Today, we bring you a closer look at dancing canvas! A talented individual that specializes in face and body painting.
My name is Melissa Drobnis and I am primarily a makeup artist, face and body painter. I created my business Dancing Canvas in 2015. I originally started my business in 2012 under a different name, Electric Elements Design. I felt that name was not broad enough to represent the variety of services I offer. I changed the name in 2015 so my brand would better represent my personality and versatility as an artist.
How did you come up with your brand name?
My favorite things to do are create, make art and dance. My primary form of artistic expression is makeup, face and body painting. This art form translates into many different artistic opportunities for me such as, face painting for children’s birthday parties, face and body painting at music festivals, high fashion makeup and body painting for photography and cosplay, as well as event makeup and bridal makeup. I needed a brand that would encompass all these things and also represent me as an individual. Since I love to dance and because most of my art is created by painting on the human body it just seemed fitting I would name my business Dancing Canvas. I also felt the name was broad enough to represent all the facets of my art.
What is your favorite charity to support as a brand and how do you show your support?
I am currently the Business Development Lead working with FIGMENT Boston. FIGMENT is a free, inclusive, participatory arts event held in multiple cities. FIGMENT’s mission is to offer free, family-friendly and participatory art to entire communities.
I have produced an art installation for the past 3 years at the FIGMENT Boston event and this year I decided to get more involved. I am working on raising awareness about FIGMENT to a more diverse audience, driving participation from the community, and fundraising to support local artists as well as support the costs of the main event this July. You can learn more about FIGMENT at www.boston.figmentproject.org
When did you start your business/ how did you get into your field?
In 1999 I had a friend that worked for MAC Cosmetics and she taught me how to do my own makeup. I really loved the artistic outlet and expression makeup gave me. I was able to wear my individuality and creative spirit on my face every day. I ended up taking some classes (because YouTube wasn’t really a thing back then) and I became an amateur makeup artist. I would do my friends’ makeup for club nights and eventually that evolved into painting my own face (and friends) for festivals and music events. At the end of 2011 my friend Jade (who was also a part-time face painter) asked me if I wanted to attend a face and body painting conference in CT with her in January 2012. The conference consisted of 4 days of classes on face and body painting, special effects make-up, and running a successful business in the field. I learned basic brush techniques, different types of face paints, and how to create designs with depth by adding shading and highlights. I met a great group of artists, made some lasting friendships and it really kicked off my journey to officially launch my business.
What is your brands aesthetic?
Bright shades of pink, bold lines of black and gray with accents of gold make up my brand aesthetic. My logo of a girl with flowing hair and a painted face is meant to represent my individuality, love for dance, and creative expression.
What is your favorite part of creating?
My favorite part of creating is when the plan for a project is executed on deadline and looks better than I had imagined it in my head. If that doesn’t happen, I am happy as long as I can walk away from the work with the understanding of how to accomplish that goal in the future.
What is your favorite/most popular creation to date?
In January of 2016 I challenged myself to paint at least 1 design every day for 30 days. I was usually painting my own face, however I did get a few of my friends to help. It was difficult to make time for it every day. Some of the designs I did took over 2 hours to paint and not every design was up to my personal standards. That being said, the overall project was a big hit and I learned a lot by pushing myself to create every day for 30 days. You can see all the designs on my Facebook and Instagram pages along with one of my more recent challenges 25 days of Christmas which I did in December 2016.
What/who inspires you to create?
It might sound cliché, but I have what can only be described as childlike wonder with the world around me. It translates into my art all the time. I see patterns, textures, color pallets and design elements on a daily basis and I am always thinking about how I can translate that into the art I create.
I am constantly inspired by other artists and their work. I am a fan of visual art in all its forms. Unlike many artists who prefer to work alone, I love collaborating with others to create my art. It is one of the reasons my primary art form requires others to help bring it to life.
If you could describe your brand as a planet, colors and textures, how would you describe it?
I’m a Leo so… the sun! Passionate, bold, exciting, fun, and on fire!
If you had to wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it consist of?
My custom made galaxy booty flares from Dervish Clothing (http://www.dervishclothing.com/) and a black baby doll flowy top
The advice I have for anyone getting into any artistic field is be open to collaboration. We all see through our own lenses, which are colored by our experiences and biased and shape our view of the world. When you look through someone else’s lenses you will see things you would have never noticed otherwise. Allowing someone you connect with and trust to add to your art enhances and elevates in a way nothing else can. Be vulnerable and open yourself up to those opportunities and you will find you are more fulfilled by your art, and in life in general.
Don’t forget to check out her social media!
The Style Astronaut