Original soft pastel artist blogger – Brenda Boylan

Wearing Totobobo mask while making pastel art.

I’ve tried heavy ventilators and they don’t fit my small featured face. I’ve tried 3M, and a few other disposable face masks, but it seemed like they were not protecting me enough. For my own health I searched high and low for a small, comfortable, and highly effective filter and found another pastel artist, Paula Ford using a Totobobo. Artist’s are always at risk by their mediums, especially soft pastel dust! I wanted to bring this up because recently my favorite online blogger friend Loriann underwent lung surgery and so I wanted her to see that she too, can continue working in pastel! I still have to gently wipe up any remaining dust with a damp rag to keep from getting airborne. I’m not sponsored by Totobobo, but I certainly do encourage pastel artists to check them out for their own health.

“Totobobo mask really should be a must have for anyone that uses pastels indoors.” – Carol, Carson City

Totobobo ideal for Art & Craft applications
Totobobo mask ideal for Art & craft use

From pastel painting to woodturning, artists and craftsmen share the same secrete weapon back in their studio – Totobobo mask is their trusted breathing protection while they need to concentrate on their master piece. The unique features of Totobobo allows superior fit, comfort and at the same time provides N95 class protection performance. The good words of the mask keep repeating itself amongst the users:

Petra discovered Totobobo mask and share with the pastel artist community

I usually use my pastels outdoors, but I’ve noticed that when I use them indoors, the next morning I have a slight but persistent cough when I wake up. I tried using surgical masks and didn’t like them. I’ve just ordered one of the following masks from Totobobo.
I bought these because people bicycled all over India and China wearing these masks — if figure they have to be comfortable. You can trim them to the size that fits your face. The mask itself is reusable but you need to insert new filters when needed.

– Petra K , Wetcanves member, Redondo Beach

Paula tried the mask and love it! She started a thread about Totobobo mask

I wanted to tell you about my recent struggle with breathing. For the last couple of months I’ve been having a hard breathing after painting. I don’t think I was blowing on my work, but was tapping the excess pastel into the trash every few minutes. Well, it was getting into the air so much, by the end of the night of painting, I could hardly breathe, and my eyes have been running, red and itchy all the time whether I’m painting or not.

So, I came here to WC and did a search for “masks” and decided, after much research and trial and error with other masks that I bought at Lowes or WalMart, that I’d purchase the Totobobo mask.

Let me first I am not associated with the makers of the Totobobo mask. I just feel strongly about what I am about to tell you. This mask may have saved my life.

First, the mask is made out of a rubbery material, so it sticks naturally to your skin. It is a bit tricky to learn how to put it on, but once you’ve got it, you’ve got it. At first, there was a slight gap near the nose area and I could feel the air coming in around my nose, so I wrote to the makers of this mask and they responded very quickly and told me what to do and it worked perfectly! Since I found the perfect position on my face for my mask, I no longer have any problems with breathing…at all…period. My nose has cleared up, my eyes are no longer irritated, I don’t cough or sneeze at all any more. And, it’s comfortable! I hardly know I’m wearing it!

I feel it has given me the freedom to continue using my pastels. Oh my gosh, I could NOT imagine not painting with pastels. My heart would just die!

So, I’m here to tell you, if you EVER have any breathing problems due to pastel dust, please buy this mask. It will make all the difference in the world and it may just save your life.

– Paula Ford, /Wetcanvas forum Guide, Jasper TN

Don pick up the mask and make another review:

Recently, based on a thread started by Paula Ford, I purchased the Totobobo dust mask. I thought I would share my review.

The first thing I noticed was that there seemed to be more air coming through the Totobobo mask than the previous mask that I have been using (3M #8210). In fact, I took the mask off to check and make sure the filters were in place, because there was no noticeable decrease in air flow! (Yes, the filters were in place!) The mask seems lighter, too.

The straps were more comfortable than the 3M #8210 mask, and even better, they are adjustable. You can tighten or loosen them with a little clip that is attached to the strap.

The mask seems to do a fine job – no coughing or clearing my throat after working with the pastels.

One of the nice things about it is that the filters detach and are replaceable, so the mask itself is more environmentally friendly. You only throw the filters away – not the entire mask. The filters will probably last a good long time, I guess I don’t know how long yet! I’ve used it twice and the filters aren’t dirty at all.

One thing that you might need to do, is make some “homemade adjustments” to ensure the mask is tight against the side of your nose – so that the air does not escape through there. Paula contacted Totobobo and was instructed to cut a filter in half and place a piece on either side of the nose. I ended up doing something different – I cut a small groove at the top of the mask for the bridge of my nose (which, apparently, is larger than the average totobobo mask user!). It worked fine, and when I wear the mask, it does not fog up my glasses!

So, that’s my review and I definitely recommend this mask. I know many of you are hesitant about wearing a mask, and believe me, so was I. In fact, I pretty much had to give up pastels for about 20 years, only doing them occasionally and then stopping due to coughing issues. Finally, I decided that using a mask was something I could get used to – and I did. I think it would have been an easier decision if this mask had been available then. It seems very unobtrusive compared to the others.

-Don /Wetcanvas forum Guide, Rochester, NY

Don's trim to fit his nose width=
Don's customization

More comments from other users:

“I totally agree with Don. It’s extremely comfortable, does not fog up my glasses and fits well.” Devonlass – Chelmsford, Massachusetts

“This is the only mask I’ve been able to get used to. I cut it to the first mark for it to produce a good seal. Most important of all, is that it doesn’t fog my glasses! Yeah!”
Adriana Meiss, Syracuse, NY

3 thoughts on “Artist”

  1. Folks you need to wear this. I’m sorry to have discovered it too late in life and have only been using it the last 6 or 7 years long after damage already done from 50 yrs of working in pastel.

    I recieved my first pastels from a boyfriend when a teenager and spent many 40 + hr weeks at the easel, plus teaching large classes of pastellists. I’m paying dearly. Have just this year packed away all my dry mediums. Can’t even get away with a little dust on clothes. Heart breaking.

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