Since Halloween is fast approaching, I thought it would be a great idea to feature someone who helps to make the holiday special!!! To her ‘eerieness’…BobbiJo!Bobbi Jo Gonzalez is an artist that truly uses the the human anatomy as inspiration because she paints on bodies!!
I saw a lot about her on the 614 artist FB page and finally got to meet this fun loving lady at a RAW event in June. Her business is AftershocK Art and has been official since January 1st of this year. She also partners with James Parker Photography. AftershocK provides face painting, body art, henna and temporary tattoos. In addition, she is a face painter with Funhouse Faces and ScareAtorium.
Born and raised in Columbus, she has always loved art. Ever since grade school, she could be found outside or inside doodling away. But art took a back seat when she started a family and a career. She got married, had 4 kids, and went to Columbus State Community College to obtain her nursing degree (she is also passionate about her day job as a nurse at Children’s Hospital). Once her children got older, she began taking photos and acrylic painting.Around the same time, she began working at area haunted houses. Through the haunts, she found that she could also paint on people leading to a love of face and body art.
Although she sees herself as a relative newcomer to this scene, she does have 5 years of experience, 2+ of which have been as a professional. She has never been to art school but says she has been fortunate enough to have have great artist friends who have helped her along the way. She was an apprentice under Keith Newsome and has taken multiple classes in face and body art. Currently, she is the Chief Make-up Artist for Scaretorium and does numerous shoots with partner Jim Parker that feature her art.
Her favorite art form is abstract in nature so she does that most often. Body art tends to be different than painting on a cloth canvas because “you really have to be conscious of what goes where for it to be pleasing to the eye.” In many ways it is difficult to make a design work due to the natural curves and shadows of a person’s body or face. Challenges and puzzles are her favs so that is the part of the job she really loves!
The other challenge is that you never know what a client will ask for so practicing drawing and painting is a must. When working a face painting gig, she can be asked to paint a princess, rainbow, butterfly, zombie, blue giraffe, squirrels and a Smilodon all within an hour…true story! She had to Google the last one to figure out what the heck it was! (in case you’re wondering, it’s very much like a saber tooth tiger!) And out of all of these requests, she had never painted 4 of them before!!! I think you have to be very talented to do that, don’t you?
Inspiration comes from anything because she loves to see the beauty in all that surrounds her. Some paintings have been based on sunsets, National Geographic pictures, storms, music, her doctor’s office window, a skydiving adventure…literally everything! She describes herself as a very ‘in the moment’ kinda person so she is inspired by what happens to be going on in her life or around her at any given moment.
As she puts it…
When I am just doing face painting, it’s the kids that inspire me. I could care less about how long I’ve been standing there, without a break, no food, no bathroom, 8 hours past…. when I hand the mirror to the kids after they get their face painted, and I see their faces light up, they are excited, they laugh or squeal, I get a big hug and a bigger smile… It’s like a shot of adrenaline for me. It makes everything worth it.
Over the years, she has learned to not be afraid to make mistakes and always be willing to try new things. As with any artist no matter what medium, her art has evolved and will continue to do so. She doesn’t consider herself to be a master in her art form but she strives to be. Continuing to learn and grow as a person and artist are critical to her satisfying her customers. Plus, I am relying on the kids out there to keep me on my toes! HAHA!
614 Magazine and Live on Fox 28 featured her several times for make-up during haunt season. Her business and ScareAtorium were also invited to participate in the Midwest Haunters Convention Body Art and Fashion Show (BAFS)..quite a coup for her! Blog and Guts also did an article about her and her art this year.
The summer has been busy for her with shoots with Jim but so much more! She was involved in the DooDah Parade painting all of the ScareAtorium participants. Later in July, she was face painting at the Westerville Arts Festival and at the Blue Rock Arts Fest. August kept her busy with face painting at CrestFest and then showing off her amazing body paint on models at RAW’s Allure at Shadowbox Live…saw that and it was unbelievable!
Of course, October will be hopping for her with not just ScareAtorium but the Plain City Fall Festival. And between those gigs she and Jim schedule photo shoots and she does parties…Whew!
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