The upcoming Halloween season is peak time for Anything Airbrushed, Plus, a commercial and retail studio that lives up to it name in a brightly colored Cincinnati Mills Mall storefront.
Though they offer the service year-round, creating airbrushed body art costumes is an annual Halloween tradition for this shop.
“Halloween is a very busy time for us. We’re gearing up for now for it. We do body painting parties and corporate events,” says owner and artist Michael Dougherty, who opened the business in 1991, after moving to Cincinnati from Philadelphia.
Anything Airbrushed uses a special type of makeup for realistic looking Halloween masks. Artists use a more durable paint for the body. The airbrushed designs range from frightening to funny to erotic, and include bright clown faces, sexy vampires, and horned devils.
“That’s probably one of the most original and unique things that we do,” says Dougherty, a graduate of The Art Institute of Philadelphia.
The typical airbrushed facemask takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete, and will carry kids — big and small — through their Halloween night activities.
You can get just your face done, or go for a whole body painting. The airbrush fills in body and facial contours, veins or scars to set off any frightening look you can think up. The artists can also paint on makeup or custom designs across the body.
“We paint special effects with body paint and it lasts for the entire day,” Dougherty said. “It has a very realistic feel.”
Anything Airbrushed artists are professionally trained. Most of them have art, design photography or fashion-related degrees, or are pursuing them.
The key to great airbrushing is just like any other endeavor, according to Dougherty.
“It’s not different than any other art. The more you practice, the better you get at it,” he says.
Workers there also airbrush t-shirts, murals, banners, signs, portraits, motorcycles, key chains, greeting cards and more. In other words just about, well, anything.
“We have a wide variety of skills. Anything you want us to paint, we can paint,” Dougherty says.
He and six other artists work out of his Forest Park studio. In the summers, an Anything Airbrushed artist hits The Beach Waterpark in Mason, with a small setup there.
Anything Airbrushed is open from Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 6 p.m. Find out more by calling (513) 671-0758. Appointments for body painting are strongly recommended.
Click here to learn more about one of the Anything Airbrush artists.
Photo: Courtesy of Anything Airbrushed, Plus