• 4 Reasons Why Children LOVE Facepainting

    1. Creates pleasant memories. Art rewires the left-sided analytical brain and engages the less dominant right-side of the brain. By temporarily shutting down the logic mind art with its meditative qualities produces a more relaxed wave frequency. This allows the right brain to comfortably bring to our conscious mind the awareness of the things we love and enjoy such as nature and the simple things in life.
    2. Feeds the imagination. Seeing yourself as a tiger, dragon, butterfly, or Spiderman for that matter allows children to explore and express their connection to the creative element that drives the universe, By painting the face they get to also feed that part of themselves that craves attention and in fact satisfy that inner desire we all crave.
    3. Allows interplay with the creative force. The logic mind or left brain has us all so wrapped up in the linear and we become less human and less identified with the inanimate force which is the source of truth, When we learn how to engage the creative we can then think beyond what we are told is reality and ultimately know that this is in fact all an illusion.
    4. Facepainting offers a break from the mundane rote day to day life. Facepainting allows children to escape the fears, traumas, and upsets of life and also helps us adults to realize that childhood is truly innocence and children deserve to have that without harm.

  • Akua Kariamu, Writer-at-Large

    Akua Kariamu is the co-founder of ZebraStringz Youth Ensemble and All About the Music Foundation.
    Akua holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education and an Associates of Visual Arts with a Music Performance Concentration.

    Akua has taught violin for the Ladsonian Foundation, Noel Pointer Foundation, Neil Walters Music, Langston Hughes Summer Performing Arts Academy, Associated Recreation Council, Arts in Motion; Socia/Emotional Learning Coordinator for GirlsFirst, and works with children in reading , math, and arts.

  • Akua Kariamu, Artist/Musician/Writer

Facepaint Gazette

Feb. 5, 2019

4 facepainting brands that are safe for all skin types

Snazaroo is a safe and non-toxic brand which is in my top brands because of the overall ability to get the product in the store. Sometimes you don't have time to make an order and Snazaroo can be purchased at the local pharmacy, Joann's, or Michaels' art & Craft. Snazaroo is very water -based which is the only complaint I have. It dries very quickly and retains a flatter appearance, not glossy.

2. Mehron is also a very safe brand and the quality is also very good. It retains its own moisture and applies very smoothly with a brush or sponge.

3. Global is great but you must apply enough moisture to the product and make sure you have enough product on your brush to get the quality and consistency that you would want with these palettes.

4. FAB is my favorite brand because it is between glossy and matte in texture. It is water-based however and will retain the smoothness. It is very safe for all skin-textures and non-toxic.

Jul. 12, 2018

Why I no longer promote henna and choose to paint designs instead?

I stumbled into henna design by chance. I frequently visited the local Somali market to get groceries from time to time. I became intrigued by the designs I saw on the wall. One day, the store owner asked me to henna her daughters hand and I did. She loved it!It was my first time doing henna. I knew something about powdered Egyptian henna from back in the day. It never worked on my hair. This henna was different and pre-mixed. There are many brands out there. So I became a bit obsessed with learning henna designs. After subscribing to many YouTube channels while struggling to balance my facepainting practice with this, it became just another thing to do. So one day, I went to the local Ethiopian market and purchased a tube. When I got home I opened it up and tried a design, no big deal. Until, I noticed my skin began bubbling and the henna design became enormous. I knew something was wrong and began to research the company. That is when I found out that I may have been had by a rip-off henna supplier who used BPA. BPA is some sort of chemical agent that can damage the skin. This is when I became conscious of the work d of henna. And I must say, it concerned me to think that I could do that level of damage to someones skin who simply came to be made beautiful and instead something horrible happens to them. It was heartbreaking nonetheless. I had to step away from the henna and look at it as a wake-up call. All henna is not created equal.

Feb. 24, 2019

4 Reasons why you should not Tattoo

In just as recently as 2015, the FDA's fact-finding search revealed atleast 3 out of every 10 persons have a tattoo. Maybe your favorite music artist wears a tattoo or perhaps even a parent or teacher. However, what most tattoo parlors do not tell you is the danger of tattoos and here are 4 reasons why you should not get one.

1. Tattoos while popular are also permanent and once you ink your skin you cannot under the process unless you go through a removal procedure which is not only costly but may also do more damage. I have seen some removals and while there is some difference it is still a rather messy fix-up. I am not convinced that getting the tattoo is worth a second of self-doubt. Some people tattoo for different reasons such as loss of a loved one. However, I would not in the name of anyone get a tattoo. That's just my two cents as an artist. I draw on paper and paint on little cute people.
2. You should not get one because your best friend, your mom, or dad, or anyone says you should. Did you know that the tattoo parlour uses the same ink as that used in the printer or on a car and they probably won't tell you that off the bat.
3. The tattoo parlous do not tell you that the ink can have adverse effects on your system long-term. You can research this for yourself.
4. Tattoos cause bleeding. This is part of the entire process. It is a needles etching into the top layer of your skin. The top layer of your skin called the epidermis is the largest organ of your body. The epidermis protects your skin from bloodborne infections. When you allow the ink and your blood to mix, you are opening yourself up for disease such as Hepatitis B &C, MRSA which is a very nasty disease. It just isn't worth it.
4. Job opportunities may be limited. Yes, I know many people who work for themselves and many who work for a business and are tatted-up. However, I will say that it is important to consider the health risks overall whether you work for yourself or not. Also consider the fact that your appearance matters.

So, please leave your comments below. I would appreciate hearing your thoughts.