It’s not everyday you read about a paintbrush-robot. Luckily, the Awesome Mitten is home to its very own ‘Face Painting Robot’. Nikki Skrobot, haling from Howell and currently located in Ann Arbor, was kind enough to share her story of transformation: from humble beginnings as an average Michigander to the robo-artist we know her as today.
In her own words, Nikki wasn’t exactly encouraged to pursue art as anything more than a hobby until she began working at a Howell video store where, on a whim, she decided to paint a Halloween mural. She received ample praise from customers and was asked to face paint at a local event. After investing in quality paints and enrolling in a face-painting workshop, she continued to share her skills at area festivals and fairs. In fact, the Face Painting Robot will be displaying her talents at Howell’s Balloonfest in June, Ann Arbor’s Art Fair in July, Howell’s Melonfest in August, and Novi’s First Annual Tummy/Tween Expo in November–where her canvases will include baby bumps.
Nikki also dabbled in henna while in high school, a trade she’s easily added to her repertoire of artistic talents. And it doesn’t stop there: the Face Painting Robot can do more than make a child’s face look a colorful butterfly. Nikki has continued painting murals as well; her own home is outfitted with a shrine to Super Mario and a large, free-hand tree, stretching across her kitchen wall.
Nikki constantly updates a Facebook page detailing her upcoming events, availability, and portfolio, as well as costs to employ her abilities. The Face Painting Robot can also be found on Twitter, Instagram (FacePaintingRobot), and her own website. A full time clerk at the University of Michigan’s Audiology clinic, Nikki still finds time to perform at the local community theatre and face paint for parties throughout the week. She doesn’t mind traveling for work, and has even been asked to face paint at a state fair in Iowa this summer.
And as for her unique moniker, Nikki says she came up with “Face Painting Robot” largely due to her own uncommon last name containing the word “robot,” as well as an inexplicable fear of automatons as a child. Considering the success she’s achieved under the pseudonym, I’m pretty sure she’s gotten over it!