Face painter finds dream job at market
She’s more than your average face painter.
Birthday clowns don’t usually paint zombie faces, sleeves of giraffe skin or skeleton bones on a horse.
A photo of her own face being zipped up, flesh exposed, sits at her booth at the Crossfield Farmer’s market July 5.
But Airdrie resident Shawnee Hoffman can do pretty too.
She puts down the tube of purple glitter and picks up a hand mirror.
A little girl’s patience, sitting in a chair at the market is about to pay off.
She sat perfectly still – didn’t smile or respond as passing shoppers commented at the colourful strokes on her face as they slowly formed a familiar animal face.
The girl’s lips curl up as she looks into the mirror, and the design is revealed.
Her face has transformed into that of a pink tiger with blue stripes laced with purple glitter – her favourite colour.
“It’s really rewarding to see the kids’ faces when they look in the mirror,” Hoffman said.
Her two-year-old and five-year old daughters usually prefer butterflies.
“They’re my little practice models.”
She used to work at her husband’s machine shop and has always been into art.
“Anything hands on,” she said.
Someone recommended she try face painting, and with some research online, Hoffman’s business Artsy Fartsy Faces, Body Art and More took off.
She also practices on herself, sporting a horse face, the eye of which is her own big blue own.
“This is my dream job,” she said.
She is happy endorsing her artistic passion while working flexible hours around her family life.
She has opened up a basement studio, taking appointments, and visiting birthday parties and corporate events.
She is thrilled to have first-hand experience at doing makeup for a fundraiser movie called Zombageddon this August in Saskatchewan.
“I got on through Facebook and word of mouth,” she said.
In the year-and-a-half she’s been painting faces, she has become comfortable working in close proximity with people.
“At first, it was quite the invasion of privacy,” she said.
She has her own techniques now for how to deal with it.
“(For kids) I ease up on the design, make it simpler,” she added.
The little tiger runs off with her mother toward the other booths in the Farmer’s Market.
The temporary nature of her work doesn’t bother Hoffman.
“I like seeing my art on your face,” she said.
“You know they’re going to come back and want more.”
For more information, visit www.artsyfartsysh.com.