Convention Synopsis: Post Living Canvas

The Living Canvas Convention in September is now over.  Judy Luthy and family has put the convention on for the past three years in San Jose, CA. It started out with just 15 people, but this year it was up to 75 registered attendees!


I found myself really enjoying a convention of this size. The classes were not so bloated, you had time to get more quality bonding and networking accomplished, and the instructors were also easier to get one on one time with since they weren’t bombarded with 400 adoring fans all waiting for a chance to talk to them. If you haven’t gone to a convention before, I suggest starting out at the smaller ones. They are way more affordable, and you have a better opportunity to learn.

Alana Dill


The Living Canvas highlights for me were painting at the Diamond FX booth with Santi, Elena and Kurt, the men hanging around in the tops of the palm trees, the curious black squirrels, the easy access to cheap and yummy food across the street, the simple layout of the class locations, the amazing instructors they brought in, and the wonderful people who attended my classes.

Elena painting Max I loved the competition at the end of last day where you compete against yourself, not the other participants. Once everyone was done you had to explain how you used the skills that you picked up at the convention to create your design.  I was kind of stuffed up from all the palm tree debris in the air, so I modeled for Gen Keller instead of competing. Ahhh…. She gave me an amazing make over! That was the cherry on top!


I still would love to see a convention that has more work shop style classes where the painters actually PAINT during the classes. These would need to be longer classes with smaller instructional goals. Like one class could be, Improving your Line Work, or Learn to paint Scary Mouths, or 5 One Stroke Wonders of the World, and the instructors of the classes list exactly what you will be working on in the class, so you can decide if you need it or not.

“STAYING AWAKE and STILL is HARD No Matter How Talented the Instructors Are.

Part of me wishes there were no classes, and it was just always bunches of jam groups with an informal leader. I would also like challenge jams where people were challenged to paint their most creative This or That. Those who would usually be teaching at the front of the class instead would give creative criticism to those who participate. What about you paint half the face and the instructor shows you how to improve it while they paint a “better” version on the other side?? This is where I feel like I would really learn.


If you have been to a convention, what would you like to see? If you haven’t been, what would you hope to get out of it?

Where in the U.S. do you feel like a convention is Missing?

How much would you be willing to invest on a 3 day convention. Would a weekend convention or a week day convention be better for you?

Would you rather just get together and socialize and Jam, or do you like Classes? New Face Painters have different goals than long time face painters…is that true?

3 comments on “Convention Synopsis: Post Living Canvas

  1. Great post Anna! I like how you said to start at a small convention instead of a bigger and busier one. I havent been to a convention but would really love to go if there’s one here in Southern CA. As a newbie, classes that have different goals (like what you mentioned) would be helpful. Although, I agree too that half and half (half painted by me and half by a teacher) can potentially be a huge learning experience (I’d probably be so nervous! lol). Weekday is preferable just because parties are mostly during weekends. Im not sure about 3 days though… maybe if its spread out in 2-3 weeks. 😀

  2. Hi Anna,

    It was great meeting you at Living Canvas. I am so glad my first convention was a smaller one. I think I would have really been overwhelmed by anything bigger! I actually thought we’d be painting more in the classes, but I still learned a lot. I wish we had one here in Michigan so I didn’t have to travel all the way to Cali, although flying definitely added to the adventure. I liked that the convention was during the week so I could still keep my weekend open for bookings. One thing that I felt was missing was a marketing class. It’s hard getting started as a new face painter and some guidance in that area would be helpful. As far as how much I’d be willing to invest…Living Canvas was affordable, although I ended up spending a lot overall. If you mean the convention itself, $150-250, depending on how long it lasted, plus travel/food/hotel. Maybe if the days were split up with classes in the morning then jamming in the afternoon with more guidance as to what we were working on. I had never even been to a jam before Living Canvas so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I met some exceedingly talented and wonderful people, expanded my artistic mind and learned a lot about myself. Overall, I had the best time ever and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  3. Hey Clash!!!!! I ABSOLUTLY LOVED Living Canvas. However it was my first body convention, and so it is hard for me to really compare it to any other. I thought that all of the classes I went to were very helpful, even cheek art was so great!!!!
    I agree a marketing class, and guest service class would be grand. I hope someday I can be an instructor. DREAM BIG that’s my hope. I have been practicing allot with my split cakes and I am getting much better.
    So I am definitely going back to Living Canvas, it’s like I was reborn in life or something. I feel wild and free when I am painted, and when I am painting.
    So from a newbie, I really enjoyed myself, and I hope that I can go to others, but if I can’t Living Canvas was just right for me.

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