From a kindergarten teacher to a full-time face painter, Jo, from Auckland, New Zealand, never thought she would find herself painting characters and designs on children's faces. Jo stumbled into the world of face painting and hasn't turned back since.
Her story starts 8 years ago when a friend and fellow teacher noticed her skill and talent for doodling during class. Jo’s friend asked if she could dress up as a fairy and face paint at her daughter’s birthday party. Jo thought she'd do the favor and then carry on being a stay-at-home mom. A simple face painting kit, a fairy costume, and a few party guests turned out to be a lot of fun for Jo.
“I arrived on the day in a fairy dress and "winged" it. Looking back, my work that day left a lot of room for improvement. I honestly thought it was a "one-off" experience, but my friend had other ideas,” Jo said.
It wasn't long after, and Jo started getting phone calls from people inquiring about a face painter. Jo's initial thoughts were, "What the heck?" and "How did they get my number?". A simple birthday party had turned into her friend recommending her as a professional and fabulous artist, which Jo would claim she was neither.
“I had to decide on the spot, "Am I going to do this? Like, actually do this?" So while talking to those potential clients on the phone, I decided to fake it 'til I made it and went along with the charade that I was a professional face painter,” Jo said.
Once she decided to officially start on this journey, Jo watched every YouTube video available to her. She learned the tips and tricks of face painting. Still, to this day, she is grateful to the community of amazing and generous artists who share their knowledge and expertise in face painting. Jo ordered a uniform, bought supplies, built a website (with help from her husband), and started booking clients.
“It was so exciting and nerve-racking at the same time, Jo said. I felt like I had jumped into the deep end, and I only knew how to doggy paddle. Practice became my best friend.”
Getting to meet all the children and having a few minutes to brighten their day is her favorite part of the job; inevitably, they always brighten her day, too! Her favorite tool is her brushes. The right brush for the proper purpose can make such a difference when painting. She recently purchased her first Craft-n-Go case that perfectly stores all her supplies.
“I love the beautiful, bright, eye-catching colors. So attractive to children and adults alike, Jo said.”
Jo currently works for herself as Sparkles and Smiles, painting at children’s birthday parties and local markets. She also sub-contracts at Rainbow Rascals and thoroughly enjoys working alongside wonderful artists who have become friends.
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