Tag Archives: face painting

Astoria face and body painter brings out inner child with colorful designs


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of The Cheeky Chipmunk

For one Astoria artist, your face is her canvas.

Lenore Koppelman, 39, is the owner and artist behind The Cheeky Chipmunk, where she has turned face and body painting into living, breathing art.

Born in Queens and raised in New Orleans, La., Koppelman recalls that it was a tradition for her and her family to go to the French Quarter every Sunday after breakfast and get their faces painted. Koppelman said that every Sunday morning she would talk about what she would get painted on her face that day.

As she grew up, she went to college for interior design, and her inner knack for art and creativity followed her throughout the years.

Having lived in Forest Hills from when she was 3 to 6 years old, Koppelman decided to return to Queens eight years ago, and she made the move to Astoria. But her decision to make a career change did not happen until just last year.

While on a walk by Astoria Park with one of her best friends, Pamela Bob, Koppelman pondered over what her true calling was. Realizing that she loved art and loved working with people, she put the two together.

“We both realized at that moment [the face painting business] was going to happen. So I just felt this wave of calm come over me, like I had finally figured out what I was here to do,” Koppelman said. “I got goosebumps and said, ‘I am going to be a face painter.’”

She began painting her friend’s children’s faces for free and realized that something was missing.

“I was terrible. I was really bad. I had no idea how difficult face painting was. I think a lot of parents think, ‘How hard can it be?’” she said. “I then said, if I’m going to really do this, I’m going to have to learn how to do this.”

She began practicing, on herself and others, and reached out to the face painting industry. Koppelman said she was surprised to see the unity in the face and body painting community and she began attending workshops, and meeting other face painters at “jams.”

Koppelman also signed up for an online community called FABA (Face and Body Art) TV, where instructors from around the world share tutorials and tricks on design ideas. She also attended a workshop called Face Painting University and got to learn from professionals in the industry who had appeared in shows such as Skin Wars and Face Off.

“It really took wanting this so badly in order for me to really commit to learning it. This was a whole other level of passion and want. And aside from my little boy and husband, I couldn’t think of anything else I’m more passionate about,” Koppelman said.

Since taking the classes and becoming involved in the community, Koppelman said she felt an increase in confidence. Since September, she has been starting to book more gigs painting faces and bodies, and she even dabbles in maternity belly paintings.

The decision to name the business The Cheeky Chipmunk came from a childhood nickname given to her by her parents and her love for alliteration. She’s now busy offering face and body painting for almost any occasion, from birthdays to corporate events.

Koppelman has also spent her time volunteering for different organizations and events, most recently at a fundraiser held at an Astoria bar called The Quays for a local boy suffering from a rare blood disorder.

She said her favorite moment is the reveal—the moment when a child or adult opens their eyes after sitting patiently through the painting process just trusting her.

Although she is constantly learning and changing designs to meet the latest fads, Koppelman said she still can’t believe she is finally doing what she loves as a career. She hopes to one day publish a book with all her paintings done on her own face and start doing paintings on things in New York she would like to celebrate.

“It’s all about having fun and getting in touch with something inside of you that is magical and youthful and free,” Koppelman said. “Nothing horrible will come of it; it’s paint, it washes off, and it’s a good time. I would love to see more people find that kid inside that just wants to be free. Let the glitter fly free.”


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New Woodhaven party store set to celebrate with community


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

ERIC JANKIEWICZ

A new store in Woodhaven has something to celebrate.

Khloe’s Party Zone, located on 87-18 Jamaica Ave., caters to celebrations, selling must-have party items such as ribbons and party hats.

“We’ve wanted to open a business for a while now and there are many things we have to offer to the community,” said Ixaida Erskine, who runs the business with her husband Michael.

While the store provides for all kinds of parties, there is a focus on children’s events.

Ixaida explained that the duo had originally wanted to open their business in Brooklyn, which is only a few blocks away, but the rent forced them to find a place in Queens, where prices are lower.

“But we’re happy we moved here. The experience with the community so far has been great,” Ixaida said.

There will be an official grand opening party on Saturday, April 19, when the couple will offer free face painting for children.

 

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Queens events this weekend


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

Saturday, October 6

10 a.m. – 11 a.m., Blessing of the animals in honor of St. Francis at Grace Episcopal Church in Whitestone. All pets are welcome to attend with their families.

10 a.m. – 4 p.m., St. Paul’s International Lutheran Church will be holding its sixth annual International Fall Fair in Floral Park. There will be a free blessing of the pets, free entertainment, free games and a moonbounce for the kids. Flu shots, vendors, pumpkin painting, a Verizon Fios booth and food will be available as well.

11 a.m. – 4 p.m.,  Pony rides, pumpkin decorating, face-painting, balloon animals and more at the Fall Family Flea Market Festival at the Bay Terrace Country Club.

11 a.m. – 2 p.m., The 34th Annual Queens Columbus Day Parade in Astoria will begin at Kaufman Astoria Studios and end at Astoria Boulevard and 31st Street.  NYPD Chief Diana Pizzuti will serve as grand marshal.

Noon – 7 p.m., Oktoberfest in Sunnyside Gardens Park will include face-painting, live music, arts & crafts, jewelry, homemade food and merchandise and pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins.

Noon – 3 p.m., Learn to prepare a Puerto Rican pastelon (Shepherd’s Pie) and enjoy the sounds of Argentine tango  and Spanish “cuadro flamenco” at the free Hispanic Heritage Festival in Corona.

1 p.m. – 3 p.m., Enjoy crafts, stories and learn about the history of tea at Tea Time at King Manor. Bring your favorite stuffed animal or doll for this fun afternoon.

Sunday, October 7

11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Walk Now for Autism Speaks is a fun-filled, family friendly event and is our single most powerful force to fund vital research that will lead us to the answers we need.

11 a.m. – noon, Chef Alex Privilegi of Il Toscano Restaurant returns for a cooking demonstration featuring locally grown ingredients from the Douglaston Greenmarket.

Noon – 3 p.m., The Dominican Day Parade will march down Northern Boulevard from 69th Street through 86th Street.

1 p.m. – 3 p.m., Stop by Hallets Cove for your last chance to kayak/canoe. Free and no experience necessary and all ages are welcome (under 18 must be accompanied by parent) Wear clothing and shoes ready to get wet.

2 p.m. – 5 p.m., Resorts World Casino New York City’s Oktoberfest is an abbreviated visit to Munich. Complete with an oompah band and specialty fare including Jagar Schnitzel with braised red cabbage, warm German potato salad and Kringle. Enjoy the essence of Germany.

3 p.m. – 5 p.m., You don’t meet Pat Cooper, you experience him. Whether sharing his views on kids, politics or popular celebrities, his no-holds-barred discussion on his life (and everyone else’s), will have you rolling in the aisles.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Ozone Park Fall Festival this Saturday


| brennison@queenscourier.com

NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Ozone Park Fall Festival this Saturday

A Fall Festival will be held between noon and 3 p.m. this Saturday at Addabbo Playground on North Conduit Avenue between 81st and 82nd streets.

The festival is sponsored by Councilmember Eric Ulrich.

There will be face painting, a pumpkin patch, fall crafts and a bounce house.

For more information call 718-318-4000.