Mar 20

Winning and Grinning!

Face Painting Awards

I just wanted to share some amazing news with you guys. I just won three categories in the Australian Body Art Awards (ABAA) State Face Off Championships!

This is a competition run every year by the ABAA, and I had been too busy, unprepared, and nervous to submit an entry in previous years. This year, with the encouragement of my face painting family here in Melbourne, I made it a priority to take the time to create an entry. Little did I know that I would win the Most Popular award for Victoria as voted by my peers, but the panel of international judges also awarded me the State Winner for Victoria, AND the National Winner for 2016!

This online competition was open to all face painters in Australia, and this year international artists were invited to participate too. Entrants were required to paint a face (including neck and decolletage if desired) with no time limit, brus and sponge only, no stencils airbrushing or stick-on bits allowed, based on a certain theme that was different for every state. Victoria’s theme was “The Bridge To Your Secret Hideaway”.

Needless to say, this theme stumped many of us here in Victoria! We all racked our brains to try to connect with this theme for a long time. It wasn’t until the last minute that inspiration struck and I remembered the poem called The Rainbow Bridge about being reunited with beloved pets that have passed on. As you may well already know, I am a complete sucker for animals, and it really struck a chord with me. So I decided to try to express the story visually through makeup.

After doing a quick pencil sketch to work out my placement, the rest of the design was largely unplanned and I decided to just “go with it.” It took about 3 meandering hours to complete, and I’m very grateful for my patient model Elly who was very obliging and sat very still in my massage chair! I included some pets of my own and my friends’ who are waiting at the Rainbow Bridge for us.

When I submitted the piece to the competition I got an overwhelming response from the face painting community! I had no idea that it would resonate so deeply for so many people, and my inbox was full of messages telling me their stories about pets that they’ve loved and lost. It was a pretty emotional week for me I must say! But I’m so thrilled that I made such a connection with so many people. Connecting with people through art is what it’s all about!

The awards are icing on the cake, but I must admit it’s very gratifying, especially when the judges are esteemed international superstars like Sean Avram and Roxanne Rosa, as well as the director of the ABAA Maria Mormile who has seen a LOT of face art! Receiving the Most Popular award is amazing too, as it was voted on by my fellow artists here in Australia, so that means a lot to me. A huge thanks to everyone to voted for me, showed their support, and shared their kind words and stories. We have such a wonderful community!

I dedicate this piece to anyone who understands how it feels to lose a little animal mate. Loving a pet is one of the most beautiful parts of life, bu it’s tough when their lives are so short. Lots of love to you and your pets, whether they have feathers, fur or fins! Make every moment count.


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