It is crazy to think that 7 years ago I painted faces as a fun little way to keep my daughter entertained. Who would have ever guessed we would be right here where we are today, and would have had the amazing journey so far.
A question commonly asked is "how did you get into face painting?". Well... that's a bit of a story. It wasn't something I had ever planned on doing, as a child, the thought of being a face painter as an occupation was not even considered. I always enjoyed painting.. it was something I loved to do for fun. There were plenty of artists in the family but even for them it was just a hobby. I did art all the way through school, and even though I did alright, I really struggled with the pressure of being told how and what to paint. By the time I had finished school, I packed up my paints and brushes, and I though that was it.. I had to go out and get a 'real' job.
My plans of searching for a 'real' job ended up being put aside after the arrival of my eldest daughter. I was now a mum... my days were spent changing nappies, washing and dishes. At this stage the thought of dusting off the old paints and brushes, turned into thoughts of my 3 year old, dipping her fingers into the paint and decorating the house with it. It was just not going to happen. Until one day I took her out to a fair. We came across the face painters and of course she HAD to have her face painted. Now the face painting that was around even 7 years ago, was nothing like you see today, but I was still amazed. I remember taking a million photos, and we were both sad when it came time to wash it off.
That was the moment I became fascinated by the art of face painting. I didn't know much back then, $2 shop paints were what everyone else seemed to use, so I went and brought a set (shock horror - I do not recommend!). With the nasty paints and brushes that were something else.. I made my own attempt at face painting. I realised quite quickly that there was definitely an art to it that I had not yet learnt... my painting was... well a hot mess.. nothing like the picture I had found on the internet... But never the less my daughter loved it (my youngest daughter, then a baby, didn't love quite as much.. in fact this may be the reason she ran and hid from my face paints for a very long time!).
I wanted to do it again... I wanted to figure out how to make it look better. I did even more research and this time tried some finer brushes.. I spent a little longer this time and my efforts seemed to pay off. I was so so proud of my first ever butterfly!
Now my daughter was off school for a bit so we decided to try and come up with a new face painting ever day (I am always a sucker for a challenge). We had so much fun seeing what else we could do. After posting the photos online, a friend, who actually new a thing or two about face painting (thanks Harriette the Clown!) loaned me her kit! Wooooow! It was beautiful.. so many colours, and so much easier to paint with (good ol' Snazaroo)!
We were off... I I brought my own paints and brushes.. and I just kept painting... and buying more paints.. and painting...
I painted at a friends Birthday. I painted at the park. I painted at a strangers party who had seen me at the park. I suddenly had a small business and it worked perfectly around my own small children.
We came up with a name. I wish I could tell you an exciting story behind the name.. maybe my name is Daizy... maybe I have a child called Daizy (we considered it..).. but no... the name came from my very first hotmail account... Daizy was the name I used online... my online persona.. and seeing as the face painting grew from something I had started online it just happened.
Face painting was ticking along nicely. I was keeping busy painting at Birthday parties and events every other weekend. And I was still enjoying coming up with new designs at home (although my model was becoming more and more reluctant.. thankfully my youngest was overcoming her fear of face paint.) Painting became almost an obsession.. my every thought seemed to revolve around what to paint next, how to paint it better. When something becomes a passion, you just want to learn more and soak it all in. The constant practice was beginning to pay off.
My husband "Mr Daizy" found himself painting along. We used to be in the same art class at school, so this came as no big surprise.
Then one day I got a message from someone in America. Wholley molley.. how does someone from the big US of A, know who this little painter from New Zealand was...?? Well they wanted me to come and teach painting a big convention over there. They have face painting conventions where face (and body) painters just like me come together from all over the world and just paint for a week. That sounds like heaven!
After ignoring the email for a few days... not sure if they were serious or not.. Mr Daizy convinced me to accept the invitation. I had never taught before.. but hey, how hard can it be. I had a practice run here in New Zealand, and thanks to some lovely face painters back here, I had so much fun. I am generally a pretty shy person, but when I get a chance to talk about something I am passionate it all just comes out. It is such a buzz to see other people soaking in everything you are saying and then seeing them share what they have learnt.
Our trip to Florida to the FABAIC (Face and Body Art International Convention) was incredible. I met so many beautiful, talented artists. Face painters are definitely some of the nicest people I have ever met. I think it made me grow in love with the art even more.
As much as I loved the experience of travelling and face painting, there was still nothing quite like coming home, and seeing all my favourite faces.
Getting to paint the faces of children at such special occasions it such a privilege. I love getting to know the kids that come back to see me time and time again. Working with children is really rewarding.. nothing compares to the smile when they see them selves in the mirror, knowing you have totally brightened up their day.
Our little business has definitely grown, we have trained up our own small team of face painters to meet the demand of local parties and events. We always want to make sure we can offer the same quality of service. We have created a brand with its own distinct style of painting.
We still love being a part of the community and a part of many local events in Kapiti, as well as working in the wider Wellington Region.
Over the past few years I have also done a bit of body painting. It is a whole other game. I love the challenge of creating a design to fit the whole body.. and the end result is always amazing. Painting on pregnant bellies has also been another exciting part of the adventure. Its a completely different canvas to work on, and you know that moment spent with the expecting mum with remain with them forever.
No day is the same with face painting.. each day carries new challenges and rewards. I am forever learning new things, little mistakes often become great new inspiration. I love being a part of the face painting community and getting to learn alongside them and being able to inspire each other every day. I am so excited to say that this is what I do and that I have been able to create a career out of face painting. I love it!