I visited the Faerieworlds Festival in Oregon for the first time in 2005 as just a day-trip, and came away determined to create my own male faerie persona for this event next year. (Coming in character is one of the signature features of this event.) In my efforts to create a wholly original fae persona, I made or remade all of my costume pieces: strung the necklace, painted the velvet jacket, and sewed all kinds of odds and ends onto my hat: vivid flowers, ornaments, magical symbols of life and death.

I decided to paint myself blue because that seemed the most otherworldly color for skin; the faerie artist Brian Froud commented to me that the Blue Man in faery lore was among other things, a psychopomp– a guide of souls to the Otherworld. (I believe the dangling skeleton on my hat brought this to his mind.)

The makeup, lightly dusted with glitter, incorporates many blues, as well as violet and light touches of green, to give it that quality of fractal irregularity that provides so many textures in nature, from flesh to butterfly wings, with an iridescence and sheen unique to themselves. Typically it takes about 3 hours to put on all the makeup, paint the lines, and add additional decorations.

(Pro photos by Kyer Wiltshire)