying to achieve a lot with very little, which demands a real eye for placement and an instinct for how to fit in with the overall styling.
Face art is so popular at festivals and on girlie nights out, do you offer a service available to groups before their big day/night?
Absolutely, face painting adds so much sparkle and buzz to big-night preparations. One job that stands out is when I prepared a group for a glamorous Halloween night at The Ministry of Sound. In that situation you have some fabulous outfits to work with and some pre-prepped, high-camp make-up, so you’re there to step it up to the next,daring level, while keeping it flattering and photogenic.
When you paint at wedding receptions and parties what is the most asked for ‘look’?
It’s not unusual at a wedding that includes children for dads to have whatever their (often daughters) ask me to do. Usually that’s rainbows, dolphins and unicorns! Bearing in mind the wine is free-flowing when I hit the dancefloor with my mobile, belted kit, I find lads want something to amuse, such as hot dogs, complete with mustard and ketchup. Ladies usually want a surprise and just leave me to it, so I work with their makeup and outfit. To date I’ve always painted the bride and that’s always flowers, bar one who had peacock feathers.
Whats hot in body and face painting for 2014?
The wonderful thing about body art it endures through the computer age, but what we’re starting to see is the parodying of the graphic novel, manga and pop art styles. Hand-painting this mass-produced, digitally-created imagery is proving very appealing to the fashion industry. We’re also seeing body painting combine imaginatively with other artforms, such as dance, performance art and circus. This is a fabulously fresh take on the body as a canvas, no longer a static, passive element of the work, instead breathing life into the paintwork.
Photographer Jeanette Lendon of Jeanette Lendon Photography
Face & body painting by Hannah Padden of The Glitterbox
Hair and Make-up by Makeup Artist Karen Snook of St Albans Hair and Makeup
Stylist Alexandra Merri of The Bijou Bride
Cakes by Cake Designer Samantha Pilling of Bite Me Bakery
Button Bouquets by Emma Lyth of Beaubuttons Bespoke Button Bouquets
Model Chelsea Clarke
Tailors William Young of London
The Dressing Room
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