By Crystal O’Gorman
CHARLOTTE – Amanda McCall has touched more than 100,000 faces in the last seven years.
What started as a hobby – painting her son’s face for N.C. State games 10 years ago – has become a full-time profession. McCall paints faces most weekends for businesses and nonprofits all over the greater Charlotte area.
“I love my job,” McCall said. “Who else gets to say they dress in a tutu and silly socks and make people happy for a living?”
McCall didn’t start out looking for work as a face painter. After doing an event for SEC Alumni Association to kick-off the football season and raise money for Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte, people were really impressed with her work and it begin a domino effect of referrals.
McCall said it’s been a wonderful opportunity to meet so many different people and hear their stories.
“You have to love talking to be in this line of work,” she said.
Her most memorable moment was in Ballantyne Village at an ALS Association’s Walk to Defeat ALS kick-off event three years ago. She was painting the face of a woman who would be walking the next day in memory of her brother. The woman began telling the story of life with her brother – from childhood to the day he died.
While the woman poured her heart out in McCall’s chair, the artist painted a mural on her arm reflecting the life of the woman’s brother.
“It was a really moving experience,” McCall said. “We were both in tears by the end of it.”
McCall takes pleasure in providing an armchair for people to share their stories of good times and bad. All the while spreading a little joy through art.
She paints for events such as Leukemia and Lymphoma’s annual Light the Night and Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s annual PurpleStrides. She also does events for businesses such as CaroMont Health, Novant Health, Elevation Church and Belk.
She said adults love getting painted as much as the kids. Adults prefer flowers, swirls, sports teams and cancer ribbons. Kids love Spiderman and princesses. McCall’s favorite things to paint are cheetahs and tigers.
McCall said it’s a lot of fun, but she also takes her craft very seriously. She uses only the best quality brushes and paints. She follows the best in the profession and is constantly pushing herself to create new designs. She loves getting unique requests like dragons and starships.
“I would have never imagined doing this for a living 10 years ago, but I feel so passionate about what I’m doing now,” she said.
McCall’s favorite part of her job is opening the minds and hearts of children and adults, alike.
“My brush is like a magical wand, bringing imagination to life.”
Want your face painted?
If you’re interested in seeing more of Amanda McCall’s work, check out her business, Party Face Professional Face and Body Art Painting, at www.facebook.com/FacePaintingby MandyMcCall