Cheek Art: Smaller does not always mean faster!
Let's talk about cheek art! it is basically the design painted in a person's cheek. The opinions are many within the face painting community, for some it is something to stay away from and avoid at all cost. Other prefer not to go there but are okay if it arises, for others its a matter of balancing and other love to do cheek art. In the other hand, some parents prefer to have their little ones painted on the cheek rather than the entire face. So its something that as artist, we will have to do.
I completely understand the artists who tend to shy away from cheek art but that doesn't mean I avoid it at all cost.
There are reasons why we might prefer to paint bigger or other locations of the body. Let me just mention a few. When we paint small kiddos, 1.we have less real state to paint what ever their request might be. Often, it is characters and 2.the details each character requires takes time and precision and in a small area that is difficult 3. Add the fact that little ones with the wiggles cannot sit for longer that 5 minutes by nature! The job becomes ten times harder!
For adult, yes we can sit longer and still for more time but for some reason adults associate small area with faster but that is not always the case. If you request a character, yes believe it or not adults get in touch with their inner child, we as artist need to do so many things in order for you to have your request in your cheek. Even though we might have a bit more area to paint the job doesn't get easier. For starters, we have to think of placement and we have to think of proportions. Also, once we start painting, we loose time in the back and ford exchange of brushes because of color or size of brush needed.
Now, let me tell you where I stand. I am one that chooses to balance it. I, like other artist consider multiple thing; age, what the parents will allow, other possible areas for example some girls have hair bangs and the only area is their cheek. I also consider the type of request the guest chooses and one thing very important the time!
I have found that painting cheek art in very small kids is quite more difficult for the reasons stated above. They have the wiggles and in painting in tiny cheek when you have to be more precise is more difficult. If the parents want something small, I often suggest the arms for the little ones.
I consider the type of request and they child that request it. For example the little boy who has the airplane. He was around 7 years old, can stay still much better than a 4 yr old but it was his first time getting a design. Mom was telling me that he never went for face painting... there was nothing that he saw from others that interest him.. so I decided to ask him, what he liked and he said he liked airplanes, so I said yes to him and painting this little airplane on him. As you can see there are 4 different colors; blue, yellow, red, black and white for the highlights.
Even though there were a few exchanges between brushes, I wanted him to get something that he wanted and have a positive experience with face painting.
Here is another little boy. He was about 8-9 year old boy. He was not going to get face painted but when I said " What if I can paint something that you really like" and he reply with his favorite character which was Robin from Teen Titans, a popular cartoon. I said okay let me look it up and so I did and i said "yes, I can do it." Next thing, he was sitting on my chair. I wish I could have recorded his reaction when he saw the finish result. it was fabulous!
Another reason, I was able to do this design was because there was time. At that time, the guest were just arriving. If he had come at the end, maybe I would have suggested something else. Perhaps the Robin mask on him, but i'm glad I got to do this one.
I do get this amazing feeling when I get to turn and No into a Yes, I'll get my face painted and at the en they love it!
So cheek art can be very simple when its something abstract but what kid picks something abstract... No, they want their favorite character or animal or what not... so cheek art is not always faster! but I sure love to see those ear to ear smiles.