Show us your . . . roaming face-painting cart | Show us your [____] | Chicago Reader

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Show us your . . . roaming face-painting cart

Artist Anna Todaro travels to craft fairs to paint mustaches on 11-year-olds.


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"At Renegade a six-year-old wanted a giant glow worm right across his face with big eyes and a smiling face. There was no confusion."

Artist Anna Todaro doesn't mind a customer who knows what he wants—in fact, she encourages it. She describes her face painting as intuitive, with no templates involved.

"Do you want a pirate, a kitty cat, or a mustache? OK, do you want to be a good pirate or a bad pirate? It's fun. They don't pick from a picture."

Her face-painting cart is meant to travel, mainly to craft fairs like Renegade. She purchased the sturdy metal contraption at a thrift store in the city after her original tea cart, which she found on Craiglist in Michigan, fell apart as she brought it into her Pilsen studio.

Todaro, who also writes and illustrates children's stories, is no stranger to live art—she painted a 40-by-15-feet mural over the course of a week at Navy Pier in March—which makes her foray into face painting a natural development. Plus, who under the age of 11 doesn't want a superdolphin scrawled on the side of his or her face?

Anna and the cart are available for parties, too. "It's $5 for half of the face, $10 for the whole face, and $15 for lots of paint, which means they are giving me permission to turn their body into a work of art."

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