Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Remembering Our Spirit

The Vancouver Winter Olympics are old news. Eight months ago, the city and much of the nation was enraptured with the trials and tribulations, victories and defeats of our country’s athletes and the energy in the air across Vancouver was tangible. Although The Games have come and gone and my summer and fall thus far have been filled with personal considerations and creative endeavors, I find myself reflecting on the spirit of The Games as the chill in the air starts to fill this new season.

I consider myself a lucky participant of the spirit of The Games during the weeks that they transpired. I attended a few exciting competitions, took advantage of the Live City entertainment with friends, and was one of the many cheering, crying, high-fiving bodies at Robson and Granville the day we won our coveted Men’s Hockey Gold.

But as an artist, I was also able to participate with and add to the spirit of The Games in a way that was incredibly deep and moving for me. I was hired at several community centres where children’s cheeks waggled under my brush as they excitedly told me more about the Olympic Flame than I ever knew. I was contacted by private clients to paint patriotic faces for events they were going to, one of whom ended up as a two-page, larger-than-life screaming fan spread in Maclean’s Olympic Commemorative Edition. I painted for the BC Pavilion for the hard-working government officials who helped make it all happen. I painted more maple leafs in a month than every Canada Day event I’ve done in my face painting lifetime combined. I was hired by the Yukon Government to create unique face and body paint on an urban youth dance troupe who were flown down to participate in a medals ceremony show at BC Place... The list goes on.

I was able to have brief and creative interactions with a huge amount of people that left me touched and inspired by the enthusiasm and connection we all shared. And as I write this, I am left with the realization that I get to experience this connection with people – mostly children – on a weekly basis with my work. I am honoured that people choose to share 5, 10, 15 minutes of face to face time with me. Thank you to all who have had a seat at my station and have let me create art on their skin. I suppose The Games were a condensed version of my yearly experiences with what I do and that’s why, as I put on my boots and down-filled vest, and my nose turns pink in the cool evening air, a smile comes to my face as I remember it all.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Belly Painting Packages now available

Belly Painting: Allyson J Grant (
Photography: Janine Armstrong (

Do you know a wonderful woman who is pregnant? Consider the following as a unique and exciting gift! I am now offering pregnancy painting services, or as known in various parts of the world, "Gestational Painting".

Belly painting has become very popular in the UK and various parts of the States, and is gaining hype across Canada too. I have had the privilege to paint two expecting women over the past few months - what moving experiences! Over the course of the hour or so that I was painting their bellies, I watched the belly change form, or could feel the heartbeat with my fingertips as I worked. Amazing.

Jess, the first woman I worked with a few months ago, was around 7 months pregnant when she came to the studio for her session. She was open to any design as long as it wasn't too girly or boyish (as she didn't yet know the gender of the baby), so I created a Tree of Life design, which is associated with knowledge and wisdom in many cultures and religions across the globe. I am happy to report that Jess gave birth to a healthy baby boy a few weeks ago!

The second woman I had the pleasure of painting just last week was Becca, who was already just over 8 months pregnant on the day of the shoot. I knew that she liked fairies, and since she was also open to design suggestions, I decided to have a quietly coloured theme of dawn breaking, just before the fairies disappear for the day. Becca was absolutely glowing, and the photographs truly display her beauty.

I have had several opportunities now to work with a wonderful photographer named Janine (, a relaxed and professional worker who is both artistic and efficient. We have created an exciting Belly Painting package which includes the following:

*Consultation prior to Creation Session to determine imagery wishes, interests and likes of Mom-to-be
*Creation Session either in studio or on location of your choosing
(consists of a 2-3hr belly painting and photography session)
*Access to web res files of the photos to select from, on an online gallery
*Option to purchase any number of prints in an array of sizes

If you are interested in giving this amazing gift to a special woman in your life or if you are pregnant (congratulations!) and want to celebrate by being painted and photographed, please contact me for details. This is a great baby shower gift - a bunch of gals could pool together to book this fun and surprizing present!


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Summer is here!

Hello All!

Well, despite the fact that we've had a slightly cooler start to the summer than we're used to, my face painting season is off to a wonderful start and I had a very busy June. I am so thrilled to have a job that has me interacting with some of the most honest and funny people on the planet - children. This season I've had comments like "Wow, I look fantastic" from a boy who requested blue, orange and green fireworks on his face, had a little girl tell me she loves me, and had a hoard of "regulars" from last season come barreling down the hill yelling my name at the Royal City Farmer's Market when they saw me for the first time!

I love having a job that creates a big smile every 5 minutes. I have been at several corporate and community events so far this season with many more to come and have done some exciting theme parties too, being greeted by open-mouthed awe when arriving as a fairy, or to shrieks galore of "THE PRINCESS IS HERE!" when I rang the doorbell as Princess Allyson.

Pictured here is Tijana, one of the beautiful birthday girls I had the pleasure of meeting this year when I arrived as Princess Allyson. I have also posted a tear-smudged-but-3/4-still-existing photo of her precious sister Sofie (she had a short-lived cry during the party at some point but came back as strong as ever), who wonderfully chose to have a blue fire-breathing dragon at a party where almost every other girl had a butterfly! Independent thinking - I love it!

I will be blogging occasionally about upcoming public events I will be at, as well as updates to my services, so stay posted if you want to know where to find me and what I'm up to!

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Welcome to Gossamer Designs by Allyson Grant

For almost two decades, Allyson has developed a reputation of delivering amazing face and body painting experiences that bring joy to kids and smiling appreciation from parents.

Allyson discovered her passion for face and body painting in Toronto over 15 years ago and is now based in the Vancouver area. Allyson specializes in corporate and community events, private family functions and birthday parties. Her talent for providing fun, fresh and creative face and body art is matched only by her enthusiasm and magnetic personality.

It’s no surprise that Allyson gets called back time and again to add that extra magic to special events and frequently gets complimented as “the best face painter ever”! A small sampling of Allyson’s work can be found in the galleries, as well as her competitive rates and frequently asked questions. Thanks for stopping by!

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