Alec Tebben | Echo
The summer job: for many college students, it's simply a mundane but necessary way to earn money. For junior Madisen Law, it's a way to engage in an activity she loves-face painting-and get paid to do it.
Law has worked for a face painting company every summer since she was 15, the last two summers for Wild Style Design Company. She often visited events such as birthday parties, fall festivals and farmers markets. Her customers, usually young children, had a variety of fun designs to choose from, including favorites such as lizards and princesses.
"I've always liked art and things and so I thought it would be a fun way to get to do art and then also get paid for it," Law said. "I wasn't sure at first because sometimes it can be a little weird or have weird interactions with people but I really like it and I'm glad I've continued to do it."
Law enjoyed exercising her artistic muscles while painting faces. While she usually followed a design template, her boss allowed her the freedom to be creative and add variations as she saw fit. She had to practice each of the designs, but over time she developed her own sense of style and learned how to make each design look good.
Law also enjoyed interacting with people at her job.
"Madisen used to be very shy and more reserved when she began facepainting," said Amy Law, her mother. "As the years have gone by, she has become more outgoing and loves to interact with her customers."
Painting faces at events for hours at a time allowed her to have fun meeting many people. That was one reason she enjoyed painting at a farmers market, where she saw many of the same customers each time she was there. One girl visited her nearly every weekend, and Law enjoyed seeing her excited face every time.
Law also made sure to show the children their newly painted faces in a mirror when she was done, which always brightened their faces a little more. Law said working this face painting job made her into more of a people person and helped her become more outgoing around unfamiliar people.
"She is kind and loves kids and has a servants heart and that is important to us," Shelly Gehrt, Law's boss, said. "Our goal is to touch lives and make people smile and Madisen certainly does that!"
Face painting isn't the only creative activity Law enjoys. She has always been interested in making art and she worked on a number of projects in 4-H during the 11 years she participated in the program. She was involved in drawing, painting, basket making, sewing, jewelry making, woodworking and ceramics.
Although she is no longer in 4-H, Law still enjoys creative activities such as pencil sketching, watercolor painting and occasional acrylic painting. Last school year, she was able to utilize her face painting skills during Airband when she helped out with the rendition of "The Greatest Showman."
"Madisen is always looking for outlets to use her creativity in her everyday life…making furniture, room decor, or homemade gifts," Law's mother said.
Law's face painting job allows her to do just that-turn the need for a routine summer job into an opportunity to be creative.
Although she is not pursuing a career in art, Law enjoys her job and hopes to continue to do some face painting in the future.
"I have told my mom that even after I graduate I might just want to paint for the summer and then I'll find a real job maybe," Law said.