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Conversations with the Inspiring Kate Maistrenko

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kate Maistrenko.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kate. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’d love to share my story with you because it’s not just a story about how I began painting. It’s more about how this country helped me to understand what I really want and to find the real me.

I moved to the USA 2 years ago. I was born in a small town in Russia, then I lived in Moscow and worked in an office. I just sort of went on autopilot. But some life circumstances forced me to come here and to truly lose my comfort zone. There was no choice but to learn to believe in myself, trust my own feelings and recognize own thoughts.

I’ve always liked to draw and I’ve played around with art since I was young. But that always was priority number 5. We all sometimes have excuses for why we’re not growing in the direction we want to be growing. Well, in my case, moving to America, to the open-minded, relaxed place, that gives great opportunities to grow and succeed, helped me to focus on what I really wanted to do.

I started doing face and body painting in 2016, for my friends for Halloween and some birthday parties. I was hooked and focused on it. I learned about techniques, products, and designs, exchanged experience with other face painters. But the real work always begins with active practicing. I practiced basic strokes on paper, my arms, legs or sometimes even on my husband (LOL).

I’m kind of surprised face painting was found to be so popular in San Diego. Now, I am happy painting people professionally. It is so rewarding just to see the child’s pleased reaction, genuine smiles, and emotions. It’s definitely something that I plan to keep in my life.

what should we know about your business? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Face painting is different from other forms of painting. You’ve got a living, moving and sometimes naughty, 3-dimensional canvas. By practicing you achieve the muscle memory over time and are able to create beautiful flowing designs. But it’s also important to manage your time and to increase the speed of the painting process (while maintaining a level of quality) to service and to make more people happy with a job. Face painter should also have a nice personality. I always engage with the customer, child or adult, so that they don’t feel discontent with the experience.

Most of my artwork is inspired by nature as well as cartoons, popular heroes and holidays. I also like to search designs from a slew of famous artists and recreate them. Sometimes, I just experiment with different techniques, colors and can get something unexpected new and creative. As you might expect with such diverse influences, my portfolio demonstrates a wide range of designs, from very cute characters through to some gloomy ones.

Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
Trying new things can make you more creative. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and be open to a new experience! It will not only teach you something, but it will force you to get to know you better – what you like, what you definitely don’t like, and what you were previously missing. Life is an amazing journey and I can’t wait to see where the future takes me.

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