FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. — An attorney from Franklin Lakes is splitting her time between the court room and the art room, where other people's bodies are the canvases.
Fair Lawn native Larissa Symbouras is growing her freelance face and body painting into a full time business, along with bee-keeping.
“My mother was an art minor in college, and I think I had art supplies waiting for me when I was born,” said the family lawyer. She also serves on the Franklin Lakes Environmental Commission, and the Newcomers’ and Neighbors’ Club.
After nearly two decades of helping families through the legal process, Symbouras' creative side is taking over.
“A law firm accounting is a lot more involved than a face painter’s accounting. I just wanted to practice law,” she said. “I kind of got burned out.”
She is the only hired traditional body painting artist at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Some customers wait over two-and-a-half hours on line just to have some of her artistry done on them at the event, the artist said.
On her calendar, Symbouras books dozens of parties — her favorite for children — where she tranforms them into animals.
Her style can best be described as wild, fun and gory, and she does her own makeup for her favorite holiday — Halloween, Symbouras said.
“When people take on those characters, and get into it, it is so much fun," Symbouras said. "When you hold up that mirror it is a blast. They just run around and do their thing.
"People are so happy. I encourage kids that they can be a doctor, or a lawyer, and an artist.”
She painted a woman in West Milford at a non-profit and helped her feel glamourous. Her elation made Symbouras smile.
When she is home, Symbouras cares for rescue animals — dogs, cats, guinea pigs, chickens and bees on her property.
Symbouras' artistry helped her connect to others who would like access to fresh honey and she manages dozens of hives for clients, she said.
“I feel like I get to make people feel good," she said.
"When I was an attorney, nobody cheered when I walked into a courtroom. It is so much nicer when someone’s life isn’t falling apart around them."
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