True Grit

How we all feel sometimesWe’ve all been down this road. It leaves us feeling stuck. Unsatisfied with the art we created. Maybe I’m just unable to break out of the plateau?

Believe it or not, this problem plagues even the best of the best. Caitlin from Cait’s Paints compiled some inspiring notes on the topic of “grit” from life coaches, professors, and several tried-and-true successful individuals. Learn how to find it, how to build it, and how to use it as a key to success.

Head on over to Artist Alley to read more about grit, and take the survey to see how much you already have!

Top 10 Reasons to Attend the FABAIC

FABAIC 2013 Welcome Banner
The 12th annual Face and Body Art International Convention (FABAIC) is upon us. May 22-26th the FABAIC will play host to 400+ of the worlds face and body art enthusiasts in Ft Lauderdale, Florida. The FABAIC has been described as a creative sleep away camp for painters. The FABAIC is a unique event that features hands on workshops, nightly painting parties called “jams”, the world’s largest face and body art supplies marketplace, the world renowned Body painting competition, and a weekend full of networking, creative moments, and extreme fun! The FABAIC is different than other make up shows because we focus on education. Our goal has always been to help you learn more so you can charge more and earn more. We design the schedule to be friendly and inviting to all levels including classes covering business, legal, marketing, balloons, face painting and more!

FABAIC FunCircus Body - Andrea O'Donnell at FABAICFABAIC 2012

The reason the FABAIC has achieved longevity and success is largely in part due to the fact that the producers are active face and body painters themselves. We brainstorm after each convention on how to improve classes, what are the popular themes and trends in the industry, and how we can plan the best possible convention for our fellow artists. We acknowledge that artists usually have to save up for the year to attend the FABAIC, which is why we go the extra mile to produce an event that exceeds their expectations. Upon arrival, attendees are greeted with bright colors, a welcome staff, and a convention goody bag filled with a t-shirt, schedule, and free goodies courtesy of the FABAIC and sponsors. Our talented instructor staff is usually in the lobby meeting and greeting attendees or painting their faces to kick off the weekend. Then we open the doors with a HUGE party and get everyone warmed up to express their colorful side. Whether you attend alone or bring a friend, you are guaranteed to leave feeling like you have found your long lost artistic family. So again, why should you make the time, effort, and investment to attend?

Here are our top 10 reasons why YOU can’t afford to miss the 2013 FABAIC!

10. Networking!
Where else can you make International connections with the world’s top artists?

9. Smorgasbord of Classes and Workshops!
ONLY at the FABAIC will you have the opportunity to take classes of this magnitude. We offer classes covering all areas of face and body art taught by the world’s top instructors.

8. Over $1,000 in cash and prizes!
The FABAIC hosts the infamous Body painting competition where you can push your creativity to the edge and win $1,000 cash prize.

7. Largest Body Art Marketplace!
Shop the world’s largest marketplace dedicated to face and body art supplies! Check out the newest products, shop and save!

6. Learning in Paradise!
The FABAIC is hosted at the lush tropical grounds of the Bonaventure Hotel and Resort in Weston, Fl. Escape the cold rainy weather and visit beautiful sunny South Florida. Take a vacation with your paint brushes.

5. Elevate your business!
Learn new skills to apply to your business right away, leave feeling rejuvenated and ready to take your business to the next level!

4. Hands on learning.
The FABAIC knows the best way to learn is by getting your hands dirty and painting the world. The FABAIC features the most hands on workshops anywhere in the world. Learn to body paint, get your hands bloody in our specials effects class, or discover the world of rainbow cakes. the possibilities are endless and the learning is unprecedented.

3. Jam, Jam, Jam!
What’s a Jam? Think of a jam as the world’s largest painting party. After a full day of learning break out your brushes, and get busy! But don’t forget to stop and take a look at your surroundings. What you will witness is magic. Imagine 400 painters jamming, painting, creating and enjoying the influence of art.

2. Once a year opportunity!
Many of our artists and instructors come from abroad to teach at the FABAIC. This is a once a year and maybe once in a lifetime opportunity to learn from the best of the best in one weekend for one low price. If you were to take classes from our instructors individually you would spend over $10,000 you save thousands and have more fun while taking classes!

1. FABAIC is the bridge that connects business success, business growth, everlasting friendships, creative motivation, and personal inspiration. Only at the FABAIC can you experience all of these things at once!

We encourage you to join us, make the investment in yourself and your business if you haven’t already! If there is anything I can do to make the FABAIC more enjoyable for you or if you have questions please don’t hesitate to ask.

Candy Land: Free Bodypaint Class with Marcio Karam

FABAtv LIVE Feb 13th with Marcio Karam is your online resource to watch unlimited face and body art classes in crystal clear HD. Learn from the masters of makeup, special effects, body art and more right from the comfort of your own home. All you need is a high speed internet connection!

Soccer Body Paint by Marcio KaramFABAtv also hosts a free & LIVE class every month. Tune in on February 13th at 8:00pm est for this months LIVE class! This live class will be featuring master body painter, Marcio Karam! A painter for over 13 years, Marcio has painted cars, boats, bikes, murals and more. Skin is not his only canvas! Check out his work to the side and below. Visit his website at for more works of art or to contact Marcio.

“My favorite part of body painting is making my art seem real, and having viewers question if it is actual paint!” -Marcio Karam

Avatar Body paint by Marcio KaramBody paint by Marcio KaramBody paint by Marcio Karam

So tune in to this free class and support your industry! This live class is available to watch for free through the FABAtv website on February 13th starting at 8:00pm EST!

[button type=”ambitious_button” url=”” target=”on” ]Watch it LIVE![/button]

Double Spotlight: Léa Selley & Wiser

As some of you are aware by now, the next free & LIVE class by is on January 15th, 2013 with face & body artist Léa Selley! Léa will be teaching graffiti eye makeup for her live class, as well as filming several more studio classes for future release.

Lea Selley on FABAtv LIVE

Joining Léa on her trip and to film some classes in studio himself is none other than the talented graffiti artist turned body painter, Wiser Oner!

Knowing full well that thousands of painters will be absorbing everything they wrote, Léa and Wiser were both excited to answer our questions and share their lives with the face & body artists that come to the FABA Blog. Continue reading below for the double spotlight interview.

Léa’s answers are on the left.
Lea Selley - Jan
Wiser’s answers are on the right.
Wiser Oner face painting an older lady

Tell us a little about yourself, where are you from?

(Léa) Grew up on a unique landscape in Richmond, BC on a small farm close to a fishing village where the mighty Fraser River meets the Pacific Ocean. I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to grow and learn to develop a close relationship with the natural world. I grew up in a very artistic environment speaking both English and French, endless music lessons ongoing in the house and long days of drawing.

(Wiser) Originally from Denver, Colorado! Now residing in Calgary, Alberta in Canada! :)

Are you an artist full time or do you have another job?

(Léa)I have been working as an artist full time since 2011. Before that I successfully ran my own website development company since 2002. It has been very rewarding to flip the focus from working for clients and telling the whole internet world how great and exciting their products were, and shine the light on my artwork and my passion. I find being self employed as an artist or a web developer has been the same road in terms of running a business, however, it has been SO much more rewarding since following my passion and creating artwork for a living!

(Wiser) Ive been a full time freelance artist since 2006 when I co-founded a Denver based custom graffiti art company called Your Name In Graffiti™. I painted everything from giant walls to sneakers, t-shirts, hats, and basically anything I could stick paint to. :) I had been doing graffiti since I was 15 and was one of the lucky few in my city ambitious enough to be able to progress into doing it professionally.

What type of face and body art do you specialize in?

(Léa)After some unique experience working as a carnie for a couple of years, where I would sometimes face paint over a hundred people a day, I discovered some magical secrets to get kids to sit still and surrender to the face painting experience. This ‘magic’ talent makes parents gasp and grab their cameras in the lineup, because for many it seems like it is the first time they have seen their kids sit still with their eyes closed and a smile on their little lips… calm, still little angel faces, turned up towards me. I can feel the moment when I capture and calm the rambunctious, sugar rushed, or hyper-sensitive children with my painting spell, and that is the moment I know it is on. They are guaranteed to walk away with one of my best pieces of artwork, securing them much love, attention and eye contact all day long.

(Wiser) When I first started instructing I was mainly specializing in Graffiti wildstyle lettering and speed painting (for success at events like Sturgis and Fantasy Fest), but over the last few years I’ve fallen in love with fine art style painting and outside teaching I have found myself doing lots of conceptual fine art pieces meant for photography. But I always throw a graffiti flava into everything I do!! :) More recently I have also been creating some face painting designs too which is so fun!

How did you get your start(in face and body art)?

(Léa)I bought a kit of snazaroo face paint from ebay because I thought it would be fun to paint the kids for my daughters B-Day party since she was born on Halloween. When parents started picking up their kids from the party to go trick or treating people were straight up flipping out! On the long walk that night I was told over and over I should start a business and offer face painting. In my experience people don’t just flip out for no reason, so I took at good look at the road sign on my path and decided the next day that I would be The Tattooed Lady – Face Painter!

(Wiser) After a chance meeting at a street fair in Denver (he had a face painting booth a few spaces down from my graffiti hat booth) I made friends with a man we all know and love, Mark Reid. He thought my graffiti was killer and he invited me to a Body Art Ball event to see him paint! After that I knew I had to try it! I had painted graffiti on many things but never a person, and to me it felt like a match made in heaven! Mark told me what kind of paint and brushes to get. I bought my first kit and never looked back!! I loved it so much I did it for FUN!! Still do… :)

What’s the most enjoyable part of what you do?

(Léa)Being able to ‘break the rules’, and with a little makeup I help other people feel like they are breaking the rules too! It really is amazing how many people live within the invisible confines and norms of society – it is way more fun to be able to put away the Maybelline and pull out the face paint and shock some folks! I have never ‘won’ anything, but every time I put my artwork out there, I am the crowd favorite, and there is nothing like a standing ovation! I really enjoy surprising people with what I can paint in a short amount of time on such a little canvas. I know that each time I paint a masterpiece on someone’s face, they are going to get epic amounts of attention and eye contact that day, which is just what the Dr. ordered for many people who need that special boost!

(Wiser) Connecting, sharing, and interacting with so many creative souls all over the world are some of the most rewarding things about my experience as an artist. I am very blessed to meet so many amazing friends! :)

Do you attend any conventions, like the FABAIC?

(Léa)I have not attended FABAIC…yet, but I have been to the Canadian face and body art convention ‘Bodyssey‘ and the infamous NABPC and FPBA when they were in Las Vegas. Attending classes, watching other artists paint and making new friends and contacts in the industry has been an invaluable learning experience. Education is always a great idea!

(Wiser) My very first convention as well as my very first time instructing was at FABAIC in 2009!! It was a life changing proving ground which led me to instructing at conventions and workshops all over the globe! I love La Fete in New Orleans too! I love juggling fire with Magic Mike and hitting up Bourbon St. with Craig Tracy, but FABAIC remains my favorite because nothing can compare to the creative energy that gets flowing when a few hundred creative minds are slingin paint and having a good time at one of the jams! It’s a very inspiring! :)

What would you like to do more of, art or otherwise?

(Léa)I would like to travel more, and I think I am on a constant quest for it. I majored in geography in university and worked as a Cartographer for a number of years. Making maps and studying people patterns on the landscape, although intellectually thrilling, I felt limited in my life experience. Working behind a computer, making maps and analyzing demographic data didn’t allow for the wild card that I’ve always really wanted of experiencing all these different places in the world! Switching focus to web development left me with the same feeling. I was just making a different kind of map, and still making it for other people. I’ve now decided I am going to make own map and use it! I am ready, and off to find an adventure with a healthy level of certainty that face painting will be pivotal part of my story!

(Wiser) I really would like to learn more about and mess around with molding and casting prosthetic pieces! After seeing what amazing thing are possible from artists like Yolanda Bartram of Body FX and Alex Hansen I am left intrigued and very curious in this realm of body art. :)

Outside of art, what do you do for fun?

(Léa)For fun I like to hang out with my daughters. They are growing up fast and they keep me young!

(Wiser) Going to the movies has always been one of my favorite things to do! I’m also always down for a good hip hop show!

Do you have any pet peeves?

(Léa)Yes. popping bubble wrap… ahhh! I actually have to take a deep breath when thinking about it lol! It drives me totally crazy. It never lasts long because eventually they will run out of bubbles to pop… but I usually end up leaving the room before that happens!
(Editor’s note: My stress reliever is popping bubble wrap. We’re on opposite ends of the spectrum here. *hides bubble wrap*)

(Wiser) My apartment complex doesn’t allow pets! 😉

Where do you see yourself in a couple years?

(Léa)Right here – on the internet, sharing, teaching, learning, traveling, painting, inspiring, loving, laughing…

(Wiser) Definitely still learning, progressing and creating! I consider myself a lifelong student and feel like I’m never done learning. Being an expert at one thing doesn’t matter when you’re an amateur at another, so I’m always looking for ways to expand my knowledge and creativity!

Do you have any projects going on or in the works?

(Léa)Yes, Absolutely! I just started a YouTube channel(TheTattooedLadyCA) with fast, upbeat tutorials to help inspire your face painting routine! It is my time to give back and honor the teachers that mentored me, and I want to share the techniques that I have learned on my entertainment path. I also want to connect with my country as a whole and I just started releasing content in Canada’s other official language, French! I have found in my regular face painting job that loads of kids speak French out here in Calgary, and it is so important for kids to be able to interact in everyday life using both languages as their skills are developing. So I find myself intrigued to integrate more French language content into my projects, and see what direction that takes me in!

(Wiser) Very exited to be making my first ever workshop tour in Australia and New Zealand! I’m looking forward to that A LOT! And also conceptualizing some new pieces to paint at Gallery ML in early April 2013. It’s one of my favorite places to paint!! :)

What do you think of FABAtv?

(Léa)I think it is great! The live component gives all us skin painters a chance to get together and hang out and interact and learn together as a community for free! I bought a membership pretty much as soon as FABAtv was launched. The taped show are great for ideas and nothing compares to watching someone who knows what they are doing! If a picture is worth a thousand words then videos are priceless when it comes to evaluating them as an educational material. I also use FABAtv as company sometimes. Many of the teachers on the show I consider friends. I have painted alongside them at conventions, competitions, and I have worked with others professionally.

(Wiser) Love it! Its definitely where you can learn from all the best in the face and body industry! Essential!

Art by Léa in this column.

Lea Painting

Belly Painting by Lea Selley

Body painting by Lea Selley

Amp Energy bodypaint by Lea Selley

Body paint twin - Lea Selley

Body paint twin - Lea Selley

Face Painting - Lea Selley in Action

Face painting - Lea Selley in action

Fancy Season Butterfly by Lea Selley

Lea Selley

Lea Selley at Sturgis Bike Rally

Lea Selley - Self portrait

Lea Selley painting Jay Bautista


Sturgis Bike Rally bodypaint by Lea Selley

Art by Wiser in this column.

Graffiti bodypaint by Wiser

Blue graffiti bodypaint by Wiser

Magical Cards bodypaint by Wiser with Michael Dardant

Card rose bodypaint by Wiser

Mutant Graffiti bodypaint by Wiser

Green Head Graffiti by Wiser

Head Graffiti art by Wiser

Hummingbird bodypaint by Wiser

Wall Graffiti by Wiser

White Graffiti bodypaint by Wiser

Tree frogs bodypaint by Wiser

Steampunk Skull bodypaint by Wiser

bodypainted wood clock by Wiser

Top 20 Must-Haves for Face Painters

As I travel the world I get to meet the best of the best tackle tarts. Tackle tarts are paint hoarders that must have and buy everything related to face painting. I love tackle tarts because they keep Silly Farm in business, however I hate to see things go to waste. Some of you have so much paint that you couldn’t use it in two lifetimes. Then I meet painters that have a hodge podge of this and that, and they are still trying to find the perfect kit and set up.

The perfect kit does not exist, nor does the perfect brand. You will have to kiss a few paint frogs in order to find the products that transform your art into a Picasso or you can read my list of 20 Must haves for painters and hopefully I can save you money and time kissing those frogs!

  • 20) A mesh laundry bag to hold sponges.
    Sponges are lightweight, fly away and are easily lost. I store my sponges in a laundry bag so they don’t fly away and it makes it simple to wash them after a gig.
  • 19) Baby Wipes and not the cheapy ones either!
    When buying baby wipes try to make sure they don’t have a lot of fragrance or are rough on the skin. That way you protect your paints and don’t leave fibers in them. You can also clean the children or your hands without smelling like a baby booty.
  • 18) Business Cards on your table!
    If your goal is to generate more business and solicit new clients, don’t make them do the work. Have your cards and your contact info readily available so they can find you, book you and PAY you.
  • 17) An Acrylic Mirror.Large Acrylic Mirror
    A GOOD mirror too! Would you buy an invisible Mercedes? Probably not, so why would you paint a masterpiece and not be able to show it off? Look for an acrylic mirror at least the size of a sheet of paper. You want your clients to look in the mirror and go WOW, not scramble for a lip gloss mirror at the bottom of their mom’s purse. The reason I mention an acrylic mirror is to avoid 7 years of bad luck as acrylic mirrors are less fragile and clean easier.
  • 16) Bandaids.
    I have saved the lives of paper cut wounded children and was praised as a hero just because I carry bandaids with me. You would be surprised how far a bandaid can go and how you can save the party.
  • 15) A Gallon of Water.
    In order to keep my set up looking clean and keep parents happy with my hygiene practices, I dump my dirty water quite often. To avoid running to the sink every time I need a fresh cup, I carry a gallon of water with me to ensure enough clean water for the entire length of my gig. Clean is the new cool!
  • 14) A Table and Chair.
    It wasn’t until I stepped into the role of party mom that I realized how crazy you are when you are hosting a birthday party for your kid. You want everything to be perfect and you want the least amount of problems thrown your way. When I hire a professional and pay professional rates I expect them to come ready to go, and I expect that they have a table and chair to do their job. A table and chair is part of the required materials in order to complete their duties. The last thing I want to do when I am hosting a party is stop greeting my guests to find a table for the face painter. Being prepared is essential and gives you a professional look.
  • 13) Table Cloth.
    If you want to charge like a professional you need to look like one. I carry my face painting kit, my purse, my gallon of water and other stuff to my job. When I set up I store everything under my table and cover it all up with a nice glittery table cloth. My clients like it because I look professional and I love it because it hides all the things I don’t want kids to touch or mess with.
  • 12) A Smile.
    A smile is the only curve that sets everything straight. Remember, we sell smiles. If you yourself aren’t wearing one, how do you expect your clients to feel? Put your bad day aside when you are on the job and remember to smile because its contagious!
  • 11) Water Bottle, Snacks, and Gum.
    Especially for those long gigs! I have painted at events for 6+ hours and thank goodness I always pack a little something to nibble on and drink during the event. While it feels inhumane to paint on your feet for 6+ hours, sometimes we get carried away. Having a little snack in your pocket can make a huge difference. I try to keep granola bars or raisins in my pocket to help me along the way and keep myself energized. I also bring some water for me to drink on the job so that I don’t have to rely on the host of the party to offer me a drink. Especially during the summer months!
  • 10) Brush Tub.Brush Tub - Brush Caddy & Water Basin
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE my brush tub. I have always had trouble losing my brushes, or them rolling around on my table. I love this brush tub because I can stand my brushes up in the right direction and it has 3 compartments. I always keep one compartment with clean water to use with my q-tips for the lips. The other compartment has ridges at the bottom that help me clean excess paint residue from my brushes. It’s a good size to travel with and easy to clean!
  • 9) Q-tips.
    The best way to apply lipstick is by using a q-tip. This way you don’t have to use your brush on everyone’s lips and you can keep your brushes more sanitary. A little hint to get the glitter to stay longer on the lips. Add a little Vaseline over the lipstick and then dab glitter on. Your model will have glittery lips for a while.
  • 8) Good Round Brushes. Round Brushes
    By now most of you know I am a Gold Grip fan. The Gold Grip brushes are my personal favorites because they hold their point after repeated use in water and the bristles are chiseled to a fine point. The hairs rarely start going awry unless you leave them immersed in water, and they hold paint nicely. Round brushes are the most commonly used brushes by face painters and having a few GREAT rounds in your kit will make a HUGE difference in your line quality.
  • 7) An assortment of Arty and Rainbow Cakes. Multi-colored Paints, Rainbows, Art Cakes, ect
    Even if you just buy one arty and one rainbow cake it will be worth the investment. You would be surprised how much faster you can paint when you can put down five background colors at once. My new personal favorite rainbow cake is the Hippie and Moon Dance Rainbow Cake. They are WOW! I also can’t live without my Bright Leaf and Juicy Fruit Arty Cakes. Rainbow and Arty cakes are impressive to have on your table because parents look at your supplies and think you have a secret product only available to painters. They are also amazed at what it does and really are blown away. I load my table with rainbow and arty cakes because it also shows the parents that I have products they can’t just buy at WalMart or Party City. The products I am using are sold at the super exclusive, Painters Paradise, Silly Farm Supplies. Only painters can shop there (Just kidding).
  • 6) Sponges.Sponges & Specialty Brushes
    In order to apply base coat or to cover a large area, you will want to use face painting sponges. I suggest keeping them in the mesh bag mentioned earlier so you don’t loose them. Cutting them in half is another great way to extend their life and get the most out of them. This way you will also have a nice flat surface to blend with and cover a large area. If you plan on buying sponges from a craft store, make sure they; are soft to the skin, don’t fall apart when used in water, and don’t itch the skin.
  • 5) Cosmetic Glitter.Cosmetic Glitters
    Nothing finishes a face painting design quite like some sparkle. While some people see glitter as the STD of the craft world, I see it as essential as a Visa card. Never leave home without it! If you have to choose just one glitter, I would suggest the White Fairy Dust. The white fairy dust is the most practical because it can go over any color without covering the design. If you want to get fancy then I suggest having a pink, gold, and lime green glitter too to dress up your lips, leaves and tigers. If you purchase your glitter from a craft store please make sure it is safe to use on the skin. Make sure it is a cosmetic grade glitter, made from polyester not metallic. Metallic glitter can be harmful in the eyes and cause the child to feel itchy.
  • 4) Brush Bath.Brush Cleaner, Sanitizer, Conditioner
    It took me 4 years to work with a chemist to come up with a formula that was non toxic, safe for the skin, organic and that can be used while we face paint. Brush bath is a water sanitizer and brush conditioner. You can use it while you face paint to keep your water fresh in between rinses, and it also conditions the bristles while you rinse. It does not contain any alcohol and it is 100% safe on the skin. Adding rubbing alcohol to your face painting water does not have any affect or serve a purpose. If you don’t use Brush bath, I recommend using baby shampoo, but only a very little.
  • 3) Starblend Powders.
    Powders can be just as useful and time saving as using rainbow cakes. The powders serve as a fast background color without having to use a damp sponge. Powders are applied dry with a smoothie blender which allow for fast and smooth application. I love using the red starblend for Spiderman, it has saved me so much in paint and time!
  • 2) Gems.Acrylic Gems
    Gems are like my secret weapon. When a child doesn’t want to get painted, I whip out my gems and make a child’s day! Gems can be used to create a necklace, crown, or a pretty bracelet. Its funny, but something as simple as a gem can leave a lasting memory with both the child and parent. They are inexpensive, but can take your face painting to the next level.
  • 1) Professional Grade Face Paint.Professional Grade Face Paint
    A painter cannot paint without paint. It’s a must. I’m not going to sell you on any one brand, I would rather just push you in the direction of using skin safe, cosmetic grade face and body make up. Avoid acrylics, avoid grease make up that is hard to remove for kids, and set yourself up with a kit that looks professional, allows you to paint like Van Gough, and that you are proud to use on your own skin. Keep your paints clean, build a kit around the colors and designs you like to paint the most, and mix and match your favorite brands. I promise you will love your kit when it becomes a reflection of you.

If I missed anything on my list, send us an email or leave a comment below! Happy Painting !

Syfy’s Face Off: Season 3 Premiere

Syfy's Face Off

Image Credit: FaceOff

If you haven’t heard of Face Off and are in the Face & Body Art, Makeup, or Special Effects industries, then you don’t know what you’re missing. The season 3 premiere starts tonight, August 21st at 9/8 central on the Syfy network!

Face Off is a competition by elimination TV series that brings the spotlight to the talent behind the special effects makeup industry. Contestants must battle their way through several challenges that incorporate; full body painting, 3-D design, sculpting, prosthetic use, casting and molding, and much more, or risk being sent home by the judges.

Several known face and body artists, such as Nix Herrera, Athena Zhe, and Matt Valentine have been contestants and competed for the grand prize, an opportunity to guest lecture at the Makeup For Ever Academy in New York, a 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid, and $100,000!

Face Off Season 3 Judges

Ve Neill
Three-time Academy Award winner, Ve Neill(Pirates of the Caribbean, Edward Scissorhands)
Glenn Hetrick IMDB Profile
Glenn Hetrick (Heroes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The X-Files)
Patrick Tatopoulos IMDB Profile
Patrick Tatopoulos (Underworld, Independence Day, Resident Evil: Extinction)
[button type=”button_solid_light nocufon” url=”” target=”on” ]View Season 3 Contestants[/button]

Show & Tell: Ultimate Sharing


The thing about sharing is you only think you are giving things away. But in many ways it all comes back to you and more, with people sharing back, and expansion of ideas and acts of kindness. You also feel good….and in some cases become someone’s hero or mentor!

The first year I went to FABAIC, I learned so much in class. And then I would go to lunch or to break or to a jam and I would talk to people. The people attending the convention also had so much to offer. I learned cool new marketing tips, saw new uses for tools, and new paint techniques and ideas. I knew there was a goldmine there if only we could tap it and showcase these people. I pitched the idea of Show & Tell to the FABAIC team and voila, we started something big!

For Show & Tell at FABAIC I request submissions from anyone with a great idea to share in the months leading up to FABAIC. By convention time, my presenters are set. Each year we have some of the best ideas that expand our knowledge, make our face painting life easier, and help us to promote our businesses even better.

Mary EarlOne of the first ideas presented at Show & Tell 2004 were split cakes. It’s a commonplace item in most people’s tool kits these days, but Mary Earl from Toronto, Ontario, Canada was the first to present it that I know of.

First split cakeThe idea of blending colours and double loading of brushes and paint applicators of all kinds has been around since man was painting on cave walls….but this was the first time this was seen within the face painting world, to the best of my knowledge. The response was amazing. Mary got a standing ovation for that idea.
Now here is where it starts to get interesting. The next year, my dear friend (the late) Pat Newton had an idea to take split cakes and make them narrower, about the width of a one-inch brush. She used empty round paint pots and only put in stripes of paint until the multi-colour blend was one inch wide. Then she added a strip of craft foam along either side of the outside colours, and filled in the outer edges of the round pot with kid’s clay. Later she found oblong pots that were just one inch wide.

See how the idea was taken a step further? Then later still, Rebecca of Arty Brush really started promoting the idea with lots of various colour combos and the whole idea really took off thanks to her diligence in demonstrating and sharing her techniques and painting style.

This is just one example of what happens when we share. In future blogs I will share more of the amazing tips and tricks we’ve seen at FABAIC over the years.


Thriller Finger Paint

Michael Jackson Thriller Painted on Hands

Marcela Murad and Lisa Marshall put together this awesome skit featuring Michael Jackson’s thriller as part of a fundraiser for Brian Wolfe. If your a fan of face painting, art, or the music of Michael Jackson, check out the video below!

Have you done any skits like this? If so, leave a comment and tell us about it! We’re always on the lookout for awesome face & body art content! If you’d like to be featured on the Faba Blog, contact us!

Paint a Thon for Brian Wolfe from Marcela Murad on Vimeo.

Eating on the Job

I work for several different booking agencies. Many of them have it stated in my contract that eating on the job is strictly prohibited, but its sooo hard to ignore the smell of fresh popcorn, sweet cotton candy, grilled hamburgers and all the yummy sweets parties are known for serving.

Face Painting and Eating

It wasn’t until I was photographed at a party with a mouth full of cookie that I decided to put a nix on eating on the job.

  • It was not hygienic to eat near my paints
  • It was rude to be eating will I am being paid to do a job
  • If I wanted to maintain a professional persona then I needed to be prepared on the job which includes eating before a job or arranging a break time to eat outside my painting vicinity.

I get hired to do long events where I might be standing on my feet for over 6 hours. Bending and lifting kids can not only work up a hunger, but food is a must when you are working at such an intense pace. Whenever I have an event booked for longer than 4 hours I always require a 15 minute break and I pack a light lunch that I can eat during my break. I learned this method the hard way, but to this day my method helps me avoid hunger headaches and ensures I am able to do my best job possible.

Because of my Latin roots and the majority of the parties I attend are hosted by latin people, they are always offering me plates of food and sometimes alcohol. Latin people are notorious for demanding that you eat their food and enjoy it. I explain to the host that I do not eat during my jobs, but they can always pack a plate to go. Most of the time I do not want the food they are offering anyways, but letting them know I will take a plate to go kills 2 birds with one stone so that I don’t offend anyone or have to stop painting to eat.

I also do a lot of events that have lavish catered food and I make sure never to assume I am allowed to eat the food until the event planner invites me. Nothing is ruder than standing in line in  front of invited guests and serving yourself a plate of food. I look at myself and a hired guest, and I would not appreciate someone eating from my party without an invitation to do so.

If you are a hiring agent, I suggest writing some general rules to avoid your performers potentially embarrassing you. Make sure to state that there is no eating on the job and that alcohol on the job is strictly prohibited. If the client requests that you eat, you must wait until your contracted time is over or request a plate to go.

By laying down rules you can avoid losing a gig and setting a standard for professional behavior. Sometimes stating the obvious can mean the difference between a headache and a tip. Communicate everything assume nothing. Words to live by.

Happy Painting!

Heather is the CEO of Silly Farm Supplies, a retailer of face and body art supplies.

Painting Inspiration

Face Painted Inspirational Masks

One of the most wonderful things I discovered as an artist was to make myself aware of my surroundings, as inspiration is always there waiting to be discovered. All we have to do is open our eyes and see. The following are some suggestions based on the things I’ve learned to do, to welcome inspiration to flow in my daily life.


I believe that creative inspiration and abilities can be absorbed by osmosis, and living with it can make us more creative. Surround yourself with as much art as you can afford.


Even if you live in a small apartment with five cats, carve out a corner for your art supplies. I keep a palette, brushes, sponges, water container, a few books, magazines, pictures, a small VCR/DVD player, DVD’s, a practice pad and watercolor tablet in a small table next to my favorite chair. I relax by practicing my strokes and by creating new, original designs. As time goes by, it has become a habit that aids me in improving my skills.


Another tool that has helped me a lot is my collection of scrapbooks. Their pages filled with colorful images from magazines, catalogs, advertisements, my own doodles and other painters’ work are a feast of images and ideas. Most creative people thrive on a steady diet of stimuli. Keep your cookbook of inspiration close at hand and cook up amazing new design ideas.

Marcela’s Tips & Tricks


Give yourself an inspiring break. Start by marking the date in your calendar and making the commitment to just do it. Take a full day, a half day or even a couple of hours to search for inspiration. Plan a trip for the artist in you to a museum, a gallery, art store, bookstore or an artsy part of town. You don’t have to buy anything, just observe and take notes. I can guarantee that by the time you get home, you will be looking forward to sitting in your artist workspace to allow the collected inspiration to flow out of you like a waterfall.


Body Painting at FABAIC 2010 Don’t be afraid to color outside the lines. Picasso didn’t get famous by painting realistic portraits and Dali made us look at faces in a brand new way. Dare to change the rules of what you have been taught and see what happens. Buy yourself a new brush, maybe one of an unusual shape and discover what you can do with it on your own. Find ways to combine colors that in your mind don’t match. Fire your critics (especially your inner one) and know that our growth is in trying new things.
Face Painting Book of ButterfliesWhen I was working on the Face Painting Book of Butterflies, there came a point where I felt that all of the designs were looking very much alike. The next morning while I was sitting by the ocean, I decided to give Jinny a call to ask her for advice. She said to me, “Face painting is fantasy art–anything goes. Think outside the box. Morph your butterflies with another animal or anything that comes to mind. See what happens.” First I didn’t understand exactly what she meant so I decided to close my eyes to meditate on it for a few minutes. When I opened my eyes I saw the most beautiful sunrise and immediately I picked up my drawing pencils and created the sunrise butterfly, which is in the book. The top wings are the colors of the sky at sunrise with a few seagulls decorating it. The bottom wings have the ocean and the beach with a couple palm trees painted in each corner. The sun is the body of the butterfly. It is one of my favorite ones in the book.[clear]


Art classes are inspirational. They help your face and body painting skills to emerge. From one-stroke painting, to ceramics or watercolors, art is art. Inspiration abides in experimenting with all types of art forms.
You can usually find your favorite artists traveling and teaching. Attend one of their classes, or go to a convention to really boost your skills. With the internet ever expanding, it has become easier then ever to find and take a workshop, even taking online classes like

FABAIC 2012 - Face Painting, Body Painting, Airbrush Art


Feeling good is also a form of inspiration. Our physical condition and frame of mind are essential raw materials because the source of creativity lives deep within our souls. Taking care to be healthy in body, mind and spirit makes us more receptive to the gifts of inspiration that surround us. Make a list of things you can do that will help you snap out of a low day. Take a candle lit bath, listen to your favorite music, eat fruits and chocolate, go for a walk, read a good book, hug somebody or make a list of all the things in your life that you are grateful for. Say Thank YOU! Then enjoy your artistic work place as you relax and paint!

-Marcela Murad
Co-Producer of the Face and Body Art International Convention

Leave a comment below and tell us what you do to get inspired.

Face Painting Family

My face painting journey began when my aunt forced me to paint alongside her. Little did I know that holding that brush would change my life. I have been so fortunate to travel the world, meet amazing painters and make friends doing what I love. My face and body art friends have become my family. We share our artwork and put ourselves out there to learn from one another and selflessly help each other grow.

After working in a corporate environment, I’m so grateful for my face painting family because we are a community of really good people. Almost 12 years ago, I was fortunate enough to meet a special type of artist. Marcela and I would teach a lot of classes at the NY Clown Alley and that is where I first met Deva.

Deva Prem was a true artist. She wasn’t the best painter in the world, but she had a style all her own. She was a spiritual, peaceful, loving, and inspiring woman. She helped me in so many ways to grow Silly Farm. She was tough on me and honest, and even when I didn’t want to hear it, I always listened because her heart was pure. Deva epitomized the love of art. Deva would introduce all her art friends to our world and would support them as they blossomed into amazing face and body artists. She introduced me to the recent Face Off competitor, Athena Zhe. I remember Deva telling me, “I’m bringing my artist friend Athena to your class. She will blow you away!”. She sure did! Deva also raved about an artist friend of hers, Derrick Little, and after one glance at his art work I was hooked. Deva knew art and knew how to bring people together because of it.

Sadly, Deva left our world last year. Deva lost her battle with cancer, but in true Deva fashion, I know she would want us to continue her legacy by sharing art. Even during her hardest moments battling cancer, Deva made sure to attend the FABAIC and offered free massages to attendees. Her spirit of generosity is what prompted this blog.

Her dear friend, Derrick Little, has started his own Art Project in memory of Deva and to help others in their fight against breast cancer. Please take a moment to visit his site,, and if you have the means, please support his cause and help keep Deva’s passion alive. Derrick is one of the most creative and out of the box artists I know, and I’m sure the card collection is a bonus!

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I make an effort to get to know all my customers because our face painting world is small. Sooner or later our paths cross and it’s good to know our family keeps growing. Happy painting and thank you for reading.


Live Your Passion

Wolfe Face Paint

A passion is a craving, the thing we hunger for. It’s what we are most curious about. Our passion is what we long to do, something that makes us truly happy and enriches our lives. Being passionate about something inspires us to take action, to put energy into our dreams and to make them come true. If you are passionate about something, ask yourself,

“What do I need to do to live my passion, to keep it alive?”

If your passion is the same as mine, Face and Body Art, some of my tips will help you.
Buy yourself a scrapbook and start collecting images of anything that catches your eye. These can be pictures from a magazine, other artists work, or your own drawings and doodles. You can also keep a folder in your computer, or use an online service like Pinterest, for the same purpose. Personally, I like the feeling of holding the book and slowly looking through it’s pages. On days when my creativity is running low, they serve as inspiration and they rekindle my passion for my art.

FABAIC 09 Winner Alex Hansen

“How do you get started?”

Make a list of things you dream of doing and pursue it. Take a workshop with your
favorite artist, publish a book, travel and get paid for sharing
your talents with others! Read your list everyday, believing that all things
are possible. Then commit to practice, because practice will help you to become better at
what you do and more passionate about it! The old saying still holds true, “Practice makes perfect”!

-Marcela Murad

FABAIC PhotosFABAIC Photos Athena Zhe

Leave a comment below and tell us what your passion is!