The Pro’s and Con’s of Teaching Body Art

Pros & Cons of Teaching Body ArtAre you getting requests to teach face painting or another form of body art? Are you wondering where you want to take your face painting career and if teaching is your next step?

It’s a great question to ask yourself and put some thought into. Teaching is rewarding, it also requires a level of selflessness, confidence, and organization.

Face Painting Class in Holland

The pros of teaching face painting are that you will share your passion with other painters and hopefully inspire them to transform their love of art into a business. You will no doubt become a better painter, because you will be forced to practice, refine your designs, and constantly be creative. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to teach a class, watch my students exceed my expectations, and leave energized.
Student at Holland Workshop

Heather Teaching in Holland Face Painting Practice Heads

However, there is a downside to teaching. Many of my workshops are 6+ hours. They require a level of dedication, planning, and energy to motivate your students. You also have to be willing to take criticism of the students that are unhappy or be patient enough to handle the students that require a little more help.

When you become a teacher you also have to factor in that you will potentially inspire someone else to try their hand at teaching. Are you willing to share your designs and teaching abilities with others that will use the information for their own personal gain? Will you be okay if one of your students gets booked for a gig you used to do?

The most important question to ask is: How will teaching benefit me?

Traveling to teach can be exciting. I am grateful I have been able to see half the world because of my teaching engagements. I get to travel to different countries, meet artists, try new foods, and advertise my companies. International teaching opportunities are worthwhile for me because I have product to sell after the class. If your money making opportunities stop at the end of the class, you might want to re-consider if teaching is for you. Every chance I have to teach is a new potential market opening doors for me to sell, increase my distribution, and expand my network, but for every day I am away from my desk I am also losing time and opportunities. So I weigh the pros and cons prior to planning classes.

Group Picture at Holland Workshop

My first class I was asked to teach was in Orlando for a clown convention. They did not have a large budget. They could only offer me $100 for gas, tolls, and my class. At that point I was just starting Silly Farm so I didn’t have travel inventory, a system in place to sell on the spot, or a website to direct students to. I jumped at the chance because I was excited and honored, but after I spent $75 on gas and tolls, $100 for a hotel, 8 hours of driving time, and 6 hours of teaching, I ended on a down note. It was a fun experience and helped me get my feet wet. From a business stand point it was not a good investment because I had no means to extend my money making opportunity.

If the local PTA, theater department, clown alley, or any other group want you to teach, start by making a list of opportunities and possibilities.

Ask yourself these short questions.

  1. What am I trying to accomplish from teaching?
  2. Will I cover all my expenses and have anything left?
  3. What investment in supplies, advertising, or travel will i need to make ?
  4. Am I okay if some of my students become teachers?
  5. Am I comfortable in front of a crowd for long periods of time?
  6. What would I like to see happen after the class?

Silly Farm Supplies - Everything Face and Body ArtIf you have a passion for teaching, consider finding additional means of profiting from your class. Do you have your own products to sell? Are you part of a company’s program that allows you to earn commission from selling their products, such as Silly Farm’s Incentive Program? Do you have a company you can work with to sponsor the class?

The difference between a career and a hobby, is that your career should be making money. If you want to take your business to the next level you have to get in the business frame of mind. Place a value on your time, services, and talents. When you sell your services remember the fee for your services should net you at least 10% more than the other opportunities you are turning down.

I love to see face painters blossom into strong entrepreneurs. Sometimes a little guidance and out of the box thinking is all it takes. I wish you a prosperous and success filled 2013!

Happy painting my friends, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!!