Get To Know Laura
Laura Quilty AKA Loopy La is a talented Face Painter and Balloon Modeler, and mum of three, originally from Templeogue, Dublin. We spoke to Laura about her background, her art, and her thoughts on the business.
What is your background?
I went to a Technical College to study art for a year when I finished school. I had lots of jobs throughout my life, working also in Paris, London and Australia, but I also continued to study along the way – doing various courses in graphic design and web design at night.
For the majority of my working life, I worked in 98FM and had various roles, the final one being a web designer.
Have you always been creative/artistic?
Yes, I have always loved anything creative. It’s such a big part of who I am – be it, drawing, painting, making costumes, cake designing or my most recent project – learning guitar, which I really love. No matter what I am doing I always find a way of bringing art into my life.
How did you get into face painting and kid’s entertainment?
When my youngest child started school, I wanted to do something. I spent a year doing different projects in her school – one of them being a giant mural with my friend Kim in the schoolyard.
My brother had asked me to do a face painting gig and I was so unsure – I had done face painting in the past but it was years ago and Face painting had moved on so much.
I bit the bullet and did the gig. I was beyond nervous but it turned out I really enjoyed it and thought ‘hmmm… I could do this!’
Did anyone inspire or help you along the way?
In the beginning I was so nervous and always afraid I wasn’t any good but all the great face painters I worked with over the years inspired me.
They were patient, encouraging, gave me tips on my kit and on how to improve. My sister Nicola also inspired me as she is a fantastic person for just doing things.
So in the beginning even though I was nervous I would say “just do it”. I think fear stops people doing things!
And how did it become a business?
It was totally organic, I just started doing gigs and I started getting calls. I then hooked up with PartyWizz and got more calls! I also work for another company that gets me some corporate work. So, between all that I’m kept pretty busy.
What makes a good face painter?
You really need to love it. If you don’t it shows. And, I think you really have to like children and be able to relate to them.
You must be patient, kind and ‘Smiley’. You also have to know what faces children like and what’s topical.
What makes you different as a face painter?
I have my own character name ‘Loopy La’ which allows me to be a little whacky. I designed my own dress and made it with my sister Mary.
I don’t stick to set designs for my face painting and I am always open and willing to try anything that’s thrown at me.
I even painted a company logo on a bald head at one event! I am always trying to be a better face painter / Balloon Modeller.
What are your favourite kind of gigs?
I like all different types of gigs but the ones that I really love are the ones I can spend lots of time with the children and get to know them, and spend time doing really good quality face painting and balloons.
So why do you love what you do and what keeps you doing it?
Seriously! What’s not to love! I’m my own boss – I can work my schedule around to suit children, so I can be at home if they are sick etc.
I get to do art all the time. There is always room to get better so you are constantly challenged. I get to work with children.
I meet all different sorts of people and go to all different events. Oh… and I get complimented at every gig I do. What job gives you that!?
Do you have any particularly memorable gig?
One of my most memorable gigs was one that I did for a little girl called Eimear.
Well, she wasn’t so little – probably 10 and the children at the party weren’t overly interested in getting painted but she adored it.
I ended up painting her face, her neck and up both of her arms and she was such a beautiful spirit. She loved art and we just clicked.
I was so impressed that she didn’t want to just fit in – she wanted to stand out! I put her pic up on my Instagram @loopyla_facepainting_balloons and she wore her paint with such pride.
Tell us something we wouldn’t know about you?
When I was little I painted myself black with airfix paint because I wanted to be black beauty.
Can you give us some of your top tips to people for hosting kids parties?
Keep it simple but organised. Get an entertainer and some food and the kids will take care of the rest.
Has anything changed in terms of the industry in the time you’ve been doing it?
The standard is improving all the time. The Face Painting and Balloon art is stunning now. It’s a good thing, it makes us want to be better!
What’s your favourite joke?
Q: What do you call a bear with no teeth?
A: A gummy Bear
What do you think of PartyWizz?
I think it’s fantastic. As a parent, it’s a one stop shop – it takes the hassle out of finding a good, reliable and high-end entertainer.
As an entertainer, it is so efficient. I get an email to check my availability and the system lets the client know and it takes care of all the payment. Excellent!
Interested in booking Loopy La?
If you’re interested in having Loopy La entertain your guests at your next party, you can book her directly through her entertainer profile for family shows, corporate events, weddings or private parties.