Hello and a warm welcome to all you Lovely Readers of this Blog.
I’m utterly thrilled and grateful to be part of this wonderful blogging team and am excited to experience this new adventure with you all.
I’ll do an intro about my background and business and then we’ll take a look at and have a play with a couple of products which I received in my Blogger’s Box of Brilliant Bits package yesterday (*yes* I squealed as I opened the door, *no* it wasn’t my usual DPD delivery guy Jak who is used to my excitement at receiving TFPS packages , *yes* I answered the door in my terribly unflattering pj’s (Jak never minds this) and *yes* I think poor Chris the new guy is now terrified of me *slightly embarrassed facepalm*! Hahaha) Aaaanyway ...
WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHY, HOW?...
I’m Sophie, I’m somewhere in my thirties and live in York with my teenage daughter, my hubby and our cute & fluffy, mud-loving pup called Coco; occasional visits from the busy teenage step-daughter are sometimes thrown into the mix too.
I was a gigging drummer and occasional fire dancer in a band with my husband and friends for a few years in my twenties. We travelled around the UK performing in an exciting variety of locations: Ally Pally, Isle of Wight festival, Canary Wharf etc. I would dabble in body art even then by using glitters & different coloured eyeliners to draw on various victims *ahem* I mean ‘willing participants’ in the band! This is before I had a clue about any proper, professional body art products. Whenever we played at a festival, I would always abandon my band mates as soon as possible and head straight to the nearest face painting marquee.
I started my business doing Henna tattoos at festivals and events ten years ago, then expanded it over the years to include face & body painting, festival glitter, airbrush tattoos & glitter tattoos. I very rarely do Henna now as the rest has taken over, I miss that amazing smell though!
I remember stumbling across Lisa Joy Young’s first couple of tutorials on YouTube in 2009 and thinking ‘oooh that looks fun & easy, let me try.’ Yes, well … after buying a few one strokes, colours, sponges & brushes and trying it out, I found out that it was certainly fun but wow - not that easy! This was back in the Dark Ages before all the supportive FB groups filled with amazing tips, techniques & step-by-steps appeared and only 5 LJY videos uploaded on her channel, but I persevered and it got easier and I got slightly better with each attempt.
Actually, there was one particularly good chat forum from the early 2000’s (pre-Facebook!) for painters & henna artists back then where everyone used to hang out and job/skill share etc, but can’t remember for the life of me what it was called. If anyone knows it, please do let me know in the comments section below as that will bug me now.
My OTJ face painting designs for those first couple of years were all heavily influenced by talented artists who would kindly share their work online. It took quite a while for my own style to appear and, of course, for my confidence to build up enough to really explore and play with this medium. Even after nearly a decade, I’m still learning and experimenting and finding new ways of expressing with this art form. I think that’s the beauty of it, it never gets boring and is constantly evolving & challenging; I believe this keeps the passion alive.
PAINT ON *ALL* OF THE THINGS ...
I also have another creative business for my permanent art pieces on canvas, rocks and various other surfaces which I started in 2012 to run alongside the temporary body art. It began as something to do during the week as my body art bookings were mostly at the weekends back then. My Facebook Biz page for it grew rather quickly which took my focus away from body art for a couple of years there. I’ve had to take a break from it for a while as the workload & pressure of a long commission waiting list as well as the 3+ hours EVERY day of FB page maintenance (posting content/photos, answering comments, eating too much cake etc!) became incredibly overwhelming and I lost my mojo for it somewhere along the way (if anyone knows where it is then please do let me know and give it a nudge back in my direction!).
It really was a wonderful experience on the whole, especially those halcyon early days where the waiting list was growing and it was really exciting to connect with lovely folk and other artists from around the globe. In hindsight, I can see that I took on too much too quickly and then struggled to maintain the energy of it all. Note to self - find that balance or you’ll topple over! (Oh, and stop eating all the cake)
‘Twas a slightly scary decision last year to go full time with body art again (there was that rather rude voice inside that likes to tell us we can’t succeed y’know?) but it really has turned out to be the best decision for me & my family. I’ve been able to focus my full attention and energy into it and grow it to a point where I have plenty of work during the week as well as at weekends and a growing portfolio of amazing repeat clients.
I absolutely adore my body art job! I love the interesting places I get to see all around the UK, meeting fun & exciting people (both the public and other performers/artists) and I especially appreciate seeing the joy in people young & old when they have the Magic Mirror Moment. Best feeling EVER!
KEEPIN’ IT IN THE FAM ...
My lovely daughter Izzi (a self taught body painter since she was 14) has recently joined me as a working artist in my company along with my very good friend Mel (a brilliant paper cutting artist and calligrapher). They are both fabulously creative artists in their own right and each one has picked up the various body art techniques beautifully with our regular team training days. I'm convinced it must be due to my commitment in supplying a constant stream of delicious sweet treats at each training get together … for motivation of course! I love seeing the joy on their faces when they get compliments for their art whilst out on the job. I’ve seen them fall in love with all things body art and that’s truly a wonderful and humbling privilege to witness.
I also have 3 other professional working artists who are on call to join our team for those big, busy bookings. It’s been quite a big leap from being a solo artist for years to having a team. It makes me feel like an *actual* grown up! ….. for about 10 seconds ….. then I remember that my inner voice stopped growing at about 17 and I get real again *snigger*
TOP TIP #1 …
Believe in yourself and your ability to achieve what you want. That sounds so cheesy but it’s so so true. With lots of belief, commitment & dedicated hard work towards your goals (*Dream Big* because why the heck not?) and by focusing on the positives (don’t give your valuable time to negative voices inside and out), you will surely get where you want to be. I can only speak from my personal experience of what has worked for me (and equally what hasn’t worked as there have been lots of inevitable ups & downs & all arounds), but if I can do it then I promise you, you can too! (Top Tip #1b : Please be kind to yourself if you are finding it hard to believe in your abilities, ok? It’s easy to say to not listen to those self doubts, but it does take time & commitment to overcome these. Surround yourself with supportive & encouraging people and follow your passion, the rest will come. Also, just for transparency, I’m slightly nervous about you all reading this blog but I’m determined to do it anyway!)
WILL YOU JUST GET ON WITH IT ALREADY, Hmmm?...
Wow ok, so that was quite a ramble, haha, high fives all round if you’ve made it this far! Enough with the long intro already, let’s move on to my first Product Review …
As you know from earlier, receiving the Bloggers Box was definitely the highlight of my day/week/year. Opening a box of surprise goodies scores VERY highly on my excitement scale! Is it just me? Maybe I should get out more? Haha.
After much umming and ahhing, I’ve decided I’m going to try out Costa Rica one stroke cake and a pearl merlot cake by Global, along with The Face Painting Shop’s Champagne chunky glitter. I’m kinda thinking that Costa Rica would make great Dragon wings, so before I change my mind, I’m gonna go with that! And just like that *clicks fingers* ….. poooof …..
WHAT DID YA RECKON THEN?...
I do love Global one strokes and we use them regularly in our working kit along with other brands.
I adore the whole TFPS chunky glitter range (especially the small white iridescent one) and have lots in my Glitter Bar already.
FINALLY! … (and there you were thinking this was another instalment of The NeverEnding Story!) …
Well that’s that then. My first ever go at writing a blog after years of it being on my Bucket List. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and can take something from it to help you in your creative journey. Please do let me know what you think below so I can know for sure I’m not just talking to myself … hahaha … errrrrm … is there anybody actually there? *slightly concerned face*
If you *are* there and you *do* like it, then we would massively appreciate likes, comments & shares of it on your social media to spread the love around. *pretty please?*
Stay tuned for more posts coming soon from the rest of our Blogging Team, yaay Go Team!
I’m off to eat cake now ….. Lemon Drizzle Cake, my fave, nomnomnom ….
Well, here it is, my first blog post for The Face Painting Shop! I am so grateful to have the opportunity to give back to a community that has been so helpful and supportive in my journey so far, and that’s what I’m going to talk about today, how I got to where I am now!
I’m Mazz, I’m 24 and living in Sheffield with my boyfriend Alex. Nearly 3 years ago, I left my degree in classical singing at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama halfway through my third year (it was a 4 year degree so it’s not as bad as it sounds!) to train as a hair and makeup artist at Iver Academy, based at Pinewood studios.
Back in 2013 I did a 10 day hair and makeup course with Illamasqua and The Hair Project while I was on my gap year recovering from hip surgery (my gap year consisted of 2 major hip surgeries and 8 months on crutches). I then went off to do my degree, where I spent more time doing makeup for various productions than actually performing in them. I started doing a lot of ‘creative’ makeup looks on myself and any friends I could get hold of to practice on. It came to a teaching module in my 3rd year and I kind of just broke down. I went down the singing route because from a very early age that’s what I was told by my teachers I was going to do because I was good at it and had never seriously considered anything else. About a week later I had booked a visit to Iver Academy (formerly Greasepaint) with a view to starting in January 2016 and pretty much booked onto the course on the spot. I did my last recital in December 2015 and haven’t sung properly since and I have 0 regrets.
I had the best time at Iver! I did the 30 week course, which covers everything you might need to know to start out as a hair and makeup artist in film and tv (including period hair and makeup and prosthetics), theatre, fashion, and beauty, it was the full shebang. Before I started the course when I had been doing research for various productions, I had come across accounts like MadeYewLook, Jordan Hanz, Glam and Gore etc, but it wasn’t until we had a 2 day body art workshop with Mona Turnbull that I began to understand the potential that face and body painting had, and that it could be more than an alternative to a halloween outfit.
When I graduated from Iver in August 2016 I did whatever work came my way, I didn’t want to say no to anything, but I actively searched for shoots where they wanted a body painter and local events where I could do face painting. After a 6 week stint in the wigs department for a West End panto I booked myself onto The Face Painting Shop’s level 1 course, and since then I have really worked at improving my skills and building my business as ‘The Pixie Tribe’ (Mazz Loxton for body art work) while still taking on any hair and makeup work that come my way.
And then we moved. I had been living with my mum near Reading, and Alex and I had been together 3 years and decided it was about time we moved in together. He got himself a job in Sheffield (because we can actually afford to live up here) and we had been promised we’d be able to move in by September, in time for the new school year for Alex’s job (he’s a teacher). We actually moved on the 27th October 2017, and I had a body paint job (where he would be modelling for me) that evening, followed by a Halloween event the next day. It was one of the most stressful patches of my life, not knowing when we were going to move, and therefore not knowing what work to take, and making huge losses, but it’s ok, I made it to the other side without killing anyone (although our mortgage advisor and solicitors got a very narrow escape.
Just after we moved I got what was supposed to be a Christmas temp job as a Dyson Stylist (which translates to hairdryer demonstrator and seller) so I could bring in some money whilst I got myself set up in Sheffield and doing any self employed work I could. They asked me to stay on permanently and I agreed to it on the basis that I could go down to part time so I could put more energy into being self employed. Unfortunately it was fixed days and hours, working Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 10:30-7 which left very little time for the work I wanted to do, and it got to the point where I was turning down too much work, so at the beginning of June this year I left, and it was the best decision I ever made.
So that’s where I'm at now! Over the last year, I’ve really started to look at what I want to achieve, and how I’m going to achieve it, because I think I lost sight of it for a while. It’s been pretty tough at times, but I wouldn’t change anything. I absolutely love the direction I’m heading in now, and am always amazed at the progress I have made since I started and continue to make even month by month. (images below are of my competition piece at the World Body Painting Festival 2018)
And now I’m going to shut up! I hope you have enjoyed my first post, I’m so excited to talk about some of the things I have mentioned above in more depth another time as well as product reviews, step by steps and every thing else! Please let me know if you have any questions, or anything in particular you want me to talk about!
Hi I’m Kate, and yes this is my ACTUAL job…..
My husband asked me the other day “if we were to win millions on the lottery, would you still do your face painting?”… my answer was a resolute YES. I think that there probably aren’t many people in this life that could say that. I have a job (and yes, non-painter type people it’s an actual JOB not a hobby, or a sideline - a real, paying, skilled job) that is hard work, sometimes back-breaking, not to mention all-weather, and can be extremely challenging but…..is mainly joyful, exciting, and full of COLOUR and creativeness and SPARKLE. I count myself as having one of the best jobs imaginable.
Unlike many of my fellow talented artists I do not have a background in Art, and wasn’t in the least bit artistic when I was younger, infact my family are still rather bemused at my making a living with such a creative career! My first foray into face painting was when I worked for 10 years with Adults with Learning Disabilities. They were performing a ‘Cats: The Musical’ show and so I was thrown in the deep end - but it was all great fun (and probably atrocious face painting!).
I gave up work to have my babies (I have two energetic boys, 5 and 8 years old) and fate was to show its hand when I volunteered to help face paint at the school’s summer fair, with an old crusty snazaroo kit, terrifyingly long queues and a few photos for guidance! Despite all of this I got some really nice feedback, and just had a feeling that I needed to give this a go. So I bought a basic kit, did a lot of research, contacted a local, amazing painter (who is now a great friend) who took me under her wing, gave me some amazing advice and practiced practiced practiced.
PTA first kit horror story vs oversized current kit and neons above
I’m now in my fourth year of Kate’s Faces and still feel like a newbie (does that feeling ever disappear?) but I’m lucky to have had some fabulous clients, worked with some amazing artists and have a fantastic local network of talented painters whom I work very closely with. I also now have a ridiculously large kit, which I am continually adding too (ssshhh, don’t tell the hubby). I adore face painting, and glitter, and special effects and gore! I adore baby bump painting too – it’s magical painting a bump and feeling baby kick from the outside! I would like to delve more into the world of body painting and plan to use this blog to show you how I get on!
I’m so excited to get involved in blogging for The Face Painting Shop – I’m going to be writing about my life as a face painter, how I built the business up, face painting and family life, doing step-by-steps and lots more so let me know if you have any topics you’d like me to cover.
I would also really love to help, and support other painters who may need it – so if you can think of anything you would like me to help with- be it a certain design you are struggling with, or a business issue, client problems, if you are a newbie and want to start up etc please do comment below or get in touch - It doesn’t have to be on a public forum. You can contact me through my Facebook page www.facebook.com/KatesFaces26 or website www.katesfaces.co.uk and I would be really happy to help.
Hi There!! Welcome to my first EVER blog, my name is Jane, I’m 40 and live in Leicestershire UK with Mark (human) and our fur babies Ted (dog) & Socks (cat). I hope to take you on a somewhat brief journey of how I found face painting and how it became my full time job.
In January 2017 I launched my face painting business ‘Daisy Jane’s Face painting’, with the intent of it being a little side hobby to earn me some extra ££ at the weekends. But fast forward 5 months and I had left my “main job” to become a full time face painter and a dream come true!
But hold on, let me just take you back to 1993, I clearly remember sitting with my careers advisor at school and being told, “You can’t make a living at drawing and painting. Why don’t you work with children instead? You can draw and paint with them!”.
Whaaatt?! It had never crossed my mind to work with children, but that’s what I ended up doing for 20 years! After qualifying, I worked in a nursery for a year, I then spent a year in New York as an Au Pair and on my return to the UK I began my 18 year “career” within Children & Young People’s Services, working with vulnerable children and families, eventually spending 8 years as a child behaviour specialist.
Initially I loved it, but as you’ve no doubt heard before, over the years the government cuts and restructures took its toll and my role was morphing into something I had not applied for. With work load, responsibilities and stress rising my health suffered and eventually my happiness. I needed out… so I quit!
What the…. Am I going to do now?!
I wasn’t trained for anything else!
So for the next 18 months I bumped along in a few part time jobs, trying to find a new dream. I actually really enjoyed a couple of those jobs, but my health still kept getting in the way.
I know… I hear you! “But what about the face painting?!”
Well, something I’ve not mentioned is that over that 20 year period I was often “roped in” to help out. Part of working in area I did, we periodically organised open days and fund raisers to encourage families to come along and get involved and face painting always went down well.
You know how it goes… “Jane, you’re ‘arty’, here’s a box of 5 Snazaroo colours, one brush and one sponge… would you face paint for us?”
Of course I did… admittedly I wasn’t very good, but I absolutely loved it.
After one of these types of events in November 2016, a few people suggested to me that I should do it ‘as a side thing’. I mulled it over for a couple of months and after deciding I could really do with a bit of extra income, in January 2017 I decided to ‘Feel the fear & Do it Anyway’ (Great book by Susan Jeffers BTW!).
For the next 4 months I worked part time and during my days off I started working and building up Daisy Jane’s Face painting. I worked really hard behind the scenes, I practiced, I researched, and invested everything I could into my kit. By May 2017 my calendar throughout the summer was getting really full; I was even turning away work during the week. So I then took another big gamble. Well, I was getting used to these life changing decisions now! I decided to leave my ‘main job’ and focus all my time and efforts on face painting.
So there you have it… for the last 15 months I have been a full time face painter and I can safely say it’s the best career decision I have ever made… ‘Take THAT careers advisor!’
Of course, like many of you I don’t just face paint anymore; I’ve added some other strings to my bow and have plenty of exciting plans for the future. The BEST is yet to come!
I am really looking forward to sharing my thoughts, product reviews, tips and tricks in my future blogs. I’d also love to know if there is anything you would particularly like me to blog or vlog about, so drop me a comment below.
And finally, I just want to say… ‘THANK YOU’ for reading my first blog, I hope it wasn’t too self-absorbed! But I think it’s important going forward that you know a little bit about me. If anyone has a similar story, I’d love to hear it, so please share it with us in the comments.
Until next week…
Well here it is… my first EVER blog post!
I am super excited to have been asked to blog on behalf of The Face Painting Shop, and, I’ll admit, I’m a little daunted at the prospect! I hope I can, along with the other wonderful ladies on board, manage to share things that are useful and interesting to you all. I thought that I should start by introducing myself to you, and talking briefly about why I LOVE being a working face painter.
I’m Kathryn Craig, I’m 39 (eeeek!) and I live and work in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I am wife to David, and Mum to Ruby, 9, and Jude who is 15 months old. We also have a boxer dog, Bodhi, who keeps me on my toes (when I’m not tripping over him every time I turn around.)
My business is called Magical Masks Belfast, and last week saw our 5th birthday. In the 5 years that I’ve been working as a face painter, I have managed to grow what was initially my little side-line, into a fully functional business, with high profile clients that I could never have dreamed of working with when I tentatively posted my first advertisement on Gumtree, (silently hoping that no one I knew would see it and realise that it was me!) I started when my then 4 year old daughter developed an interest in having her face painted. I have an art background, graduating from the University of Ulster in 2001, with a degree in Applied Arts, and I had the classic “how hard can it be?” thought, promptly buying myself a little Snazaroo kit on Amazon. The answer, as always, was “harder than it looks!” and I fairly quickly got stuck into the process of upping my game, and educating myself about the world of face painting! Since then I have attended training with incredible artists including Juliet Eve, Sarah Smith, Naomi Gay, Jennifer Parker, Teresa Mullin, and Livi Lollipop, which has been amazing, and I now have a complete addiction to changing and adding to my kit, which is among my most treasured possessions!
This year, I have been focusing on growing the business, and it’s been a year filled with lessons learned, which I hope to be able to share with you all in future blog posts.
‘I LOVE MY JOB!’
How many people are lucky enough to be able to say that and mean it? Sure, there are stressful parts, crappy days and times I feel like throwing the towel in, but all in all, I genuinely do love my job! I love being self-employed, and I have the best work life balance that I have ever had. I’m able to walk Ruby to and from school, and hang out with Jude during the day. I can choose which jobs I want to take, and which I want to pass on. I can, for the first time in my life, see a direct correlation between effort applied, and financial reward, and am more motivated than ever.
I love that my job allows me to be creative (although on days were I’ve painted eleventy-billion unicorns, that can be challenging!) and I love how I get to work in places, and with people who I would otherwise never have encountered. I have had the privilege of working with some truly inspirational people, from refugee children, to local celebrities, and everything in-between. I feel privileged to be invited to share peoples happiest, and most intimate moments, from birthday parties to baby showers, big community fun days, to small family get togethers. A face painter is always a great addition!
I Love how there is an amazing community of face painters worldwide who share their work, share their knowledge and are always around to help and inspire other artists, new to the business and long in the tooth alike! I feel very blessed that here in NI, we have a strong face painting community, and are always helping one another out with tips, advice, empathy, comradery, and regularly working together on big jobs. Over time, these people have become friends as well as colleagues and we know that we genuinely have each other’s backs – you can’t ask for more than that!
So yes, I DO love my job, and I can’t see that ever changing. If you have had one of those weeks where you have answered endless enquiries, and not taken a single booking, or are feeling disillusioned with the whole thing, take a quiet 10 minutes and think about all of the positive things about being a jobbing face painter. It’s not always easy, but it is SO worth it, and we are all incredibly lucky to be able to use our artistic abilities and creative tendencies to make a living.
Anyway, That’s enough from me for now, but I will be covering all of the things I’ve talked about today, and more, in more detail over the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned, and a massive thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my first ever blog post!
Our company director Nathalie has written some top tips on writing effective website content...Read on......
Your website represents your company. If your website content writing is sloppy, bloated or confusing, you’re going to lose sales, no matter how good your product and services are.
On the other hand, great web writing can help you across the board. Your blog posts earn more shares, your pages will earn backlinks and your site will start to earn trust the moment visitors click on.
Here are a few tips on writing content for websites
*Keyword stuffing is never okay
Keywords are a means to make your content valuable, readable and search-friendly. But when you start cramming in keywords, it does the exact opposite.
A page stuffed with keywords looks dubious and untrustworthy — to both Google and human readers. Your conversion rate and SERPs rankings go down, along with your page views. Readers will start to see it as a low-quality page and bounce quickly, and over time search engines will start to decrease you’re ranking.
There are a lot of factors that go into creating viral content. Promotion is a huge factor, and brand identity, timing, and plain luck all play a role. But almost all viral writing shares one thing in common; emotional impact, you need to make the visitor to your website that wants to read on and explore more.
So the next time you’re crafting a piece of ad copy or web writing ask yourself, “What’s good about this story? How can I give this more emotional impact?” Find it, and you might just have viral website content on your hands.
Good intros are hard. It can feel unnatural to skip right to the point. You want to provide some background, warm the reader up and then work your way to the main topic when you feel ready.
By that point, your reader is long gone.
Your website isn’t literature. Visitors aren’t there for your nuanced language or slow, measured flow. They’re there to get information or solve a problem (ideally by buying your product or service.)
And if you don’t give them a reason to care about your article, they’re going to get that information or solve that problem somewhere else.
The latter! Nothing drives us crazier than people putting apostrophes in pluralized words. When in doubt about spelling, capitalization or grammar, Google it!
There’s never been a better time to learn as you go. Double checking the words/grammar/spelling/etc. you don’t know about can help you catch mistakes and internalize the rules, so you can write correctly without looking it up next time.
If your positioning is clear, it’s much easier to stand out on the web and be found. If your message is clear, it’s much easier to create a persuasive web copy.
Be clear. Be specific. Be bold. Be amazing
The Face Painting Shop would like to introduce you to our new fabulous team of bloggers. These artists will be writing about thier experiences, giving advice, product reviews, step-by-steps and more. Keep an eye out on our page www.thefacepaintingshop.com, our Facebook business page and the original face painting tips and tricks group (The Face Painting Shop - tips, tricks and questions), where they will also be available to answer any questions. We are delighted to have them on board, please give them a warm welcome.
Please take a moment to congratulate our very own Ellie Roberts who has been announced as a finalist for Essex Business Awards for Apprentice of the year. She has her final interview soon and the awards night is Friday 25th May, We are so excited for her and of course MEGA PROUD <3
The most important social date in the Face Painting World!
Come and join us for an evening of wine, cake, food, special offers, paint and of course our legendary goody bags to celebrate our 5th birthday.
Every year we love to mix it up and this year we have done that! so get ready for a fun-filled evening with your painting friends.
Everyone is welcome - including little people
From 3pm at The Face Painting Shop
Facebook Event Link - https://www.facebook.com/events/1262290257241599/