Spotlight: Alex Hansen – Bones & Muscle Structure

Alex Hansen is an accomplished artist for body painting, airbrush and special effects. He has competed numerous times winning multiple awards all over, and has done special effects work in movies, such as 300 and Death Race. We’re excited to announce that FABAtv is bringing him to South Florida for a FREE LIVE class! That’s right. FREE.

Alex Hansen - Bones & Muscle Structure FABAtv LIVE

Each month FABAtv hosts an entirely free, live class on face painting, body art, magic, balloons and more! Tune in April 15th at 8PM EST to watch Alex Hansen and his class on Bones & Muscle Structure in body art.

We were able to catch Alex away from his busy life to share some details about himself and his journey as an artist.

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

AH: Well, I’m originally from Brazil now living in Montreal Canada
Was raised my whole life in Canada, I have been an artist since the day I was born

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

AH: Yes my other full time job is my Family Life!! My two daughters and my Queen, Lymari Millot

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

AH: Well Pretty much everything.. but my forte is airbrushing and special effects

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

AH: I started off in the night clubs scene in Montreal and then moved on to working my own concepts and body artwork…. and then went into teaching and competing

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

AH: Being Creative and also being an inspiration to other artists, teaching and learning new art forms and other stuff

Q: Do you attend any conventions, like the FABAIC?

AH: Yes I do.. I try to be as many events as possible. I might be cutting down alot on my travels pretty soon… I believe that the world needs a break from me and me from the world…

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

AH: Well art is my life…. being a great family man is what I love the most, besides that what else is there?

Q: Outside of art, what do you do for fun?

AH: I love going to movies, playing soccer, sculpting, and dancing with Lyrian my daughter

Q: Do you have any pet peeves?

AH: Well I have three…. Stupidity, tardiness and egos!

Q: Where do you see yourself in a couple years?

AH: well for sure a lot less traveling and starting out something I always wanted to do… Develop my own art school / studio

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

AH: I have way to many!!! Stencils and many other ideas… a book on the art of body painting which is a big dream of mine, I have had it since I started out in bodypainting

Q: What do you think of FABAtv?

AH: Well I think it is a great idea…. but I also believe you can never get the same effect with a teacher in person!!

As great as FABAtv is, Alex is right. You can’t beat a LIVE instructor! So be sure to tune in for his LIVE class Bones & Muscle Structure, and get a chance to ask him your questions LIVE!

Well, now you know a bit more about this talented artist. His services include and are available for editorials, television/film/video productions, photo shoots, trade shows, workshops, fashion shows, special occasions, promotions, events, and live performances.

If you want to reach Alex, he is available by email or facebook.
Like him at

Zombie Love – Special Effects Tutorial

Zombie Love - Special Effects Tutorial
Keeping in theme with the month, here’s another Halloween inspired design. This is a quick, 2-3 minute zombie teeth design using Mehron Tooth FX, Wolfe Face Art & FX’s black & red, a stipple sponge, and some fake blood. My model today is my hubby, Henry! This is a great technique to pair with another design, as it compliments the character and brings it to life even more. Check out my last zombie tutorial you can use this with!

  1. Clean the zombie, werewolf, or whatever fanged horror monster’s teeth and make sure they are dry. Make sure their lips don’t touch the Tooth FX for at least 20 seconds once applied.
  2. Apply the mehron tooth fx on their teeth. Remember you are blacking out the teeth to create a sharp, fanged tooth appearance.
  3. Next, apply some wolfe red and black to give a stained blood appearance.
  4. I finished this quick design using a stipple sponge and dabbing some fake, stage blood around the lips, chin, and even on the teeth for some fresh looking blood effects.

It looks like our zombie just had his first bite!
Share with us your creations that you used this technique with. We’d love to see your pictures! Post them to our facebook page or send us a tweet!

Henry's Zombie Teeth

Zombie Skin Special Effect Tutorial

Silly Farm Zombie

The Halloween season is upon us and many gore filled nights lay ahead of us face and body artists! This gory zombie design is perfect for teens and adults that want to be transformed into the living dead for a night of fun.

I started with tearing my tissue/toilet paper into smaller pieces and applying them to the face using Spirit Gum. The spirit gum dries relatively quick. Right after that, I used the zombie skin and brushed in around the edges of the tissues, where the skin was still showing. Don’t just coat it nice and smooth, give it some texture! After the zombie skin dried, I took my FAB makeup and applied black to the eye socket then used my plum(burgundy) paints to give it a bruised look. I applied more color, judging where to apply it based on how the skin should look when it’s torn or bruised. I applied my Mehron 3D Blood Gel in areas that I wanted the blood to pop more or to look like it’s dripping. Finally I used my stipple sponge with my stage blood to give the final effects of bruised and scraped skin oozing blood.

Spotlight Artist: John Place

John Place Headshot

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

Hi, my name is John Place I recently turned 26 years old….. and EVEN MORE recently turned 35. I am from Sunrise, Florida. I was born and raised in South Florida, which is rare, because most people from South Florida move north and vise versa.  I have 3 children,  2 boys and a girl.

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

I don’t know if I consider myself an “Artist”, I have many jobs. I am the Producer of FABAtv, I do all of the shooting and editing, and I have a few other business that I do also. Zombie Ice & Zombie Dogz are two food trucks I own that specialize in shaved ice and gourmet hot dogs. Green Box Studios is my video production company. We create corporate and web based videos for companies all over the world. I also do graphic design and printing of flyers, brochures, business cards etc. I guess I really am an artist in many forms.

Special FX Gore Neck Wound by John Place

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

I LOVE gore and special FX makeup, prosthetics and body paint.

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

Ok, ready? Here we go. Balloon Artist James Changefield introduced me to  Heather Banks-(Green now) a few years ago. I did my first Face Paint DVD video project for her and it took FOREVER, like 19 hours of shooting and 60 hours of editing, from that moment I NEVER wanted to do another face paint again. About a year later Heather came to me again with an idea to do 1 hour online face and body art class videos and to do 5 per month. At first I was not really too excited, how could we do that if it was going to take 80 hours of production per class? After many meetings and lots of trial and error I figured out how to do it in less then half the time.. so in March of 2011 we launched Lets go back in time for a second to little John Place in kindergarden….. I hated to color, I actually got put into pre-first because of my hate of art and coloring. That trait stayed with me throughout my adult life. Back to the present. Like the Ninja Turtles to Master Splinter, after watching countless hours, shooting, editing, watching again, I started to learn from the Masters of face and body painting. My first real interest in this art was when I shot the class for Nix Herrera’s lingerie class. After watching him, I thought, “WOW, I think I can do that”. So after spending lots of money on supplies, brushes, compressor, paints, etc, I painted my girlfriend and I was surprisingly pleased with the outcome. I posted the photos on Facebook and people were giving me great responses. I was hooked. Next was Brady Neher, Mark Reid, Wiser, just to name a few… It wasn’t until I did a class with FX and gore artist Pam Trent that I knew where my niche would be. There is something about the raw emotion that people have when they see realistic gore FX makeup out in the public. I have been posting photos of my work on my Facebook wall and have been getting responses from people around around the

FABAtv LIVE October 16th with John Place

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

WOW.. that’s a hard one. I guess meeting people from all over the world and seeing their excitement when they talk about their art. OH and the fact that my studio is at Silly Farm Supplies, there are 24 women, me and one other guy in the office. It’s awesome, except for one week a month, I don’t even come into the office… lol This will probably get edited out. (Editors Note: Nope!) :) I also enjoy grossing people out, I don’t really like doing gore or FX when it’s close to Halloween. I like it in May, when people don’t expect to see someones eye or face busted open. It’s Awesome.

Werewolfe Special FX Body Paint by John PlaceJoanna - Johns alter egoBloody Eye Special FX by John Place

John hard at workDo you attend any conventions, like the FABAIC?

Well, I kind of attend. I am usually very busy shooting FABAtv Videos at that time. We have the best of the best in town, so we try to shoot as many people as possible. It’s long days for me in the studio during the FABAIC.

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

I would like to travel more. I never get out. If anyone would want to invite me to Vacation/Holiday you can reach me at silly farm ;).

Outside of art, what do you do for fun?

For fun?…. I work 24/7. I LOVE going to the movies.

Do you have any pet peeves? 

No, But I have a pet Chihuahua. His name is Taco. (Editors Note: I thought you gave Taco away cause he kept chewing your computer cords?)

Where do you see yourself in a couple years?

Traveling the world teaching gore and FX would be cool, but even more, retired and sipping on cold non-alcoholic drinks by the pool.

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

Just launching my new Zombie Ice food truck. It’s a lot of work.

What do you think of FABAtv?
FABAtv???… I am a true testament that FABAtv WORKS!!

Bloody Neck - Special FX by John PlaceWerewolf Back - Special FX by John PlaceMinced Hand Bloody Special FX by John Place

Remember to tune in to FABAtv LIVE on October 16th at 8:00pm EDT for a free live class by John Place on Special Effects!

Our Favorite Holiday

Our favorite holiday is almost upon us… Halloween!!!!!!!!

Now is the time to start stocking up on all your Halloween needs, with August nearly over, there’s just one more month until the scare season starts!

Zombie Skin 4ozA new product on the market this year is Zombie Skin. This amazing product is so easy and versatile to use. It is an ammonia free latex product that you can use to sculpt your goriest creations, or blend the edges of the prosthetics you will be using. It dries almost instantly and is so much fun to use!!!! It can be used alone or on top of your tissue paper and wax creations.

[button type=”button_solid_light nocufon” url=”″ target=”on” ]Get Zombie Skin[/button]

Mehron 3D Gel - Blood EffectsAnother great product for this season is Mehron 3D Gel. This product is so much fun to use. You have to melt the gel (never in the microwave! Place it in a cup of hot water), then apply it. As it starts to harden, you can then paint and create your gore masterpieces.

[button type=”button_solid_light nocufon” url=”″ target=”on”]Get Mehron 3D Gelatin[/button]


Ripped Chest with Special Effects MakeupZombie Skinned Spiderman with special effects makeup

Below are some of the main essentials that are popular during the Halloween season.

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.thumbnail_list span { text-align:center;}
.thumbnail_list img { -webkit-border-radius: 15px; border-radius: 15px; text-decoration:none !important; border: 1px solid #C1C1C1;}
.thumbnail_list img:hover { -webkit-box-shadow: 0px 0px 5px 0px #bd1b8d; box-shadow: 0px 0px 5px 0px #bd1b8d;}

This is our busiest time of the year, so be proactive and stock up on your supplies now before supplies are limited.

If you need help with any of your ghoulish creations, please do not hesitate to contact me, “The Gore Queen”, at
Happy Haunting to all!!!!

Check out Halloween Special Effects Tutorials on Youtube!

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]

Spotlight Artist – Matt Valentine

FABAtv LIVE Class with Matt Valentine

Spotlight Artist Matt Valentine

Matt Valentine Banner

Tell us a little about yourself, where are you from?
I hail from Austin, Tx. Standing 6’1, weighing in at 175 pounds. A sugary sweet, scrumbdidlyumptious, gooey, nougat center with a hard, creepy, candy shell.

Are you an artist full time or do you have another job?
I am a full time artist. I run my own FX studio, Global Fear Enterprises. We offer FX make-up, Conceptual design, Props, Set Design, Graphic Design, Video Production and Costuming.

What type of face and body art do you specialize in?
I’m versed in theatrical and realistic body art but my forte is prosthetics and full body make-up FX.

Matt Valentine Face and Body Art

How did you get your start (in face and body art)?
I’ve been an artist since I can remember. Always altering my toys to become something great and terrible.
Being raised religious, we weren’t allotted the sinful, decadent vices of MTV, cartoons or Halloween. Through psychology we all know you become what you fear and are denied.
I actually got my first taste in church at the tender painful age of 15. Traumatized by preaching of tribulation and revelation yet attracted at the same time.
While kneeling and praying, our pastor asked us to pray and ask God for direction in our life.
Not a second later, I heard what can only be described as a horrifying yet peaceful rush of words whispering in my ear my name. This happened twice. I took this as a sign and a purpose.
A sort of holy calling to save something. A few months later I was chosen to play a demon in a church play and for the first time, I felt a paint caked brush touch my innocent check.
Dawned in white and black grease paint with a black cap, I felt comfortable in my skin for the first time. As I stepped on that stage hearing and feeling the audiences fear, I knew then what my calling was.
I’m on a sort of mission from God and you are most like him when you create something, no matter how vile and terrible it may be.

Matt Valentine's Mr Sprinkle PussWhat’s the most enjoyable part of what you do?
I enjoy the emotional primal response I get from my audience from viewing my work. Touching your viewer on an emotional level, whether it be through social propaganda, comedy, love or fear
is the ultimate purpose of a great artist. Every artist is a thief and every artist is a cannibal.

Do you attend any conventions, like the FABAIC?
Unfortunately I have not attended FABAIC. I do attend Monsterpalooza, Transworld and other various horror and make-up conventions.

What would you like to do more of, art or otherwise?
I would love to get into filmmaking. I actually directed a few short films before I got into the make-up industry.
Some personal, intimate home made adult and some on a bigger scale for mass audience consumption.
I also have acted in a few indie films and would love to get back into the world of, looking good while you lie.

Outside of art, what do you do for fun?
Believe it or not I like to pride myself on my vocal range. I used to be in a band years ago as singer and keyboards. I’m considering getting back into making music.
I’ve been told I resemble a gothic Justin Bieber or a dark Neil Diamond.
I love to read and research history. I have an unquenchable thirst and fascination with Social Engineering, Global Domination through Eugenics and esoteric knowledge.

Do you have any pet peeves?
The word impossible, Television, mainstream acceptance and compromise.

Where do you see yourself in a couple years?
I see myself spreading my tentacles into the music industry, directing and I’ve always had an interest in politics.

Do you have any projects going on or in the works?
I currently am on a nationwide tour with my Make-up FX workshops. I also have a few films I will be working on in the near future.
TV treatments in the works and a few hush, hush projects under wraps that if I spoke on, I would have the elder lodge members knock my degree position down and force me to recite
my past blackmail secrets, naked in a wooden coffin, in front of Henry Kissinger and the skull of Aleister Crowley.
We also continue to offer our costume and mask line through my studio, Global Fear Enterprises.

What do you think of FABAtv?
I think FABAtv is a phenominal platform for artists to expose their work to the masses and benefit those at home just getting into the industry.
It’s an amazing learning tool for new artists to add to their repertoire.

Global Fear Enterprises

matt valentine poster augustMatt Valentine everyone. Sounds like I might have to get my Halloween costume from you.

Visit his websites at and

Follow Matt on and

Contact him by e-mail via

Last, but not least, Matt Valentine will be doing a free live class on FABAtv, August 14th, 2012, starting at 8:00pm EST! Check out the FABAtv LIVE page for more details.

Global Fear Enterprises

Paint-A-Thon for Brian Wolfe

Paint-A-Thon for Brian Wolfe
One of the reasons I love this industry so much is because when we need a helping hand, we come together and help one another. As many of you know by now, Brian Wolfe was diagnosed with a very aggressive Pancreatic Cancer. This news shocked our world and face and body art land went into help mode! So far our generous industry has helped raise over $40,000 for Brian to receive treatment and to help his family, but we won’t stop there…

Nick and Brian Wolfe

Gary Cole of has organized a contest to help raise funds for Brian. To find out more information about helping Brian and possibly winning over $3,000 in prizes please contact

There is also a special page set up on FaceBook at and GoFundMe at where you can contribute directly to the Wolfe Family as well.

Because Brian is a HUGE part of the Family, we are hosting a special Paint-A-Thon in his honor. On July 23, 2012 FABAtv is hosting another Paint-A-Thon where we will join forces with instructors like Margi Kanter, Jay Bautista, Pam Trent, Marcela Murad, Lisa Marshall and more to bring you 6 hours of FREE LIVE face and body art classes. In addition to the free learning, we will be giving away prizes, and celebrating all that Brian Wolfe has given to the Face and body art industry.

Brian Wolfe's FABAtv Channel

Michael DardantWe will begin broadcasting with special host Magic Mike at 3:00pm EST and the fun will begin. Classes will run live until 10:00pm est. Our hope is to raise awareness and money for the Wolfe family to help them bring peace and comfort to Brian Wolfe during this difficult time.

[button type=”button_solid_dark nocufon” url=”” target=”on” ]Donate to Brian Wolfe[/button]

One person, can make a dent… our industry can make a difference. Join us live July 23, at 3:00 pm EST!

[button type=”button_solid_dark nocufon” url=”” target=”on” ]Tune in to FABAtv LIVE July 23rd[/button]

The Wolfe Pack

Nick and Brian Wolfe
Twelve years ago I had the pleasure of meeting two of the world’s best artists. My aunt treated me to my first official face painting workshop (not taught by her or a clown friend) in Daytona Florida. I remember driving to Daytona so excited because I was going to learn from Nick and Brian Wolfe. That class not only changed my life, but it was the turning point of when I knew that I would make a career of face and body art. My aunt had always told me that one day I would own Silly Farm Supplies, but it wasn’t until Nick and Brian Wolfe exposed me to a new world that I realized the potential face and body art could create.

I’m sure many of you share my same experience. I credit much of the success, growth, and creativity of the face and body art world to the Kings of the biz, Nick and Brian Wolfe. Over the past decade they have given selflessly of themselves, shared every image, painted every face, explored new boundaries, and never stopped smiling along the way.

Nick and Brian Wolfe MIB BodypaintBrian Wolfe Body Paint with World Brian Wolfe Zombie Body Paint

Wolfe Brothers Special Effects
When I started FABAtv, I called on Nick and Brian and asked for help and support. They immediately jumped in their car and drove to my side. No matter how busy or how stressful life got, they never missed a FABAIC and you could reach them night or day on their cell to call in a favor.

Above and beyond being generous, Nick and Brian are two of the most positive people I know. When it seems like the world is falling down, they stand up and smile and share their light with us. I have witnessed them teach an 8-hour class and still smile, share, and welcome new friends.
Last week, it broke my heart to hear that Brian Wolfe was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. Brian is a father, son, brother, friend, mentor and husband. This news hit me so hard all I could do was cry at my desk. I didn’t know whether to call Brian and Nick, get angry, or just focus on why bad things happen to good people. So, I mustered up enough strength to call Brian and upon hearing his voice a sigh of relief came over me. Brian’s attitude was optimistic, jovial, and he reminded me why no matter the outcome of his treatment, he will never be forgotten.

Brian is beginning treatment this week and he needs our help. Brian is facing this scary time in his life without insurance to cover the necessary treatments. His family and friends have established a donation fund to help raise funds to support him and his family during this difficult time. We are also planning a Paint-A-Thon on FABAtv where 100% of the proceeds will go to the Brian Wolfe family. The Paint-A-Thon will be held July 23rd from 3pm-10pm EST. If you can afford to, please donate to the Wolfe family, help keep our Wolfe Pack alive and strong with your prayers and your support.

The face and body art industry would not be where it is at without Nick and Brian Wolfe. They transcended the art of face painting from balloons on the cheek to if you can dream it we can paint it. Please share the link, send Brian an email, card, or just keep him and his family in your prayers and thoughts. Prayer works and together we can share the same love and positivity he has given to us over the years.

Monster BrosNick & Brian WolfeNick & Brian Wolfe Body Painting

Mortal Kombat Body Painting by Wolfe BrothersWolfe Pack

Check out Nick or Brian on facebook.
Contact Nick or Brian Wolfe or browse their works via their website,

FABAIC 2012 Recap

We just wrapped up the 11th annual Face and Body Art International Convention. The FABAIC hosts over 500 of the world’s most talented and artistically charged painters. Every year we come together, paint, learn about new products, attend classes, and catch up with old friends and many times make new friends!


This year was a challenge. After hosting the last 10 years of the FABAIC in Orlando, we made a bold decision to move the venue closer to our home. We bit our nails for a full year hoping that the move wouldn’t hurt the FABAIC or worse, that the hotel wouldn’t accept us for who we are.

As the FABAIC festivities came to an end, I literally found myself in a daze. I didn’t know whether to smile and jump for joy because we successfully conquered another year, or cry because I was so amazed at the overall event. It takes us a full year to plan everything about the FABAIC, from vendors, to pipe and drape, to the menu, and an airport shuttle. We scream, fight, and sometimes leave work hating each other because the stress can be overwhelming, but after this FABAIC, I cried tears of pure joy.

FABAIC 2012 - Lizard GirlNix Herrera - FABAIC 2012

This year was my personal favorite. There was a happiness in the air, a relaxed vibe that placed a trance on the event. I watched over 400 artists paint with delight, share without hesitation, focus on teamwork, and enthusiastically learn from one another. Most everyone left their ego at the door and embraced the artistic climate of the event.

My overall highlight of the FABAIC was the Bollywood Flash Mob. Secretly we arranged a flash mob including instructors, kids, and vendors. Nothing made my smile bigger than seeing the children dance to the music, the watch Jinny join in, followed by the Wolfe Brothers and Magic Mike doing the Jai Ho. It was priceless and reminded me why the face and body art family is something truly unique.

I have to admit that my opinion is slightly biased. As the producer of the convention, I naturally felt that we did a super job. As a consumer, an eager artist, and an entrepreneur, I still felt we hit the nail on the head with the lineup of classes, the overall selection of brands and products represented, the events that took place, and the value I received by attending. When we plan the FABAIC we start by asking ourselves questions from every angle. We ask each other questions about schedules, and learning, we search the internet for hot products and sought after artists, we channel our inner child and build a Young Artists program that will groom our future painters. We leave no stone unturned, and cross every T. This is our life and our love drives the FABAIC to new heights every year.

FABAIC 2012 - Jay Bautista
FABAIC 2012 - Sean AvramFABAIC 2012 - DonnaFABAIC 2012 - Mehron

On Sunday, we hosted the Annual Body Painting competition. It was remarkable. The artwork was too amazing to believe that these artists finished a full award worthy living canvas in under 6 hours. I declined the invitation to judge the competition because the talent was too much to handle. As I walked around the room, I was so happy to see how far our industry has come. The artwork and talent soars to new heights every year and I am grateful we can play a part in making that happen.

The FABAIC can only be described as sleep away art camp. Artists come together to party, paint, and enjoy an environment of learning. Artists use the FABAIC as a retreat, they invest in themselves and their businesses with the mindset that they will leave a better, more experienced artist and they are right!

FABAIC 2012 - KidsFABAIC 2012 - JoselynFABAIC 2012

I could go on and on forever about the convention, but instead I will dedicate my next few blogs to certain sections of the FABAIC and encourage your feedback. I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart for your support with Silly Farm, FABAtv, FABAIC, FABAblog, and FAB Events.
Happy Painting!

To view all the amazing photos from the 2012 FABAIC please visit the FABAIC facebook page or website.

Spotlight Artist – Andrea O’Donnell

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

Andrea O'Donnell - Makeup Artist, Face & Body Artist
I am a Michigander through and through. I was born here, grew up here, and I now raise my two children here. I love my home state so much, the four seasons, the trees, the hills, the gorgeous great lakes. Michigan is a beautiful state, and I am lucky enough to have a home in Howell where I live and work, and also a cottage in the deep northern woods, where I have appreciated and absorbed Mother Nature’s works of art since I was just a year old. Of all the places I have traveled (and that’s a lot), Northern Michigan is still my favorite place in the world.

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

I am a full time artist (too full sometimes) and I run a very busy studio in Howell, Michigan, which is centrally located between four of Michigan’s largest cities; Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing and Flint. It’s a small town, but a great location, and it keeps my staff and I very busy providing makeup and cosmetic services, event services, photography and so much more. It’s also a retail store for makeup, special fx and face & body art supplies, mainly geared toward the professional market, but open to the public as well.

Andrea O'Donnell Studio BackAndrea O'Donnell Studio Front

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

I have been a professional makeup artist for 23 years, the first 15 years were spent primarily on bridal and special event makeup in the salon/spa environment. For the past 8 years I have gravitated more toward creative editorial, high fashion and couture makeup for commercial makeup shoots and runway events, and face painting for kids parties. Now I would estimate that 80% of what I do consists of body painting both in and outside of my studio, which makes me very happy!

Marilyn Monroe Look by Andrea O'DonnellCircus Body - Andrea O'Donnell at FABAICTea Cup Body Painting by Andrea O'Donnell

How did you get your start?

I got my start in face & body art after nearly quitting makeup altogether from sheer boredom! After what seemed like a lifetime of brides and prom girls, I was dying to inject more creativity into my work. So I actually stepped away from makeup for a short period, and opened an art store where I taught painting classes and sold art supplies. At some point during that time period, I found myself in Disney World with my kids, mesmerized at the face painting that was being applied to my daughter. I took photos and mental notes, and when I got home I tried my hand at face painting – using all the wrong products of course. Nevertheless, myself and two of my friends set up a face painting table in front of my art store during a Harry Potter festival in my town and made over $1000 charging only $3 per face in about 3-4 hours! The line was wrapped around the block! When the night was over we all looked at each other in shock! The offers started pouring in from parents, schools, and local businesses who saw our work that night, and I started thinking; What the heck was I doing running this art store and barely squeaking by with the bills month after month? I should be painting faces for a living! So when the store closed down the following year in 2005, I went back to what I did best, Makeup, but this time I had a whole new attitude. I did my research and found out what products I should be using, and immediately set out to create a whole new and much more colorful makeup portfolio! A couple years later I became one of the most sought after makeup artists in Michigan and right about that time is when I upgraded my title permanently to Makeup Artist, Face & Body Painter.

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

The most enjoyable part of what I do? Oh there is SO much I love about my job, but I would probably have to say my favorite is the travel. This job has provided me and my family with so much opportunity to see the world. It’s not easy to get to that point. I’m not saying that every face and body painter is going to start flying all over the place. There are a lot of artists who don’t ever leave their immediate area, and that is perfectly fine for them. I suffer from a thing called wanderlust. I have to constantly feed my mind with new experiences and for me that means traveling to new places. So I have specifically “trained” my career in such a way that I am able to do what I love in many places, whether it’s teaching workshops in other states, providing services for films and conventions, selling my product (Bad Ass Stencils) at various trade shows around the globe, or whatever else takes me away. I just love to be on the move, almost as much as I love coming back home.

Andrea O'Donnell Bird DesignStencils on BackAndrea O'Donnell Painting Marilyn Design

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

I would love to be able to find more time to take tons of classes in all the other areas and topics that I am interested in, such as art, photography, glass blowing, jewelry design, major special fx makeup courses and more. I also want to learn as many foreign languages as I can, including sign language, so I can travel around the world and explore historical landmarks, castles, villages, and ruins and know how to communicate freely with everyone I come in contact with! Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Outside of art, what do you do for fun?

Outside of my fun job and traveling, fun for me always involves my family. We have a nice big family and many good friends, and we are all very close. We enjoy riding motorcycles and ATV’s in our woods up north, kayaking, paintball, hiking, playing with our dogs, and pretty much anything else as long as we are together.

Do you have any pet peeves?

Pet peeves? Arrogant photographers with over blown egos and underwhelming portfolios, flaky “models” who should really not be modeling, parents who try to force crying kids to get face painted and/or want to choose their design for them, and would-be clients who don’t realize and/or appreciate the value of what we do after wasting our time asking questions and getting quotes, and then hiring someone cheap, especially for high quality body painting. I’m not the same thing as Joe Schmoe with a paint brush that they saw at a Harley Fest last summer… not even close. I think that last one is everyone’s pet peeve.

Where do you see yourself in a couple years?

A couple years from now, I would like to see myself having more time to relax in between jobs. Right now I am a little overwhelmed between the studio work, teaching classes, event jobs, trade shows, and now the Hunger Games Convention Tour, but I’m not complaining… just looking forward to a time when it balances out a bit more for me, hopefully sooner than later. My dream would be to do a few big magazine photo shoot jobs on a tropical island two or three times a year, some fun local jobs in between, and just party and travel the rest of the year!

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

My current major project is SKINCOGNITO and all that revolves around it. In addition to that, I am super busy designing a load of new Bad Ass Stencils in time for the Face and Body Art International Convention, designing my body paint competition piece, and preparing for the World Body Painting Festival in Austria this July. I am also the exclusive makeup artist for the new Official Hunger Games Tour, which I know will keep me movin’ for the next couple years.

Join us at the 2012 FABAIC

Will you be attending the 2012 Face and Body Art International Convention?

I am SO looking forward to seeing all of my favorite friends and artists at the 2012 FABAIC! I hope everyone comes by to see me at the Bad Ass Stencil booth as well as at the jams. It is such a fun and inspirational event, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world!

Contact Andrea:
Skincognito Studio
120 State Street
Howell, MI 48843, USA
Phone: (517) 376.6488
Skincognito’s Facebook Page
Bad Ass Stencils on Facebook

Andrea O’Donnell Artist Facebook Page

Check out Andrea O’Donnell on FABAtv!

2012 FABAIC Checklist and a Free Year of FABAtv!

The 2012 Face and Body Art International Convention is less then 2 months away, do you know what to bring? FABAtv has teamed up with the FABAIC to offer a free, year subscription to FABAtv!

Win a free year subscription to FABAtv!

FABAIC Class InstructorsThe FABAIC is a convention like no other, offering the best instructors for all types of face and body art. Whether you are a beginner wondering where to start, or are advanced and looking to learn new techniques and bring more business to your trade, the FABAIC has what you need. Offering tons of classes covering face painting, body painting, airbrush, makeup, special effects, marketing and more over the course of five days, the FABAIC is an event you don’t want to miss!

FABAIC Competition InformationExciting changes have been made to the 2012 competitions! Cash prizes, products and trophies are up for grabs! Face Painting Competitions are back and divided into Children, Youth, Novice, Semi Pro, and Professional Categories!
Will you walk away with the $1,000 Cash Prize for the “Flight of Fantasy” body painting competition? Competition is open to registered FABAIC attendees. Click here for Competition Information.

The 2012 FABAIC is May 23rd through May 27th and has moved to a new location in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Want to take a break from all the creativity and learning? Relax on the gorgeous South Florida beaches, take a trip through the famous Everglades, hit up a game of golf at the hotels luxurious course, or take a shopping trip at the Sawgrass Mills mall, the second largest mall in Florida! The FABAIC is not only learning and classes, it is a well deserved vacation!

Operate your own business? Did you know your expenses associated with attending the Face and Body Art International Convention to improve your professional skills are tax deductible subject to the limitations set forth by the Internal Revenue Service? Please contact your accountant for details.

Newcomers Convention Checklist

  • Washcloths – To avoid room charges from staining their towels when showering up after a body paint, please bring your own washcloth!
  • Business Cards and your Portfolio – The FABAIC is the best place to network
  • A condensed version of your face or body painting kit
  • A sketch book and/or note pad
  • Practice head (Practice Heads will be available to purchase or rent, please contact for more information)
  • Male or Female underwear for your model if you are body painting. Seamless panties work the best.
  • Camera and don’t forget the charger!
  • Phone
  • Comfortable shoes and clothes
  • Baby wipes
  • Sunscreen
  • Bathing suit
  • Earplugs
  • Don’t forget spending money or your credit card! The FABAIC is not only a learning experience, it is a vacation!
  • A smile, your creative thinking cap and a well rested mind to learn and have fun! We’ll see you May 23rd!

Do you have any questions? Please contact us! E-mail Marcela at or call us at 954-472-5000 if you have any questions.


Are you in need of a roommate to cut down expenses? Visit the FABAIC forum on Facebook for a list of vendors, roommate searching, travel information and more!
Don’t forget to like the FABAIC Facebook Page!

Leave a comment below and tell us what your essentials are that you bring to a convention!

Register for the FABAIC

Plenty of Paint

When it comes down to picking which face paint you want to stock in your kit, it’s hard to choose and to know the differences between brands, colors, and manufacturers. I am fortunate that I play with paint for a living. I harass the manufacturers to send me new colors as soon as they are hot off the press and I test each color to see how it measures up against other similar colors from different brands. In a nut shell, there are two types of water based face paint; Wax based and Glycerin based.

Wolfe, TAG, and Diamond FX are all wax based paints.

Wolfe Face Art & FX TAGDiamond FX

FAB, Kryolan, Paradise, and Snazaroo are glycerin based paints.

FAB PaintKryolan Paradise AquacolorSnazaroo

There is no shortage of amazing colors and shades of face paint. If you are a paint junkie like me, then you want it all. Take my advice; You will never use 10,000 pots of paint and it’s too time intensive unpacking 10,000 pots of paint. When you get down to choosing your ideal kit, choose color over brand name. Although paints are made with similar formulas, the main differences are the colors. My advice? If you are in love with a particular color then add it to your kit.

Wax based paints are ideal for line work, because they are smooth and require less water to activate them. Sometimes sponging and blending can be a challenge because the sponge can absorb too much water. Since they have wax in them they tend to be less resistant to blending, but better for layering.

Wolfe White 45gmWolfe white and black are known for being the best for line work. The reason behind that is because Wolfe white is one of the few whites that actually stays on top of the color instead of blending into the background colors. With wolfe white you can make dots on top of black paint and the white will stay vibrant. Wax paints are typically strong in pigment and they are excellent for line work because of the smooth consistency. Wax paints are also known to withstand the heat a little better because the wax is harder to break down. For humid and hot climate areas the wax paints are in high demand.
FAB Alice BlueGlycerin based paints are typically creamier and excellent for blending with a sponge. Unlike wax based paints, where the paints layer well, glycerin paints blend better and dry slightly slower so you are able to sponge and blend them easier.

For these reasons, I suggest having a variation of brands in your kit. Choose color over brand. Colors vary from brand to brand. Kryolan has a line of paint called Interfereze which is a specialty line within their Aquacolor line. Interferenze paints are shimmer paints, unlike the kryolan metallics which are made with metallic flake pigments. The Interfereze paints are creamy and soft and contain a shimmer rather than a flake. Kryolan also has a Ultra Violet Day Glow line as well. The UV paints are also knows as Neon paints. Kryolan and Wolfe both make these paints that are black light reactive and glow under fluorescent lighting. In normal light they are super vibrant and very popular because the colors are so intense. Once they are under a backlight they appear glowing.

Ultra Violet UV Day Glow Neon Paints

Paint can get confusing, I have to admit. Kryolan calls their metallic colors Metallics and Interfereze. Wolfe calls their UV paints Neons, while Kryolan calls them UVDG. Snazaroo named their metallic and shiny colors ‘Sparkle‘. FAB has ‘Shimmer‘ colors, as well as ‘Glitter‘ colors. So before you get lost in the abyss of face paint remember you have a friends ( or 21 friends at Silly farm) ready to help you.

If you ever need helping choosing the paint for you, want to know the best red, or are looking for the perfect ninja turtle green. You are always welcome to live chat us, email me, or give me a call at Silly Farm. Choosing paint should be fun, so don’t let brand names get your brushes in a bunch. Just close your eyes, think of your favorite colors and write them down. Browse each section until you find the one you are looking for and cross if off your list. The results will be your perfect kit!

Leave a comment below and tell us what your favorite colors and brands are!

Happy painting!

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My aunt Marcela “Mama Clown” Murad has always been a visionary. Eleven years ago she turned her dream of creating an educational event dedicated strictly to face and body art into a reality, along with her friend Cynthia Keeler. Together they pioneered the Face and Body Art International Convention, what would soon become the greatest gathering of face and body artists in the world.

Face and Body Art International Convention

In 2007, I took over as co-producer of the FABAIC, along with Deidre MacDonald, Marcela Murad, and Claudia Banks. Together and with the rest of our amazing team, we work hard to make the FABAIC an event not to be missed.

The FABAIC is a sleep away art camp for adults. A place where creativity flows from every corner and color has no limit. The art work is jaw dropping and the classes cover all topics and skill sets. We search the globe looking for the best instructors to share their passion with other eager artists. We spend a full year planning the FABAIC to include; interesting topics, new concepts, new vendors, unveiling of new products, and a convention that is one of a kind. We put an emphasis on creating a learning environment that inspires you, sparks your creativity, and makes it impossible not to learn something.

In 2011, we celebrated our 10 year anniversary of the FABAIC. After 10 years of hosting the FABAIC in Orlando, FL we made a BIG change and moved the convention to our home town of Ft Lauderdale, FL. We wanted to enter the new decade on a fresh note and re-energize our venue. Ambiance is as critical as the content our instructors are providing. Our new hotel is full of lush tropical gardens, crystal blue waterfalls, and bright sun light classrooms. We felt the new venue is a perfect environment to go wild with your art work.

A FABAIC Classroom Tikki Hut Sun Roof!New FABAIC Hotel Pool EntranceFABAIC Hotel Waterfall Pool

The FABAIC is a convention where face and body artists come to learn. We offer the widest selection of classes, covering all topics from A-Z. Whether you are a seasoned artist, a creative make up artist looking to expand into special effects and fantasy make up, a stay at home mom that loves art, or a teacher looking for a great part time job, this event is for you. You might be asking yourself, “Do they really paint all day?” and “Will I really learn?” the answer is yes! Every year I treat my staff to the FABAIC, and after just one convention I could see the difference in their painting and artwork. The FABAIC will take you out of your box, help you expand your skills, and the creative force will inspire you to pick up your brush and explore. You don’t have to take my word for it, you can check out the FABAIC Gallery, find the FABAIC on Facebook, or just read reviews around the web. If you are serious about becoming a better painter, investing in your craft, and taking your art to the next level, then you can not afford to miss the 2012 Face and Body Art International Convention.

Besides offering over 80 classes over four days, we also offer classes for Young Artists. I was fortunate that Marcela shared the face and body art world with me really early. I developed a passion for it and it never left my side. I was able to face paint my way through college, buy my first condo with my face painting money, and turn it into a career. Your kids can enjoy classes designed especially for them, where they learn with other children their age so you can enjoy your classes knowing your kids are learning and having a blast too.

Fun and Games at the FABAICKids love Face Paint!

The FABAIC is also the worlds largest face and body art marketplace. We host all the major manufacturers of face and body art supplies so that they can debut their newest products, answer questions, and let you try before you buy your supplies. The market place is a painters candy store, the hardest part is not buying everything.

Four years ago we started the FABAIC Body Painting Competition where the first place prize is $1,000 cash. Artists from around the world come to compete and the finished product is truly unbelievable. It takes some artists years to complete one canvas, and our artists finish a human masterpiece in 5 hours. The competition is truly living art at its finest.

Nix-Herrera-ButterflyWolfe Bros- Face Painting

Even with classes, competition, shopping, and networking there’s still more! Every morning we kick of the day with a little fun and funk with a Zumba class. From 9-5 we have classes and workshops and then you can enjoy show and tell demonstrations from your peers, marketing panel discussions, and the world famous Jam sessions. The jams are painting parties where all the attendees break out their paints and practice everything they learned throughout the day. Imagine a room with 500 people painting and creating. It’s priceless and you can’t help but be amazed.


If you are still on the fence or want more information, please visit the FABAIC website or email us, Heather:, Marcela:, or Deidre: I encourage you to join us. let us help you re-energize your business, add value to your services, and grow as an artist. Let the FABAIC be your vacation this year and take a creative siesta- You deserve it! I hope to see you all in May!

Happy painting!

[button type=”ambitious_button_clean” url=”” target=”on” ]Take me to the FABAIC Website[/button]


Picture Perfect – Selling Your Canvas

I once had an argument with a fellow body painter about painting overweight models.  He felt overweight models ruined the image and that it was impossible to capture a great body painting on an over-sized canvas. I argued that art was subjective and that anything can be transformed into a work of art. That argument was sensitive to me because I have always been conscious of my body,  not that I want to be a body painting model, but I was bothered by the idea that the model makes the image.

Fast forward 6 years later. I am eating my words. I still don’t believe that body painting is only reserved for the super skinny, but I am a believer that a good model will ultimately sell your art for top value. I am still a little shaky and nervous when I body paint. The only thing that usually calms my nerves is when I paint a model I know. They set me at ease and let me be creative without being impatient or judgmental. Their attitude helps me be creative and that’s when I feel I produce my best work. I remember doing a job where the models were in a rush, they were antsy, and didn’t want paint on their faces. That was hands down one of my worst gigs, and the worst part was that several pics were taken that day so my name was attached to half ass work. Needless to say that didn’t help me garner new jobs.

Picture Perfect Group ShotNow on the flip side, when you have a model that is fun, patient, and can bring your art to life, that is a winning combination. I work with two models that always know how to bring out the best in my work. Many of you have witnessed little Lia grow through my youtube face painting videos and tutorials, her smile and charismatic personality makes my artwork that much better!  My other model of choice is Lia’s mom and my best friend for over 20 years, Glori. I have painted her 20 + times. She is a great model because she is photogenic, fun and her smile lights up the camera. A good body painting can take up to 8 hours and sometimes longer, so capturing a fantastic image is crucial.
Lia's RosesHeather painting Glori
Picture Perfect KidsWhether you are creating a portfolio or need images for your website, don’t go for just any model. Go for the model that will sell your services with a bang! Choose a canvas that will make your artwork stand out and make it come alive. Finding a great model is like finding a needle in haystack, but it can be done. Otherwise you are doing yourself a disservice.

Happy Painting! -Silly Heather


Below I have embedded my YouTube channel for easy viewing. Hope you check out my face painting videos and subscribe! Enjoy!


Face and Body Paint like a Pro for Free!

Rainbow cake designHave you ever been interested in face painting, body painting or airbrushing art?
Maybe you like to clown around and want to learn more balloon twisting?
Face and Body Art Television is an online learning website that caters to those interested in face painting, body art, clowning, balloon twisting, magic, makeup and more!

Below are some free class videos from the FabaTV Paint-A-Thon. On Dec 2nd, 2011 FabaTV invited 12 professional artists from all over the United States to film LIVE broadcasted classes for 12 hours straight throughout the day and night with hopes to reach a goal of $5,000 in donations for the Covenant House, a teen homeless shelter. With your help, FabaTV raised close to $4,000 and all of it went towards the Covenant House, to help at risk teens.


Not a FabaTV Subscriber yet but thinking of taking a few face painting or body art classes? Already attended a class but unsure were to go from there? FabaTV gives you a break down of each product used in class videos and FabaTV’s extensive library of videos, from beginner face painting classes to more novice and advanced videos on specific designs and techniques and body painting, can start you off on the path to face painting like a pro, all while training on your own time and in the comfort of your own home!

[button type=”button_solid_dark nocufon” url=”” target=”” ]Subscribe to FabaTV![/button]

Over at Face and Body Art Television they have several of their LIVE Classes up and FREE to view!
Head on over and start your watch party now and get painting!

Free Classes from Paint-A-Thon

Pam Trent – Freddy Krueger
Watch Pam Trent transform our model with some face paint and special effects into everyone’s favorite nightmare.
Class Link:

Margi Kanter – Nose Art
Create animated fun face painting with Margi Kanters Class on nose Art.
Class Link:

James Changefield – Holiday Balloons
Take a twist with James Changefield as he shows you how to transform balloons into several holiday designs.
Class Link:

Marcela Murad – Story Tellings
Get captivated with Mama Clown’s favorite stories and tips on keeping the audience entertained.
Class Link:

Olivia Smalley – Hot Holiday Makeup
Get the skinny on the best looking holiday makeup with Olivia Smalley.
Class Link:

Cliff Turner – Airbrush Tattoos
Creating quick airbrush tattoos with Cliff Turner.
Class Link:

Jay Bautista – Holiday Ready
Face painting holiday designs class by Jay Bautista.
Class Link:

Movie Monsters – A perfect Halloween Class with Nick and Brian Wolfe


You don’t want to miss this free class! The evil twins of FX, Nick and Brian Wolfe are among the top face and body artists in their field and will be doing a LIVE class for on Wednesday, October 12 starting 8pm EST. Freddy, Jason, Frankenstein and other classic haunts will be among the designs and creative ideas the Wolfe Brothers have in store for us.

If you are unfamiliar with Face and Body Art Television, I suggest you head on over to and check it out. With 24/7 unlimited access to their entire video library of classes, a FabaTV subscription takes the scale of one on one classes with international artists right to your home. FabaTV brings you the easiest and most affordable way to take classes by artists such as Marcela Murad, Vargas, Nix Herrera and many many more!

What are you waiting for? Make sure you catch the wolfe brothers on FabaTV LIVE!

Movie Monsters with Nick and Brian Wolfe on FabaTV LIVE

Halloween Ideas – Simple Gore and a free LIVE Class

FabaTV LIVE - Simple GORE
Halloween Ready - Simple Gore

Halloween is around the corner and for face and body artists this is a busy season. What to do, ideas to paint, how to do it. It can all be very hectic. Thankfully we have FabaTV!

Join FabaTV on thursday, September 15th starting at 8PM EST for a FREE LIVE class covering all types of gore and just bloody fun ideas sure to prepare you for the Halloween season. You can watch this FREE class via