Imagine my suprise when I opened the door on Saturday to find my face, and that of my middle son Isaac, staring up at me from the welcome mat! I had gotten into the local paper quite by chance.
Much squealing, jumpy clapping and running around to the neighbour's to brag spread the joy ensued!
It all started with a goal, set in January of this year, to get in the local paper. I was prepared to accept an uncredited pic of an event I'd painted at of some kids with their faces painted in the background. That'd work, right?
I'd check the 'Bright Lights' section every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday for a glimpse until...wait for it... there's the back of my head at the Party at the Pier! Yes, you can also see the corner of my picture board! Woop?
Well, last Wednesday I was packing up my gear after a successful gig working for the City of North Vancouver outside the local library, when I was approached by a lady with a huge camera. ::ting ting ting:: THE MEDIA ARE HERE! But alas, I was done for the day :(
Cindy Goodman of the North Shore News had been invited to photograph kids attending an event inside the Library to mark the end of their Summer-long kids activities with a magician and cake. She said that she had ended up taking photos of the children who had their faces painted because it was unlike any she had seen before and started asking who was responsible for the face painting.
I explained that I was just finished but that I would be set up at the North Shore Green Market in Lynn Valley Village the following day if she wanted to see me in action! She said she'd try to come along and I thought no more about it other than "Cool, I now have a contact at the paper who likes my work!'
Thursday: I'm setting up at the market, as I do every Thursday from 2-7pm, and I have a little line up starting to form of eager little faces waiting to be painted by the 'face painter lady'. I don't even have time to paint my own face, as I usually paint it when I get there to attract guinea pigs patrons, when Cindy the photographer arrives wanting some pics!
I ask if she would mind waiting until I'd finished with my line (of 2 little girls) and she said "that's fine" and she sits down inside the tent. She's not taking pics yet so I say, "do you mind if I paint my face first as I haven't had a chance to yet?" and so she sits and waits while I hurriedly throw something colourful, yet flattering, on my face. Then she says she's like to photograph me painting a face. Well, of course, where's a kid when you need one? Thankfully my 10 year old was with me that day hoping to hang out with his best friend at her Mom's booth (home baking wins against face painting every time!)
He didn't want to have anything too elaborate as he's 10 - he has a reputation to uphold! Finally though, agreed to a full face Tiger but wasn't happy about it and you could tell in his scowl. I take him to one side and tell him about the paper, what this could do for me and how a smiling kid is priceless and that I would give him anything he wanted etc etc He asked for cash, I offered pizza. He asked for cash and pizza - I relented and he instantly beamed from ear to ear for the next 10 mins while I sponged, blended, lined, dotted and detailed his face all the while being photographed from every angle by the lovely Cindy from the paper. (Isaac should go into modelling, provided there's ample compensation and monetary motivation)
When I decided I was done with the Tiger design Cindy staged a few photos, close ups and even one of me holding the brush with my left hand, which felt weird and the flash was going off enough to attract a few people to the booth (and envious looks from the other vendors), it was like a photo shoot in my tent!
Cindy said that she wasn't sure when it was going to get in the paper but that it was visually appealing and would, at the least, get in the online gallery. I mentioned that I was painting this weekend for Musart at Deep Cove Daze and she made some notes. Said she'd like to come out again next time I'm painting at a public event on the North Shore and then she left. I was buzzing and bubbling over with excitement but at the same time, aware that I would probably get something small, online, next month...
My mind. Blown!
Two days later, just in time for Deep Cove Daze (Musart were happy with the free advertising) and what a shot! I'm still receiving congrats from local businesses, colleagues in the industry and getting retweeted and shared by clients who want to give me a shout out. So thank you Cindy from the paper for spending time with us at the market and for everyone who has supported me and helped make my dream a reality!
Next up - Press release in a Provincial paper! Woot woot! - that's me blowing my own trumpet! ;)
Photo Cindy Goodman