Photo by Courtesy Darnell Jackson
Hope Mallard has had a passion for art and painting going as far back as grammar school at Isabella Elementary and APAC. She won the Jackson Public Schools' Martin Luther King Jr. art contest numerous times, she says, in elementary, middle and high school.
Her high-school music teacher, Candy Cain, recognized her skill, and Mallard painted a mural of extra-curricular activities that still hangs in her alma mater.
Nowadays, Mallard, 30, owns Prissy Paint Brush and is a professional face painter. She also creates murals, does body art--including temporary tattoos and maternity belly art--in addition to painting children's furniture and unique wall treatments.
Mallard credits her older sister, Sabrina Howard, 40, a 1995 Atlanta College of Art graduate, as a big inspiration and an integral part of her creative process.
The local artist is a single mother of three--Charity, 9, Charlie, 7, and Faith, 11. She says it was her kids who led her to become a face painter. "My kids decided one Halloween that they wanted their faces painted," Mallard says. "It was just all in fun, but they kind of challenged me, and I started really looking into it."
In 2008, Mallard tried to get her business off the ground. "I started doing kids' unfinished furniture and canvases for kids' rooms," Mallard says. "I even did a couple trade shows to see how I would do." She did well in shows such as the Olde Tyme Flea Market. But working a part-time job at Delphi Packard Automotive in Clinton and experiencing low profitability in her business, Mallard put her art to the side until last year.
It wasn't the first time Mallard strayed from the arts. After graduating from Callaway High School in 2000, she attended Hinds Community College, enrolled in the pre-nursing program. Mallard is also a certified dental assistant. But now, she works full time with her hobby-turned-into-business, Prissy Paint Brush. "I kept going back and forth with what I wanted to do, and this is what I kept falling back into. This is what I am supposed to be doing," Mallard says.
"This is what I love to do."
Most recently, Skate and Shake, a new skating rink on Terry Road, hired Mallard to create art. Her work is prominently displayed on the front window and throughout the building including the walls lining the
"It's a passion of mine," Mallard says about her art.
Catch Mallard in action at the Light the Night Leukemia and Lymphoma walk at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Sept. 20; Zoo Party Unleashed in Highland Village, Sept. 27; the Storybook Ball at the Mississippi Children's Museum, Sept. 29; and Boo at the Zoo in late October. For more info, visit prissypaintbrush.com.