A bird, with the flamboyance of a rainbow, is nuzzled between two predators of the animal kingdom. On its right, a young tiger scrunches his face, snarls and clenches his claws. On its left, a leopard sits quietly. Instinctively, the bird smiles and bravely rests a wing on the tiger’s back… within minutes a delicate butterfly runs, or rather flies, from the lounge-room and flits around the backyard. With the crisp strokes of a paint brush, ‘Face Painting Istanbul’ has transformed this kids birthday party into a colourful and energetic tribe.
The newest sensation and trend to hit the Istanbul festival and celebration scene is a creative and colourful spark from a trained artist.
Melike Özçağlı (Mel), an Australian with Turkish family heritage, launched ‘Face Painting Istanbul’ in 2014.
Her face designs have already added a colourful flair to the prestigious annual German highschool fete held within the forest of the German Consulate along the Bosphorus waters.
Other high profile eyes have also snapped up Mel’s talent, with the Australian Consul General welcoming her to enhance his own childrens’ birthday party.
I am quick to notice she is a polished product as she explains her university training and past experience as a primary school teacher in Australia.
Match this with her entrepreneur ability to mold her education and love for children, with her burgeoning skills as an artist.
This combination allows parents, and children alike, to feel a sense of trust and confidence with every brush stroke and with every child interaction.
I watch Mel at a recent birthday celebration.
She matches the children’s energy, or perhaps it is them mirroring hers… regardless, she genuinely lives her website motto, ‘Keeping the inner child alive in all of us.’
She tells me about her paint products and immediately I conjure images of a trained circus professional wowing audiences centre stage in Las Vegas.
She does use the same products as ‘Cirque du Soleil’ after all.
Whether it be the wuthering heights in Vegas or a more local festivity in Istanbul, both scenarios seem to have an understanding and belief that only the highest quality products should be used.
Mel doesn’t just add a unique wave of excitement at birthdays.
From her diverse repertoire I predict you will meet Mel exactly three times in your life…
First, when you are proposed to for marriage. Mel will energise your henna night with her complex designs that put an end to the usual messy blob on the palm.
Second, when you fall pregnant. Her paint brush will soothe a pregnant belly with a vibrant and personalised design at your ‘baby shower’.
And third, when your little one begins school and celebrates a new age, Mel will once again impress.
Mel is the industry leader, marching forward leaving others to only stumble behind in her footprint with sloppy brushes, inferior paint products and untrained artists…
I believe in bold statements.
Like the one from Trip Advisor placing Istanbul as the most popular destination in the world.
Likewise, I offer a new epiphany. Mel is the most highly regarded face paint design artist in the city.
Happy child, happy parent… the outcome is obvious – simply priceless.
Written by Sheldon Heyes
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/facepaintingistanbul
Instagram – facepaintingistanbul, ‘Melike Ozçağlı’