paintopia group photo

Well, what a fantastic experience!

I was invited by the lovely Jennie Roberts, Face & Body painting queen of Norwich, to attend a 4 day training course with some of the most well known talents in the industry today to be held at the stunning location of Sprowston Manor.

Enticed by the mention of hands on tutoring from the award winning Pashur from LA's Canvas Alive as well as a selection of master-classes from award winning worldwide artistes such as twice world champion Matteo Arfanotti, Nick Wolfe, Naomi Gay, Vix Daubeney and Raphael Fieldhouse as well as Ashley Pickin from the US and Roxanne Horn from the Netherlands. With classes as diverse as one stroke flowers, comic inspired superheroes and eye designs to gore and special FX work.

During my 4 days in the beautiful city of Norwich, I made some amazing new friends – students and tutors alike, all whom shared the same passion for painting people and bringing smiles to those we have the pleasure of creating art upon.

Studying under such world renowned artistes really opened my eyes to the diversity and talent that exists in the world of painting the human canvas.

In a small class of under 30, the students had come from far and wide to share in this special event – some as far as L.A, Spain, Italy and the channel islands.

mexican party miss sparkles

We experienced the fabulousness that is Cinco de Mayo! A Mexican holiday on 5th May where I tried Tequila the Mexican way (you sip & enjoy...not shoot and puke!) and we played lots of face painting games whilst wearing sombreros. Think this sounds crazy...I painted a monkey riding a skateboard playing maracas to win some glitter! I never did manage to get a photo of him though...

On the final evening, we went all out with special FX as Zombies and did a zombie conga line through the restaurant! Sprowston Manor didnt quite know what had hit it! That night I had the pleasure of being painted by twice world champ Matteo Arfanotti. My face was horrific. Wonderful. Such an honour to be painted by such a talented and lovely person.

zombie face paint miss sparkles

The event was also a pre-session to the wonderful annual event of 'Paintopia' a hugely popular face & body painting festival, which is the brainchild of the aforementioned Jennie Roberts.

It has really enhanced my skills, pushed me to try new techniques and styles, opened my eyes to new possibilities and has introduced some amazing people into my life.

My sincere thanks goes out to my mentor and tutor, the wonderful Pashur, who's support and advice has meant the world to me. Thank you also to Jennie for introducing me to this wonderful world of crazy people with paint brushes. I feel like I have found my spiritual home and happy place!

See you all at Paintopia 2016 for more fun : )