Mariam Marks, an Idaho-based entrepreneur and content creator, is a talented artist with a great sense of humor. Lately, she's been going viral on TikTok for bringing everyone's favorite animated characters to life in a unique way.
Known as @mariammarks on TikTok, Mariam face paints Disney characters — and characters from other animated movies — and her increasingly popular content has gained her over 2 million followers on the app. From Beauty and the Beast to The Lion King, the possibilities are endless.
Mariam often adds a fun twist to her creations and records funny lip-synching videos while transformed as her characters. One of her most recent "singing" TikToks — with over 3 million views — is a montage featuring several popular characters you might recognize:
BuzzFeed spoke to Mariam, who revealed that art and animation have been passions of hers since childhood: "As a young girl, I wanted to illustrate for Disney." A former NCAA basketball player, she finally decided to focus on art after letting go of a sports dream: "[I] soon found it was difficult to pursue basketball at an art college where there were no competitive sports. So that dream went out the window," she said. "I was so happy to realize I could bring cartoons to life through social media in a way I never could before. It's art AND entertainment!"
After discovering TikTok in November 2019 and being inspired by "a whole new world of talent," Mariam uploaded her first face-painting video a few months later, on Jan. 9, 2020: "I posted a random video of a singing dog on my mouth. It was to the famous Linkin Park song "Numb." Like any new TikToker who finally makes it on the [For You Page], I had 100 likes in a day! I was blown away. Soon after, I had a flood of ideas come in...I couldn't create characters fast enough."
Since then, Mariam has face-painted several other characters, including memorable ones from Disney movies. Here are Hercules and Megara from Hercules:
Mariam sometimes records behind-the-scenes videos to showcase her face-painting process. Through her TikToks, she ultimately hopes to show viewers that they can have fun and try out their own creations: "I wish people knew that they could do it too! I would love to help others [learn how] to paint and create their own style — for birthday parties, Halloween, or just for fun. It's totally teachable... We are meant to share our gifts, and we are all important!"
With every new video she comes out with, people are loving her wholesome and lighthearted content:
And for Mariam, the support means the world: "[I've] been extremely grateful and humbled to be able to connect with so many different people. Art has a way of fitting into almost every category. I look forward every day to answering direct messages and comments. It's been a blast to give away free art and hear from kids who are inspired to try art for themselves!"
"My goal for every video is [to] make someone smile — even if it's for a moment... We need more positivity in this world, and if I can bring joy into other homes, then I am satisfied."