How Do You Get That Gig?

Tom Cruise & Children Face PaintedWhen I browse the pages of celebrity tabloids occasionally I run across face painting on famous children. I am always amazed how there is rarely ever a picture of the artist, as I’m also curious to know who the lucky painter was. I have been fortunate enough to paint for several celebrities and it certainly has helped me get more business, but when I tell people that I have painted for Lebron James and Dan Marino, they always ask, “How did you get that gig?”.

When investing your money, an advisor will tell you it’s all about diversification. The same principles apply to business and getting bigger gigs. Typically, very wealthy clients or celebrity clients do not plan their own parties. They have assistants that hire event planners. So, when you are marketing your business, it’s equally important to seek out exclusive event planners and do some networking. High end event planners want to know you are professional, respect the privacy of the client, and use etiquette when working high end events.

How do I let the event planners know I’m a good candidate and how do I meet high end event planners?

One of the best ways to meet event planners is by attending or searching event planning networking events. ISES,the International Special Events Society, hosts several events across the US and the organization is made up of party planners, advertising companies, and event planners. Searching their events and offering your services to their meeting planners is a good way to exhibit your skills and make excellent contacts. Biz Bash is another special events show that happens around the country and they cater to larger budget event planners as well. Five years ago I volunteered to body paint at the special events show. I was able to network with several event planners that now use us religiously for special events, concerts, sporting events, and jobs I would have never had access to. I was able to show that I was professional, courteous, and explained to each planner the benefits of working together. Most planners want one less headache to deal with, and if you can be a no hassle addition to their services they are happy!

Face Painting with the NFLAnother way to diversify, is to reach out to the cities. If you are incorporated and carry insurance you can register with your local city to be able to bid for city jobs. I registered with the City of Miami as a business that offers event planning, face painting, balloons, and decor. Part of the process of hiring for city events, includes going through the procurement process. Procurement involves sending out a bid for the event and the city is required to accept a certain amount of proposals. If you submit a proposal and get the contract you are officially in with the city, and lots of business can be produced from it. City contracts are usually for multiple events, which also works in your favor.

Check out your local government or city website and find out how to become Small Business certified and see how you can get in on the procurement action.

My last advice tip to get the aww inspiring gigs is to contact larger and local event planning companies. Typically, they get hired to do large scale events because they can be full service companies. They also carry large amounts of insurance so they are an easy hire for bigger events. I frequently work with All Star Events located in South Florida. They are a full service event planning company that has done events for the Miami Dolphins, Miami Heat, Florida Panthers, Julio Iglesias, many of the Heat and Dolphin players and several other high profile clients. They love working with me because they know I won’t take pictures or embarrass them, so when they book a package they like to include my services. Chances are those clients would never go looking for just a face painter. They have so many other factors to consider, they look for a company that can do it all. Getting in good with the “Do it all” companies is a great way to create steady work.

Keegan Hitchcock for DASH

I’m all about promoting my fellow painters, I get so excited to see them grow and accomplish great things. The Dash body painting was done by my great friend Keegan Hitchcock. When I asked her about it she was so non-chalant and didn’t even seem nervous. Below are a few more images of Keegan’s work. You can find her on facebook at KeeganBodyArt.

Belvedere Body Art by KeeganJameson Body Painting by Keegan

A similar experience happened with another great artist, friend of mine, and FABAtv instructor Heather Aguilera. She got a call on her way home from shooting her FABAtv classes, and was asked to paint the famous sculptor and pop artist, Romero Britto.

Share your stories with us on how you got the gig, and if you have any pictures you can share, please do!

Happy Painting!