Face Ace – How it all began……
I admit, I was never particularly artistic at school, at least not in a traditional sense. Sketching fruit in a bowl just didn’t do it for me…..
I did, however, have lots of fun with make up as a teenager, back in the day. My face was my favourite canvas.
I loved that smoky, flicked out, sweeping eye liner thing. Someone actually used to call me “saucepan eyes”.
When I think about it, maybe that’s where the face painting dream began……..
A brush with Face Painting
Fast forward afew years and I face painted my first real live
victim child. This was when I worked on a play scheme about 20 years ago.
I loved it and later that year I got a job overseas as a Children’s Animator in a hotel Kids Club.
I took a small Snazaroo kit with me. Back in the 1990’s you had little choice of brands you could buy. Here I am in 1996 in my Kid’s Club.
It really was (and still is) a joy to behold the “mirror moment” – the look of wonder on a child’s face as it is revealed, magically transformed by me!
My designs were very basic but thankfully, the kids I painted were very appreciative..
I didn’t do much painting for a long time, you know how it is, life takes over. I continued to travel and eventually settled in beautiful Hebden Bridge.
I still thought about how I had enjoyed face painting and every now and again I would reach for the paints for fancy dress.
An idea is born!
After becoming a mum, I gladly gave up my dreary call centre job in Halifax so I could spend more time with my young son.
It was important to me to be around him but how would we manage financially without my full time job? It was, and still is an issue faced by many families.
One day, sat in a play gym pondering uninspiring job options over a latte, I had a lightbulb moment! How cool would it be if I started my own Face Painting business!
Could I do it? Spurred on by a business savvy friend, I was determined to find out.
I set to work, refining lost skills and learning new ones. Things had definitely moved on in the Face Painting world. I was blown away by all the developments, especially in terms of products.
I confess………. I quickly established a serious paint buying addiction.
Practice, Practice, Practice…….
Friends with children were very supportive of my new venture. I volunteered at local fetes and did freebie birthday parties to gain experience.
Anyone who knows Hebden Bridge and the Calder Valley will vouch for it’s links to the arts. It is home to many creative entrepreneurs.
There is also a strong sense of community and loyalty to small businesses. It felt like the ideal environment to nurture Face Ace and hone my skills.
As I quickly found out, it’s not just painting – it is more accurately, speed painting a moving target!
Here you can see how my Tiger improved. Top left is one of my first and bottom right is a more recent one.
I can look at those top two and totally cringe now but I am so grateful that people were kind, tactful and encouraging at the time.
My partner and friends really spurred me on with their positivity. I stayed focused – studying techniques and practicing lots. It didn’t always come easy to me but gradually, I improved.
What I did have in my favour was a real passion for my painting, I also really enjoyed working with the public – seeing people happy and engaged, especially children.
Living the face painting dream…..
So, here we are today. I live in Hebden Bridge but also face paint in Halifax, Elland, Todmorden etc – sometimes beyond West Yorkshire into Lancashire!
So, that’s the story so far folks…..
I suppose that’s about it really.
Hope you feel like you know me a little better now. Perhaps you and your event could be part of the next Face Ace chapter…….