By Heather Green
If you have ever seen a picture of Jocelyn Casdorph’s face art, you probably drool over her perfect tear drops and lines. When I asked Jocelyn about her flawless lines, she answered “I painted 8 hours day every day at Disney, if my line work and tear drops aren’t perfect then I wasted my time.” Even the most skilled artists find benefit and results in practicing.
I started my face painting journey at the age of 14. I was thrown into the colorful world of face painting. I will never forget my first gig. My teacher and mentor told me to paint alongside her to get the hang of it. Never having picked up a paint brush at a paying event, I was nervous. She told me to follow her lead and just paint. I was terrible, but after painting 100 butterflies, I really impressed myself. Fast forward 15 years, later I am still practicing, learning and improving daily.
I started my YouTube channel 10 years ago to help fellow painters. Little did I know, my YouTube channel would be my number one method for practicing. If you have ever watched any of my videos, then you know I primarily paint kids, and much like real life, I only have one opportunity to get it right. They do not allow me to fix mistakes or do over, so I force myself to try new designs and techniques. I practice as I paint and find myself improving with every video.
Some people struggle with practicing because they don’t have the time, the models, or the will. The good news is that as the industry evolved, so did the conveniences of practicing and learning.
- YouTube: YouTube has changed the world. The term celebrity was once reserved for Hollywood stars… now your favorite YouTube artist is just as famous. Nowadays, you can YouTube anything you want to learn and practice right along with them.
- FABAtv: When I started my YouTube channel, I was limited to 10 minute videos. Because of the popularity of my channel, I built my own face and body art learning platform called FABAtv. I figured if painters enjoyed my videos, they would love unlimited learning from me and my friends. FABAtv is an online learning service where, as a subscriber, you have access to over 300 classes and nonstop creative education. FABAtv classes are one (1) hour and shot in high definition with several camera angles so you can see and learn with every stroke. I can honestly say that FABAtv has been the #1 reason I have improved and grown as an artist. There are several techniques and concepts I struggle with. I don’t come from an art background , so having access to 3D concepts, new princess inspiration, balloons, marketing, and line work education helps me improve. I am not only the creator of FABAtv, I am a user with results to show for it.
- Practice Boards: Nothing beats painting on skin, but finding live models is NOT that easy. In the beginning, finding kids to paint was easy. Neighbors and friends willingly brought their kids over. Now, kids hide when they see me. The great news is that Sally-Ann Lynch introduced her Sally-Ann Lynch Training Tried & Tested Practice Boards and breathed life into practicing. The practice boards are made of a durable plastic material, the paint can be applied beautifully and wipes off easily, and they are convenient. There are several styles available including kids’ faces, adult faces, maternity and black boards. You no longer have to dread practicing with the Sally-Ann Lynch boards available. They travel great, clean fast, and are the best tool to practice along with while watching the FABAtv live classes and at conventions.
- Conventions and Workshops: I travel and teach several times a year. I love meeting artists and helping them work on some of the troubles they might be having with their brushes, designs or products. Every time you attend a class, convention or workshop, you are guaranteed two things: to learn something new and to practice. While it’s not always in the budget to travel and attend conventions, if you have a chance GO! You will learn a lot, meet other artists, and have fun!
- Inspiration to Paint Forum and Challenge: There is a forum on Facebook called Inspiration to Paint where a group of painters challenge each other to paint every day. Some of them have reached 365 days, and you can see what a difference a year of painting every day does. The forum is run by Abby Solideo and each day, she gives a daily theme, and they hold each other accountable for posting. It’s a great way to challenge yourself and grow as an artist because you are practicing every single day!
Investing in your business isn’t just about money, you can invest in your business by practicing. When you improve your skills and services, your clients notice. When you invest in your brand, you grow as an artist and have better delivery. On average, Cirque Du Soleil performers practice 2-3 hours a day and are expect perfection with every performance. They are NOT required to practice that long, but the majority of them do because they know that perfect practice returns results. Challenge yourself to practice for 15 minutes a day. Turn on FABAtv and learn 20 minutes at a time. You don’t have to commit more than you can handle, you can start small and grow. Not only will you see a difference, your clients will too. I want to see each of you grow your business, love your craft, and see the fruits of your labor. Practicing paves the road for your success and now it’s easier than ever to pick up a brush and paint along!
Happy painting friends <3