Thursday, 15 October 2015

Ethical Questions: Using Another Artists Designs or Photos

Some ethical questions about face painting photos has come up recently to me, here are my thoughts.

Question 1: Is it okay to recreate another artists design?

Answer: If it was another more permanent art form, I would advise strongly against 'idea theft'. But the face painting community is a little bit different for several reasons. First being that our medium or art isn't as permanent as something on canvas. A Face painting can last any where from a day to only a few hours depending on the person wearing it. Also the community is very open to sharing idea's and designs with each other which is great because it allows all of us to grow and learn together, and create wicked art with out getting too hung up over petty arguments of "that's my tiger design! So one else can do that tiger design but me!"

While it's nice to say 'this design inspired by' or so forth as s hourt out to the artist who first created it, over all it's still an optional thing to do. I think for face painting if you can recreate other face painters design with your own skills then you have every right to post that photo as your work in your gallery, even if the idea wasn't. For the most part we all share designs anyway an draw inspiration from each other. I'm not upset when someone copies a design of mine, I'm either flattered or I merely enjoy the entertainment value it can some times provide.

Pictured: Pure Comedy

If you found some one copied your design, my advice is to not get upset about it. You can't copyright the moon, the look of a tiger, or the pattern of tear drops you used on your princess design. It's not taking business away from you, or effects you in any real way beyond how you allow it to make you feel, so it's best to get over it, and if you choose to feel any way about it, choose to feel flattered instead.

Question 2: Is it okay to post photos of other artists work on my website/facebook page, or booth display board?

Answer: Absolutely not. When someone is displaying photos of another artists work, done by another artists hand, taken with another artists camera, and having it on display in one form or another with out that artists express permission, it's theft. This could be on their website, facebook gallery, or even printed photos glued to a display board. The person displaying the other artists work, even if they can paint it just as good, is ultimately misleading the clients and partaking in false advertising. Even if you took a photo of another artist's work on your own kiddo, if that face paint was not done by you, then you should not mislead people to think it was by posting it in your gallery.

I've seen plenty of examples of photo theft on websites and face book pages, and even some at amateur face painting booths where there are prints from a google image search. Depending on the professional level of the artist, i mostly let the latter slide if they are just volunteers. But professionals with their own business, should have their own work on display and never someone else's
 in my opinion. 

Question 3: What if I have permission to use the other artists work?

Answer: This to me is a grey area, and is a question that mostly pertains to books, magazines, and the new Face Cards you can now find in face painting stores.

Lets start with the books. I really don't see that much harm in putting books out on display on your table for people to look though. I think the average person is smart enough to know that you didn't write or publish all the books, and the covers clearly states who the key artists are. So if you you don't mind your books being man handled, dog eared, dropped, used as coasters and touched with sticky fingers, then that's your call. Just know that the bibliophile in me is weeping. :( 

As for Face Cards, I have mixed feelings about them. This is a rare case of an artist giving permission for their work to be used for display purposes by other artists. But does that make it ok?

I know it's hard to build up a portfolio of your own, and then to also have photos that are 1) good enough to go on display and 2) have permission from both the parents and the model to display that photo. It is indeed a bit of a hassle and can for sure take some time to do. But there are several reasons why the Face Cards rub me the wrong way even though the artist if giving permission for their work to be used.

The main thing is that the client looking at the board doesn't know that the work they are looking at wasn't painted by the artist they are about to see and possibly pay services for. Unless the sign specifically states this, there is no way for the client to know. To me this runs in the field of misleading, or false advertising. Any one can buy these cards, so there is no way to tell if only artists who actually can pull of those designs are displaying them. More then likely artists will 'try their best' to copy the art and follow the step by steps, but everything comes with practice. In the mean time you have an upset parent or kid who just paid $5-$10 for the face they saw on the board, but that wasn't the quality they got.

And what if the artist can do that level of skill needed to paint that design? Well good on them, it feels less icky, but my main question would be, if you have been face painting for a while and are skilled enough to create those designs why wouldn't you have your own photo display board of your own work.

So the jury is out right now on the ethics of Face Cards, it still feels like going to a car dealership to test drive a new luxury car, deciding to buy it, then coming off the lot with a different model then the one you thought you were getting.

Question 4: I work with other face painters, is it ok to display each others work?

Answer: If you work for or own a face painting company then often times all photos taken while on the job belong to the company and they can do with them as the please. Thought it's my personal opinion that each artist should develop their own portfolio so the client has a reasonable expectation on what they will get.

If you often work with 1 or 2 other artists then this question is similar to having the permission of the artist to use their work. If you work with other artists at the same event then it's totally ok to have their work and yours on display as you are both at the event. If the other artist you usually work with is away, you should have that artists permission to display their work, and you should also be able to recreate it in a similar way to what is on display. 

For Example: My Partner Aryn and I work together a lot, so our display boards are usually a mix of my work and his. There are some of his creations I can't pull off as good, so when I'm on a solo gig I either remove them from the board, or I might tell the person choosing that design that it's my partners design that I'm still practicing. With Aryn and I living together as common-law spouses, we totally give each other permission to display each others work while on solo gigs. 

My assistant Hailey is a bit different, I often send her out on solo gigs and she rarely works with Aryn and myself. When she's out on her own she does not carry any of our designs, mainly because I want to encourage her to develop her own portfolio of work and not feel restricted to painting our designs. Each company or face painting group is different, but as long as there is trust, respect and honesty to your clients, then I see no real issue.

Question 5: Can I keep photos of other artists work with me for on the spot inspiration?

Answer: Yes, so long as it's not on display to the public. For example when I was first starting out in my early teens, I had an 'inspiration book' for myself. I kept it under my table, and looked at it to get some basic design idea's. But to be clear, I never kept it out on the table for display to the customers. They would ask to see it, but often times i declined, knowing i might not makeup it back under the table. I made sure to let them know that they photos weren't mine, so no to expect the same thing, if they did happen to glance at it. It was my own personal resource, and not meant for the public too choose their design from. Today, I keep inspiration photos on my smart phone, some times if i want to try doing a cat a little differently, or if some one asked for Iron Man and I really liked the way it was done in a photo I saved, I might bring it up for a quick peek to try something different.

If only I can find it....

But again, never the public shall use my inspiration folder to choose from. Luckily people are more reluctant to want to take your phone, then an old ratty binder you keep under your table, so I've never had an issue with them wanting to browse my inspiration gallery.  I'm not going to invite them to scroll through and find something they liked that wasn't mine, or have my phone display other peoples work for the public to choose from.

But what if some one DID do that? 

I give you Exhibit A.

This is a photo the face paint artist took of her own table showing how she use's her IPad as her virtual display board while on gigs. Basically putting her inspiration photos on display, with no mention that all the work being shown doesn't belong to her. This is a perfect example of misleading the public and being unethical, as she doesn't have permission from the artists to use their work, nor is the client informed that these photos are not hers.

So the next time you are thinking about using another artists work in your face painting display, here are 3 questions to ask yourself.

1. Do I own this photo?
2. Do I have permission from the artist to display this photo?
3. Am I being upfront and honest with my clients?

Friday, 29 May 2015

6 Questions About Face Paint Safety

Face painting is more then just a 'pretty face'!

What to know when hiring a Face Paint Artist

Whether it’s for a large corporate event, a festival or a small private party, you need to know that the face paint artist you hire will adhere to standard practices of safety and hygiene.

It’s up to the educated consumer to protect themselves, their children, and their patrons by asking the correct questions.

Short and Sweet Guide
We advise all our potential clients when looking for professional face painting to look and ask for:

~ Materials Made Specifically for Cosmetic Use
Must be non-toxic AND hypoallergenic paints and glitters. Non-toxic by itself does not mean safe for skin, and glitters must be cosmetic grade, as craft glitters contain metal and can cause damage if it gets in the eyes. Any skin glues should be cosmetic and latex free. Ask the artist you are thinking of hiring to provide you with an MSDS (Material Data Safety Sheet) for their paints, they should keep this info in their kits in case asked.

~ Clean Hygienic Applications
Artists should practice frequent water changes and use of hand sanitizer between each guest as well as other practices to avoid the spread of bacteria, such as sanitizing brushes and sponges after use near the eyes, mouth, and nostrils. Look for hand sanitizer and a container clearly marked 99% iso alcohol on the table. Artists should also not paint on or around open/healing sores, or on children who are sick. Ask the artist you are hiring about their their hygienic practices (see more on this below).

~ Fully Insured
Every professional face painter should be fully insured and carry proof of insurance in their kit. If in doubt, ask them to email you a copy of their insurance certificate.

6 Questions About Face Paint Safety
Some face painters get into the business when they saw someone else doing it and thought to themselves, “I can do that.” But unless they have someone knowledgeable to mentor them or great responsible resources, many can fall into unknowingly making many errors along the way, which can put your guests at risk.

1. Does It Matter What Kind Of Paint Is Being Used?

Seen Here: Super messy & dirty kit for sure, but also notice the 'Artists Loft' bottled acrylics in the upper left hand corner.

Only face paints should be used for face painting. If it's not rated for use on skin and cosmetic use, then it should NOT be used on the skin. Period.

More Examples:

Craft Paints being used for face painting at a school fair

Bottled Acrylic Craft Paints being used as face paints

Why Are Proper Paints Important?
 Rash from Acrylic Craft Paints being used on the face

Unlike craft paints, cosmetic products have undergone vigorous extensive testing and meet high standards. Craft paints are not designed for use on skin and therefore do not meet these standards. In fact, many craft paints have common allergens and carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) in them. The paints MSDS will also advise 'Not intended for use on skin' as these paints were not designed for such use and could result in rashes, scarring, blisters, etc.

More Examples:

Keep in mind that most painters who use inappropriate products do so because they just don’t know any better. They aren't evil-doers twirling their mustaches with glee at the thought of harming your child or guests. Though sadly some do just want to save money by buying cheaper products. This is not only bad for public health but it also leads to some parents thinking that all face painting isn't safe because their child had a bad experience or got a rash.

I've heard it all from so called 'face painters' who use craft paints in their kits
"I’ve used craft paints for years, and have never had a problem."
"It says 'Non-Toxic' on the bottle".
"I use this on my own kids!"

While face painters who use craft paints will tell you they even use it on their own kids, what they fail to realize is that not all kids are the same. Some kids will have sensitive skin, and others won't, younger children will have more sensitive skin, how old were her kids when she painted them with craft paints? They claim to never had a problem, but how to you get in contact with a face painter from an event if you didn't take their business card, or they had no card? Finally about 25% of the population have metal allergies of some kind, and even more so in young children.

And as for the claim of  'non-toxic'.....

The Truth About NON TOXIC:
A rash followed by permanent scaring from craft paints being used for face painting.

Non toxic only means that you can ingest/eat something bearing that label and probably not die as a result. The stomach has powerful acids to dilute or digest the particles to render them with minimal harm to the digestive system. Products absorbed through the skin go through no such process. Bottom line: Non toxic means non-fatal if accidentally consumed, not to rub on the skin. As well the term 'washable' means for fabrics, not skin.

2. Glitter is Glitter... Right?
Pictured: This local Vancouver face painter used metal table confetti and glitter on this child. Big no-no.

Craft glitter is made from metal, so any child with a metal allergy will break out in a rash from having this on their skin. Many children have metal allergies they grow out of as they get older, but some have this allergy all their lives. Another danger from using any type of craft glitter with face painting is that it could get into the eyes of children very easily. Glitters purchased in the craft department however are often metallic and are bigger pieces so they sparkle in a bolder fashion than needed for makeup. Metallic glitter feels gritty when rubbed between the fingers.

Seen here: A local Vancouver Face Painter using craft glitter (blue container with white lid)

Cosmetic grade glitter is cut finer and in an octagon, or circle shape and is made of polyester. This means that should it get into the eye, it won’t scratch the cornea. While it may cause some discomfort akin to getting an eyelash in your eye, it will do no harm otherwise. Polyester glitter feels very soft when rubbed between your fingers.

Rash from Craft Glitter

3. What Do you Mean Too Sick For Face Painting?

Face painters should never paint models with open sores, cold sores, fevers, coughs, runny noses or those who are obviously sick. This is just common sense. Painting on a sick child opens the artists paints up to a cross contamination infection that can then be spread to other children. Professional face painters should have a 'Well Child Policy' and someone who has been face painting for a while will have a usually have stickers or a temporary tattoo (the kind you moisten and stick on an arm or leg) to offer as a substitute for face painting. Although the model may be disappointed, believe me the people in line behind that person will be relieved that such action was taken.

4. What About Cleanliness?

Pictured: Dirty kit and rinse container that have never been cleaned. Food/drink on the table.
This local Vancouver face painter also mixed 99% alcohol in with their water. Yikes!

Face painters should clean their kits after each gig, and try to maintain clean water, brushes and setup on the job to the best of their ability. Food and drinks should never be on the makeup table, as they pose a cross-contamination risk to the paints. Crumbs could get in the paints and start to mold. The face painter should also be using hypoallergenic good quality moistened wipes, or other methods to clean away dirt on the face or food from around the mouth as needed before the painting starts. It is not necessary to add disinfectant to the water as professional face paints already contain antibacterial agents in them, and any disinfectants such as alcohol would be diluted in the water making them useless, and would only saturate the water with alcohol, which could be harmful if painting near the eyes. If the artist is using a 70% - 99% alcohol to sanitize their tools, it should not be mixed in with the water.

More Examples:

Local Vancouver Face Painters Dirty Kit

Local Vancouver Face Painters with Food & Drink all over the makeup table

Circus Face Painter with dirty kit

5. Is Insurance Really Necessary?

A true professional will have insurance for their business, especially face painting which is a direct contact form of art, and you have already read how many ways it can go wrong. So it is highly recommended that face painters carry insurance. It also indicates a level of dedication to their business and that they more then likely understand safe practices. This is not just for their protection but for yours as well.


We want to make sure that face painting is a 
happy and safe experience for all!
Thanks for Reading!

Similar Articles:
Good Things to Know Before You Get Face Painted
5 Reasons To Hire A Quality Face Painter

For more about clean face painting kits:
8 tips for face painters for a clean and tidy setup

Monday, 4 May 2015

Belly Paintings I Have Done!

Just wanted to put a few of these all in the same space, (newest to oldest) enjoy!

Night Owl

Flower Heart


 Forest Fantasy


Stork Sunset


Ilea Wakelin - All
Photo Credits: 
Dale L - Roses, Mountains, Forest Fantasy, Night Owl
Ira Rotenberg - Mandala,
Ben Samson - Flower Heart
Ilea Wakelin - Stork Sunset 

Friday, 10 April 2015

My Doppelganger

Ok, so I'm scrolling through my facebook feed when I see a random acquaintance of mine posted some photos of his grandchildren from their Easter dinner party.

And they were face painted by someone!

Now I'm staring at the computer screen and i'm like.... "Did I paint those????"
One Stroke Cake was used - Check
Petal brush was used - Check
Special Dark Blue - Check
and.... my god.... even the new magenta I bought a week ago... or something close to it.

I'm going over this with a fine tooth comb, looking at everything. The antenna look a bit thicker then what i usually do and the bodies have shading and at a bit thicker too... which i do some times but not all the time. 

I probably painted like 50+ of these cheek butterflies this past weekend so I honestly can't remember. I send my friend a message in PM

"Hey Bruce,Question, the face painting on your grand children... was that by us??? It totally looks like my style, but I probably painted like 50+ butterflies this past weekend I can't remember lol. 
But I gotta know if I'm just going crazy or if I have a doppelganger out there copying my style lol."

After staring at this for like 5 min I ask Aryn if he painted these this last weekend, like at the mall gig or something... nope.

Well that tares it! I have a doppelganger in my city!

And just like parallel universe Spock, she's evil.... 
and therefore has a beard. 

Some one else who paints like me and has the same colors even! My god... maybe they are following me on my facebook page to copy be designs!?! Perhaps they find out where i'm going to be painting then follow me and look over my shoulder to learn my technique?!! 

I send Bruce another message:

"Ok, I talked to Aryn, and he didn't paint them. And i think the style of butterfly body is a little different then mine..... but dude... like that's my butterfly, like the style the colors in my kit, even the brush that was used for the flowers.... it's so close I still can't believe I didn't paint it....

I totally feel creeped out right now, like some one was watching me and taking notes or something.

Bruce I GOTTA know who did this, where did she get it done? This artist has such a similar style to me I must get in contact with them so I can at least recommend them to others when i'm booked up lol"

Well who ever they are, they do good work, nice placement, excellent color choices, nice line work, and brush control. Wow even their placement of the petals is the like mine! I start to get depressed.... another really skilled face painter in town? Like I didn't have enough trouble with a saturated market as is *le sigh*. I suppose it was just a matter of time before some one around here figured out how to paint really well using one strokes... i need to step up my game it seems. Would I even want to recommend this person to others? They might like her over me.... *tear*

Wait..... what are the odds of this? That my technique.... and my petal brush... the blue and that magenta are the exact same as in my kit.... What am I basing this off of? The body and the antenna are a little different? I might have been trying something new and not even remembered doing it!

*finds phone *

*looks at pics taken on Easter Sunday*

Oh. My. God.....

IT WAS ME!!!!!!

Well, I feel like a total nutter. Sent my friend Bruce another message being all like "I'm dumb it was totally me lol" I painted these sisters at the Farmers Market I had on Sunday, didn't get a photo of the blue butterfly sister for some reason.... meh.

There I was feeling totally creeped out that someone local was like stalking or copying me, or that I had some skilled competition to deal with now lol. But it was me all along. I'm my own evil doppelganger

I told you she had a beard!!!

and I'm getting so good I didn't even recognize my own work!

Glad I think so highly of myself lol

P.S. Note to doppelganger me. Your antenna needs work and your dots need to be brighter! :P

Friday, 27 March 2015

Face Paint Photo Theft

When people steal other peoples artwork. This happens to me as an artist from time to time with my work, has happened to Aryn's artwork and also to my artist friends. My good friend Ashley has someone steal one of her sketches and post it on their own page as 'just something I'm working on.'
Aryn had a drawing of his stolen and we only found out when we found a youtube video using the image that gave credit to the thief for the art work!

It's not only theft it's also dishonesty at it's finest. Sadly people don't want to practice and work hard at their craft so they can actually EARN that praise and the admiration that those of us who did work hard get. It's much easier for them to steal others art and hard work and call it their own.

No don't misunderstand me, I'm not talking about copyright exactly, artists can totally paint spider-man, and Captain America, so long as they follow the rules about copy right.

And I'm not even talking about copying another artists design or drawing inspiration from it. In face painting at least we copy each other ALL the time, and there are some times only so many ways you can do a princess face using teardrop strokes lol.

One face paint artist I know had another face painter get mad at her for having this image on her business card, saying she was copying her designs.

"OMG! Like, stop copying me!"

No, I'm talking about face painters who take other peoples photos and post them either on their facebook page, website or other business associated site, or even in real life, like it was their own work. Weather or not the intention here was to mislead the public into thinking those photos are yours, or not, you are still misleading them by having them on your business's page or design boards. 

So I was looking up local face paint artists and doing so research when I found this woman who seemed to have popped up in October of 2014 offering face painting.

I first found her on craigslist she was offering face painting, for only $50 per hour (ouch the undercut, it stings), but her work was 'meh' (even so, good god woman charge more then that!) then I noticed one of her submitted photos was very unlike the others.
"Something is telling me these weren't painted by the same person but I just can't seem to put my finger on it."

Yet the girl was the same girl in the other photos. I figured that perhaps she just had her kid painted by another face painter took a photo and tried to pass it off as her own. Pretty low move to make, and it got me angry that she was misrepresenting her self to people.

I decided to check out her face book page.

While I was looking through her work when I saw photos I KNEW were not hers, and when you compare them to her work, you can tell it's not even the same product! (yes I can tell Glycerin Base paint fro Wax Base just by looking at it, most professional face painters can.)
I first noticed this when I saw some photos (of who I am assuming is her kid(s) at Disneyland)

Just is case you had any doubts the photos were are Disneyland, I call Goofy as a 'Character Witness.' 
Well that solved where that photo came from. Ok that's fine, so she took some pictures of her kids at Disneyland with their faces painted, not a bad thing, although I don't think you should be posting other artists work on your business page without at least labeling them as "My kid got her face painted at Disneyland' or something as not all the photos are 'Obvious Disneyland is Obvious' so the casual viewer of her gallery might mistake this for her work. But I think that's the point, because of her craigslist ad showing this picture in the gallery there.

But it didn't stop there, obviously she must have felt inspired as she attempted to copy the Angel Princess looking design.

Not a bad attempt. Keep practicing.
She also has photos where she tries to copy other artists designs, which isn't a bad thing, we've all done it I'm sure. But why not just post this in your craigslist ad? Instead she chose to post the other artists work,

Here is her trying to paint Lisa Joy Young's Blue Butterfly Fairy.
"Nailed it!"

 In fact the only reasons I'm pointing these out is to show her that she obviously is looking around the internet for design inspiration, and it really shows you where HER skill level is at, for reference.

Then I see these in her gallery....
Why would you paint a mouth on the monkey if the entire point is making your mouth the monkey's?

Now I know I've seen these designs before, they are totally a copy of the lip designs by body painter Paige Thompson

So, is she copying them too? Well she didn't paint them on herself, as she's a much larger and darker lady then the one in these photos. But whatever, lots of people have tried to copy these cute lip designs.

So, it's possible that she painted them on some one else... even though they appear to all be on the same person. Still, could be a friend who is modeling for, innocent until proven guilty. 

I keep scrolling through her photos and and that's when I start to get extreme Déjà vu, and not just for the designs, the photos themselves! These are photos I have seen during my own internet searches and pinterest binges. Like half her gallery doesn't even belong to her.

She chose not to credit the artists, so i thought it only fair  to credit her and her company name.

Heck some of them are even water-marked!
The spider-man there is from Mimicks
I even own both of Sherill's books on face painting lol.

 How am I so sure? Simple. I used Image Backtrace. It's a simple little program installed into my web browser that lets me right click and image and basically do a backwards internet image search on it. Using this I can find search results of everywhere that the image has been online, and even track down the ultimate source where it was first posted. Like with the big fat rainbow up there in the bottom left of the 2nd screenshot.

Finding the first source though is pretty tricky because if an image is really popular it can get shared a lot. On pinterest for example the results of a search will turn up every board it's ever been pinned on (which can be hundreds some times). Face painting photos get pinned a LOT, so it can be tricky to find where the photo comes from. But what pinterest does give you is dates, so if the photo's post date on pinterest predates the post date on the facebook page, then it means it didn't come from her facebook page. Also since she's only been posting since Oct 2014, and she's not that popular if the image gets a lot of hits with the image backtrace program, it's safe to say the image has been around longer then she has been face painting.

If an image turns up zero results, it's more then likely hers. Unless some one else painted on her kid at Disneyland that is.

Now, most professional established face painters have probably seen these photos before, so we know they are not hers, and for us it's easy to tell that there are some that are way above her current level of skill. I bet even some of the public can totally tell that these were not all done by the same artist. But the point is that it's wrong, misleading. The public shouldn't have to scrutinize some ones portfolio, and be all 'Sherlock Holmes' to figure out if certain work was done by them or not. What should be happening is that people shouldn't steal other peoples work! Plain and simple.

The deception doesn't stop there, in her craiglist ad she claims that her paints are "vegan based". No actually, they aren't. See in this photo she's clearly using snazaroo face paints (The wheel pallet and the blue pallet is snaz, and the other one is a Mehron pallet).

Yeah I can tell all that from this photo. Because I actually know about face painting products.

Snazaroo an oil base product called 'Lanolin' which in layman's terms is made from sheep wool grease. It has a product is comes from animals in in ,which means IT'S NOT VEGAN.

But don't take my word for it, check ouy what 
Snazaroo's own website says.

Snazaroo.comAre Snazaroo face paints suitable for Vegans or for Vegetarians?  
Some of our Snazaroo face paints contain lanolin, an animal-derived ingredient and as such, our products cannot be categorised as vegan/vegetarian. However, the glyceryl stearate in our face paints does not contain any animal ingredients and there are no other ingredients (other than lanolin) which are derived from animals in our face paints.
(Emphasis mine.)

Mehron Paradise Face Paint line is free of lanolin though their Starblends line has lanolin in it. I can't tell from this photo which she has (though it's probably the paradise line). Mehron is marketed as 
cruelty free. Also to note that most Wax based paints do not have lanolin in them.

Lanolin is is MANY things, lots of hand lotions, creams, and cosmetics, it's a pretty common thing, and isn't a bad thing. But by definition, it's certainly not vegan.

I don't get the feeling that she's intentionally misleading her clients like some kind of villain.

It's more likely she's just ignorant of what is in the face paints, and she thought tagging 'vegan' into her adverts would net her a wider audience, and pick up some of the 'new age' people in the city.

But dude, that's still not cool. You gotta know your products! There are people out there who are allergic to wool products. It's dangerous to mislead the public and your potential clients about what is actually in the products you use on them, not to mention this being bad for your business, which already isn't off to a good start.

Think I'm being a bit harsh? Good. I despise liars, and thieves, and I have zero problem outing them for the world to see. There is nothing much I can do about the Disney face paint photos being used since they are on her own kids and photos were taken by (or for) her. However I will be writing her a letter, asking her to remove the stolen photos from her page, criagslist ads, and either remove or clearly label the Disney face painting. If she doesn't, I'm going to track down and alert what owners I can find about their artwork being stolen and used this way.

Now, take a look at some of her other stuff and it's clear not all of her work is bad, some of is pretty good, credit where credits due.

so I don't even see why she feels she needs to steel other artists work. She'll get better with more practice and as she discovers better products and starts making her own designs and stops relying on merely copying others.

I get it, building a portfolio of your work takes time... lots of time. All of us pro face painters spent years getting to where we are now, and it's pretty unfair to us who actually worked to get where we are. Besides this woman has kids!! Two of them! You got your canvas living in the same house as you. I don't have any kids, I was always borrowing my friends kids to get photos, and still am! lol

Really she's probably just using the images to make people think she's better then she actually is, and not have to take a long time to build a portfolio. What ever the reasons might be that doesn't change the fact that it's completely unethical to use other peoples work in your own portfolio.




On another note, there did happen to be a 1 star review on her face book page that read

Interesting. Now the owner of the face paint company responded saying this person was being verbally abusive to her or something and basically saying that she's not going to paint at an event with another face painter. That might be, but canceling less then 2 days before an event isn't very professional.

I don't blame her for not wanting to go to an event and have another face paint artist there, I don't like it either. Everyone wants exclusivity. But she should have stated that from the beginning, and she should have had a contract that says exactly what her terms for face painting are instead of leaving the client to guess. This was 'her bad' and the client had to pay for it.

If I was put in the same spot and my exclusivity terms weren't in my contract or for some reason I chose not to use my contract, I still would have gone to the gig. The client shouldn't have to pay for my lack of foresight,

If it's a 'pay per face' gig obviously I don't want another artist cutting in on my profits and such, and if I'm being paid to attend I don't want another company handing out business cards, and clients thinking they painted the fabulous face they just saw walking around and thus taking credit for my work. Even more so, I don't want some one to think I painted something of theirs if they do bad work!

Some times it just happens that there are other face painters at the same event. This happened last Canada Day, so I just handed out pre-made stickers for the kids to wear with my info on them. Another time it happened at a school fete when the client double booked two face painters. It was in my contract that i was to be the only one, and it was in the other painters contract too! lol But were were both being paid to be there, so we chose to set up next to each other, and she was really quite good, and we became friends. You just gotta roll with it and be easy to work with.

I know I'm good at what I do, so i don't worry so much about stuff like this. Though I would imagine, if I stole other artists work, and couldn't really paint as well as my portfolio would suggest, I wouldn't want to have anyone for the public to compare my work, speed, table hygiene and setup to, lest I look like I'm new at this and obviously still need more practice. *wink*



First here is my letter to her
My name is Ilea, and I am a professional face painter. I recently stumbled upon your facebook page, (and after googing, also your craigslist ads).
I felt the need to write to you because I find your practice of stealing other face painters work deeply unethical.
There are 17 or more photos in your gallery that do not belong to you or have not been painted by you. Example: The spider-man in your facebook portfolio belongs to Sherill Church of Mimicks Face Painting (I own both her books).
I also saw that you are advertising these photos in your craigslist ads as your own. The rainbow in your add and in your facebook portfolio belong to the company Vikkitties Amusements.
I also noticed that you took your family to Disneyland last year, and that your children had their faces painted. Why are those photos in your business portfolio along with your work? A casual observer might think that was your work, and be mislead. Or why are they not labeled as having been done by someone else, so as not to mislead the public? I also noticed you are using one of these photos in your criagslist ad, passing it off as your own work.
I'm sorry but I feel this is very dishonest and unethical.
Before contacting the artists you have stolen work from, I thought I would write you and give you the opportunity to remove the photos from your ads and facebook portfolio.
I know it's hard starting out and building a portfolio of your own, and it takes a long time. But you have two lovely children who can help you out with that.  I have seen some of your more recent paintings and you are showing improvement. I also see that you tried your hand at Lisa Joy Young's Blue Butterfly fairy. She's great isn't she! So you are on the right track, watching videos and such, and you'll only get better.
But, I'm sure you know in your heart that stealing other artists work is wrong. I hope you make the right decision and remove the photos that don't belong to you.
All the best in your face paint journey.
P.S. Saw in your craigslist ad that you said your paints are 'Vegan'. I saw in your photos that you are using Snazaroo and Paradise by Mehron. While the Paradise line does not contain any animal by-products, their StarBlends line contains a product called 'Lanolin' which is made from the grease from sheep's wool. I can't tell which line of cosmetics you are using in the photo, but i would guess it's Paradise. All Snazaroo paints contain Lanolin, so they aren't vegan at all by definition.
I know you are new but it's VERY important to know your products inside and out. There are some people who are allergic to wool products and might have a reaction to your paints, so it's very dangerous to mislead the public about what they are made from if you don't actually know.
I felt I was being very kind a professional, I even read it to my roommates, because i didn't want to come off as rude at all or too harsh. They told me it seemed professional so I sent it. A week later I get this back.
Thank you for the message. I do appreciate you writing to me although  I don't feel I steal others work or portray them to be my own as I do not say anywhere in my page that the pictures are from my own portfolio.  
When I started up I was using them as examples for the kids to choose from and it was a business I only did with close family and friends. Now as I get busier with general public, I have much more experience but rarely get to take pictures of my work as the time I'm at the parties goes by way too quickly to worry about photos - as I'm sure you know. It was never my intention to "steal" work and I honestly think you have too much time on your hands to be worrying about this and writing me in paragraphs what you feel is right from wrong.  I work a full time job, am a full time mom of two little ones and do facepainting on the side because I enjoy it.  
Today as I was walking through Stanley park I met a woman with a disabled daughter and I gave her a free 1 hour party because I wanted to make her smile. I am a good person and don't need people like yourself to bring me down and try to bully me or threaten me. 
I have deleted the rainbow photo from craigslist and have added notes to all photos that are not my own on my page. Yes I took my family to Disneyland and used photos from my trip,  but again, I use these as samples for the kids to choose from and you don't have any right to say I cannot use them. Please feel free to report me as I don't think I am doing anything wrong.  My sister is a professional make up artist who went to school for years and recommended I buy certain products. In my early days I used Snazaroo as a cheaper option and currently only use Mehron for kids with sensitive skin. This is also not misleading as I check in advance if there are kids with allergies, sensitive skin etc as my two CHILDREN have allergies and I am sensitive to this.  Please don't assume you know which products on which children - or that I would be ignorant to the fact of which products are vegan based. I am a vegan and know more than you have assumed.
All the best
Wow... um ok. She took that pretty personally. Let's break it down.

"I don't feel I steal others work or portray them to be my own as I do not say anywhere in my page that the pictures are from my own portfolio. "
That's the most childish thing to say ever. "well uh, i never 'said' it was mine". WTF? Doesn't matter! You implied it!!! It also doesn't matter what you feel, fact is you STOLE others work. Period.

"When I started up I was using them as examples for the kids to choose from and it was a business I only did with close family and friends"
I call bullshit. Why not save them to your phone? Or to a pinterest page? You like using bandwidth while at a party, and trying to navigate facebook's mobile app? LOL what a time vampire. If you want photos for inspiration, save them to your phone not your business gallery!! lol

 "rarely get to take pictures of my work as the time I'm at the parties goes by way too quickly to worry about photos - as I'm sure you know."
Yeah I do know, I introduced my self as a face painter remember? Yet strangely I have hundreds if not thousands of photos i have taken of my work at events and parties. This is no excuse!

" It was never my intention to "steal" work"
I am starting to realize dumb people think photos found on google are 'free for the taking' lol. Doesn't mater what you intention is, it matters what you do! Try that line with police next time "oh officer it's wasn't my intention to run that red light while speeding." see if it gets you out of the ticket.

"I honestly think you have too much time on your hands to be worrying about this and writing me in paragraphs what you feel is right from wrong."
I speak up because I have had my work stolen many times, and when i see it happen, I say something. I stand up for what I feel is right, and don't see it as a waste of time.

"I work a full time job, am a full time mom of two little ones and do facepainting on the side because I enjoy it."
And this gives you the right to steal.... because????

"I gave her a free 1 hour party because I wanted to make her smile. "
Good for you, but that's irrelevant! Doing a nice deed doesn't cancel out or give you the right to STEAL other peoples art!

"don't need people like yourself to bring me down and try to bully me or threaten me."
She should see me when i'm not being polite lol.

I'm not trying to bully, or even threaten - because it's not a threat, I will track down each and every artist she stole photos from and write them a letter about her actions if she choose's to do nothing.

"I have deleted the rainbow photo from craigslist and have added notes to all photos that are not my own on my page. "
Whoopee... one photo, on one add was deleted, yet it's still in the gallery along with all the others. I checked and she only put notes on less then half! But that's not enough, people don't click on each photo to read the comments, most just glance through the gallery. This is misrepresentation!

"Yes I took my family to Disneyland and used photos from my trip,  but again, I use these as samples for the kids to choose from and you don't have any right to say I cannot use them. "
Let me put this into perceptive. If you took your daughter to my face painting table, got her face painted by me, took and photo then used it on your face painting website, face painting advertisements, or face book gallery for your own face painting business page- that would be wrong, and it would be art theft. Also I would probably be p!issed.

So how is it different that it was work done by a disneyland artist? I actually happen to know some disneyland face paint artists on social networking sites, who have and are currently still working for disneyland.

"I don't think I am doing anything wrong."
What you think is irrelevant! Stop stealing other people's sh!t!!!!!

"My sister is a professional make up artist who went to school for years and recommended I buy certain products."
Very nice, I'm also a professional makeup artist for Special FX makeup for film, and have an IMDB page with credits, and have over 15 years experience in face and body paint alone. This is how i know the ingredients from memory.
Note: Quoting some one else as a expert, does not make you an expert.

" In my early days I used Snazaroo as a cheaper option and currently only use Mehron"
Ahh yes the early days. You mean like last week?

Those are 2 Snaz pallets on the table. This woman reeeeeeally sucks at lying.
Also i never said Snaz was bad, i said they weren't vegan. Big difference.

"Please don't assume you know which products on which children"
I think what she meant to say was "Please don't assume you know which products I use on which children", ok so she uses mehron of sensitive skin? What? Snaz are still fine, i just said they have lanolin in them, therefore not vegan, and the odd person who has an allergy to wool might have a reaction. But Mehron you are MORE likely to have a reaction (still a small chance tho) because they put in fragrances in their paints, which MORE people are allergic to. Fact: This lady has no idea what she's talking about.

" or that I would be ignorant to the fact of which products are vegan based. I am a vegan and know more than you have assumed."
Dude You advertised your paints as being vegan based, and I Quote: "All products are hypo allergenic, FDA Approved, and Vegan Based." More then half of ALL your products are NOT vegan.

Stop lying, you REALLY suck at it.