Sunday, October 26, 2014

One year


It was exactly one year ego that I decided to collect some guts and try to actually go and face paint...
I have so many friends in the industry and have been spending so much time in conferences, it was time to give it a go...

Yes, I am an artist,  I have the BFA and papers to show for it,  but I think my struggles were real and very much like every other artist out there! If I hang out with masters in the industry and show up with elementary school level art, what will they think of me? Once you have the papers to prove your artistic skills, and you produce horrible work its eve worse!

Today, as I sit on my sofa with sore feet and what could feel like a broken back, I realize how lucky I am! My view to the world of face painting is just a window to our world through a very cool pair rainbow glasses.. I understand now that this process is a force much grater than me!

Greater than all of us face painters out there...

For the first time I can honestly say, I do not care if my art stinks! 

Sure, I want to improve my skills and get better, but when it comes to the kids it is really not about me or the art.

Its about the moment.

As painters, we have the privilege to give such power to the kids, and in just a few short minutes and a single brush create a superhero or a royal princess!

Some kids are scared, some owns the chair when they sit on it... it really does not matter, both kinds are there hoping to experience the same moment.

We give them power to believe that they can be anything they may dream of. We make them feel pretty, even if they don't believe it. We give them the power to get more attention from strangers as they stand in line with mom to check out at the grocery store, and the grandmother in front will turn around just to comment on how amazing they look!

All this power in just one moment when they sit on the chair while we paint.

This ability to give does not exist in many lines of work. The power to inspire and empower is a huge privilege!

When you sit and really think about WHY you are a face painter, or HOW you became one, think of how the rest of the world see you, and take your emotions out of the equation just for one moment.

Once you take yourself out of the picture and think abut your audience, you will notice that you can even love your art a little more, and maybe give yourself more credit when its due. The level of your art does not change the moment.

Its your conviction that does.

Sure, as artists, we need to always try new things and keep our minds fresh and excited so we don't get bored with monotonic art... that we can do when the season slows down.. Improve our skills, get a little faster, build a rocking display or get additional supply.

But for the moment a kid sits in front of us to get painted the sky is the limit!

It is part of human nature to constantly question our skills as an artist, and even HATE our own art...
It is part of growing up and becoming an adult. We are our worst critique! We can tell ourselves words that no one will ever dare telling us! When we are young we are born with a need for art, its an energy that comes out so smooth and fluid. I constantly see it with the kids that come to create at the Art Factory, they never think twice before picking up the brush and going for it...
But as adults we constantly do edit and question our skills...

Just remember, there are many kinds of art out there ... (it is a huge word!)

I come from the world of commercial art and graphics, when the art is always questioned and criticized. It is part of the process, to create a visual solution that will than get edited again and again by the customer.

Personally, it helped me grow a little thicker skin to realize that my personality is not being measured when someone HATE my art... the ART has a life of its own... I am just the driver of a bus that has its own navigation system and a destination grater than me...

Separating the two worlds is a helpful tool that helped me grow, improve and explore...
It thought me to believe in goodness and know that when my heart is in the right place the rest will just follows...

So rather than spending time getting upset about the competition I think about what I can do to inspire my customers and make them feel special. As a result, our business is growing and we are creating a following.

Best of it all are the kids that keep coming back to our chair every chance they have...


I am so very thankful,
I hope sharing my story will make you feel the same! 

Tal Thompson.