The unique role of being a face painter, the humanity that comes within it and the process of continued growth and learning.Read More
Taking a holiday during the summer time can be difficult for me to squeeze in. As a face painter, summer is busy season. It is a time where I am booked almost daily for 4 months. Between graduation parties, prom nights, festivals, day care visits, and fairs, this little Pixie works hard during those hot months.
As well as running my face painting business, I have been a full time student over the last few years and am entering into my final year of college this year. Being in the Child and Youth worker program has taught me so much and I am a different person because of it. I see the world through a different lens now and am grateful for the perspective I've gained. Within that, being a full time student, entrepreneur, wife, awesome auntie, and the other many hats I wear, it is hard work.
As I looked over my calendar this Spring, my husband and I decided that we would take three weeks off to go to British Columbia this August. I used to live in the West Coast and find the ocean breeze to be a wonderful place to recharge my battery. Boy! was it ever. Some highlights included watching an eagle fly above our head as we set forth on a ferry ride, Canoe paddling around a freezing cold glacier fed lake, and staying up till 3 in the morning watching a meteor shower with old friends telling stories until the sky lit up with stars and we couldn't stay awake any longer.
We returned home last week from an incredible journey on Vancouver Island. There is always a bitter sweet good bye to the place where you are travelling in although a longing to be back home by the end of the trip. There is nothing like the feeling of walking into your house after you've been away for a while. Our dog greeted us ecstatically as she ran up and down the stairs and across the hallway in a frenzy of excitement. As she settled down, we rubbed her belly as she whimpered making a sound I have never heard her speak. I can only assume that she was crying happy tears that we were home :)
During the summer I get the opportunity to participate in large events such a fairs and festivals. In the winter I sit down and look through the summer schedule and proceed to book shows to where I will be each weekend in the summer. Many of these places, I have never been and it is always a treat to discover new towns in the area surrounding my home, Ottawa.
Living in the city, I sometimes forget how beautiful and magical my dear home of Ontario is. It is easy to get sucked into the rat race and forget about the slow pace that life is supposed to be like. This past weekend I spent face painting in a town called Lombardy at the 150th Annual Lombardy Fair. Lombardy is a little town nestled in between Perth and Smith Falls.
At the fair I met wonderful families who left a beaming smile on my face after our interaction. One story in particular struck me in the heart. A father came in with his three children while I was on the other end of the midway talking to a vendor. I came right over and asked the children what they wanted. Each of them pointed to a photo on my board and sat in my chair. Many of you who have seen my set up know that I also offer glitter tattoos and feather hair extensions. The father continued to say to the children "Get anything you want, sweet hearts. Get anything you want." The children took their Dad up on this offer and added all the bells and whistles to their order. By the time they left my booth they each had feathers in their hair, glitter tattoos and a full face of face paint. It wasn't that he spent a lot of money in my booth that struck me (although that was nice, as it had been a slow day) it was the unconditional love that he had for his children. They were a family of farmers and I know that coming to the fair was a big deal.
I listened to how he interacted with his kids and observed their deep affection towards him and towards one another and I know that I was part of a special memory that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Not because I am a decent face painter and because they will have a sweet picture to look at when their older, but because that picture will remind them of how much their father loved them. I wish I had gotten a photo of that family for my own smile file of families who I get to meet along the way. I will settle for this blog post and the warm feeling in my heart from the perspective of a stranger observing the love from a father to his children.
I seemed to have stumbled upon face painting by accident. I ran a cooperative day care for many years before deciding to return back to school. I have always been passionate about the well being of children although found myself longing to work with an older age demographic. I took the plunge and enrolled myself in a Child and Youth Care program and fell in love with the field.
Returning to school as a mature student is intimidating. The security that the work force offers you is comfortable. I loved my work too! I felt fulfilled spending my days with young budding minds. I watched many kids grow up in front of my eyes, many of them called me "mama". We would spend our days finding urban forests, collecting rocks and laughing about silly jokes that only makes sense to a pre schooler.
I had a longing inside me though and I knew I needed to listen to it. I looked around at the children who were in my care and smiled. They all had loving families who cared about them enough to send them to a good day care. They were well fed, had beautiful homes and love within that home. I found myself looking at them and thinking that I needed to offer my gift and my passion for children and youth to those who didn't have those same opportunities.
Emotionally the jump seemed scary, financially the jump seemed scarier!
One day while sitting in the backyard on a warm summer day, I was face painting the children, and an idea popped into my head I have this incredible resource of families that I have been building over the last few years, I could offer face painting birthday parties to those families.
I had always had some paints kicking around, but it was in that moment that I decided to actually learn how to face paint. I became a willing youtube student who dedicated her evenings to practice. In the daytime, I had this incredible resource of wiggly children at my disposal to learn on. That Fall I started my program at school and by early winter I was off to my very first Face Painting Convention.
This Fall I will be entering into my third and final year of my Child and Youth Care Diploma. I will be graduating in the Fall. I have literally manifested a way to face paint my way through school. Not only that but discover that I absolutely love the canvas of the face!
I feel as though I discovered both these new passions simultaneously, my love of face painting has grown a long side my love of the child and youth care field. I never expected my art career to take off in the way that it did but with hard work, dedication, diligence and consistent practice ANYTHING is possible!