My “WHY”

At all my events at one point or another I get asked the question, “What got you started with face painting” or “why did you start doing this”? Most of the time I tell the events that I have a daughter that loved immersing herself into different characters and she wanted me to paint her face like said characters. So thus I began learning how to paint. I started with a cheap kit from a big box store that was just awful. The results weren’t much better. But, alas my little girl loved it so I kept learning. I scoured Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube on tutorials, help for new face painters, tips and tricks. I joined groups on Facebook for beginners. As I learned I began to upgrade and add more items to my basic kit. I swapped the old Snazaroo for professional paints such as Mehron Paradise. I traded out my craft brushes for Loew-Cornell brushes. I painted and practiced on my daughter and she loved every bit of it.

While I reflect back though I realize that even though the story explains how I started painting, it doesn’t truly explain why I have decided to go all in and make a go at this business. ¬†Especially as it is becoming more apparent that my daughter just isn’t as interested as she gets older and my son hates face paint most of the time. What took me from the fun mom that paints her kids and friends to a professional face painter attending events and festivals?

Back in August of 2016 I decided to attend my first real festival, the Banana Festival in Fulton, KY. I didn’t know if I would be a complete flop or if it would be worth my time and money I had invested so far. I learned a lot during that event about the business, pricing, advertising, signage, weather conditions and items to have at different events. (I have since added bug spray and a fly swatter to my event list!) The most important thing however was that I learned my true reason for continuing all of this. My WHY.

As a person we have different labels. Jeff and Vicki’s daughter. Christina’s sister. Mark’s girlfriend. Mark’s wife. Ella’s mom. Alex’s mom. Somewhere in all of these labels I don’t think I ever had made a name for myself. I have been a stay at home mom since two weeks before my firstborn came screaming into this world. My children are homeschooled on our little homestead and I love all of the things we can learn and do together. The biggest drawback to this is that I feel I have lost Melissa or that maybe I had never really discovered her to begin with.

With each passing event I am gaining confidence in myself, pride in my work, joy in seeing the little faces I have transformed looking into the mirror at their surprise, and restoration to my soul. I never saw this part coming 5 years ago when Ella first asked me to paint her as a cat. I am excited to continue to learn new techniques and practice my skills. To improve my abilities and try new things. It has only been a few short months into my official business but I am hooked! I look forward to each event that comes along and ¬†I can’t wait to see where this journey will take me.

So when I am asked “Why did I start French Vanella Face and Body Art” the answer is simply “For Melissa”.



Christmas in Mayfield

15325343_10154637805716063_3670631448498372843_oFrench Vanella Face Painting had a great two nights at His House Ministries in Mayfield at their Christmas in Mayfield program. I had the pleasure of painting many cute faces. However, with the event being in the evening and during the week most of the kids chose our airbrush tattoos and glitter tattoos that would last longer. Merry Christmas to all and thank you to everyone who stopped by to support us! French Vanella donated a portion of our proceeds to His House Ministries to go towards their charity fund.


Cocoa and Christmas Lights

For those of you who aren’t in the know, my mother LOVES Christmas Lights. It has been her dream to have a display that people could come visit like the ones at the parks. This year her dream was imagined. She was in seventh heaven.

My parents hosted Cocoa and Christmas Lights nights for their family and friends. They have worked extremely hard to put together their massive display at their home.

As you arrived you were greeted by my parents and mom would walk each guest/couple around the displays one by one and explain their meaning.

The tour begins with Moose Hill a collection of adorable lighted moose.  The North Pole is next and has cute penguins an igloo and Bumbles the abominable snowman. Candy Cane Lane takes you around to the Patriotic scene to celebrate our Country’s pride in any season. Next is a special memorial dedicated to our loved ones who are no longer with us. A Coca-Cola inspired area comes next and you guessed it, there are polar bears with Coke bottles. Vicki’s Folly is a collection of white trees each decorated with their own theme reminiscent of Mardi Gras. The Psychedelic Forest brings back memories of the 70s with Flower Power, Smiley Faces and Fun. Across from that is the reason for the season, her new blow mold lighted Nativity Scene complete with animals in a manger. The kid’s favorite is the Disco Playground where she has covered their play area with lights. Deer Park has white deer lit up in a lovely blue stream. Wino Way has a huge custom made lighted Wine Bottle next to her bottle trees. On the opposite side you will find Flamingo Beach which is a fun tropical light display. Fishing Fun is at their Fish Shack and has snowmen fishing with fish on their poles! Last but not least  Santa’s Workshop where she has Santa, some helpers and the greenhouse has been transformed into the workshop with a Mailbox for Santa’s Letters.

After you were finished with the tour They had the most delicious cocoa and sweet treats for all and a toasty fire to warm up by at their cozy fire pit area. Next to the fire pit is the garage where I stayed cozy warm and offered face painting for the guests.

It was such a lovely night and I am so happy for my mom to finally get her dream come true! Here are some examples of my work from that night. Of course, the one with Christmas lights is none other than the hostess with the mostest MY MOM.


Glitzy Gals Gala

I attended the Glitzy Gals Gala at Sue Ann’s School of Dance this past Saturday. The girls were all incredibly friendly and excited for lots of glitter!

This was a great event and I hope to work with Sue Ann’s in the future!

Here are some pics from some of my work that day: