Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Paintings, Bling Bar and New Products Abound!

It's been a busy April already and it's only the 9th! I haven't posted in a little while so this is kindof a hodge-podge of randomness, but here's what I've been up to with Wet Paint Magazine, a painting contest, launching my new Bling Bar and some new products in the shop!

Wet Paint Magazine

The next issue of Wet Paint Magazine will be out early next month, so I'm working hard to wrap that up! Be sure to like and follow Wet Paint on Facebook to be alerted when the issue goes live...it's going to be a GREAT issue!!

Contest Entries

I've also been having a blast participating in a daily painting contest for the St Louis Face & Body Art Convention...they give us 10 days worth of themes at a time and we have to post a pic in an album on their Facebook page. In the end they'll do a drawing from those who posted every day, for free admission. Not certain if I'll keep it up as I'm not certain that I can close up shop for a week to attend, but in the meantime I am enjoying the challenges! Here are a few entries...

theme: "New beginnings"

Theme: Stars

Theme: Batman

Theme: Transportation

Theme: St Louis
Bling Bar Launch

Last week was my first event using my full, new Bling Bar service! My painty friend Tina Carroll did glitter tattoos alongside me, while ran the bling bar, applying festival glitter, bling clusters and "narwhal horns" (it was an underwater theme) to the girls! It was a HUGE hit with a non-stop steady line...I blinged out about 85 girls in 3 hours!



I spend SO many hours making this "bling book" display! I wanted something that allowed the kids to flip through and choose their design without having to touch them all in the process, yet remove the one they want to hand to me on their turn. Every piece of bling is on it's own display card, tucked into a clear pocket.  So, the kids simply slip their card out and hand it to me when it's their turn, I remove the bling and keep the card. It also enables me to get a very accurate count of how many I've done, with the stack of cards at the end of the event! 


So many sparkly choices!!


New Product Additions

I've recently added a few new goodies to the shop as well! Here they are with some links...

For your bling cluster making endeavors, we now have a huge 20-pack of dimensional fabric paints!

20-pk Scribbles Fabric paints, $29.99

We've been carrying Foamies brand air dry clay for a while now, for making unicorn and monster horn bling. However, we've just added some Crayola Model Magic clay to our assortment as well! It's more expensive per ounce than Foamies, but this gives you a chance to purchase a bunch of colors to play with before deciding to purchase larger amounts. This pack comes with six 1/2 ounce packs in secondary colors. It includes 1 each of purple, orange, brown and green, and two packs of white.
6-pack Model Magic $7.99


If you're a balloon artist, you'll be happy to hear we now carry Hi-Float! Hi-float can make your helium balloons last up to 25 times longer! We have Hi-Float in a 16 ounce bottle, and it comes with a pump and instructions.
HI-FLOAT ULTRA PINT W/PUMP* (BOX)
Hi-Float, pint with pump $19.00

Also in the balloon section, we've added to our assortment of nozzle-up Betallatex brand balloons, both metallic gold and silver!

Check out the shop today, and be sure to follow us on Facebook to keep up to date on our new product additions, and other important announcements! Happy painting!


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

How to Make Unicorn Horns for Face Painting


Three-dimensional unicorn horns are a fun way to really up your game!

Horns made of air dry clay, set in gem clusters made of glitter fabric paint and acrylic rhinestones

We've just put together a video to show you how to create your own! Find all the supplies you need to make horns AND gem clusters right here in our shop! Watch the video below, or via our YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss out on our next one!

 

Here are a few pro tips for applying unicorn horns that are listed in the video:

- For the best results, clean the skin first with alcohol. (especially in sweaty environments or oily skin)
- While the original Pros-Aide is great for glitter tattoos that we want to last for days, we recommend the new Pros-Aide II for horns and gems. It adheres just as well, but breaks down more easily when cleaning, which makes it easier for parents to remove the residue when the horn is taken off!
- Apply your Pros-Aide II to both the gem cluster AND the skin. Allow it to dry, becoming clear and tacky to the touch, before attaching the horn to the skin.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy painting!


Thursday, March 21, 2019

How To Make Confetti Cakes!




Do you have some dried up, old, or seldom used paint lying around and just taking up space? Don't toss it out! Turn it into a fun, new confetti cake! Or, do like I did below, and make a whole palette of them! I turned an empty Tag palette into an assortment of confetti cakes, including bright colors, a neon cake, blues, greens, pastels and metallics!


Confetti cakes are great for adding fun textures and color combinations to your designs. Here is a video of how to create your own! Scroll down for some examples of what you can do with them!



Here are just a few ideas of things you can use confetti cakes for. But, the possibilities really are endless...


A pastel cake works great for Easter eggs! Just load a round sponge and pinch the top half to create an egg shape!
Really any color combination of confetti cake can make a cool looking gemstone. Want to learn more about painting realistic looking jewelry? Check out my book, "Jewelry for Face & Body Artists!"


Lollipops are a fun design that you can use confetti cakes for! Make it even more festive with some chunky glitter gel!

A confetti cake made up of different greens works great for creating a scaly texture for your snakes, dragons, dinosaurs and Ninja turtles!

Another example with the green cake...a turtle shell!

Want to learn more? Be sure to check out our "learn" page which is constantly growing with free tutorials, step-by-steps and articles! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and YouTube, and sign up for our FREE monthly e-newsletters, which always include a step-by-step AND a coupon code for the shop! 

Thanks for stopping by, and happy painting!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

How to Revive Your Old Brushes!



When artists tell me that they are having trouble achieving good linework, more often than not I find that the culprit is the brush. Many new face painters start out with cheap brushes from their local craft store...which is fine to start with, but everyone quickly learns that good, quality brushes are worth every penny! However, even the most careful professional artist who treat their brushes with utmost care will find that they eventually come to a point where they become split, splayed out and even twisted.

If this has happened to you, don't throw them away just yet! While no brush lasts forever, there are ways to revive those splayed old bristles and make them useable for a while longer. Here's a video showing two ways that I have found online and have had success with so far!

Tried these methods and they are still split and splayed? You can always donate them to an artistic kid, and then pop on over to Paintertainment.com to get yourself a brand new set! Also be sure to check out our other post on how to clean and care for your brushes!

Friday, March 15, 2019

St. Patricks Day Face Painting Ideas!


St Patrick's day is just around the corner!  Here are a few fun designs to inspire you! I do plan to add to this collection over the years, so be sure to check back every St Patrick's day! Like what you see? Make sure to like and follow us on Facebook to see all my latest designs as I post them!



Here's a fun leprechaun feet design! Ever worried that by adding more you'll get too busy or go too overboard? Here's a tip: take photos of your designs as you go along. That way if you think you've gone a tad overboard, you can "rewind" back to a previous state! It's like a real life undo button! I took a photo above, and then below you can see how I went crazy with the bling!!


This one above uses Glitter Glaze for the drippy mask base, and it is then outlined (gold) and dotted (colored "gems") with Liquid Bling! Up in the rainbow and surrounding the leprechaun I have used some Rainbow Pride Festival Glitter and Lucky Stars Pixie Paint! The little gold buckles on his shoes are also created with gold liquid bling!


This design above is super quick and simple, yet still impressive as it incorporates split cakes (I'm using Global summer crush here) and also chunky glitter! The glitter I used here for the gold pouring out of the pot is gold Pixie Paint "Lucky Stars" , and the rainbow I added some Rainbow Pride Festival Glitter!

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 ...you can find a step by step of the above design in our March 2019 e-newsletter! Not a subscriber? Download past issues and find out how to subscribe here!


 This smiley shamrock design above would be a great place to stick on some 3-dimensional googly eyes! I like to use the new Pros-Aide II which still sticks just as good as the original, but is easier to remove when it's time to wash off. The original is great for glitter tattoos, but you don't necessarily want this stuff to stick for weeks on your forehead, haha! Here I've used Global's "Leanne's Lollipop" for my rainbow, and then added some more "Rainbow Pride" Festival Glitter sprinkling down underneath!

Below is a more unique take on the pot-o-gold design, with an angle of the rainbow that you don't normally see. This one enables you to put more focus on the pot of gold itself. Try blinging out the gold with some gemstones or gold liquid bling!


Here's a little step by step with a list of tools I used!

A quick, fun design that looks great with some metallic gold makeup and rainbow cakes!

I always love cheek art, because it's so versatile. You can put it on little hands and arms for kids who are nervous about getting painted on their face, yet you can turn it into a forehead or eye design by expanding it with stencil pattern backgrounds, chunky glitter and more! Here are a few little illustrations to start from that you can make big or small!






Here are a few larger designs I did myself just for fun....

This one I did for a St Patrick's day contest/challenge online!

A St. Patrick's themed dragon!

This one I painted for "National Cereal Day!" Look back into my blog history throughout the year 2017 and you can see every one of my daily posts, corresponding to that day's "national day of whatever!"


I hope you all have a super fun St. Patrick's Day! Happy painting!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

So you want to BE an Agent...

I am working to copy some of our past e-newsletter articles over to the blog to make them even easier for people to find! This particular article can be found in the May 2017 issue. Not a subscriber? You can learn how to subscribe and download past issues by clicking HERE!

So You Want to BE An Agent...

For my third installment on the subject of agents, this time we’ll briefly discuss some pro’s and con’s of acting as an agent, as well as some of the things you may have to consider that you don’t as an individual artist. (if you haven't read my previous articles, check out "Finding a good agent" and "Keeping a good agent")


Working as an agent is certainly not for the faint of heart.  It’s one of those jobs that looks so much greener from the other side of the fence, but once you jump over, you may likely find your foot land in a hidden pile of dog poo! Haha! For this reason, it is important to do your research and carefully weigh the pros, cons, and responsibilities involved with being an agent. (And when I say an agent, I mean the “good” kind I defined earlier)  Here are some things to consider!


The Pro’s

Your capacity increases

Hiring out other artists does increase the number of gigs you are able to cover.  (Though keep in mind that this brings with it many other cons associated with juggling multiple artists)

You can make more money

In the end, you can end up with a larger dollar amount in your pocket at the end of the year.  Whether it is enough to be worth all the extra hours you’re not paid hourly for to manage multiple artists though, is highly arguable!

You can have more family time

I do enjoy the ability to send other artists to gigs when I have a family event to attend instead! However, this does come with the constant possibility of someone not showing up or something going wrong, potentially requiring me to still drop what I’m doing to fix it. 


The Con’s

Less Painty More Desky

You will spend a LOT more time on the less fun part of the job than you will painting as an agent.  This includes writing, sending, and chasing down artist contracts. (yes, you MUST have written contracts for your artists!)  Writing, sending and chasing down payments from vendors.  Fielding any and all emails and phone calls from clients, calming frantic clients, and smoothing over disasters.  Getting recaps from all artists, thanking the clients, paying the artists, paying the artists again when they lose a check or move without telling you, getting reviews and ratings from clients, and following up with clients the next year in hopes of getting the gig again.

Then there’s just the business side that isn’t directly related to events...advertising, marketing, maintaining websites and social media accounts, responding to requests for quotes, etc etc.  If you don’t get enjoyment out of the administrative side of your job, agenting is definitely NOT for you!

Meet Uncle Sam

As an agent you are required to provide a 1099-MISC form to every independent contractor whom you pay $600 or more during any given calendar year.  This can be quite an undertaking, especially if you haven’t already collected social security numbers when originally hiring artists.  Bookkeeping in general becomes much more complicated and time consuming when acting as an agent, and more important.

Handing Over Your Reputation

It is hard to express how difficult it is to hand over my baby to another artist. It is no reflection of their talent or capabilities of course, but more about the decades of blood, sweat and tears I have poured into making my business what it is today.  The thought of one person having the power to hurt my business’ reputation is sortof terrifying for a new agent! Heck, it's terrifying for a seasoned agent!  This is where you need to ensure that you are able to manage the expectations of both clients and artists, and handle sticky situations with grace.


Other Considerations

Cash Flow

Suddenly cash flow becomes incredibly important when you are responsible for paying artists.  If you’ll remember from our first agent article, a good agent doesn’t make you wait until they get paid before you get paid.  Making your artists wait to be paid more than a couple weeks for work they’ve already done is really unacceptable.  As an agent it is imperative that you either require payment up front from your clients, or manage your money in such a way that you are always able to pay your artists promptly when they perform for you.  Ticking off your artists will only hurt you and your business in the end, so this is important!

Your Actual Income 

Many artists who have had bad experiences with agents claim that agents are just getting rich off of their work.  Let me tell you, this is oh SO not the case.

For the sake of easy math, let’s say as an agent you charge $100 per hour, and pay your artist $80 per hour for a 1 hour birthday party.  For that 1 hour party you are spending a conservative estimate of 2-4 hours on this gig, which makes you a whopping $5-$10 per hour.  The wide range is affected by things out of your control....how difficult a client is, how difficult an artist is, etc.  Some clients you have to go back and fourth several times to get it booked. Some artists you have to send and re send contracts to get them signed. Some paychecks you have to re-write as an artist moved and didn’t give you their new address. The list of variables goes on and on.  Then you have to subtract the money you spend to GET those gigs that you give to other artists...your website costs, advertising, gig site bidding fees, or whatever you use to bring in business.

You will be spending a lot more time on paperwork and people management than you will on painting as an agent, and with no set hourly rate like your artists receive. Though as long as you get enjoyment out of these aspects of business and can find a good balance, it can be worth your while!  My suggestion is to start small, yet do it right from the beginning.  Don’t cut corners on bookkeeping or contracts.  It’s much easier to get the process down early on when you have 1 or 2 artists you frequently hire, rather than dozens!  Starting small will enable you to see if being an agent is for you before it consumes your business.  In a future issue of Wet Paint Magazine, I plan on doing a more in depth article on being an agent. I’d love to hear your experiences on the topic! Feel free to email me at Gretchen@Paintertainment.com if you’d like to share any insights or stories! 

KEEPING A Good Agent

I am working to copy some of our past e-newsletter articles over to the blog to make them even easier for people to find! This particular article can be found in the April 2017 issue. Not a subscriber? You can learn how to subscribe and download past issues by clicking HERE!

Keeping a Good Agent

Last time we discussed how to FIND a good agent.  If you didn’t read that article, take a look back and learn what to look for in a good agent...while a bad agent can bring you tons of stress, a good one is worth their weight in gold!  Now that you’ve hopefully found a good agent, here are some tips to keep your relationship great.

Communication


Preferred Method of Contact
An agent can’t book you if they can’t get ahold of you.  The best way to ensure that you don’t miss out on a gig is to find out your agent’s preferred method of communication, and respond in that way, or at least in the way they contacted you.  If they email, send an email back.  If they call, call them back.  I personally am terrible at keeping up with phone calls, but am quicker with texts and emails!  

Check In
Check in with your agent as soon as possible after you finish a gig.  It’s NOT because they don’t trust you or want to babysit you. It’s really important for the agent to know what happened from your perspective asap, so that they can properly address any issues when they discuss how the event went with the client.  This enables them to have YOUR back if a client calls with a complaint.  For example, if the client claims you were too slow, it helps to have photographic evidence that twice as many kids came as they originally told you.  A good agent stands up for his or her contractors while smoothing over any issues, and in order to do this, you need to keep in close communication to work as a team.  

Likewise, agents would like to know if the client was especially pleasant, helpful, tipped you well, or did anything else that went above and beyond so they can properly thank them, and hopefully book YOU for the same event next year if you enjoyed it!

Sending photos with your check in is a huge plus, and for many agents, a requirement! It helps your agent to better understand the environment you were working in, and plan their discussions with the client for next year’s event, should any changes need to be made to make things run more smoothly.  I also request that artists who work for me send photos of several of their paintings, so I can thank the client with a photo collage of the beautiful work that was done!

Stay Top of Mind
I know this may make we agents sound spacey, but sometimes agents don't hire you just because they don't think of you or haven't seen you in a while! It has nothing to do with your talent...they just deal with so many artists and so many events, that they tend to call those artists who are top of mind first. You can stay towards the top of your agent's mind by sending an occasional email letting them know what you've been up to. Maybe you've learned a new skill, gotten better or faster at a particular design, added some cool new products to your kit, send a picture of something you've painted recently or let them know some upcoming weekends you have open. Don't bombard them with spam, of course, but keeping communication consistent or just showing up at local jams, conventions, workshops or other events where the agent is can help keep you top of mind!

Be Professional

Punctuality is a Virtue!
Perhaps one of the worst things you can do to damage your relationship with your agent is to arrive late.   Whether you’re stuck in traffic, got bad directions, were given the wrong address, or had the time wrong on your calendar, we have ALL been there, myself included! While it can be totally mortifying for both the artist and the agent, no matter who’s fault it is, it immediately damages the reputation of the agent’s company.  Do whatever it takes to arrive on time, and plan to be early! 

When you are stuck in one of those situations where you’re running late, it is of utmost importance that you contact the agent the moment that you know you will be late. (not after the fact)  This gives them the opportunity to call up the client and prepare them, making life easier for you and preventing a possible client meltdown when you arrive. Agents take care of this uncomfortable stuff so you don’t have to...help them get the info they need so you can just have fun painting!

Take your Commitment Seriously
Backing out of a gig after you’ve signed a contract is right up there with arriving late, especially if it’s at the eleventh hour.  While you may be taking a to-do off your calendar, the agent is now taking on a huge list of stressful to-do’s to replace you.  Again, I’ve both done this myself, and had this done to me.  We’ve all been there and know it’s sometimes truely unavoidable. But no matter how good your reasons are, be as gracious, understanding, and accommodating as possible, and try very hard not to ever let it happen twice!

Dress Appropriately
You would think this would go without saying, but unfortunately it has to be said.  If your agent hasn’t given you some sort of dress code, just ask them.  They may request a certain style to fit their brand, the client’s preferences, or simply request a level of modesty.  

Represent the Agent

Distribute the Agent’s Collateral
Once you accept a gig that was booked through an agent, you are expected to act as a representative of their business, not your own.  This means you distribute their business cards (unless they say otherwise), and only display their company  name.  

When you are the one who has put in the time and expense of advertising, earning regular clients, and maintaining that relationship, then you are free to sell yourself.  Always ask your agent what their policy is when asked for a card, though this should be in their contract already. Many agents allow and even prefer you to write your name on their cards in case the client wants to request you specifically for a future gig!  

If you’re an artist who argues, “well I’m the one doing all the work and making THEM look good!” then you likely have not played the role of an agent yet!  As an artist who also experiences first hand the sheer volume of unpleasant grunt work involved in being an agent, I have a special appreciation for this and jump at the chance to work for and represent other agents at a fraction of my own hourly rate! Regardless of your feelings on whether an agent is worth their “cut” or not, the bottom line is, you are a independent contractor.  This means you are completely free to work on your own, and if you are unhappy with your agent’s policies or the rate that they are paying you, simply stop taking gigs from them. That’s the joy of being your own boss!

While I could go on and on, these are just a few tips on how to keep your relationship with your agent running smoothly.  The biggest tip though is to simply have open and honest communication with your agent about their own particular policies so everyone is clear about what their roles are!  As I mentioned, this is a series of articles on agents...next time I’ll touch on the subject of becoming an agent yourself! Until then, happy painting!