My fab buddy Jennie had never been to any of the big face/ body paint conferences, as they are usually from Norfolk (she has 2 daughters and a day job), and cost lots. She arranged a ‘jam’, a day where local (ish) painters come and try stuff, play with paints etc, and that whet her appetite. So, she decided to create Paintopia, (partially helped by her friend Kerry), a body art festival in Norfolk!
The aim was to raise the profile of good face & body art and let us all have some fun too. Even though it was its first year, she attracted entrants from all over Europe and even further as well as UK!
This first year Jennie chose a magical theme, loosely based on Harry potter, partially because we were hosted at the historic Dunston Hall.
Unlike many events, painters were able to set up on their own tables in the wedding marquee, and leave their kit there the whole weekend.
Many retailers were set up in a room in the hotel, and official photographers were in another. The first day, Saturday, we were creating mystical creatures in the main body paint event. Hotel staff were really helpful and intrigued (highly unusual compared to many events I have been to) bt did warn us that a famous football team and a lavish wedding were sharing the hotel, and could we be cautious.
I had designed a Patronus Pixie on the amazing Stephanie, in my favourite teal and blue shades.
I added prosthetic horns, and tried to draw Harry Potter casting the spell beside the lake on her leg, so his stag Patronus rose up her front, surrounded by wispy Dementors.
Voldemort on the back I was not happy with, but I finished in time and managed to fix the giant fibre-optic-and-fused fibre headpiece I had made to her wig.
A few wedding guests noticed what was going on and asked to come in; by the afternoon we had most of the wedding in watching us work.
I loved this – Juliet Eve aged out lovely Laurence by decades, changing him into an ancient wizard.
Whilst queuing to be judged, and photographed, th footballers (Aston Villa!) spotted the models and started papping them!
Nic Shilson with her Pheonix on Pete
The wedding couple also sent their official photographer to ask if the models would pose, so the whole crew grinned behind the happy couple with me trying to remind them all NOT to hug the bride!
Helen won for her unusual brown and cream flowery creation, lovely. We came 2nd ! Woohoo!!!!!
The party that night was beautifully set up to look all magical and potter-esque, with the Isnap guys offering green-screen shots of us in various famous locations from the films. I’m afraid that like many I was knackered and still needed to clean kit and set up hings for the next day, so I went back to bed fairly soon after eating. I had to abandon poor Laurence (whi was wearing my leafy home-made tiara) to the female hordes:)
I was contacted by Rowena, to go to her house and decorate herself and her friends with waterproof glitter tattoo designs, before they went out clubbing in Norwich to celebrate her birthday. She knew what colours and styles she wanted, so I did this swirling pink, silver and black pattern on her leg, opposite arm, chest and back.
The next girl I took inspiration from her animal print dress…
Then I copied a dress’s flower motif onto another lady.
Video is here
And the final designs =- the most unusual I have done yet, I think, and something I will develop – the girl spotted a face I had done and wanted a tatt like that on her hand and leg. Very cyborg/ Charles Rennie Mac, I think… possibly even Lady Gaga?
I then added to their own face makeup with some Glitzer/ Liquid bling, and swarovsky crystals.
And off they went!
A good night, it seems:)
8-10 Oct 2010
I was lucky enough to be asked to be an instructor at the UK Face & Body Painting Convention. I haven’t been able to go to it since I won it in 2007, as I was either abroad or (literally) having a baby, so that was a fab extra reason to make sure I made it this year! Plus they had a bunch of international painters I admire but had never seen paint (Lone Wolfe, Kurt & April, Sean Avram etc) coming, and I’d get to see my painty mates.
Seans’ amazing self paint for the gala dinner, with Kurt’s self-paint at the jam the night before below.
Myself, Suzanne Mykolajenko (Little Book of Facepainting Fairies), Lone Wolf, April Powell.
I taught my 1st class Friday after lunch, on painting nature. Whilst trying not to spend too much time on things like flowers or animals as other classes with other painters covered them, but I got in my popular leafy face and Twilight design at any rate.
I wasn’t going to enter the freehand glitter body tattoo comp that night, as I’d just won the Welsh Fest glitter body comp from the same sponsor, and didn’t think it would be fair if I was lucky enough to place in this one. But I did get pushed to join in, and ended up doing a wee doodle on Stacey for part of the time as the others worked.
Some amazing designs created, people are starting to catch onto this! Mine turned out pretty, just over her chest… even tho it started off as jewellery, morphed into an infected zombie bite then lightning then a tree….we decided it was a Pagan Priestess look:) Sadly the next day it turns out Stacey was sensitive to that glue, as she had a faint red tracing of the design, which didn’t itch. She is the 1st person I have heard of/ met that this happened with, so I’m hoping its the last too! It is professional skin glue (Pro Adhesive) I use, but as she says, she got painted daily so was scrubbed raw a lot and knows she has sensitive skin…pity as I had planned a proper glitter body on her this year, she’s a fab model!
Saturday morning I was much less nervous and really enjoyed the class I gave on painting at big events (like the Rugby 7s and all the HK events I did for YAF). This included quick bodies, sports designs, custom stencils and how to make them, and what I call ‘conveyor belt painting’ for decorating 100’s of people in a short period. I think I only painted 2 faces in the 90 mins, it was all talk and Q&A and them playing with my stencils and hot pen stencil cutter. But I already had a couple of emails thanking me for that one, so yay!
Then it was on to what I’m really into at the mo; glitter body tattoos. What would usually take me 2 hours to complete took over 4, as everybody stopping to watch asked what I was doing, how and what with, so lots of explaining and posing for photos. Katie my model was fab, if a bit surprised by the crowds we had.
She chose blue as her colours, I added gold for contrast (and beads to fit the Mardi Gras theme of the gala dinner that night) and we tucked my gorgeous rooster tail boa into her knickers as a costume.
LOTS of interest in this, as said, and an interesting thing coming up next year from it…TBC 😉