Entertainment

You’re Never Too Old For Face Painting!

By Ilija Sekulovski

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Today, we had the pleasure and treat to have Lenore Koppelman, Artist and founder of The Cheeky Chipmunk stop by the office for a sit down and a face/body transformation of two of our team members . Born in Brazil, grew up in New Orleans but raised in Queens and now currently resides in Astoria. Lenore’s work is so much more than hearts and rainbows on your cheeks (no offense), it’s a transcendent experience.*Spoiler Alert* – She’s not shy on personality.

Give Me Astoria:

What did you want to be as a child?

Lenore:

Honestly, what I’m doing now. Not to sound like a  cliché but it all started when I was a little girl growing up in New Orleans, walking around the French Quarter with my Dad, I noticed a face painter and how much joy and happiness she brought to the kiddies. At this moment I knew I wanted to do the same, not sure in what capacity but the trade was appealing and everyone deserves a little happiness- from the outside in.

GMA:

What’s the best part of your job?

Lenore:

The big reveal! I love to see the transformation that takes place when a shy or insecure child or adult take a seat in my chair and at the end of their session, they exuberates confidence and are instantly the life of the party. This is why I am passionate about my craft, I can relate to the outsiders because growing up, I was the spoon when all you need is a knife  (Alanis Morissette reference). And, for me to transform that once shy cocoon into a butterfly, even if it’s for a few hours is truly gratifying.

GMA:

If money was not an issue, would you do anything else if you could?

Lenore:

I would travel more to places where kids have never experienced face painting, I want to show these kids the simple happiness that comes from what I do. There’s so much more that happens when my brush touches one's face, there’s an emotional component that interacts with the physical to form a magnificent self of self that is freeing and uninhibited, the way it’s meant to be.

Simply, I want to heal people with my artwork.

GMA:

Who are two of your favorite superheros/villians?  

Lenore:

Wonder Woman and Spiderman.

GMA:

Between Wonder Woman and Spider Man, who would win in a fight? *Lenore got a little flustered and heated at the question*

Lenore:

Wonder Women, because I am Wonder Women.

GMA:

If you could spend the rest of your life in one face, what would it be?

Lenore:

A badass superhero butterfly. Life is about a transformation, at least mine was/is, I started off in a world I didn’t ask for but over time I made it my own, making and breaking the rules and creating my own reality.

GMA:

How would people communicate in a perfect world?

Lenore:

Be tolerant of other people’s beliefs and views.Celebrate the happiness and success of others. Be nicer. Smile more. Hug more. Free your mind, the rest will follow (thanks, En Vogue).

GMA:

What’s your favorite thing to paint?

Lenore:

Tigers, because they’re relaxing.

Calaveras (Sugar Skulls), because they’re awesomesauce.

GMA:

What are your pet peeves about your work?

Lenore:

When a child’s parent imposes their views on the kid. I.e – Girls and boys should be “traditional”- pink is for girls and blue is for blah, blah, blah…

GMA:

Final thoughts?

Lenore:

I. Am. Batman. I’ve always been the Robin, until three weeks ago, I’ve had an epiphany and I said to myself – “self,  why am I always the sidekick?”  I can be Batman, I can be my own superhero. I’ve always cheered people on, but I never did it for myself. No one was telling me I couldn't but myself. I am the change I want to see in the world (thanks, Mahatma).

Get Painted:

thecheekychipmunk

Phone: 718-807-1359

[email protected]

 

 

 

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