Tools & Talismans #63 — Ren Allen

1. Teapot/loose tea/mug;  I often joke that I turn caffeine into color. But it's true. My tea ritual is foundational to the daily rhythm and the process of creation. The mug is especially important. Always handmade, this one with my company logo and motto (Faces by Ren, "be your own kind of beautiful"). The tea is equally important and varies with seasons and moods. Currently English breakfast with lavender and rose petals. Roses are a constant connection to the memories of my mum and the strong women in my lineage.

2. Cameleon bodypaint in Celadon: My favorite color and favorite brand of paint. Cake paints are the staple of all my body paint designs even when airbrushing, as they form the base coat. These cakes are integral to the work I do.

3. Paint brushes: They give form to everything in my head.  One can never have too many.

4. Airbrush: It gives me fits, and sometimes I get tired of maintenance, but I'm a better bodypainter for having learned airbrush techniques. It's one of my tools that crosses into both of my career art forms; makeup and bodypaint.

5. Talismanic pendants: The center bauble being the most potent. It is a glass bubble with a feather inside, connecting me to earth and air, groundedness and flight. It reminds me that what I contain is not duality so much as complexity. On one side, a compass to always remind me that no matter how far out I go, I know the way home. Purchased when I went to Austria to compete as an assistant in the World Bodypainting Festival. The last piece, an octopus, related to my theme when I took 2nd place in the North American championships in the "emerging artist" category.

Ren Allen is a bodypainter and makeup artist; expanding our definitions of beauty.