Mar 15, 2017
Getting Inside the Wolfe Brothers
This is one of the most interesting conversations you can have, especially if you are a Gemini like me. The Wolfe Brothers are almost identical twins who rocked our little world when Creative Facepainting was released into our sleepy hollow (we all thought we were so clever) and we haven't looked back. Of course we were all very clever, it's just that we hadn't looked over to that side of the pond that divides us! We tracked the monsters of facepainting down, just as their new Cheat Book went to press and asked them a very nosey question or two...
Q. How does it feel to be the masters of Face Art? Did you set out to achieve this, or did it just happen?
A. We wanted to do make-up and facepainting, doing it in the theme parks was the first full time job having to do with it that we could find. Then we did our best for 4 or 5 years at 40 hours a week at least.
Wow that's a long time! And sounds like hard work.
Q. What did you do before you painted on faces?
A. Valet, cooking, bartending, chauffeur, radio dispatch, retail, you name it. We didn't figure out how to do art for a living till we were 30 or so.
Q. Have you always worked together?
Q. Is there a friendly rivalry between you? How would you describe your working relationship?
A. We compete with ourselves, and our last work. That way we never lose.
Q. Most of us work alone, is it an advantage or disadvantage to be teamed up with someone?
A. Nick can be 2 places at once! A great advantage, to say the least, especially for classes.
Q. More special powers?
A. Sorry, what I meant was that Nick and I get each other's blame and credit automatically. We have been around together for so long that we finish each other's thoughts and sentences. If one of us can't be somewhere the other can stand in, even at work. We have swapped airline tickets, driver's licences and passports without anyone being the wiser. It is very convenient.
Q. What are your influences? It seems you came out of nowhere and turned a fairly complacent industry on its head!
A. We are inspired by movies, comics, nature, anatomy and anything else we can get a hold of. I think having people from all over the world go on vacation in Orlando and see our work in the parks was key. The Creative Facepainting book helped as well.
Yes we remember the first time we saw it, and your work, and fairly fell off our chairs! It certainly helped open people's eyes to what could be done.
Q. You are such sweet nice guys, yet you specialise in horror. What's that about? Was it just following an opportunity through working for Universal, or is it a field you are naturally drawn to?
A. The only way to vanquish an enemy is to make it a friend. We are making friends with our dark side so we have nothing to fear. I like to be totally opposite of who I am when I dress up. The bad guys always look the coolest!
And the bad girls!
Q. Brian, your wife Dara paints too - why don't we hear much about her, does she still paint?
A. She paints every once in a while and works in the Wolfe brothers office now. She wears many hats and it's awesome having her at work with me. She also works full time raising our daughter Trinity with me.
Q. And where does your mom fit in?
A. She is the manager for the facepainting booths at SeaWorld here in Orlando.
Q. Just as we think you've gone as far as you can go, you come up with something new to amaze us. Where do new ideas come from?
A. I see face art where ever I go. People are coming up with stuff to borrow from all the time.
Q. Are you still painting the "general public"?
A. Sure, if the price is right and it sounds like fun.
Q. Have you ever not been able to paint something requested?
Q. What's your least favourite request, and what do you do about it?
A. Arms are not as fun to paint as faces. So I paint them anyway and make the best of it.
Q. How much time do you spend on research for a new design?
Blimey. You must have a lot of knowledge stored upstairs.
Q. Do you have a top tip?
A. We use the eyes as a focal point and paint all designs radiating from them and between them.
That's very sensible, and works!
Q. How do you feel when you see your work copied?
A. Flattered. I feel that no one owns a design so I copy and people copy from me and they get copied!
Q. When will Volume 2 of the Cheat book come out?
A. It went to print yesterday! I can't wait to have the sickest face art book ever in my hands. Volume 3 is on the way too.
We can't wait either...Sneak preview of the cover!
UPDATE - VOLUME 2 IS NOW IN STOCK! YOU HAD IT HERE FIRST!
Q. How do you see your future? What's the best thing that could happen for you?
A. Global union, the end of war and famine, and raising the face artists status to be equal to movie stars.
Oh, you already are for us!
Q. OK, How do you see the future for facepainting?
A. I see a world where facepainters are united on 1 world team and everyone has enough everything. Or maybe just realize that we have this now.
Q. Your paint has been well received, and it is very different from what we were used to. Why did you develop new products? Were you looking to do this or was an opportunity presented to you?
A. The product line was well into development before we joined the team. It was what we always dreamed of. I can paint whatever I want now with no limits. It is so freeing.
Q. There are lots of products available, what was important to you to make different?
A. Just being able to offer anything different has made us very thankful.
The black and white have gone down a storm over here, they are nirvana for line work!Q. What are you planning for the future of Wolfe Brothers products (apart from ensuring a good supply to Europe!)? A. Prosthetics, airbrush stuff, new colours including a flesh palette for theatre, more books, DVDs, a clothing line, trading cards, action figures, and a full length feature film trilogy.
That sounds cool, hey, you could have a trading card game, one design with each paint purchased - collect them all!
Your demonstrations are very entertaining as well as being instructive. It's fantastic that you are able to pass on so much skill and inspiration.Q. There is a limit to what can be taught in a one-off workshop. How do you cope with students that do-t have drawing skills?A. Our belief is that all humans draw from the same creative force. If someone doesn't have drawing skills, it is only because they have convinced themselves of this. Our classes are designed to show all that they also share these gifts. Even the more experienced artist can hardly believe what they accomplish in our class in the first few hours.
Q. When are you next coming to the UK? We hear you are coming over for the Bristol Convention in November.
A. We will be there with bells on! It's been well over a year and we can't wait to see all of our friends again.
Q. Are there any plans for your time here before or after the Bristol Convention? Any extra classes?
A. Yes and they can contact Rosey Jones at Rainbow Faces if they would like to join us on 12th November. Phone No. 01952 606099 or email, details of the day are here.
Q. We're having withdrawal symptoms and can't wait that long! When do you think the new Cheat Book will hit these shores?
A. No later than the first week in March.
We'll get our order in now!
Q. Anything else you'd like to say?
A. Relax, it's just facepainting!
That's what we keep trying to think!
© IMAGES USED IN THIS ARTICLE COURTESY OF THE WOLFE BROTHERS. LARGER VERSIONS CAN BE SEEN AT THEIR SITE IN THE 'ARTISTS CORNER'.
Facepaint UK would like to thank Brain and Nick for taking the time to indulge us, and for their invaluable contribution to the wonderful world of face and body art. They are featured in our new International Directory with some new work, and Hot Shots of course! Take a look at their website for a wonderful illustrated tour of their work and products, but get everything you need for the ride first!
We will be running a monthly Step by Step of the Wolfe Brothers work, keep checking in The Mirror!