Face Ace – How it began……
So, how did I become a Face painter working in beautiful Hebden Bridge?
Let’s start at the beginning.
Art was never really my thing 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.
Smoky, flicked out, sweeping eye liner was my thing – one of my nick names was “saucepan eyes”, see why?
When I think about it, maybe that’s where the face painting dream began……..
A brush with Face Painting
A few years later, I was working on a play scheme and face painted my first real live
Later that year, I got a job overseas as a Children’s Animator in a hotel Kids Club. Back in the 1990’s you had little choice of brands you could buy. Here I am in 1996 in my Kid’s Club with my trusty Snazaroo pallette!.
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 and I continued to travel, eventually settling in beautiful Hebden Bridge.
Thoughts of how I’d enjoyed face painting would surface from time to time and I’d always 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’s an issue faced by many families.
One day, sat in a play gym pondering uninspiring job options over a latte, I had a light-bulb moment!
How cool would it be if I started my own Face Painting business!
Could I do it?
I was determined to find out.
Things had definitely moved on in the Face Painting world so I set to work refining lost skills and learning new ones. 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
Hebden Bridge Community
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. If you want to know more, head over to my Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/JulieFaceace/
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…….