So, you have spent the last 6 months practicing tear drops and line strokes. You are pumped and ready to paint the world, but you have no idea what to wear. Do you go the all black route and potentially look like you are painting at a funeral? Do you raid the local thrift store for a funky eclectic variety of tops and bottoms? Do you hire a professional costume designer and create a one of a kind uniform to match your personality?
You can do any of the above, or you can finish reading this blog and hopefully be inspired enough to build a professional wardrobe that compliments you and your image.
Different Do’s for Different Days
Build a work wardrobe just as you would for an office career. Think about the types of events you get hired for and what would be the most comfortable clothing options. For example, I live and work in south Florida. It’s HOT 90% of the year. So, when I was putting together my “birthday party ages 3-7” look, I decided to opt for a cute sundress with light weight leggings and top. My look works great for me because it meets all my requirements.
- Comfort is essential
- Do I stand out from a normal guest at the event?
- If I spill a little paint on my clothes will it show?
- Do I look like a professional?
When I put together my “adult event painter look”, I opted for a Bling Body Artist or Face Artist shirt with black pants and either a sequin fuchsia beret or a sparkly head band to set it off. My adult/evening look makes me feel professional, explains my purpose, and sets me apart from the other guests.
You don’t have to spend a million in order to feel like a professional. A nice pair of black pants, comfortable shoes, and making sure your clothing is ironed and clean will speak volumes.
One key element to completing the look is painting your own face. I believe that adding a little face paint, eye candy, or sparkles is the icing on the cake. When you paint your own face, your customers get a feel for your skills. They are usually impressed you can paint yourself and if you opt for an all black look you can use the face paint as the splash of color. Painting yourself can also be a way to tie in the theme of the event. If you are doing a safari themed party and you add a little cheetah to your eyes, your client will notice and it didn’t cost you a thing!
When I first started face painting 15 years ago, only clowns were face painting. It was part of the job, they get dressed in a wig and full costume to be hired as a face painter. Today we have options, and part of charging for professional services means looking the part. Birthday moms, event planners, and agents want their artists to look the part. It’s always wise to discuss expectations with your clients.
One of our big accounts is a banking company, where we do a lot of branch grand openings. They are very specific that on the day of the event they want all staff to wear red shirts and khaki pants. As event planners, we organize that all painters and balloon artists have the required clothing. On the other hand, when I am booking birthday parties, I always ask if there is a theme. If not, Silly Heather the face painter will wear professional face painting attire; which is either my floral, festive party dress and leggings, or my sequin beret, colorful waist apron and bling shirt.
If you operate a booking agency, you might want to consider investing in an uniform or purchasing a “look” for all your staff to maintain consistency and professionalism. Whether you get aprons embroidered or shirts screen printed, uniformity correlates to professionalism.
For a nice selection of embroidered clothing check out blackcatembroidery.com or couparcreations.com and tell them Silly Heather sent you!
Please share your work ‘looks’ with us. Let us know why you choose your look and how you went about creating it. Community is our most valuable resource. Sharing with one another helps our industry grow, sets standards, and can open many doors. Thank you for supporting the blog and I can’t wait to see your ‘look’!
I do a lot of Renaissance events. All vendors at these events are required to wear “period” clothing or “garb.” Luckily, I’ve been attending and performing at these events for years so I already have a complete wardrobe from which to choose. I live in New England so it is also essential to have appropriate attire for all weather types, from 90 degree days to 50 degree days or lower. Most of the time I am dressed as Feyline the Faerie Queene, sometimes with wings and all. LOL, I get as many compliments on my appearance as I do my painting…and my attire always draws people in. You don’t see too many 5’6″ emerald green and gold faeries walking around…even at Ren Faires. 😉
I work a lot of county or town fairs. I’m not required to wear anything specific, but I usually wear a 1950s-style pastel sundress and Chuck Taylors with sparkly laces. I stand out from other vendors, I don’t look like I’m catering to a specific age group, and I’m comfortable, but well-dressed. If it’s too hot or cold, I have 3/4-sleeve cardigans so I don’t have to worry about dragging my sleeves through paint. Other times, I wear slacks, a button-front shirt, a vest with lots of pockets, and a bow tie. Functional, practical, relatively comfortable, and, for some reason, people are really attracted to bow ties.
I also work a lot of Ren Faire gigs. For these events I am a fire faery lady; Faeries can get away with flashy painted faces (and tattoos). I paint my face to match my hot red and yellow wings.
For my other gigs, I am a rainbow/hippie clown. I made myself a rainbow dreadlock wig out of wool roving. Kids love it; they always ask me if they can touch my hair. I have a fabulous tie dyed skirt that I wear. I started doing the rainbow look because it is a little less intimidating for some kids than I full clown face.
Every once in a while I get asked to do a themed event. In my closet, I have the means to put together just about any kind of costume. Over the years I have collected many random pieces of clothing that I hang on to, just in case. I love to play dress up (one of the reasons I got into facepainting).
Gotta love a fellow faerie!
I have a whole album on facebook dedicated to the different ways I go painted to different gigs. I always wear a pretty flower in my hair and match my painting to my clothing. everyone knows who I am when I arrive. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.195831633809851.48789.186452008081147&type=3 My clients appreciate it and are wowed that I can paint myself LOL!!