HOW I KEEP MY KIT CLEAN TOP TIPS - By Jane Harding
How are we? Good I hope and ready for the busy summer ahead. It’s been a little while since my last ‘written’ blog but I did film a tutorial of my ‘Pretty Floral Eye Design’ in real time, so if you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here:
I’ve been wracking my brain on what I could blog about next and trying to think about what people ask me about the most, then it dawned on me... people regularly ask me ‘how I keep my kit so clean’ and/or make comments about how clean it is on jobs. I never really know what to say to this because I do think that it’s something I just do naturally. I am quite a ‘careful’ painter and I’m a bit of a ‘perfectionist’ generally in life! Lol I certainly don’t expect everyone to be like that and I have no judgement on how other people look after their things, this is just something I have to do for myself, so I feel ‘ok’ about my stuff! Lol
Having said that... I did think that I could potentially offer you all some suggestions/tips on what I do to try and keep on top of it, as it makes it so much easier to keep a working kit looking fresh and clean.
If you’re anything like me and have strict hygiene practices written in your policies then it’s definitely a high priority to ensure these are followed. After all, your clients will have booked you based on your professional policies and if you turn up with your kit looking like it’s not been cleaned in some time, then it may result in them not booking you again for future events. In my experience, most corporate jobs I do, someone usually comes up to me once I’ve set up, they normally ask if I have everything I need, but I also think they are having a quick look at my set up, which I think is totally reasonable.
I’m sure we are all in agreement that keeping your kit as clean as possible is in the best interests of the children and adults you paint for hygiene reasons, but also, it’s really nice to get regular comments about how fab your kit looks and motivates you to keep it looking as sparkly as you can!
So anyway... on to my tips...
TIP 1: DECLUTTER
I’m very lucky to own a Craft’n’go, which really helps me to keep my kit to a certain size (I physically can’t just add and add to it because it won’t all fit in!) But, one of the best things I found when I moved over to it was that it made me de clutter. I used to carry everything and the kitchen sink in my old kit! I had soooo many paints and glitters and gels and powders etc. that I very rarely used. Not only did it mean I was lugging around extra weight but inevitably it meant I had a bigger clean up job at the end of an event.
In my office I have a ‘paint’ draw, in there I keep mostly new stock paint, but also some used paints. These I rotate in my kit so they are all still getting used but I also don’t have to take them all on every job! Also, as part of your decluttering, don’t forget it’s important to check the shelf life of your paints and get rid of any that have exceeded their use by.
TIP 2: ORGANISE YOUR KIT
I keep my kit pretty well organised, everything has its own place. This is not only helpful to know where something is if you need it, but it also makes packing up really quick.
I also find it really helps me to keep my kit tidy on the job. If I pick up a one stroke to use, it has a designated space for me to immediately replace it, this means that I never end up with a big pile of paints on my work space that I struggle to find things in!
TIP 3: CLEAN AS YOU GO
I am not disillusioned about the amount of spare time we have when working, but sometimes we get a lull and at this time I clean! I use reusable wipes instead of disposable ones, so I always have a bag/tub full. I use them to wipe around my paint pots, clean my stencils, wipe around the edge of my water pot and Craft’n’Go. I also always have one tucked away out of sight by my water pot, so if I spill something as I’m actually painting; I just grab it and wipe the mess straight up... it takes 2 seconds!
Another cleaning job that’s easy to do on the job is to clean your actual paints. I always have loads of sponges with me, so all I do is spray my paints with water and then wipe the top with a sponge. You can do this with your single colours, as well as your one strokes and spilt cakes.
TIP 4: HAVE SOME USEFUL TOOLS
As I said before I decluttered my kit a while ago, but I do always take my Zuca Bag with me which carries my bulky items as well as any useful items I might need. This includes a pallet knife or spatula which I use for getting any chunky glitter out of my paint. It’s probably not essential to remove the bits of glitter that somehow make their way in there, but it’s surprising how much brighter, fresher and cleaner your paints look once the pesky bits of glitter have been removed. Again if you do this as you go, then it takes seconds and really does have a big impact on how your kit looks overall.
I also use the pallet knife to even out my individual paints when they start to wear down in the middle. Again it’s not really necessary but it does look pretty when it’s done and it prevents the paint running over the edges as you use them, which again can help with clean up later.
TIP 5: SCHEDULED DEEP CLEANS
Bearing in mind Face Painting is my full time job and I paint multiple jobs every weekend and more during school hols, my kit is getting used a lot. Therefore I deep clean my kit about once a month. If it needs doing before this then I do, but basically I think it’s a good bit of practice to schedule regular deep cleans, that fit in with how much you use your kit.
So what do I mean by a deep clean? Basically I mean stripping my kit out completely and cleaning every nook and cranny!
Once all my paints are out of my Craft’n’Go I clean it thoroughly with an anti-bacterial spray and cloth. If needed I would also fix anything that needs doing I.e. if my holographic paper needed re doing (it hasn’t yet) but when it does I would do that, I check my LED lights in case they need re sticking (again they haven’t yet) but keeping on top of these things, means it’s easier in the long run and you’re less likely to be on a job and things start to fall off! Lol I also fix any magnets that may need some new glue. Finally I clean out all my storage boxes and make sure they are well stocked of gems etc. and as I replace all my paints I give them a wipe clean as needed. But because I try to clean as I go, not a lot of this is needed.
And that is basically it; I don’t think I necessarily do anything out of the ordinary, but I hope that I’ve given some painters some food for thought if you are wanting to work on your cleaning routine.
Let me know in the comments below if you have any good kit cleaning tips.
Palette Knife - https://www.thefacepaintingshop.com/Kryolan-Palette-Knife-Small
My blog this time is about how we can make the most of the amazing products that are available to us now. Years ago, face painters had to paint colours onto sponges to get that rainbow cake effect that we have now, or individually paint the different colours of the rainbow. We are so lucky that the quality of the paints now are amazing and we have so much choice too!
Following on this train of thought I thought I would take one of the beautiful new rainbow cakes that I was lucky enough to be sent by The Face Painting Shop, and show how versatile it can be. It’s from the new Fusion line, which I have to say I am finding a delight. The paints are lovely and creamy, they take very little water to activate (which is a godsend now the weather is warm) and the colours are unreal. I’ve used this beautiful Fusion Unicorn Sparks rainbow cake to create four completely different designs, using both sponges and brushes, and just a black and white.
So this is the gorgeous product that I used for all of my designs. It’s a gorgeous blend of the rainbow colours with a hit of neon yellow, orange and pink to make it pop. The blue on the end is a softer pearl blue which makes it a lovely colour to sit over the eyes. The neons in this paint were as easily activated as the rest of the colours making it really user-friendly and it had an even wear – down.
I have painted all my designs on the new Sally Ann Lynch Tried and Tested Daisy Lady Face Board which I may just say is absolutely MARVELLOUS to paint on – the paint just glides on, like silk. And it’s so lovely to have the skin colour, and the eyes and cheek colour all on there – love, love it!!
I first used Unicorn Sparks with a half circle sponge, picking up all 6 of the colours to make a gorgeous sunset effect. I also used the pink and the purple from the cake for the double dip flowers, and then a black and white to add the palm trees, moon and highlights.
To create this monstrous design I used a ¾ inch flat brush and picked up the green and blue from the end of the rainbow cake, creating the shape of the design, and the contours I wanted over the face. I then dragged the green through with a dry sponge. I used the purple colour to give me the scales (and BAM stencil 9010) and then added the horns and the details with the black and white. The lipstick was again the purple from the rainbow cake. How gorgeous is that purple!?
One Stroke Butterfly
I totally could’ve used a sponge and painted a butterfly that way – BUT as I’m demonstrating the versatility of this product I decided to go for a one stroke. I sponged on a teeny bit of the yellow on the middle and then used the outer colours to do different colour top and bottom wings. I then added the outlining in black and white. I used a #pinktips ¾ inch angled short for this design
Zebra Eye Design
Last, but not least is a simple animal print eye design, to get the full range of colours in their intended order. This design would take me 2 minutes on the job and never fails to impress. I used a #pinktips rounded flora number 4 for my zebra stripes and then a liner brush to add the white.
So there you have it. All on-the-job designs, all under five minutes, and all from one gorgeous splitcake and just a white and black. And really the possibilities are endless – what else could I have done with those colours – I was going to do a parrot design, or some tropical flowers, maybe a unicorn (but I’m REALLY fed up of those), any kind of wild animal, or you could stencil it on as a background for something a bit more grown up. I could go on and on! Try and make your products stretch a bit more for you this week and see what else you could do with them – I’d love to hear your results!
All the Love
Kates FaceBook Page - https://www.facebook.com/Katesfaces26/?ref=profile_intro_card
Our Blogger Emma Green has been busy creating this super quick and easy shark tutorial. .
Products used : Diamond FX Sea Breeze - https://bit.ly/2XzyOdo Diamond FX White - https://bit.ly/2JmbcF9 Diamond FX Black - https://bit.ly/2LIjxo5 Global Red - https://bit.ly/32hev80 Round 2 Brush - https://bit.ly/2Xv6Y6G 1" Short Angled Brush - https://bit.ly/2Jp6Pcp Daisy Practice and Display Board - https://bit.ly/2NRpxxo
Painting in hot weather
Oh my goodness, shall we just talk about how hot it was on the 29th of June and how TOTALLY unprepared I was?! It was absolutely my busiest day this year so far, and my first 3 job day. I did a 9-12, 2-5 and a 7-9, and got home at about 10:30pm, having left home at about 8 am to get to job number 1. There were a couple of things I realised I could have done with throughout the day, nothing disastrous, just little things that would have made life a little bit easier, so I thought I would share them with you!
A Spare Top
I got to job number 3 after an hours drive in my very hot car with no aircon and was very conscious the I didn’t smell quite as fresh as I had first thing. I had remembered to bring deodorant, but I could have done with a spare top and possibly some perfume or body spray or something, just to feel a little less self conscious at this very nice venue for a 40th birthday party.
This is completely my own fault, I am an idiot, I know I turn into a lobster at the slightest hint of sunshine, I’m so pale I actually reflect sunlight. I didn’t even remember to apply any suncream in the morning! My only slight saving grace is that my foundation contains a small amount of spf, but I don’t know how long the spf in foundations are actually effective for once it’s been applied.
Luckily, job number one had put me indoors (although the small room did turn into a little bit of an oven), job number 2 was outside as it was a family fun day at a pub and they had all sorts of activities going on, and they did put me in the shade, but as time went on, the sun crept round and I was very aware that a) my forearms and neck waere very much exposed and b) some of my paints were turning to liquid (more on this in the next section!). And then job number 3 I had requested to be inside due to the sheer amount of rain we had had the week before. It did actually rain a little bit during the time I was there, but it was also much cooler in the room I was in than it was outside. If you are doing an event and you have the option, ask them to put you inside.
Ooooh god, it was bad. I was painting a galaxy at job number 2 (where I was painting outside) and I put my toothbrush in my uv pink and it was PURE LIQUID! I realised that the sun was directly on my paints at this point. I’ve got all my paints depotted into 3 little palettes, one for flat colours, one for pearls and one for uv’s. Before I had these palettes, I just kept my paint in the round containers they come in, but I would just leave the lids off over the course of a job. I normally bring 2 spare towels with me on any given job. They protect my one strokes and rainbow cakes from denting on the stuff on the bottom layer when they’re travelling in the craft n’ go ( I keep the lids off), and I have one to clean my hands and stencils etc on. (I am going to get there I promise). First I dented a couple of small holes with the end of a small brush into the worst effected paints and tried to let them dry out a bit (otherwise the top dries but underneath is still liquid), and used one of the towels to create some shade. For the rest of the afternoon I just keep my palettes under the towel and only pulled out what I needed fore putting it straight back. I do only have black towels at the moment, so maybe I could do with some white towels to reflect the heat for next time!
Ugh, isn’t it horrible, painting someones sweaty face, and then seeing them 10 minutes later with your design sliding off like it’s got somewhere else to be? This is where your eco cloths come in, or some spare tissue. Ask the parent to just wipe their childs face for you. There’s not a lot you can do about the paint sliding off afterwards, but its a bit more hygienic than getting all that sweat in your water, paints etc. I haven’t personally tried out the star blends or Elisa Griffiths powders yet, but I have heard brilliant things about them! Also Pro Aiir now do solids as well as the dips, which are water proof and need a special activator, and presumably have a special way of removing them, but I have seen images of people having used these paints at pool parties etc, so may be another good option!
Don’t forget to keep hydrated
So important. It’s also really important to make sure you eat something when you’re on a long, hot job. I did buy myself something in the morning but by the time I got round to trying to eat it, the temperature in my car had made it not so edible. I stopped off at Tesco (where I also cleaned my sponges from job number 1), and because I’m trying to be good, I tried to buy a salad, but they didn’t have any little plastic forks. Not to self, keep spare cutlery in the car! I always keep a big bottle of water in the car, but remember to keep it covered. The sun and heat can react with the plastic on your water bottles and it becomes dangerous to drink the water.
I hope this has been helpful to you all, you may well already know this and more, so if you have any advice of your own, please share it in the comments!
P.S although my paints got a bit melty, my glitter balms stayed surprisingly solid all day!
What happens at the Coffee Morning
By Rosemary Black
In June I was very lucky to get a Tuesday to attend the free monthly coffee morning at the Eleven17 studios above The Face Painting Shop. The coffee morning is FREE, although you do need a ticket. Tickets are available when the event is announced on Facebook.
While each coffee morning has different face painters attending Nicky Gardner is the host. If you’ve never actually met Nicky you’ve probably seen one of her live videos or had an order packed by her. Nicky is one of my favourite on-the-job artists, she’s a great font of knowledge on paint, SFX and henna. Speaking of which, while we waited for other artists to arrive she beautifully applied some to my hand.
Liz Bylett of Follies Faces (and The Living Art Show) was in attendance and most of the coffee morning was centred around her recreating part of her amazing body paint from the Chelsea Flower Show. She showed us how to paint peonies which we all had a go at on our own arms. There was also plenty of chat with the other painters who were all of varying levels of experience!
I think there are three major benefits to attending the coffee morning;
So be on the look out for our next coffee morning.
My Face Paint Must Haves by Emma Green
Hi guys I’m Emma a face painter based in Worcester UK, I have been painting for 3 years, I am really enjoying my journey so far in the face painting community.
For my first blog I thought I'd talk to you about my favourite painty products.
Face Painting shops ¾ inch Short angled brush
This brush is by far my most used and loved in my collection.
This brush is perfect for anything, I use it predominantly for one stroke but you can also use it for filling in gaps or even applying glitter.
This brush gives you flawless edges on designs and I find the paint glides on this brush.
If I could only own one brush this would be it.
DFX Evil Rose one stroke
This is my all time favourite shop brought one stroke, I use it without fail at every gig.
It has a creamy consistency and is perfect for painting beautiful vivid floral designs. I.E my favourite the one stroke rose
Essential glitter balm
I recently purchased my next favourite product 'Essential Glitter Balm'
My most loved is 'Over the Rainbow'
These balms are amazing! Not only are they UV and made from bees wax, you an actually apply them over paint. Yes.. you read that rite, no smudging at all!!
Serendipity Rainbow Cake – Face paints Australia
This is my all time favourite rainbow cake, its beautiful bright and UV.
This is the one rainbow cake we should all have in our kits. Perfect for butterflies, tigers and I even use it for background colours on unicorns and floral designs.
So there you have it, that's my top 4 Favourite Painty must haves.
I hope this helps you with your next purchases.
You can buy all of these products here from the Face Painting Shop.
The one stop shop for all your face painting needs!
Let’s be Eco Warriors!
So, a couple of weeks ago, after a bit of a strongly worded conversation with Alex about who got to use the car that I pay for (which I lost so he could get to a brass band thing he signed up for AFTER I’d already been booked…) I had to get the train to a gig. Yes, I’m serious, but I’m still gonna marry the bastard. Not that I’m still annoyed about it. At all. I’m not going to lie, it was an absolute faff, but admittedly a lot less faff now that I have my Craft ’n’ Go, although I was still out the house for 9 hours for a 3 hour job. Really not still annoyed. But it did get me thinking about the environment and what steps we can take to do our bit in an industry that heavily depends on single use plastics and non recyclables. For the WBF in Austria last year, I made my headpiece entirely out of single use plastics I had collected in the 4 day run up to the competition, I couldn’t believe how much I collected, and I didn’t even use half of it! It makes me feel a bit sick thinking just how much waste we get through, but I’m hoping we’ll be able to discuss some ways we can each do our bit to help! If you’ve got any suggestions that I’ve missed off please comment below!
Let’s start with a biggie. I don’t know if the manufacturers are making any sorts of plans to package paint more sustainably but there are a couple of things we can do in the meantime. Until recently my council didn’t recycle any plastics at all, but now they collect all plastics. What they do with them and wether any of it still goes to landfill once they’ve sorted through it I have no idea. But if your council doesn’t take all types of plastics in recycling, you can save your pots up and go to your local recycling place where they’ll generally have a plastic recycling tip. Rosemary also suggested using empty paint pots for glitter gels as there is less space for air than in the dip pots. I know some people also use they’re left over pots to make confetti cakes and split cakes, but I know that can be a bit of an insurance grey area.
I know I know, we all love glitter, we are all a little bit guilty of this one and we all know how bad glitter is for the environment (did you know that it’s actually considered a micro plastic?) so I won’t talk about glitter for very long, and some venues actually have a bio only policy. There are gorgeous bio degradable glitters available, and something we can take a little responsibility for is ‘aftercare’ advice. A lot of the time, people will just wash the glitter off their face along with their paint, but what we can do is ask them to remove as much glitter as they can with sellotape and put it in the bin. As much as it is still going to end up in landfill, personally I would rather plastics end up in landfill than affecting our sea life. They have actually found plastic particles in the fish that ends up on your plates. Just something to think about.
Hands up who hates admin?! Met too! But got to be done right? There are a couple of things we can do here. I don’t print off invoices, booking forms, contracts etc, I do everything on my laptop and I have an external hard drive so at the end of the tax year, everything gets transferred off my laptop and onto that instead. However I did realise that I send my clients a booking form as a pdf and require them to print it off and sign with any amendments. This is because I didn’t want to send them a word document that they could edit and then not notice when they had changed things. However I have had a couple of digital contracts sent through to me, no printing required, and I know you can digitally sign for things now (isn’t technology great?!) So this is definitely something I’m going to investigate more. Also on the technology line, we all use devices as part of our business right? When they come to the end of their life, take them in to get a part exchange! I got about £150 off my new phone by returning my previous one, and the parts all get reused, saves you money and reduces waste!
While we’re on the subject of technology, has anyone got their own QR code? You can get QR codes that will send someone straight to your website or social media page, and you can change where the code sends people even after it’s been produced! It also establishes an immediate connection with your potential client. How many times have you given out a business card only to never hear back from someone? And how expensive are business cards?! I recently did a wedding fair and printed out my information and price list on nice photographic paper, but only one copy. I then painted up a little sign asking people to take a photo of the information rather than taking it away, and people were really keen on the idea! It also meant that I could tell people I was making an effort to be environmentally friendly, plus it saved me so much time and money! It also meant that they didn’t have yet another bit of rubbish that they were never going to look at again. Make real connections with people and exchange contact information. Follow up as soon as you can, and it will both be better for your business and save you in printing costs. If you do decide to print, have a look at using recycled paper!
We all love our brushes, and we can love our brushes and take really good care of them, but sometimes there is no stopping our brushes from getting to a point that they just won’t give you that gorgeously crisp linework any more. But don’t send your brushes to the grave yard just yet! Turn them into SFX brushes! Or cleaning brushes! I’ve got an old dead brush that I use to help me get into every nook and cranny of my airbrush, and that brush that might not be so good for perfect tear drops any more, might be great to give you a wash of colour with your alcohol palette or to put some blood in a scratch.
According to the UK government, transport is responsible for 25% of uk emissions. 25%! I’m not going to lie, getting the train with my Craft ’n’ Go, Directors Chair, Design board and back pack was not the easiest of journeys, but I did it. It’s not going to be the most practical thing to do for a birthday party, but if your doing an all day event in town and you happen to live near a train station, would you consider it? Or car sharing if you and another local artist are going to the same job? It can be quite easy to say only take work within a certain radius of where you live, but that’s also not always possible. I try not to do events that are too far away, but sometimes the opportunity is just too good to pass up!
I actually very rarely use baby wipes any more in face painting or my own life. I used to use them all the time for taking my makeup off, cleaning my paints and to have on hand for kids with messy faces. But they’re a) really bad for the environment and b) they can be quite harsh on your skin. A few years ago the pink makeup eraser started floating around on the internet and I just didn’t see how a cloth could get rid of all your makeup. I then started to come across more eco cloths last year and decided to do a bit of research into them and buy one. The difference between these eco cloths and a normal flannel for example is that the fibres in the eco cloths are knitted much tighter together and they actually lift makeup out of the pores and also act as a very gentle exfoliant. I am a complete convert! They get rid of the most stubborn gel eye liners, they great for getting rid of paint AND I tested it against alcohol based paint and it worked! I’m starting to build up the number of eco cloths I have in my kit so I can completely replace baby wipes. Because paints contain anti bacterial properties it can actually not be so great to clean them with baby wipes, so what I do to clean mine now is use a damp sponge. You could use your eco cloths to clean paints but they take in a lot more water than sponges and might eat into your paint too much!
Tupperware and Travel Mugs
How many ppf’s have you done where it’s really quiet, really cold and all you need in your life is a cup of tea? Most of the time we work over a lunch time too, and of course we want to support the other vendors (who often give trader discounts too) and sometimes we do bring our own pre made lunches with us. But what about bringing Tupperware to have your lunch put into if you are going to buy from a vendor? And what about bring a thermos or travel mug? It also means you can take a cup of tea for the road, rather than wasting not so recyclable coffee cups and and food packaging!
Vegan, Cruelty Free and ingredients
Every now and again I see posts on facebook with people asking about cruelty free pants due to a request from a client. This can be quite tricky. Cruelty free doesn’t always mean vegan, and one of the main culprit in paints and cosmetics that aren’t vegan is Carmine, a pigment made from crushed insects. Yummy. Cruelty free and vegan also doesn’t mean that a product doesn’t contain palm oil. That stuff is in everything, including a lot of lipsticks, and can be really cleverly hidden in ingredients lists under different names, including in some cases it can be labelled as vegetable oil. There are different regulations with regards to labelling depending on where in the world you are. It’s an absolute minefield when you start looking into ingredients, cruelty free and vegan etc, what we need to do is just take a little extra time to do the research on the products we buy. The new Fusion Body Art range is cruelty free, vegan, paraben free, perfume free and gluten free. And the beauty of it is that they tell us that information! A lot of other brands might have the same qualities but I don’t think I’ve seen it listed as clearly as the Fusion range, they’re not making us do any work! And the paints are great quality too! Sometimes I’ve found you have to sacrifice the quality of a product to get something cruelty free but these paints are incredible!
It can be really overwhelming to think about the environment, but there are so many little steps that if we all take can make a huge impact! How much paint do we all get through a year, and how much of a difference would it make if we all instead of throwing empty pots away, saved them up and took them to a recycling plant? How much paper could we collectively save by switching to digital alternatives? Not only will taking these small steps be a positive way for us to change our behaviours, but it can be a selling point to our clients. Why should I use you rather than the other painter? I’M AN ECO WARRIOR PICK ME! Well not quite, but you know. They will be happy to think that they are making better decisions too, plus, as I said earlier, how much money are you going to save on printing costs?! I’ve tried to cover as much as I can think of in this post, but if there is anything you do that I have missed out, let me know in the comments!
The Pixie Tribe
Trying to be an Eco Warrior
The Game Changers
Hey yoouuu guuuuyssss! I hope you are all well and getting ready for the start of Summer - crazy season! I don’t know if it’s been the same for you but the first part of this year was a little quiet for business in these parts – I was starting to get a little worried to be honest! Luckily summer is shaping up to be SUPER BUSY and I’m excited to have some really fun and varied jobs booked in!
Today I wanted to write about some products that I have called the GAMECHANGERS. With new products coming out all the time onto the face painting market, we have an awful lot of choice as artists. There have been a few products out recently, which have really wowed me – and I felt compelled to sing their praises in this blog!
Incendium Arts Glitter Balm – Guys, I know you might think I’m a little late to the party on this one, but I wanted to give them a good test run on a few jobs before I reviewed them. Euurrrrhhh maaa guuurdddd. They are AMAZING!! Guys, they go on OVER the paint! And they don’t SMUDGE it!!! Total gamechanger. I have bought them in every colour and they will be coming with me to parties, festivals and all the jobs inbetween! I love that you can sweep them on to fill in gaps in designs, on the edges of butterflies, to use instead of scales, the choice is endless. I would highly recommend purchasing the little spatula that comes with the balms, or TFPS glitter applicator – it makes applying them a doddle. The lovely Nicky did a live video on these on The Face Painting Shop, tips, tricks and questions so please do go and check it out.
The New Fusion Line
Eeeeek imagine my excitement when in the post arrived my bloggers box – and inside were some beautiful new paints from the Fusion line. We were lucky enough to be able to be some of the first to test them out, and gosh, we were not disappointed. Many people thought that these were just rebranded Global paints, but they would be mistaken. The formulation of these paints have changed. They still carry all the beautiful vibrancy and smoothness of Global in my opinion but need less water and are much easier to work with! There is a lovely new selection of pearl colours to work with, and the butterfly and mermaid/unicorn pallettes are just gorgeous – mine has been very popular out on the job! I have to talk about the new paraffin white, which has become my new favourite. Never did I think I would switch from my faithful DFX, but, I’m absolutely loving this new product! It’s super opaque, very creamy and lovely to work with. And it needs so little water to activate it to that creamy stage, which is what is giving it the edge over my DFX. I will be using over the hot summer months and reporting back on how it holds up but I have high hopes! New fusion line = game changer!
These are not a ‘new-new’ product but came out a couple of months ago, and honestly have been an absolutely fantastic addition to my kit. It’s like superstar have taken all the nice bits of chunky glitter and made the most beautiful blend in this collection of 6 colours in their handy little pots. They are a combination of fine glitters and bigger pieces, all super soft. They jazz up designs in an instant and have been SO handy on the job, so much so that I take these, my trusty balms and a classic ‘aurora’ in a pump for the younger ones and that’s it. They are going to be my absolute go-to for festivals this summer and I’ve no doubt that these six little pots are going to make my cash tin nice and heavy! I’ll leave you with a picture of the gorgeous glitters, as I think that especially for us artists, they speak louder than words!!!
The French Body Panting Awards 2019
At the beginning of the month I competed at the French Body painting
awards, and was so excited to get the photo’s back the other day, so I
thought I would tell you all about it, from concept and design to the actual
event itself. For those of you that have been thinking about competing, I
hope this gives you a little bit of insight as to what goes on!
Competition is such a good way of challenging yourself, as well as learning
from those around you and getting to meet some awesome people! I did the
Amateur Brush and Sponge category at the World Body Painting festival last
summer, and I was determined to come back this year to improve my score,
however I just wasn’t feeling the theme (Galactical Zoo incase anyone is
wondering). I had a look around to see what other competitions were going
on both inside and outside of the uk and came across the French Body
Painting Awards, which is a World Body Painting Association Sanctioned
event and fell in love with the themes! When I signed up, the theme for the
Brush and Sponge category was ‘Poetry: The Power of Words’ and the
theme for the open category was ‘Spirituality: beyond the visible world’. I
loved the themes, I thought they had a lot of scope for creativity, but then
just before Christmas I got a very unwelcome email. The theme for the open
category had changed from ‘Spirituality: beyond the visible world’ to
‘Finland: a tale between nature and innovation’. I’m not going to lie, it left
me very uninspired, and I couldn’t get Monty Pythons Fish Slapping Song
out of my head for about a week.
One of the problems with themes that look really exciting is that it can be
hard to narrow your ideas down to one solid concept. I started sketching for
about 10 different ideas (I’m not even joking) before I settled on a concept
to match a design I had come up with. ‘The Ballad of St George and the
Dragon’ is written in poetry form and it meant that I could keep my idea
that was actually inspired by fairy tales and gender stereotypes.
I was lucky enough that Alex had agreed to come as my model for the brush
and sponge category, and had recovered from breaking his knee back in
November, so I was able to practice on him, which is the first time I have
actually practiced my designs on a human being rather than a practice
board before the event itself. I knew what I was doing and was able to
physically see the design, make some changes and prioritise elements that
would take longer to paint.
In the way that it can be hard to narrow your ideas down on a theme you get
very excited by, it can be quite easy to stay objective about a theme that
doesn’t inspire you so much. I decided to take my inspiration from the
Finnish composer Sibelius, who I knew a little bit about already having
studied for a music degree a few years ago. My concept was that Jean
Sibelius was an innovative Finnish composer who took inspiration from
Finnish nature and folklore and is credited with helping to give Finland a
national identity during their struggle for independence.
I then also decided that the auroras looked like frequency and liked the
story that the auroras are painted by the tail of an arctic fox. I didn’t have
the opportunity to practice the full design before hand because I hadn’t
managed my time quite as well as I potentially could have done, so I ended
up making some changes on the day, which I wish I hadn’t made, but I now
know how not to paint auroras!
The week before
I spent the week leading up to the competition refining my designs,
practicing elements of the pieces (although I wish I’d given more attention
to painting books and auroras!) and creating bits of costume for the Finland
piece, which I would be marked on for the open category. I knew we would
also be marked on SFX for the open category, but because Alex had to be in
work again on Monday morning (longest spring term ever!!) we had to catch
the last flight out on Sunday night, which meant that we wouldn’t be able to
stay long enough after the competition to remove any prosthetics applied to
my model. But I did manage to customise some shoes and I also made a glue
gun ice crown (I might have had a bit of a glitter incident whilst making this
When my alarm went off I think Alex was ready to murder me. Because our
flight had been delayed we hadn’t managed to have any dinner, and hadn’t
eaten since a quick lunch on Friday. We didn’t get into our hotel until
midnight, but we got ourselves to the convention centre on time (via Paul
the bakery) and made our way over to the body paint area. If you have ever
done the Pro Beauty competitions, it was almost exactly the same set up.
We signed in, we got set up, got to know our neighbours and recognised
some familiar faces. One thing I really love about body painting is that even
in a competition environment, everyone is really friendly. I then had a
sickening sense of realisation that I had left my DFX black and white and
home, and I knew I would have to adapt some of my elements to work with
what I had brought (literally everything else).
So we got going, there were only 2 or 3 of us that didn’t have an assistant,
and I really felt the struggle. I spent the first 2 hours painting armour and
although I knew it was a big chunk of detailed work, looking around it
looked as thought I had hardly done anything because I didn’t have any
background laid down.
The background was actually the last thing I started on, and had already
decided that I was going to change my background colour from red to green
to give more of a contrast (there was a lot of red before...). However, I made
a poor decision and decided to use the Superstar Golden Green and DFX
Metallic green, instead of a flat, brighter green, even though I had brought a
tonne of greens with me! NeverthelessI had committed to a poor decision
and had to roll with it. I was very tight for time, and as the end was drawing
nearer, my dragon scales got bigger, and I finished the last one just as they
We were number 14 so we had a bit of time to clear up whilst we waited to
go in to see the judges, and to think about what I was going to say to them.
After the jury we got in the queue for photography. Alex had never modelled
at a public event before and the photographer was really great with helping
with poses. We then had a bit of an opportunity to have a look at what other
people had done (this is probably the most useful thing about competitions
as you can really see what really makes for a great design) before heading
over to the catwalk and presentation. I knew before I even booked the hotel
and flights that I wasn’t going to do well, so I wasn’t disappointed at all with
the results, I didn’t come last and that was good enough for me!
It was the same process as the day before, but on the Sunday Alex was
assisting me and we were painting a French model. I am VERY lucky that
Alex is a French teacher and could translate what I was saying to her. As
people started filtering in, I started recognising more people from the World
Body Painting Festival, including the 2x airbrush category champion who set
up next to me. I knew we didn’t stand a chance, which almost made it easier
for me to just enjoy the painting.
There wasn’t really much for Alex to assist me with other than changing
dirty water, but it was little things that were just time consuming like
painting music notes, snow on mountains, a bit of background work, as well
as bits he thought I should work on that really made me appreciate having
an assistant as well as having the ability to communicate with our model.
I actually finished everything I had planned with about 10 minutes to spare
so I went round looking for things I could add to help bring the design
together, like adding a few bits of one stroke to my models wrists and ankles,
and adding some extra shading to the arctic fox. I knew I had ruined the
auroras so there was nothing I could do about that and it wasn’t worth
worrying about! We then got packed up pretty much straight away after they
called time, and Alex made a translation of what my piece was about so he
could speak to the judges in French this time. There were only a couple of
us that hadn’t used prosthetics, and I knew that was going to affect my score,
but it would have been irresponsible of me to make and apply prosthetics to
my model knowing that we wouldn’t be able to remove them for her at the
end of the stage presentation.
A SATURDAY IN THE LIFE OF A FACE PAINTER – BY JANE HARDING
Hi everyone, how are you? Keeping busy I hope… I certainly have been, hence why I’ve not had a chance to write a blog in a few weeks. Over the Easter break (which falls a week later in Leicestershire, compared to the rest of the country); I worked 17 days straight at various events. Then almost as soon as that was over we went straight into the May bank holiday, so I feel like I’ve not stopped! I’m shattered, but you won’t find me complaining, I feel very grateful for being so busy.
Anyway, having read Joni’s ‘Day in the Life’ blogs (which I loved and if you haven’t read them yet, go check them out) I thought it was a great idea and so decided to write one too! If you’re anything like me, I love to hear about other face painters, what they get up to and how they work, so I thought you could never have enough of this kind of blog!
Are we sitting comfortably? Then here we go…
My Saturday funnily enough starts on a Monday, because this is when I send out a courtesy message to all my customers for the upcoming weekend. I reassure them that all is well, check any last minute details and provide an opportunity to answer any further questions the customer may have.
I then skip to Friday when I get all my kit ready to load straight into my car on Saturday morning. I also sort out any themed designs I might need and route plan so I know exactly where I’m going and when I need to leave.
Most Saturdays my alarm goes off and then Mark (my lovely man) brings me a cup of tea in bed, how lucky am I?! I give Ted (my Maltese fur baby) a full days’ worth of fuss and kisses, then get up! Lol… Pretty much all I need to do is get ready, make a packed lunch, load my car and I’m off! On this particular weekend I have 3 parties booked in on Saturday and 2 on Sunday.
If I don’t have any big events or corporate jobs booked in at the weekends, I generally have 3 or 4 parties booked in, sometimes 5 or 6 if I’ve been lucky and the timings all work out. But as I’m sure you all know, very often the times clash as most parties fall between 12 - 4pm. The biggest tip I can offer to you to try and increase your number of bookings on a single day, is to always suggest a time slot you can do, if an enquiry comes through for a time you’re already booked for. I frequently offer alternative times and days to customers when I can’t originally fit in and I’ve had a lot of luck with them being able to move the time or change the day, so this is definitely worth trying,
Back to my day… The first party is 11am -1pm, I arrive approx. 20mins early so I have plenty of time to get set up and start promptly. There’s not as many children as was initially expected so I’m really happy that I can spend a little bit extra time on each design, the parents opted for a Glitter Tattoo ‘Bolt on’ as well so every child has the opportunity to have a paint and a tattoo if they like. I even fit in a few adults; it’s a lovely warm up to a busy day.
This was the first time I ever painted a Thor design. It was a special request from the guy who wanted a superhero who has a beard. Off the top of my head Thor was the only one I could think of, and thanks to the Onalee Rivera FABATV class I watched and using my Onalee Hero Pallet, I was able to keep the customer very happy.
Time to pack up and get going to my next party… and as with many parties I am set on my way with some food for the journey. Literally one of my favourite sandwiches ever… fish fingers with pink ketchup and a can of Coke! Mmmmmm
I quickly eat my sandwich in my car, set the Satnav and I’m off! The next party is 2pm – 4pm, I arrive as planned 20mins early, unload my car again (seriously, this loading and unloading is the hardest bit for me! Lol) meet the parent, start setting up… as normal a small crowd of children stand around watching. I encourage them to play and promise to tell them as soon as I am ready. I don’t know if it’s just me, but normally they prefer to just stand and watch anyway… so I make sure I put out my design choices for them to look at and encourage them to choose, in the hope they will know by the time I’m ready for them!
This party’s a busy one, 30 children in 2 hours. I’m a pretty fast painter, so I don’t restrict my choices for a party of 30, I use my full word banner and normal designs. I then decide how detailed or basic each design will be based on how well the child is sitting. If they are the perfect model I can whip out most of my full designs in 3mins, if they struggle to keep their chin up or constantly move around I will leave off some line work or highlights etc. They still look fab and the child goes away having had an enjoyable face paint.
Party number 2 done… pack up, load up and on to the next one! The last party of the day is 5:30 – 7:30pm and across the other side of the county so I have enough time to travel over without rushing. Again I arrive 20mins early unload; it’s a new venue for me so I find the area I’m supposed to be in, it’s a huge children’s zone, with slides, soft play, ball pits, climbing walls and more! This party’s a big one… there’s a lot of adults around helping with what looks like a banquet of food, the professional photographer comes over and introduces herself to me which is very lovely. I start to set up as one of the parents find me, I’m informed there’s approx. 60 children (almost double than I was originally informed), but many of those are under 3 years (who are not old enough to be painted) and they are very understanding that not all children will get painted.
Needless to say, I display a limited range of my fastest designs and paint like the wind! I paint solid for the 2 hours, I barely even notice when the photographer is over my shoulder taking snaps. I’m sure she got some amazing shots and promised if she could get permission she would send me some *fingerscrossed! Half way through the party the food is ready and OOOO EEEMMMM GGGGGG… It smells incredible! So I am super excited when I’m given a big takeaway box full of food to take home with me… this is definitely one of the big perks of being a Face Painter! They gave me so much food I share it with Mark when I get home… at least I don’t need to make dinner! lol
With there being so many children to paint, I closed the line around 15mins before I was due to finish, I had 5 children in line which I got finished a little after my official finish time. But as I didn’t have another party to get to, I was happy to stay just to finish those in line, I often find this little bit of flexibility and kind gesture is noticed by customers and much appreciated, as it certainly was by the parents at this party. They couldn’t thank me enough. All in all a very successful day!
Obviously I have the dreaded car load and unload again, then drive home... my lovely Mark comes out to help me unload my car for the last time today, we eat the delicious food and then it’s time to clean my kit… ugh this is literally the last thing I want to do right now, but it’s all got to be clean and ready for tomorrows parties.
By about 9pm I’m finished, I spend some time with my boys, cuddles with Ted, double check where I’m going tomorrow and then bed… this Face Painting lark is hard work!
There we have it, a Saturday in the Life of me!
Oh and if you were wondering… no, I didn’t eat my packed lunch, I took that with me the next day! Lol
PRODUCTS USED IN DESIGNS:
Onalee Hero Pallet
Leannes Neon Rainbow
TAP Fairy Stencil
Sillyfarm Rainbow Cake – Crystal Water