At a very young age I had supervised coloring. Apparently my parents did not appreciate my elementary school style murals in their home.
I continued to dabble in all fine art mediums throughout school and went to college for graphic design.
Later my husband and I reproduced two tiny human girls–at 3.5 years apart. When my oldest daughter had her first holiday party in Kindergarten I volunteered to help out with the party. Little did I know they would be offering a face painting station!
While the other parents scattered away from the paint, I ran right for it, probably jumping up and down excitedly calling "DIBS!!!!"
I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had 6 colors, 1 paint brush, water cup, and a few design ideas that a teacher pulled from the internet. As the kids are lined up, I'm looking at these designs and my color options wondering how in the world am I going to blend these colors to make the perfect deer color brown!
Well, I didn't. They where yellow. I had 1 hour to paint 18 kids into magical holiday spirit faces. All the while not having a clue as to what I was doing.
Activate paint with water, create shapes, and hope they react with a smile, and repeat. I will also have you know, there was no mirror at my station, so all the kids had to go across the room into the bathroom to look in the mirror.
It all worked out, the kids seamed happy. Except for the itching. Why where they all itching their faces? Well stop that! You'll wreck your paint! That was a knee jerk reaction. But why are they itching?
Do your kids also give you a dumb look when you take their photo? Who knew I would blog about this day and have only this photo to choose from. (Insert palm to face head shake.)
Well, it's now Valentines Day in the classroom. You bet I'm back in the classroom volunteering. And today we have some heart themed designs to choose from.
I sit down at my station, and I get my tools organized that the teachers provided. Suddenly, a teacher came and said "this is so and so's paint and they need it in their classroom."
Ok, I'll try the other paint set. I add my water to my paint to only watch it ball up. Uhm... I can't activate the paint. I can't activate the paint. I CAN"T ACTIVATE THE PAINT!!!
Panicking in my head, and the promise this room of 18 kids that they too would have face painting. How can you have face painting without paint?!
Ok. Plan B. The paint that works is next door. I get teacher permission to walk each kid next door to paint in that room.
It worked out. It took up time to walk each kids next door, have them choose their design, paint and go get the next kid. Not an ideal situation, but we painted.
Once I got home, I decided that if I was going to volunteer and paint faces in the classroom again, that maybe I should have some paints on hand that I can bring with and make my life a wee bit easier.
So my search began.
I found out why the kids were itching their faces, I found out why my paint wouldn't activate, and I found paints to buy too. Holy expensive volunteer paint! Are you kidding me! A pallet of 8 colors is $55! And it has one tiny brush! Good Grief!
What else did I discover? That many people have made face painting their career.
I could make a living being in my happy place and painting on kids faces?
So I searched some more. And said, well gee whiz, if I'm spending $55 for 8 paint colors, plus $5 or more per paint brush, maybe I should look into this as a career. Or at least a side job. Maybe then volunteering in the classroom will be covered in a way for materials.
Let's go back to the itching faces. With all of my searching for face paints, because lets face it, that pallet of 6 colors was a great start, but really just lacking in options. I found so many brands of paint. Here's cheap ones, great. Here's expensive pro paints. Well I don't know if I need pro paints. But with all of the reading that I did, I was informed that the pro paints are all FDA approved and cosmetic grade. These pro paints are like make up.
So why were they itching? Because the paint that was used was not a pro paint. It came from a cheap, off-the-craft-store-shelf. I'm sure today, if I could get my hands on it and look at it, that it may not be FDA approved or even cosmetic grade. Just because it's easily accessible at the craft store and says "Kids!" doesn't necessarily mean it's safe for the skin.
At all of my face painting events I offer a patch test. I will put a small amount of paint in the different brands that I use on the arm. Within 30 minutes if there is no itching or swelling or redness, we are good to paint. Should you experience any of those symptoms, simply wash with soap and water immediately.
With Every Gig, it just gets better