Category Archives: Cool Projects

Business Spotlight: Fancy Faces & Maternity Belly Painting

Laura Dorothie runs Fancy Faces & Maternity Belly Painting, a unique visual art company that combines Laura’s love of art with a human touch. She’s been building her own business since 2012. I asked her to answer a few questions for the blog about her business.


belly-2Please tell us in your own words what your business does.

My business is all about art, yes it is face and body painting but for me it is about bringing artwork to life by literally painting on the human canvas, in my opinion the best canvas there is. I bring a little extra glitter and glam to a princess’ birthday and a little extra kaPOW to the little superheros celebration. I add glitz, glitter and colourful class to corporate shindigs & holiday get togethers, and a little neon glow to nightclubs and raves. Maternity Belly Painting is a unique and artistic way to capture a moment during a woman’s pregnancy that she and her family can look back on years to come with fondness. Using only the best face & body paint; it’s not just face & body painting,  I help people create colourful and fun memories.

What are the benefits of running your own business?

I love running my own business because I get to be my own boss, I chose what I do and don’t do. If I want a weekend off I can do that, if I want to change sometimes or add something I can do that, and I don’t have to run it by anyone! I like having that creative control, and that ability to really be creative and let that energy flow.

What are the challenges of running your own business?

The challenges I face are that I am new, I am breaking into an industry that is small, and it takes a lot of time, and a bit of money. I don’t have the opportunity to just shut off because someone needs to respond to inquiries, someone needs to do the research on products, and stay ahead of the curve. I am the boss, I am the artist, I am the muscle, the business obviously revolves around me and is me, so there is no relying on anyone else, with two kids under 4 yrs old, this can be challenging.

How do you see yourself growing your business in the next five years to ten years?

I have so many ideas about how to grow this business and how I ultimately see my business going, and I hope that in the next 5-10 years that will be possible. I hope to have a ground level studio or a whole building with several purposes, thats a huge goal for me.

IMG_0427What advice could you give to someone thinking of starting their own business?

If I could say anything to someone starting out I would say don’t listen to the critics or your competition, there is always something unique about you that will make your business stand out from the rest, as long as you trust in being yourself and don’t be afraid to be a little colourful at times and add that little bit extra into what you’re doing. It takes at least 18 months to really see the fruits of your labour, but trust that you will see it, and NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK. You will find great allies in the people you network with, there are so many networking opportunities, you might be skittish of those opportunities but they could bring you a LOT of business.

You can visit Laura Dorothie at, like her Facebook page or follow her on Instagram.



British Library uploads 1 million images for public domain use

Image taken from page 347 of 'Das pittoreske Oesterreich, oder Album der österreichischen Monarchie ... Von einer Gesellschaft Gelehrter und Künstler'

Image taken from page 347 of ‘Das pittoreske Oesterreich, oder Album der österreichischen Monarchie … Von einer Gesellschaft Gelehrter und Künstler’

The British Library has uploaded 1 million images from 17th, 18th and 19th century books to Flickr Commons for public use, remix and repurpose.

The manifests of the images, which include the description and the books they were taken from, are already available on GitHub. This is a wonderful project that collaborates with the internet in its most basest form: recreation. I’m excited to see what will happen from this project and I think the British Library is awesome for having released this. The images came from only 60,000 volumes–merely a fraction of the millions of books the British Library currently holds.

There are maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colourful illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and so much more that even we are not aware of.

We plan to launch a crowdsourcing application at the beginning of next year, to help describe what the images portray. Our intention is to use this data to train automated classifiers that will run against the whole of the content. The data from this will be as openly licensed as is sensible (given the nature of crowdsourcing) and the code, as always, will be under an open licence.

The manifests of images, with descriptions of the works that they were taken from, are available on github and are also released under a public-domain ‘licence’. This set of metadata being on github should indicate that we fully intend people to work with it, to adapt it, and to push back improvements that should help others work with this release.

There are very few datasets of this nature free for any use and by putting it online we hope to stimulate and support research concerning printed illustrations, maps and other material not currently studied. Given that the images are derived from just 65,000 volumes and that the library holds many millions of items.

If you need help or would like to collaborate with us, please contact us on email, or twitter (or me personally, on any technical aspects)

A million first steps via BoingBoing