Occupation: Researcher, and on the side, face-painter/body-artist
Home town: Born in Gander, grew up in Ottawa
Musical preferences: Shaye, Mae Moore, Native music, and Celtic music. “I’m sort of eclectic.”
Last book read: Symbols of the Celts by Sabine Heinz
Zodiac sign: Leo
Words of wisdom: “We need to learn to invest in people who invest in people and the environment.”
The story: Derek is a man with plenty of tales to tell. He’s been a balloon-o-gram-delivering clown, the president of a union on a military base, a Native spirituality assistant, and lots of stuff in between. Here in St. John’s he’s best known as a face- and body-painter.
After his time on the mainland working as a clown, his flair with paints steered him towards face-painting. These days he sets up his mobile station at various events across town.
His favourite part is the interaction with kids, “it sort of breaks down boundaries…you can see it’s something that can raise their spirits.”
The most common faces requested from boys? Vampires, snakes, monsters, and third eyes. For girls, it’s cats, butterflies, and flowers – although, interestingly enough, Derek says on the mainland ‘a princess’ is a very common request from little girls, while in Newfoundland, it’s more common for them to want to be painted like a vampire than a princess.
“Maybe there’s a ruggedness… they like the idea of being able to be scary,” he says.
That’s just the influence of the good strong women here raising strong daughters, I’d say!
Derek’s biggest face-painting tip? Use paints that are child-safety rated, which may not be always available here, so check online.
You can catch Derek (with Dylan Cag) face-painting next at The Rooms on Sunday, Oct. 28th from 1-4pm. You can reach Derek at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Emilie Bourque