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Self-taught face paint artist becomes internet sensation with haunting creations

Face painting brings to mind images of cute kids at fetes and children's parties, proudly showing off a butterfly or super hero design.

However, a care home worker from Rugby, Warwickshire, is challenging that perception after building up thousands of followers on Facebook and Instagram, from using face paints to create impressive - if creepy - horror-themed designs on herself. 

Nikki Shelley, 33, is completely self-taught, but has caught the attention of a Dr Who and Torchwood special effects expert Neill Gorton with her eclectic range of ghoulish designs, the Daily Mail reported.

"I didn't think anything would come of it but the reaction to my work has been incredible," she said. "I don't really have an idea in mind when I start to paint. I just start and see what happens."

The mother-of-three explained how her hobby began 18 months ago when she painted her children's faces. She then moved on to practicing her painting talents on her husband, "But I knew I couldn't paint on them all the time so I started painting my own face." 

"I started to think of ways I could make my work different. I wanted to stand out and try new things. Luckily it has paid off."

Next month, Shelley, who hopes to one day use her talents in the TV and film industry, will teach at The Prosthetic Event in Birmingham, at Gorton's request.

"The last 18 months have just been incredible," she said.

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