You may know her as Face Paint Girl, because when there are neon swirls on your forehead, that tends to precede you. For Chaia Werger, face painting is a way to get to know people, to decorate her feet and to express her personality more than her deceptively normal PennCard can. Street wanted to get to know the girl behind the paint.
Street: Whose was the first face you painted?
Chaia Werger: I did a lot of costume face paint on myself freshman year, and at my 20th birthday party I had black–light body paint. But the first faces I painted with intention were my two best friends’ on my 21st birthday.
Street: When you’re not painting faces, what’s your favorite body part to paint?
CW: I guess that all depends on who I’m painting… Stomachs and backs offer a lot of blank space, but more curved areas like shoulders and collar bones are interesting because you can play with angles and shadow. On myself? I like to paint my feet.
Street: Where’s the weirdest place you’ve been with facepaint on?
CW: A pizza place in Port Authority. My boyfriend and I were the only customers and I could see the reflection of the employees staring at us in the mirrored wall we were facing. I don’t think they knew what to make of it.
Street: Would you rather paint your own face or someone else’s?
CW: I like both. I like to paint my face because it’s easier and I like to stand out in a crowd, but it’s exciting to paint someone who really wants his or her face painted. Plus it’s a great conversation starter.
Street: Who are your artistic inspirations?
CW: When I’m painting someone’s face I try to base my painting on the vibe I get from them — what kind of clothes they’re wearing, their attitude, etc.
Street: My PennCard photo looks like…
CW: I’m way more normal than I really am. My rainbowed Hawaiian driver’s license is a bit more representative of me as a person.
Street: What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
CW: I have a phobia of clusters of tiny objects. Like the seeds in a pepper. Reminds me of maggots, I think.
Street: What’s the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?
CW: A good majority of them are lucid dreams. Since I know I’m dreaming I can frequently control what happens to a certain extent; it’s one of my life goals to be able to completely control my dreams. I’ve also had a ton of flying dreams. Those are my favorite.
Street: What song is playing when you walk into a room?
CW: Rusko’s Pro–nails remix.
Street: So you’re this week’s Ego, who’s your Alter–Ego?
CW: My alter–ego would probably be a Juggalette.
Visit Chaia Werger's blog, facepaintgirl.com.