May 14, 2015

Wedding Guest Sign-in Illustration Project

I recently worked on an illustration for my Sister-in-law Linda and my brother Antonio. They were getting married and Linda wanted to have a creative Wedding Guest Sign-in Board. She had a beautiful concept and vision so naturally, I was excited to help her bring her idea to life.

I worked on illustration board and took 20 hours to complete the full illustration. I did it all by hand with Faber Castell Pencils & Pitt Pens, Staedtler colored pencils and Golden acrylic paint accents. 

I loved working on this project, not just because I immersed myself in it artistically, but also because it was so cool to work on a piece that will rest on the walls of their home for years to come. 

Here are some photos of the process and the finished piece displayed at the wedding.

Lettering takes soooo much patience...and erasers.
First layer of ink
Bandaids for a smoother grip
Details on the bride and groom

Details on the stars
The finished piece

The Sign-in display at the wedding

May 8, 2014

No Flowers, Pinwheels or a Wind Chime

La Madre Triste 

When I started this blog back in 2007 it was my intention to share what was on my mind freely, but that didn't really pan out, so I've mainly blogged about my art. As I grow and evolve I've begun to share more openly about myself. So today, I bring you a heavy post, because I'm having a heavy-hearted week and the art that I create are just expressions of how I feel inside, so it's ok to set these words free. 

Camila's footprints and a little lock of hair
On May 8th, 2006 our baby girl Camila Amalia was born still when I was 40 weeks pregnant with her. Life as I knew it was turned completely upside down. My family and I have never been quite the same after it happened. I will admit that with time, (and the support of my husband and family) I have personally learned to find a place in my heart where I can keep the sorrow calm. Still, today marks 8 years since she passed away and I can't help but wonder what she would've been like if her life hadn't been reduced to a little box of mementos.

A painting of Camila by Abdias
When we lost Camilita, it was less than a week before Mother's Day. I remember Mother's Day coming, just 2 measly days after we had Camila's about a surreal memory. To this day I struggle with that holiday more than I care to admit, Thankfully my boys give me lots of love and remind me that I have them in my life, they make everything ok.

Camila's headstone in Greenwood
So what makes this 8th year harder than others before? Well, on May 8th, we'd always go visit Camila's headstone in Greenwood Cemetery in Orlando. We'd clean up the weeds, place pretty flowers, a colorful pinwheel and a new wind chime. We'd see how much the tree planted by her headstone has grown and had a moment of silence when curious little Butterflies seemed to flutter our sadness away. But this year, we moved away to Texas and I am farther than I have ever been from Orlando on a May 8th since 2006.
The illustration I drew for Camila's headstone

This year, I can't bring new flowers, a pinwheel or put a new wind chime to offer its melody to the breeze. I didn't think it would be this difficult, but it is. I know that when this week passes, as in all the years before, the sadness will once again subside and I will be able to store away my heartache and continue to learn how to make it better, learn how to turn her memory into something that no longer makes me cry.

My still unfinished tattoo of Camila
I'll stop by Greenwood to visit with her headstone some day. It will be sweet to see how much the tree has grown and I'll once again get to adorn her gravestone with flowers, pinwheel and a shiny new wind chime. Until then, I'll continue to keep my eyes open to see all the Butterflies that come to visit as I find a way to honor Camila's precious time on Earth. 

I'm thankful for my family, for all the love they have given me, for always helping me understand that everything is going to be ok and for making me laugh and smile every single day.

Our little family when the boys were little
I leave you with a song titled "Sorrow" by my husband Abdias Ernesto that perfectly explains how I feel. 

To all the Mothers who have lost a child, I send you a loving and warm (((hug))). 

Apr 16, 2014

How It All Began: A Look into My Journey as an Artist with a Family

It all started about 13 years ago, my husband Abdias and I had just moved to Orlando with a truck half-full of our belongings and $200 in our pocket. 

On the cover of Face Painting International

Inspired by Abdias' dedication to excel as a musician, I had recently understood that my calling in life was in art and I was ready to start putting in the time to make it happen. My husband Abdias was (and still is) a Music Producer and Multi instrumentalist and has worked hard over the span of our 16 years together to create music from the heart.

In my own search for a life in the arts, I answered an ad on a newspaper that said "Now Hiring artists" and long story short, I discovered the art of Face Painting working at the Orlando Theme Parks. At that job, I learned and gained experience while painting hundreds of people. For some reason, I didn't feel that Face painting was the right path for me at that time, so I left that job thankful for my new found skills and for the good times.

Abdias and I during our time in New Jersey/New York

From there I moved on to a few years of working at Sam Flax Art Supplies in Orlando as well as Kate's Paperie and The Art Store in New York City (we moved to New York for an adventurous few months in 2003). Since I was never able to afford a formal education in the arts, I saw my years at all those Art Supply stores as my own version of a "speedy college education". I met artists who were a positive influence in my life; including Jess Rubio whom founded the Caricature arts booths in the Disney theme parks. Jess taught me that I needed to stop fooling myself and start drawing hands correctly, lol. I was very fond of his 10 minute lessons everytime he'd come to buy supplies at Sam Flax. Needless to say, Jess made a huge impact in my life as an illustrator and I will never forget him (may he rest in peace). Phew, back to the story, at Sam Flax I learned the ins and outs of materials and processes which has come in very handy over the years.

My booth at the Orlando Farmers Market

After my Art Store "college education" years, I began creating acrylic paintings, illustrations and making sculpey refrigerator magnets that I eventually started to sell on 3rd Thursdays outside of OVAL (now CityArts Factory) and at the Orlando Farmers Market in Lake Eola.                                         

Abdias and I started a family and lets just say I was pregnant and out of the loop for about 4 years from 2004-2008. But I concentrated my creativity into illustration and somehow found the time to draw dozens of new illustrations that turned out pretty amazing.

Our sons

The first Face Painting sign I ever made

I took the scenic route to find myself artistically and Face Painting made it's way back into my life towards the end of 2008 when my husband suggested I try my hand at it again. My kiddos were a bit older now so I began offering face painting in my booth at the Orlando Farmers Market on Sundays. To my surprise, the market patrons embraced me beyond my wildest dreams and I fell in love with Face Painting for the 2nd time in my life. I did Face Painting there from October 2008 until March of 2010. I stopped working at the market in 2010 due to how busy I got with private parties and events. 

So that is how 'Carolina The Doodler Face Painting' was born, it all started with a small palette of Wolfe FX paint and turned into an amazing small business that I loved running for 5 years in Orlando.

My little family

Today, I continue to be a one woman operation but not in the scale in which I was doing it in Orlando. Now that we live in Del Rio, TX I have been focusing more on my family, my new job with Bellefit and on my illustrations, so I only do face painting every now and then. The great thing is that I discovered a really neat identity that I can channel through my illustrations as "Carolina The Doodler". So this is where I am today, I have an urge to draw and I am ready to fulfill it.

Of course, my biggest inspiration and motivation to always keep the dreams of an artful living are my husband and our two little boys. We hope to teach them that a loving dedication to your craft can blossom into a means of independence and happiness like none other. We are a team and that is how we move forward in our journey.

Doodling my family on a wall

Apr 15, 2014

An Epic Vacation to Lima, Perú

An Epic Vacation to Lima, Perú

Slideshow at the bottom of this post 

Abdias, the kids and I at the Panaderia San Antonio in Lima
As December 2013 began, my family and I were in the middle of packing up our belongings, donating a whole lot of things and putting everything that we would be taking to Texas in a storage unit at the U-haul storage on E. Colonial Dr. Our friend Shannon picked up our doggie Pancho (thank you Shannon!!!) as she would be dog-sitting for the next 4 weeks since before moving to Texas, we were headed for a an epic family vacation to Lima, Perú!

We drove down to Miami to meet the rest of our gigantic family and on Sunday, December 22, during one of the busiest travel times of the year, we all boarded a plane to Lima, Perú.

I was born in Lima, Perú in March of 1981 and my family moved out of there in 1989, so any chance I get to go back to my homeland is very special to me. This time I was excited not only to be going with my husband and two sons, but also with my 3 brothers, their families and my parents.

My Mama, Tia Gaby and I 
We spent almost a month in Perú and during that time we visited my grandma, my great aunt, my aunties and all my favorite places and houses where we grew up. We ate at some of the most delicious restaurants and had Ceviche, drank Pisco Sours and Chicha morada to our heart's content.

Abdias & I at Club Regatas on NYE
Christmas was a good time since my oldest brother Alfonso celebrates his Birthday on 12/24, so our partying was double the fun that night. (wooo-hooo!). My brother Antonio dressed as Santa for the kiddos and we got to see cousins, Aunts and uncles that we hadn't seen  in years!
New Years was pretty fun too, we danced the night away at the Regatas Club on the coast of Lima and had the best time welcoming the new year while the kids all stayed home with the nanny eating grapes and dressed in yellow with our their beloved nanny, Normita.

The kids in Ollantaytambo
Even though everything we had done to that point was fun and exciting, nothing came close to the trip we took on January 3rd to Cusco, Perú, the land of the Incan empire. We boarded our flight to Cusco and prepared ourselves mentally for the altitude we would soon experience. Cusco is located at an altitude of 11,150 ft above sea level which is a huge jump from what we are used to. Thankfully the transition was smooth and no one got sick from the altitude change.

The weather was chilly and humid and the history embedded in every breath was a feast to our eyes from the moment we stepped out of the Cusco airport. We stayed at a really nice hotel, Casa Andina. From there, we took excursions everyday and visited the most breathtaking sites I have ever seen in my entire life including, The Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo and of course, Macchu Picchu. 

Epic Family Photo in Macchu Picchu with the worl famous Wayna Picchu behind us

My mom, Dad, Abdias & I
When we got back to Lima, we still had another week of fun left and I even got a visit from two dear childhood friends whom I hadn't seen since I was a pre-teen! Needless to say, this trip was truly Epic and I could go on and on about everything my family and I experienced, but I'll let you see it all for yourself. In the course of the 4 weeks, I took almost 2000 photos, but I narrowed it down to my favorites in the slideshow below.

I want to thank my family for being so open to spending this amazing time together and most of all, I want to thank my mom and dad for giving us this gift of memories and anecdotes that will last a lifetime.

Slide show below:

Songs featured in video:
1. Mi Perú - Conjunto Embrujo Barranquino
2. Cariñito - Hijos del Sol
3. Medley de Valses - Arturo "Zambo" Cavero & Oscar Aviles

Apr 12, 2014

What Happened to Carolina The Doodler Face Painting?

What happened to Carolina The Doodler Face Painting?

In the fall of 2013, I was in the midst of my busiest season for both art events and face painting events. I co-produced the Annual Dia de los Muertos Event at City Arts Factory, performed with my husband at at number of Tacatantán events, did a Solo Art show in Sanford and worked an insane amount of face painting gigs including the full football season indoor tailgates at UCF.

As much as it seemed like a dream come true to be so busy, it was also exhausting. Now, I'm not complaining, but running a one woman show, rehearsing and performing while still homeschooling my sons and freelancing full time is no joke. It seems like my husband and I were ALWAYS working, no breaks, no vacations... just work.

Art went from being something we loved to do, to something we pressured ourselves to do for an income. That is when the shift began to take place. In November, I started working in my family's business ( doing Public Relations and as a Blog & Social Media copywriter. This new job allowed me to reduce my work-load on every other end as I honed in on my writing and social media skills (which I looove).

By mid-December, I was finishing up my last few Face Painting gigs, I was no longer booking new ones and working full time as a copywriter. Carolina The Doodler Face Painting found a chance to take a hiatus. So I emailed my clients with a warm farewell and embarked on a journey that would change my life in the most amazing ways....

NEXT: An Epic Vacation to Lima, Perú

Where in the World Is Carolina The Doodler?!!!

When my business, Carolina The Doodler Face Painting, was at its peak of popularity in Orlando, FL, my family and I relocated to Del Rio, TX

How did I we end up in Texas? you ask. Let me tell you how it all began.
We have a long history in Orlando. It's the place where Abdias and I moved to when we first got married, where our children Salvador, Pablo & Camila were born (Camila was still born in 2006), where I spent years behind the scenes in the Downtown Arts District, where my husband Abdias spent many years working in the music scene, where we opened our independent record label: Tacatantán Records and of course, it's the place where I opened my small business, Carolina The Doodler Face Painting.

For 12 years I felt like Orlando was and would be our only home and I just didn't see a future going anywhere else to try anything new.

But in 2013 something very interesting happened to our family. 

In our little family, there are many things that bind us with a special connection to each other, but the most resonant has always been music. In early 2013 my kids and I broke out of our shells and began performing at shows with Abdias. We started a family band.
Before we knew it, we were performing at venues in Orlando and eventually began traveling out of the city as we were invited to join larger shows like the Virginia Key Grassroots Festival in Miami - FL, the Shakori Hills Festival of Music & Dance in North Carolina and La Casa de la Cultura in Del Rio Texas.

What we experienced in those out of town shows was so magical, and the responses we got from the audiences were like nothing we had ever seen in Orlando. In turn, every time we returned to Orlando from our travels, we could think of nothing more than planning the next trip to another out-of-town show.

The feeling I used to have of Orlando being my only home began to change as a much stronger force took over. My husband Abdias had fallen in love with the small city of Del Rio, Texas. Some of our dearest family members live there and the small town life really appealed to us. Before we knew it, we were planning our exit strategy and packing up our life for a BIG MOVE to Texas.

NEXT: What happened to Carolina The Doodler Face Painting?

Jun 25, 2013

Hiring a Face Painter for your events Q & A by Carolina The Doodler


Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.

A. I am available to Face Paint at any type of event, however, my most common types of jobs include face painting at parties and face painting at corporate events in Orlando, FL and surrounding cities.

I am great with children. (Adults are cool too). I love entertaining them as I paint their little faces or arms and I love speaking to the kids who are waiting for their turn to get painted.

I find a lot of joy when I finally show them the mirror and they smile with excitement of looking magical and having had a nice time while sitting on my chair. =)

Q. Describe three recent jobs you’ve completed.

A. One of my favorite events of the year is painting faces for the Arthritis Foundation Jingle Bell Run, most people dont know that Juvenile Arthritis is the most common form of arthritis.

In 2013, I was voted a Family Favorite Face Painter by the readers of Orlando's Playground Magazine. 
And of course, being that my favorite type of events are birthday parties, I loved painting faces at a really fun Fiesta themed party for a customer whom I’ve been painting faces for since 2009. =)

Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

A. Always check the customer testimonials & reviews to see what to expect from the artist.
Be sure to ask lots of questions to make sure you are dealing with a professional face painter.
Photos are the best evidence of what an artist is able to do, check out the artist’s photos to see if you like their style of painting.

Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?

A. Face Painters are very popular entertainers and often get booked in advance. If you know the date of your event, I encourage you to always reserve your entertainment in advance to avoid last minute disappointments.
A great artist who loves what they do and cares for their customers will always keep their work area clean and organized no matter how busy they get at a party. Always look at the artists supplies and if they look dirty or unorganized, you might want to rethink getting your face painted with them.

Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?

A. It’s helpful to be sure of the date, time and location of your event before you seek a face painter. Some artists have travel rates for events outside of their travel areas.

Q. What is your greatest strength?

A. I am very patient and respectful towards every person who sits on my chair to be painted. Talking to the person I am painting as well as engaging the persons waiting for their turn is key to making everyone feel comfortable with me.
Frequently Asked Questions about Carolina The Doodler Face Painting

Q: What service does Carolina The Doodler Face painting offer?
A: I offer Face Painting and Body Art for all ages and events in Del Rio, TX for a minimum of 1 hour.

Q: What does Carolina do during her time at an event?
A: When the Face Painting service time begins, I paint the event’s guests continuously until the service time ends.
Q: What does Carolina bring to setup at an event?
A: I bring a 4’ x 2’ table with a tablecloth to setup my paints, glitter, brushes and makeup sponges.


Q: What does Carolina wear to an event?
A: I dress in All Black attire to maintain a clean and professional look. 

Q: Who chooses the designs for the event?
A: A design menu poster is displayed in front of the table with a wide array of full faces, eye designs and painted tattoo designs for everyone to choose from.

Q: Is Face Painting by Carolina The Doodler Safe?
A: I am a professional Face Painter. I strive to maintain materials & work area clean and in good hygiene. For the safety of all persons to be painted, I cannot paint individuals with infectious skin, eye, nose & mouth conditions. I am also fully insured.

Q: What type of paint and glitter are used?
A: I use Aquacolor Make-up which is water-based, non-toxic and hypoallergenic. The glitter used is polyester glitter which means that it has no sharp edges.

Q: How can Carolina be booked for an event?
A: Email me at

Q: How long can face paint be kept on the skin?
A: It is not recommended to leave Face or Body make up on overnight. Face paint is highly pigmented and will likely stain your skin temporarily if left on overnight. (it might also make a mess on your sheets as it rubs off in your sleep). 

Q: What forms of payments are accepted?
A: •Major credit cards. •Company Checks. •PayPal. •Cash.

Visit my website:


Nov 23, 2012

See a Decade of My Doodles!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see a decade of someone's Doodles? It's pretty cool actually = ) 
Check out my exhibit, "Box of Doodles" at CityArts Factory in the Orlando Downtown Arts District until December 14th.

Most of my wacky, Original Artwork is available for purchase at very low prices starting at $20. 
Dont be shy, check it out!
CityArts Factory is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11am - 6 pm.  
Admission is free, but donations to this awesome non-profit gallery are always welcome. 

your Pal,
Carolina The Doodler

2014 Update:

My solo exhibit, Box of Doodles was a HUGE success! During the month long exhibit, I sold almost $100 pieces of work! Check out the photos below: