Check out this article from Voyage Phoenix about me and what I do! It was pretty awesome to be featured as an inspiring artist of Tempe!
Today we’d like to introduce you to Vanessa Robertson.
Vanessa, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up I went to see a lot of different types of theatrical productions and I was always captivated by the details. In high school, I worked behind the scenes in the theatre department which really solidified my love for the design process that goes into a show. I attended ASU and got my degree in Theatre with a Concentration in Design & Production.
After graduating, it took me a while to find my niche. I worked on projects in theatre and film, did some painting and drawing with odd jobs in between. In my last year of college, I started working with the film department and discovered my love for special effects makeup. I had so much fun getting messy and trying to figure out how to transform people to turn into characters from the script.
After that, I took a couple classes to learn more about makeup, including beauty and special effects and there I learned about body painting. Once I got a taste of that there was no going back. With body painting I suddenly found the freedom to either create my own designs or work with someone else and bring to life their ideas while working on a very small time frame.
I began getting more and more body painting jobs and painted up friends to practice when they would let me. I took classes from some of the top body painters in the country which helped me confirm that this was definitely something I wanted to keep on doing.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My business has definitely been something that I have built slowly over the years, and it has evolved with me. The hardest part was finding something that I loved to do… and then figuring out how to make it work as a business.
Body painting is still relatively unknown, so trying to help people understand how body painting can be used for them has been a challenge, but it’s been a very exciting journey!
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Visualize Creativity – what should we know?
I am the owner and lead artist for my business Visualize Creativity: Makeup Art & Effects. I do body painting, face painting, and makeup, sometimes all at once. I specialize in body painting, but face painting has made up a big portion of my business as well.
Specifically, within the face and body painting, I specialize in bringing people’s visions to life. For example, if someone has a Halloween costume they want painted on I work with them to develop the design ahead of time. Or maybe a business wants designs painted on people that go with their logo or theme for a grand opening event, or a club owner wants models painted to draw attention and promote their event. I have had a soon to be mom who wants her belly painted to celebrate the life inside her. There really are no limits with body painting it just takes some courage and imagination.
I am proud of my ability to be flexible and adapt to new situations and ideas. With face and body painting, you’re working on such a small time frame so you need to be prepared to change your design plan in the moment. What sets me apart from others are the details. I don’t just paint something to look pretty, I think about what my client’s intention is, if it’s something that is a character then I think about the backstory, which will ultimately make the design flow together in the end.
Also, trust is very important to me. My clients and models are trusting me with their bodies and their ideas, and it’s up to me to utilize my own skills and creativity to make it work.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Confidence. It took me a long time to become confident in myself and my work. There were a lot of opportunities that I turned down because I talked myself out of them.
So confidence in myself is very important, but also for my models. If they are not confident in themselves and happy with what I have painted, all of my work falls flat. When the model really embraces their new look is when everything comes together.