By Ilea Wakelin Continue reading
What good is a face painter that’s not prepared? Of course your face painting supplies (such as paints, brushes, and glitter) are already something you may have already considered and purchased, but what about hardware and non painting items? Are you prepared for the unexpected at your next gig? Caitlin from Cait’s Paints has been kind enough to put together a hardware checklist that every painter might find themselves needing.
- Are you ready to be the superhero at your next event? The mighty band aid has been known to save lives and come in a variety of styles making it easy to be fashionable as well.
- Hammer time! Do you bring any hardware tools, such as a hammer or screwdriver? You never know when you will need to turn into MacGyver in a hurry!
Head on over to Artist Alley to see the rest of the face painters checklist in it’s entirety! Thank you Caitlin!
The Tattooed Lady is back with some helpful tips & tricks for your next face painting gig! Have you ever arrived to an event only to realize you forgot your face painting stencils? Check out Léa’s unique fix for this dilemma.
Fortunately for Léa, missing her star shaped stencil wasn’t the end of the world. Realizing she had star shaped stickers, she improvised and was able to discover a new use out of those otherwise ordinary stickers.
Applying the sticker to the area where the stencil would have gone, Léa was able to create a negative star design using her new sticker stencil! A negative design is one without paint and where only skin is making up the area of the design.
Incorporating this newly found face painting skill, Léa has put together a tutorial on her reverse stencil technique! Head on over to The Tattooed Lady’s blog to watch the full tutorial and expand your face painting tricks!
[button type=”ambitious_button” url=”http://www.thetattooedlady.ca/blog/reverse-stencil-face-painting-with-stickers” target=”” ]Read more & Watch the Tutorial[/button]
As I travel the world I get to meet the best of the best tackle tarts. Tackle tarts are paint hoarders that must have and buy everything related to face painting. I love tackle tarts because they keep Silly Farm in business, however I hate to see things go to waste. Some of you have so much paint that you couldn’t use it in two lifetimes. Then I meet painters that have a hodge podge of this and that, and they are still trying to find the perfect kit and set up.
The perfect kit does not exist, nor does the perfect brand. You will have to kiss a few paint frogs in order to find the products that transform your art into a Picasso or you can read my list of 20 Must haves for painters and hopefully I can save you money and time kissing those frogs!
- 20) A mesh laundry bag to hold sponges.
Sponges are lightweight, fly away and are easily lost. I store my sponges in a laundry bag so they don’t fly away and it makes it simple to wash them after a gig.
- 19) Baby Wipes and not the cheapy ones either!
When buying baby wipes try to make sure they don’t have a lot of fragrance or are rough on the skin. That way you protect your paints and don’t leave fibers in them. You can also clean the children or your hands without smelling like a baby booty.
- 18) Business Cards on your table!
If your goal is to generate more business and solicit new clients, don’t make them do the work. Have your cards and your contact info readily available so they can find you, book you and PAY you.
- 17) An Acrylic Mirror.
A GOOD mirror too! Would you buy an invisible Mercedes? Probably not, so why would you paint a masterpiece and not be able to show it off? Look for an acrylic mirror at least the size of a sheet of paper. You want your clients to look in the mirror and go WOW, not scramble for a lip gloss mirror at the bottom of their mom’s purse. The reason I mention an acrylic mirror is to avoid 7 years of bad luck as acrylic mirrors are less fragile and clean easier.
- 16) Bandaids.
I have saved the lives of paper cut wounded children and was praised as a hero just because I carry bandaids with me. You would be surprised how far a bandaid can go and how you can save the party.
- 15) A Gallon of Water.
In order to keep my set up looking clean and keep parents happy with my hygiene practices, I dump my dirty water quite often. To avoid running to the sink every time I need a fresh cup, I carry a gallon of water with me to ensure enough clean water for the entire length of my gig. Clean is the new cool!
- 14) A Table and Chair.
It wasn’t until I stepped into the role of party mom that I realized how crazy you are when you are hosting a birthday party for your kid. You want everything to be perfect and you want the least amount of problems thrown your way. When I hire a professional and pay professional rates I expect them to come ready to go, and I expect that they have a table and chair to do their job. A table and chair is part of the required materials in order to complete their duties. The last thing I want to do when I am hosting a party is stop greeting my guests to find a table for the face painter. Being prepared is essential and gives you a professional look.
- 13) Table Cloth.
If you want to charge like a professional you need to look like one. I carry my face painting kit, my purse, my gallon of water and other stuff to my job. When I set up I store everything under my table and cover it all up with a nice glittery table cloth. My clients like it because I look professional and I love it because it hides all the things I don’t want kids to touch or mess with.
- 12) A Smile.
A smile is the only curve that sets everything straight. Remember, we sell smiles. If you yourself aren’t wearing one, how do you expect your clients to feel? Put your bad day aside when you are on the job and remember to smile because its contagious!
- 11) Water Bottle, Snacks, and Gum.
Especially for those long gigs! I have painted at events for 6+ hours and thank goodness I always pack a little something to nibble on and drink during the event. While it feels inhumane to paint on your feet for 6+ hours, sometimes we get carried away. Having a little snack in your pocket can make a huge difference. I try to keep granola bars or raisins in my pocket to help me along the way and keep myself energized. I also bring some water for me to drink on the job so that I don’t have to rely on the host of the party to offer me a drink. Especially during the summer months!
- 10) Brush Tub.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE my brush tub. I have always had trouble losing my brushes, or them rolling around on my table. I love this brush tub because I can stand my brushes up in the right direction and it has 3 compartments. I always keep one compartment with clean water to use with my q-tips for the lips. The other compartment has ridges at the bottom that help me clean excess paint residue from my brushes. It’s a good size to travel with and easy to clean!
- 9) Q-tips.
The best way to apply lipstick is by using a q-tip. This way you don’t have to use your brush on everyone’s lips and you can keep your brushes more sanitary. A little hint to get the glitter to stay longer on the lips. Add a little Vaseline over the lipstick and then dab glitter on. Your model will have glittery lips for a while.
- 8) Good Round Brushes.
By now most of you know I am a Gold Grip fan. The Gold Grip brushes are my personal favorites because they hold their point after repeated use in water and the bristles are chiseled to a fine point. The hairs rarely start going awry unless you leave them immersed in water, and they hold paint nicely. Round brushes are the most commonly used brushes by face painters and having a few GREAT rounds in your kit will make a HUGE difference in your line quality.
- 7) An assortment of Arty and Rainbow Cakes.
Even if you just buy one arty and one rainbow cake it will be worth the investment. You would be surprised how much faster you can paint when you can put down five background colors at once. My new personal favorite rainbow cake is the Hippie and Moon Dance Rainbow Cake. They are WOW! I also can’t live without my Bright Leaf and Juicy Fruit Arty Cakes. Rainbow and Arty cakes are impressive to have on your table because parents look at your supplies and think you have a secret product only available to painters. They are also amazed at what it does and really are blown away. I load my table with rainbow and arty cakes because it also shows the parents that I have products they can’t just buy at WalMart or Party City. The products I am using are sold at the super exclusive, Painters Paradise, Silly Farm Supplies. Only painters can shop there (Just kidding).
- 6) Sponges.
In order to apply base coat or to cover a large area, you will want to use face painting sponges. I suggest keeping them in the mesh bag mentioned earlier so you don’t loose them. Cutting them in half is another great way to extend their life and get the most out of them. This way you will also have a nice flat surface to blend with and cover a large area. If you plan on buying sponges from a craft store, make sure they; are soft to the skin, don’t fall apart when used in water, and don’t itch the skin.
- 5) Cosmetic Glitter.
Nothing finishes a face painting design quite like some sparkle. While some people see glitter as the STD of the craft world, I see it as essential as a Visa card. Never leave home without it! If you have to choose just one glitter, I would suggest the White Fairy Dust. The white fairy dust is the most practical because it can go over any color without covering the design. If you want to get fancy then I suggest having a pink, gold, and lime green glitter too to dress up your lips, leaves and tigers. If you purchase your glitter from a craft store please make sure it is safe to use on the skin. Make sure it is a cosmetic grade glitter, made from polyester not metallic. Metallic glitter can be harmful in the eyes and cause the child to feel itchy.
- 4) Brush Bath.
It took me 4 years to work with a chemist to come up with a formula that was non toxic, safe for the skin, organic and that can be used while we face paint. Brush bath is a water sanitizer and brush conditioner. You can use it while you face paint to keep your water fresh in between rinses, and it also conditions the bristles while you rinse. It does not contain any alcohol and it is 100% safe on the skin. Adding rubbing alcohol to your face painting water does not have any affect or serve a purpose. If you don’t use Brush bath, I recommend using baby shampoo, but only a very little.
- 3) Starblend Powders.
Powders can be just as useful and time saving as using rainbow cakes. The powders serve as a fast background color without having to use a damp sponge. Powders are applied dry with a smoothie blender which allow for fast and smooth application. I love using the red starblend for Spiderman, it has saved me so much in paint and time!
- 2) Gems.
Gems are like my secret weapon. When a child doesn’t want to get painted, I whip out my gems and make a child’s day! Gems can be used to create a necklace, crown, or a pretty bracelet. Its funny, but something as simple as a gem can leave a lasting memory with both the child and parent. They are inexpensive, but can take your face painting to the next level.
- 1) Professional Grade Face Paint.
A painter cannot paint without paint. It’s a must. I’m not going to sell you on any one brand, I would rather just push you in the direction of using skin safe, cosmetic grade face and body make up. Avoid acrylics, avoid grease make up that is hard to remove for kids, and set yourself up with a kit that looks professional, allows you to paint like Van Gough, and that you are proud to use on your own skin. Keep your paints clean, build a kit around the colors and designs you like to paint the most, and mix and match your favorite brands. I promise you will love your kit when it becomes a reflection of you.
If I missed anything on my list, send us an email or leave a comment below! Happy Painting !
I run Cait’s Paints, which offers an array of services by multiple artists. But me, personally? I introduce myself as a body painter. Women are my favorite canvas; adapting my work over so many curves and shapes presents a challenge with a never-ending array of possibilities. I truly find cause for celebration in the grace and strength of the human form.
However, not everyone is as gung-ho about nudity: Many models don’t feel comfortable having someone intimately painting their lady-bits, few magazines are keen on publishing nudity, and posting anything “offensive” onto sites like Facebook could get your page shut down pretty quickly. What now?
There are multiple options available for covering genitals: seamless thongs, G-strings, strapless panties, ProShields, Zombie Skin, medical tape, and probably a few more creative options I haven’t heard yet. It all comes down to your personal preference and budget.
My preferred canvas is a topless model wearing nude-colored thong underwear. I’m open to putting pasties on my models (should the model or venue require it) but finding good pasties has not been nearly as treacherous as my quest for the “Perfect Thong”:
Cotton thongs absorbed too much paint, making it time consuming and difficult to paint details. I felt that g-strings “pinched” my models hips. Victoria’s Secret seamless thongs were okay, but I wasn’t willing to shell out and extra $12 in kit expenses.
Then I found La Senza “Barely There” thongs, and something miraculous happened; The thong melted effortlessly into my designs, and painting the fabric was a breeze. My models have found them comfortable and flattering. They even offer a more conservative version, the “Brazilian“.
I had found my Dream Thong, but the price was still hefty…until I found a Dream Retailer as well! Braonsale offers La Senza’s panties for less that $5, with FREE SHIPPING! They also send me a coupon with each of my orders. Just typing this gets my heart racing! As artists, our kits easily contain hundreds or thousands of dollars in supplies; Knowing that thongs are no longer a major expense is a huge relief.
I hope you all enjoy this new find as much as I have. Stock up, but leave some for me!
– Caitlin St. Angelo
This article is a submission from Artist Alley. Click here to view it on Artist Alley.
When you’re just getting your business started, the onslaught of expenses can be staggering. After all, it takes money to make money – right? Definitely…but sometimes the best things in life are FREE!
Every new business needs a website, which I found to be one of my most daunting tasks. Web designers are expensive, and it’s easy to get taken advantage of when you don’t know much about web development. Check out our last article about websites and you’ll be well on your way to getting started for free, with minimal technical knowledge.
Business cards are an absolute essential for networking; you never know where you’ll be when someone asks for your information. Pulling out a stylish business card looks much more professional than scrambling to jot down your number on some scrap paper you found in your purse. Vista Print and Zazzle both offer free business cards, with plenty of design templates to choose from.
If your business involves selling merchandise, check out the United States Postal Service‘s array of free shipping supplies. You can “purchase” your supplies online, and have it shipped right to your door.
Education & Designs
The education process is endless. You may have already “learned” your trade, but keeping up with the latest trends and techniques takes some serious dedication. While I recommend saving up for workshops and conventions, it’s understandably expensive. Keep your skills fresh between classes by dabbling around on Youtube; there’s tutorials for everything from cheek art to prosthetics, henna, and more. Some of the biggest names in face & body art keep active channels, full of advice and tutorials.
Even with all of the right supplies and talent, a small business can fizzle out if you’re not prepared for the management end of things. SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) is a nonprofit consulting service for entrepreneurs to help you build your business from a solid foundation. In addition to their free business counseling services, they host low cost workshops and webinars.
Managing your money and resources from the start will afford you more success in the long run. Fancy business cards and high end websites are great, but pace yourself! Grow your business thoughtfully; every penny matters.
Wishing you all so much success,
Caitlin St. Angelo
With the ease and availability of search engines, the World Wide Web has become a cornerstone directory of information. And you – as an upstanding professional artist – should be on it! People want to know about you before they promise you money: They want to read about you, find great reviews, and scope you out a little bit before allowing you into their homes.
Now, I am not the most tech savvy person. My initial foray into website building was long, laborious, and fraught with disappointments. Hiring a reliable web developer on a budget seemed impossible, so I joined the ranks of DIY’ers (Do-It-Yourself’ers). Here are some of my favorite website building resources and tools – designed specifically for the tech-illiterate!
- Wix – A drag-n-drop style editor for beautiful Flash or HTML5 websites.
- Carbonmade – Focuses on creating sleek, stylish, online portfolios.
- WordPress – A very SEO (search engine optimized) option, based on a core “theme”, customized by the addition or deletion of “plug-ins”.
- Godaddy – Offers free design templates, pre-made websites, and a website builder with a slew of additional tools.
- Blogs, such as Tumblr or Blogspot, also allow you to add pages and connect to a domain name of your choice, giving the benefits of a website with minimal effort.
Most of these allow you to build your website for free, only charging you if you choose to upgrade to a higher package. Freebies are great for the nonexistent budget of a budding entrepreneur…however, I have found that upgrading to a paying package has been well worth the professional appeal it offers.
Remember that a website reflects you and your business; You might be a fun, lighthearted person, but an unkempt or unprofessional looking website can derail your efforts to be take seriously. Here’s some things your website should include:
- Functional, easy to navigate pages
- A professional aesthetic
- An “About Me” section
- A list and explanation of services
- Photographs of your work
- Contact information
From there you can always expand. Adding additional pages, comment widgets, interactive Google maps, or payment integration, is much easier than you’d think! Look at the design and layout of other successful websites for some inspiration. FABAIC, WolfeFX, Kryolan, and Mehron all fit the bill.
-Caitlin St. Angelo
All logos are intellectual rights and trademark of their respective owners.
Figuring out how to store, transport, and organize my ever-expanding kit has been an ongoing endeavor since I first started. I tried everything from scrap booking totes to a folding crate on wheels, luggage sets and train cases. Nothing I tried seemed to offer the right combination of organization, size, ease of transport, cost, and durability.
Until I found the Stanley Fat Max Mobile Work Station. That’s right…a tool box. I wish I could take credit, but my makeup artist friend Elizabeth deserves all the fame for this incredible find. Let’s have a look at the official specs:
Features and Benefits
- 4 storage solutions in one includes toolbox, part bins, portable tray and oversized lower bin for larger items
- Patented tiered cantilever multi-level rolling system allows easy access to all 4 storage areas at the same time
- Durable Structural Foam construction
- Telescopic handle for easy maneuvering
- Easy latch system includes a quick push to close feature
- Large front latch that locks the entire unit
- Ball bearing slides for smooth operation even under heavy load
- V-groove on top of lid holds materials such as lumber and pipes in place for cutting
- Extra large, heavy duty metal latches with pad lockable eye lets
- Extra heavy duty rubber-coated 7” wheels – for maximum stability
- Height 29″,736.6mm
- Length 17″,431.8mm
- Width 22″,558.8mm
Four tiers of storage goodness with varying organizational options:
The oversized lower bin fits large items (paint pallets), the part bins organize small items (business cards, pots of glitter), and the tool box fits medium sized items (baby wipes, sponges). Another bonus that isn’t mentioned in the official specs – the walls of the part bins are removable! You can easily slide these babies out and customize the size of the compartments to suit your needs.
Easy to clean interior & exterior:
“Durable Structural Foam” is fancy-talk for thick black plastic. Ever spilled glitter in your kit, or break a powder pallet? The smooth, rigid compartments wipe down easily, with the baby wipes you probably already have stored in there.
Maneuverability and ease of transport:
With a retractable handle and heavy-duty wheels, this thing treks easily up driveways, across fields, and down streets. It rolls around with you like a large piece of luggage, but remains stable through grass & rocks.
Heavy duty everything:
Think about it, this was designed for big burly men who like tools. It was built to store heavy things, and take a beating at construction sites, get covered in sawdust & dirt, then get tossed back into a pickup truck. Everything from the wheels to the snap-front-locks is rugged, and built to last.
Cheap Cheap Cheap Cheap:
I was able to find professional makeup cases online, with comparable size & organizational options, retailing from $150-$900. The Stanley Fat Max was about $80, a fraction of the cost. I bought mine at Home Depot, Elizabeth bought hers at Lowes. There is also a smaller version for about $40.
The Stanley Fat Max Workstation has two major drawbacks:
It’s not pretty:
It only comes in one color, and it’s not decorative or polished looking. Understandable; I don’t think Stanley’s target market cares about color-coordinating. Elizabeth spruced hers up with fancy duct tape.
It’s hefty, in every sense of the word:
Large and filled to the brim with supplies, it’s not easy to lift into my car, or haul up stairs. Fortunately, there are handles on the sides if you need some leverage. I’m no Hulk, and Elizabeth is a skinny-minny, but we’ve made it work. Lift from your legs!
Finally, a kit as tough as you are!
In the US it is customary to tip at a restaurant after your meal, tip the delivery driver when they bring hot pizza to your door, or when someone performs a service worthy of a little something extra. As entertainers, that go above and beyond to “make the party” and bring smiles to kids faces, we often get overlooked in the tip department.
How do you politely remind your customers that your service is tip worthy?
I remember working a gig where I showed up one hour early by accident. Since I was already there and I could see from the parking lot that kids were getting restless, I decided to offer my services early and make the party parents happy. I painted non-stop for three hours. I painted arms, toes, heads and even one girl wanted her nails painted. I was busy! After the party was over, I packed my things and I could hear the husband and wife arguing about my tip. The wife asked the husband for $30 and the husband said “No way I’m giving her a tip. We paid her $300 to be here, that’s a big enough tip!”. The birthday mom came to me embarrassed, not because she knew I overheard, but because she felt embarrassed that her husband was a jerk! She apologized that she had no cash to tip me and that she would mail it to my office. I explained that a good referral was tip enough and I thanked her for having me. That wonderful lady did end up mailing me a $50 tip, I’m sure without her husband knowing. The point of my story was that no matter how hard we work or how superior the service we provide is, we have to remember that a tip is completely optional and each customer will have their opinion about it.
When I send out a contract, on the bottom line I include a note that says, “We strive for excellent service and to give you the best event possible. The greatest tip you can give is a referral to a friend, but if you still wish to tip your painter it is very much appreciated.”
If you want to keep it simple you can put on the last line “Tipping your painter is 100% optional”. That line is almost a hidden message and plants the seed of information in the clients brain without sounding pushy.
No matter how you phrase it, it’s best not to take the tipping process personal. I never attend a gig thinking I’ll get a tip, so when I receive one it’s like icing on the cake!
Putting out a tip jar is also another grey area. When I am hired by a client to do a large event where I am getting paid my full rate I never out out a tip jar. If someone offers a tip I accept and place them out of clear sight. I do not want my client to feel as if I am double dipping. When I am hired at a discount rate, or when I am working for free I build it into my contract that I am able to put out a tip jar. Before you bring your tip jar along, I suggest asking the client if they are comfortable with it.
My last tip for the day. Beyond looking and expecting a tip, focus on doing your best work so that each person at the event spreads the word about you or asks for a business card. Word of mouth travels miles longer than a $20 tip. Some of my cheapest, biggest headache-type clients have referred me to thousands of dollars of business.
Remember customer satisfaction is great, customer loyalty is priceless.
Happy painting my friends!
A marketing term we used to use in my marketing 101 class was product extension. Product extension is a tactic used to rejuvenate a product image or find new ways to sell products. Arm and Hammer is the king of product extension. You can use Arm and Hammer to clean your floors, make your own detergent, keep the odor from building in your fridge and the list goes on!
The newest front runner of the product extension game is duct tape. The marketing geniuses at the Duck Duct tape company have revamped their line and introduced colorful duct tape. I think they created it with us artists in mind. The duct tape craze is sweeping the world. There are blogs and over 10,000 pins on pintrest about duct tape DIY crafts.
The new duct tape colors are awesome for creating and dressing up all things face and body art. Below is a kit embellished with colorful duct tape. The kit started off as a wooden box, but my talented artist friend and mentor Donna Hollinshead decided painting it would take too long so she got crafty and duct-tapified her kit. The results were amazing and waterproof!
Adding duct tape to your face painting supplies will not only keep others from taking them (because you will know which are yours) but they also add style, a funky flair, and can be a fast and affordable way to make your stuff unique.
As I was browsing on Pintrest I also found an awesome duct tape display idea. If you are just getting started or need an affordable way to create a display board then this is such a cool way. Take a box of Ziploc bags and your favorite duct tape and lay them flat and start taping the front together and make sure to leave the back open.
You can slip in and out the pictures you want to use and you will also have a fast, easy, lightweight display board for under $12!
Product extension isnâ€™t exclusive to just household products. Start thinking about yourself and your business and how you can capitalize from product extension. You offer face painting services and you know a lot of cheerleaders, cheerleaders love to perform and love glitter eyes. You can do that! Extend yourself into new arenas and watch yourself grow to new levels.
Happy Painting! -Silly Heather
When I first began face painting I would sit and paint the kids. They would either sit on another chair in front of me or stand. Sitting not only hurt my buns but I also started getting a hunch back from hovering over the kids. Then one day someone introduced me to the directorâ€™s chair. It was heaven, I no longer painted as Quasimodo and I felt better on the job. Soon after training myself to paint standing up, I realized my back wasnâ€™t hurting as much but my feet started to scream for HELP!
So I invested in 2 crucial items; a pair of crocs and a gel mat. I had been on the â€œI hate crocsâ€ bandwagon for a long time but after receiving them as a gift, wearing them, and LOVING them for long jobs I invested in another pair.[clear]
The other thing I invested in is a gel mat. Gel mats are used in barbershops, kitchens, and they are also known as anti fatigue mats. Sometimes it can be a pain to bring with me, but when I am doing a long gig, I will haul it. The gel mat creates a cushion beneath my crocs and it really adds support on my back.[clear]
I love my directorâ€™s chair, but I find that parents expect me to lift their children into my chair. The lifting of the kids along with the long hours of standing can really hurt your back, so having a gel mat and good shoes can be a life saver.
On a final note, if you are not the crocs type of person, I found some really super cool, sequin sneakers that not only look professional with my bedazzled Face Artist shirts, but they are comfortable too. I added a gel insert from Dr Scholls and now I can paint all day and feel good after the job ends. [clear]