Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Year in Review!

Paintertainment has had an amazing year in 2015!!
Paintertainment 2015...a busy year!

In light of it being New Year's Eve, I thought it might be fun to reflect back on the last year, and found there was a lot going on in 2015!
In February I released my 5th book, "Realism for Face & Body Artists!" It was a full year in the making, and has been very popular worldwide.  This year I am working on new options to make it more available in Europe, as everyone is selling out, so stay tuned!

In March our local newspaper, the Laker, did a wonderful story on my business and the release of my new book.

In April I was quoted in Woman's World magazine, though didn't fully agree with how the article was handled!

May brought the release of my 6th book, "Painting Boys," a book that focus on a subject that I thought the current market was really lacking.

The end of May and beginning of June brought my first season doing henna at several senior overnight lock-in parties!  Thanks to A Touch of Magic for giving me those opportunities this year to really get more henna experience under my belt...I had SO much fun!

In June I also released my new photo prop boards which have been really popular!

Fun with friends & colleagues in 2015!
August is always a busy month, and this year was no exception as I enjoyed my 3rd year at the Carver County Fair, which turned out to be the best year in my 17 years of county fairs! 

My role as an agent also grew a lot in August as I had my first really large event that I was not able to attend myself due to the fair.  Thanks to my reliable and talented artists, and my wonderful husband who was willing to stand in for me and connect with my client, it turned out great!  I sent out more of my artist friends to events in 2015 than I ever have before, most of them being events I was not personally at, which is a big step for me into the world of acting as an agent.

In September I was invited to speak to my local Rotary Club, topping off my presentation with a balloon dog 101 class!

Just a couple weeks later, I had the opportunity to give two presentations at the first ever Minnesota Professional Family Artists and Entertainer's Business Conference in St. Paul. The experience I had speaking, and the information & inspiration I took away from other presenters were invaluable!

2015 Balloon Art!
In October we released another new Paintertainment exclusive product: PainterTemplates! Finally, some wipe-off face templates that don't look like creepy, stoic mannequin faces!

I also had the fun assignment to paint an entire family for Halloween, which was great! I don't typically take many Halloween sessions as I'd like to spend it with my boys while they're still young, but this year it worked out great on a weekend during nap time!

In November I had the opportunity to work with Charlie & Violet Photography to help launch their new prenatal henna photo packages, and see some of my work photographed beautifully by a professional

I also created a new assortment of new Christmas word menu designs for our custom word menu design service, just in time for everyone's Christmas gigs!

November also brought a new transformation of my company, from a sole proprietorship to an LLC. 

My December was full as always, and usually ranks right up there with August among my busiest months.  I had an array of events, including public and private parties, malls and corporate events. I also had more opportunities to do Christmas balloons this year, not just face painting!

2015 contest entries, paintings, and henna!
In 2015 I also published many new and useful blog articles, which can also be found amongst my ever growing "learn" page:
In addition to blogging, this year I've published 11 free e-newsletters! Yes, I know, there are 12 months, but August gets SO busy, it often gets left out! ;-)

I've also hosted countless paint and balloon jams, and hope to continue doing this regularly in 2016. 

I refreshed my branding, which of course meant refreshing all of my other collateral!

Every year I invest as much back into my business as possible.  A few of the new things I invested in this year included my first full year's subscription to FABATV.  I've also invested in an amazing assortment of crowd control gear which came in very handy almost immediately.  I've invested in software, hardware, and tools to increase my product quality and efficiency. I've also invested in new equipment to streamline my work process at events.

My store continues to grow every year, in customers and product assortments! 2015 brought with it a big increase in henna products, paint brands and colors, gemstones, glitters, balloons, stencils, custom kit tools, and Paintertainment exclusive package deals.  We've shipped products, inspiration and 1 on 1 advice all over the globe!

So what's left to come in the new year?  A LOT! I have many new things coming up in May I will be flying to New York, to speak to the New Jersey Face And Body Art Guild, and will be holding an all day workshop the next day!  I am also already working on my 7th book, and those who attend my workshop will be getting a sneak peek at the content.  I have a few other big things in the works for the new year, and am excited to see the early stages of everything already coming into place!

THANK YOU so much to all of my loyal customers, all of my Facebook, blog, Instagram and Pinterest followers, my talented team of face painters, balloon twisters and caricature artists, and my supportive family and friends.  Without you this wouldn't have been such an awesome year. I can't wait to see what 2016 brings, and what more I can bring to help better YOUR business in the new year! 

Happy new year!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

'Tis the Season to put SMILES on faces!!

Christmas gigs are my favorite!!  I love having a time of year when I can remove ALL of my regular designs from my board and do nothing but Christmas...something I don't get to do for the other 11 months of the year!  Not that I don't love painting a good Spidey or butterfly, but it's always nice to get a break from the "usual" stuff.

Here are a few photos from my Christmas events this year!

I brought along my Christmas photo prop boards to the tree lighting event we do each year, and they were a hit! It was really fun watching even the dads pick them up and pretend to be an elf for a photo!
I especially love using my star rhinestones at Christmas time, to top the Christmas trees! (below, center of the top row).  Liquid Bling makes really amazing and quick ornaments, too.
One stroke cakes really helped us create some amazing yet super fast poinsettia and holly designs. 

I wasn't able to get any photos of the balloons I did at one of the events I had with Santa, being that I was SO busy! But, I did manage to get a photo of myself with Santa Carlucci and Cheryl Claus at the end of the evening...

One of my favorite events of the year is one that I do at no charge...twisting balloons for my Grandpa's memory care home at their Christmas party! Whenever I have a volunteer event, I bring along my little man Sam who is learning to twist! It's a great opportunity for him to learn at actual events, without the pressure of being hired.  This one in particular is fun though because we get to see a bunch of family as well!  I always get plenty of photos at this event because my Mom is GREAT at that! ;-)

This year I also had the honor of painting some of the little actors and dancers in our church's Christmas program!  I arrived early this morning and painted Snoopy, Charlie Brown and Linus, who were all really simple faces.  But, they still read pretty well from back in the audience!

 There wasn't a ton of time and I was asked to "give the dancers a little sparkle," so I went with a base of pearl white, swirls of paint and liquid bling, and stars with a TAP star stencil. This worked out pretty well I think...they were all quick and cohesive, yet they each got their own color combinations to match their outfits!
All in all it was really an amazing December for Paintertainment! Somehow I managed to squeak in a couple last minute bookings, which is rarely possible on this busy month.  I got to paint with several of my very talented artist friends, I had opportunities to do both balloons and face painting, and try out some new products and techniques, and I already have clients wanting to book dates for next December.  We got a great paint jam on the calendar which was a lot of fun, too!  In the midst of a busy month, I was able to spend plenty of time with my family as well...painting with my mom, twisting with my boys at my Grandpa's party, and seeing my own boys shine their lights in the Christmas program at church.  Who could ask for anything more?!  Well, okay, I might be tempted to ask for snow for Christmas...this is REALLY weird having open water and green grass in Minnesota this close to Christmas...but I'm not going to push it!!

I wish all of you a wonderful Christmas and blessed new year!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

December Paint Jam Recap!

We had a great time at this month's Face Paint Jam!!  Almost every time I host a jam (I try to do them about once a month or so), we have one or two people who come for the first time.  I LOVE having these regular opportunities to bring new painters into the fold, and introduce long time painters to our close community who didn't realize we had such a great, supportive group right in our area.  I say it every time we get together...every time we do this, I learn some new, great tidbits of information from someone!  I do NOT know everything there is to know about face and body painting, and nobody does.  But most of us have little things we've picked up here and there that we don't realize most other people don't know, and when we combine all of that knowledge and experience, we ALL grow in our art!

We don't have any tight structure to our jams...we bring food, paint, and let it go from there.  Sometimes we all work on a particular theme, sometimes we just pull up our inspiration boards and paint what we've been wanting to try.  Sometimes we have kids to paint, sometimes we paint each other.  This month we had another great used/new paint and supply swap/sale...big thanks especially to Tina Carroll and her awesome stash of goodies!

The used/new paint and supply sale/swap was FULL this month!

We had moms painting babies, kids painting each other, practice templates and plastic heads adorned with some great stuff!
 We practiced Pinterest inspired designs, made up stuff on the fly, and put together new paint kits.

 And don't forget the good food!!  There is never a shortage of sugar in my house around Christmas time. We even got to see my Christmas tree fall over for the second time...ha ha!! Thanks much to Anita Beal for holding it up while I figured out where to start with the mess! (It's really nice and stable now, by the way! Knock on wood!)
Big thanks to everyone who came out to "play" this month...looking forward to brightening up our upcoming cold, gray, MN winter months with some more colorful jams!!  To keep up to date on our jams, be sure to follow Paintertainment on Facebook, as that is where I post events!

Happy painting!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


It's time for another installment of "Do This, Not That!"

Here are a few small things you can do to give your candycanes and ornaments a real clean, crisp look this season, without compromising your speed!!

Our December e-newsletter will be going out soon, and in this month's issue I'll go a little more in depth into you can do them fast, detailed, and really make them pop!

Click here to download past e-newsletter issues, or to subscribe! Thanks for stopping by, and happy painting!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Cyber Monday 2015

Happy Cyber Monday everyone!

I don't know about you, but I much prefer to shop at home in my pj's!! In honor of Cyber Monday this year, we are offering 15% off your entire order, site-wide! There are NO minimum order requirements to take advantage of this deal!  Simply enter coupon code CYBER2015 at checkout.

However, if you spend $75 or more, you can also take advantage of our special FREE Priority Mail shipping deal as well! Just enter coupon code SHIP75 at checkout.  And yes, you WILL be able to use both coupon codes on the same order!

Wondering what to buy to reach $75? Have you already taken advantage of other retailers' face paint deals?  No problem! We have MANY things that are not available at any other retailer in the world, including but not limited to:

Design Sheets:
- Heavily laminated Cheek Art Design sheets
- Laminated pocket-sized Balloon menu cards

- Boy, Girl, and Woman faces you can practice on, over & over!

Photo Prop Boards:
- Christmas
- Spring/Easter
- Super Heroes
- Princesses

Custom Design Menu Service:
- Balloon Menu Design
- Face Painting Word Menu Design

"Painting Boys"
"Realism for Face & Body Artists"
"Funny Fingers Hand Art"
"Face Painting: A Step By Step Guide"
"32 Classic Carnival Designs"
"One Stroke Face Painting"

Misc Tools that no other face painting retailers carry:
- "Fantasy Flower" Tools and supplies
Magnetic tape, duct tape, steel sheets, Gorilla glue, unbreakable mirrors, Velcro, and other kit design supplies
- Temporary tattoos to help end the line
- Poker chips to use as "tickets"
- "Invisible Glove" barrier to keep your hands clean
- Chapstick tubes for "Chapstick Sushi," and double-dip pot containers!

...and don't forget our HUGE selection of already reduced package deals that you can ONLY find at Paintertainment!

What are you waiting for?! Now put on those fuzzy slippers and start crossing some shopping off your list! :-)

Saturday, November 28, 2015


Paintertainment's Small Business Saturday Deal 2015!

This Thanksgiving, among so many other things, I am SO very thankful for YOU, my faithful and loyal customers!  My business really, honestly wouldn't exist without you.  I am literally a one-woman company, running my entire business, store and all, from my home studio in my basement!  I love being able to work from home, be with my boys, and still be able to help provide for them financially.  I figured that since you can't get much more "small business" than that, I should extend my unbeatable black Friday sale into Small business Saturday!

I am GIVING AWAY my new book, "Realism for Face and Body Artists"  to the first TEN customers who place an order of $75 or more through Small Business Saturday this year! That's a $29.99 value for FREE!! And to top that off, you also get FREE Priority Mail shipping within the US on your order of $75 or more!

HERE'S HOW (it's easy!):

Use coupon code SHIP75 to get your free Priority Mail shipping.  There is no coupon code needed for the free long as you are among the first 10 orders on Saturday, you will automatically receive the book for FREE!

Thursday, November 26, 2015


I am GIVING AWAY my new book, "Realism for Face and Body Artists"  to the first TWENTY customers who place an order of $75 or more through Black Friday this year! That's a $29.99 value!! And to top that off, you also get FREE Priority Mail shipping on your order of $75 or more!

HERE'S HOW (it's easy!):

Use coupon code SHIP75 to get your free Priority Mail shipping.  There is no coupon code needed for the free long as you are among the first 20 orders, you will automatically receive the book for FREE!

This deal can't be matched by any other retailer, as we are currently the only one who has this book in stock, so snatch it up while you still can! Already have this book?  Why not gift it to your favorite painty friend this Christmas?  It's a win-win!

Got questions about this deal?  About what products are best for your particular gig? About anything and everything face painting related?  Feel free to contact me any time!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and happy painting!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Prenatal Henna + Photo Shoot Sessions with Charlie & Violet Photography

This past fall I had the opportunity to work with the amazing professional photographer Nicole Klein of Charlie and Violet Photography, at her studio in Mendota Heights, MN.  Nicole was described by her makeup artist as "the baby whisperer," and just a quick look at her portfolio will show you why! The snuggly positions and happy, peaceful expressions she is able to capture would make anyone want to have another baby...or three! The teeny, tiny outfits and accessories in her studio were the most adorable little things I've ever seen!!

When I arrived, the beautiful expectant Mommy Tiffany was already comfortable in her chair, getting her makeup professionally done.  While I unpacked my supplies, she finished up her makeup and transitioned to hair, just in time for me to start adorning her belly with a beautiful mandala!

The studio was cozy and intimate, and so much fun to work in.  Tiffany was comfortable in her chair and was able to get her hair done while I applied her henna. Talk about a relaxing royal treatment!!  I can't imagine how relaxing it must be having your hair done (it always makes me sleepy when someone else is doing my hair!), while also smelling the aroma of lavender essential oils in the home made henna paste!

Tiffany's henna in progress!
Typically when I do belly henna, I exchange emails and sketches with the mom-to-be, until we've landed on a design she likes.  For this particular session, I did a mandala design that was found online.

All in all it took about an hour to apply the henna, and as it dried I dabbed it lightly with a cotton ball soaked in vanilla-sugar sealant to help it stay put throughout the photo shoot.

The final photos were just incredible.  What an awesome keepsake!!  A professional photo shoot is by far the best way to get the most out of your belly henna or belly painting, giving you gorgeous photos for baby's book that will be treasured for generations to come.

I left the beautiful mommy Tiffany with a little gift that I like to give my belly henna mommas: a little henna hand charm and a stick of henna balm, wrapped in a little organza bag, along with a sheet of henna after care instructions!

Interested in booking your own belly henna and photo shoot package? Looking for the perfect Christmas gift for the expectant mom in your life? Check out Charlie and Violet Photography's page for information on their Henna Maternity Package, here! For more information on belly painting, click here.  You can also view more samples of my henna body art by clicking here.  Got any questions for me about the belly henna process? Please feel free to contact me any time.

Huge thanks go out to Nicole for inviting me to be a part of this photo shoot, and Tiffany for allowing me to adorn her beautiful baby bump! 

New Bling & More!

Our store may be closed this week, but that hasn't stopped me from adding a few new items to the shop via my "mobile office!"

We have a variety of new self-adhesive bling available.  Click on the photo captions for a link directly to each item. These have the tiny foam tape circles on the back...

27 round assorted pink & purple gems, just $1.99

Assorted colors and sizes of stars and dots, just $1.99

Pink & purple butterflies, flowers and dots, just $1.99

Assorted sized black & silver squares, just $1.99!

Assorted bright colored round gems, just $1.99

78 piece, 5mm round gems in pastel purples/pinks, just $2.99
17 piece assorted tiaras and stars, just $1.99!

Looking for an economical way to help ease those end-of-the-gig, line-cutting-off blues?  Try temporary tattoos!  For just $5.00 we are now selling packages of 50 smiley face tattoos.  These are great to give to those last couple kids who come running up just after you've packed up your paints, and the designs are gender neutral, so you don't have to go digging for certain designs or colors. Try stapling them to your business card and suggest they invite you to their next party, where they can be first in line!

50 temporary tattoos, just $5.00!
Make sure to follow our Facebook page and keep an eye out on Thanksgiving day, as we will be announcing a Black Friday deal that no other store across the globe will be able to match!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy painting!!  :-)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

New Christmas Word Menu Designs Now Available!

I am pleased to announce the latest additions to our word menu design options, just in time for your Christmas events!! 

Not familiar with word menus?  Word menus are meant to display your design options without literal photos or drawings, yet with enough illustration that even kids who can't read will be able to pick a design.

They are especially great for events that have multiple artists, because it gives them the painters freedom to paint with their own style. They also work great for events where you aren't sure what kind of turnout to expect, because they enable you to do simple, quick versions or more elaborate versions as time allows.  Our November e-newsletter just went out recently, and the topic this month is word menus vs picture menus...when to use each one.

We have 26 new Christmas designs so far...if you have more ideas, please feel free to email them to me and I will add more as I'm able to! In the meantime, if you'd like to order your own custom Christmas design menu, click here to start building your own menu! Don't forget to scroll through our everyday designs, as many of those can also be painted with a Christmas theme!

Our office will be closed for Thanksgiving this year, from November 21st through the 27th.  However, I will still be able to generate word menus on a limited basis during this time and email to you, so feel free to still place word menu orders! Otherwise, any other normal product orders placed during this time will begin processing and shipping on the 28th.

Thanks for stopping by, happy Thanksgiving, and happy Painting!!  :-)

Friday, November 13, 2015

Feels like Christmas Already!

Christmas is only FORTY ONE DAYS AWAY!!!  While many people prefer to wait until after Thanksgiving to start their Christmas fun, face painters have to start early.  I start booking Christmas events in the summer!  And just as soon as Thanksgiving is over, we need to be ready to hit the ground running with all of our Christmas supplies and designs ready to go. Here's what we've been up to this week at Paintertainment with our pre-Christmas preparations, to help YOU prepare...

Christmas Shop Now Open!

Our new Christmas Shop is now open! This is where I've gathered together an assortment of tools that are perfect for your upcoming holiday gigs, including everything from paint to bling to stencils!

Gift Certificates Now Available!

We also have gift certificates available as of this week!  Choose an amount, anywhere from $5 to $1,000.  Click here to get the direct link, which you can send to your spouse as a hint! ;-) wink wink!

NEW Christmas Package Deal!

We now have a new addition to our collection of awesome themed package deals: Christmas, of course! Snagging this deal will save you $6.47 versus purchasing these items separately! Grab yours here!

Global Releases SEVEN New Colors!
We are also excited to announce the arrival of 7 brand new Global colors! The top row above are new standard colors, and the bottom three are pearl. I've already added the deep merlot and pearl deep blue to my own kit...they are amazing, and great alternatives to black for outlines! 

Three New Custom Word Menu Options!

I always get so many great ideas from all of YOU!  These three new word menu options came from an artist's suggestion, and I think we really needed these among the assortment! Click here to check out these new words, along with our other large list of options for custom word menus

New Christmas Photo Prop Boards!

I'm super excited to announce the latest in our assortment of photo prop boards...Christmas, of course!!  You can purchase the print file for just $14.99, which will include both of these fun boards in one file.  Upload them to Vistaprint and order it as a large lawn sign, and you'll get two boards in one print! Cut them out with an X-acto blade and you're good to go.  Right now Vistaprint has a 40% off sale if you use the coupon code FRIENDS40!  Snatch up that deal while you still can!! 

Follow Paintertainment on Pinterest!

We've also just recently started up a Pinterest account for Paintertainment, already chock full of great visuals.  Check it out and follow our boards for the latest inspiration!!

Christmas Design Inspiration!

I've been posting tons of Christmas design ideas this week on Facebook! Our new PainterTemplates have been awesome for sketching out quick ideas before trying them on faces.  Here are some designs that I've come up with just this week:

Thanks for stopping by, and happy painting!! :-)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

7 NEW Global Colors, Now Shipping!

We now have SEVEN brand new Global colors now in stock!  I just got these and so far have tried the deep merlot and LOVE IT! It looks really dark in the photo, but as soon as water hits it, it bursts with a beautiful deep red/maroon color that looks just like...well...merlot! I can't wait to try them all out. 

You can find the new standard colors (top row above) here, and the new pearl colors (bottom row above) here! I have a feeling these will come in really handy this Christmas especially.   The deep, dark blues, greens and reds are awesome for outlines when you are looking for something instead of black.

If only I had more blank spots in my paint kit...urgh! So hard to not get them ALL!

Happy painting!  :-)

Monday, November 9, 2015

I'm an Introvert: What's Your Superpower?

Today's post is geared at my fellow face painters, henna artists and balloon twisters who have their own business. I've decided that it's time to get PERSONAL!  Because your personal self has a huge impact on your business! I have a confession to make...

My name is Gretchen Fleener, and I am an introvert.

"WHAT?!!" you say? How on earth can an introvert work in the business of entertaining crowds?  How can an introvert deal with endless lines of kids, and the irate parents when we have to cut off that line?  How can an introvert state her rates with confidence, and deal with customers who won't pay their invoices?  Teaching classes and speaking in public? No WAY!  Surely there is no way an introvert could run a successful business in this field. Yet somehow I've managed to do so for 20 years now, and have just recently reflected on how I've been able to do so.

Which begs the what point did our society decide that introversion was a negative trait, or something that is bad for business?  Growing up, as the "shy one" I always felt like this was some sort of hindrance to what I could become.  I didn't look forward to Girl Scout camp-outs, had no interest in school dances, and did not want to play team sports. I was happiest when I was riding my bike, drawing, creating things, building forts in the woods, and hanging out with one or two best friends at a time.  It has only been in recent years, since starting to work from home and focus solely on my own business, that I've learned that my way of "being" has a name, and that there's absolutely nothing wrong with it!

I was really surprised to have discovered that my friends who didn't know me as a child are actually shocked when I mention that I am an introvert.  They had no idea because I still spend time with friends, I love to host gatherings, and I even accept speaking engagements.  It never occurred to me until recently that everyone around me wasn't still labeling me as "shy" or some kind of anti-social loner...I had gotten used to that and thinking it was just one of my weaknesses.  Little did I know that introversion isn't a weakness at all, but a super power.

I recently listened to a great TED Talk by Susan Cain called "The Power of Introverts," and she had so many great points:

"We have known for centuries about the transcendent power of solitude.  It is only recently that we've strangely begun to forget it. If you look at most of the world's major religions you will find seekers: Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad...seekers who are going off, by themselves, alone, into the wilderness, where they then have profound epiphanies and revelations, that they then bring back to the rest of the community.  No wilderness, no revelations."

So how could it be possible that someone as introverted as me could be hosting as many face painting jams as humanly possible, and speaking in front of groups about what she does? After all, these things really do go against every fiber of my being.  Another one of Susan's quotes really seemed to nail it for me:

"...some of our most transformative leaders in history have been introverts...Elanore Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Ghandi...all of these people described themselves as quiet, soft spoken, even shy. And yet they all took the spotlight even though every bone in their bodies was telling them not to.  And this turns out to have a special power of it's own, because people could feel that these leaders were at the helm, not because they enjoyed directing others, and not out of the pleasure of being looked at...they were there because they had no choice, because they were driven to do what they thought was right."

That's it...I take NO pleasure in being looked at.  I am doing what I love, what I know I was meant to be doing, and I have a drive to teach and help my fellow artists as much as I can, because I feel like that is what I am here to do.

So how do I do it while being such an introvert? Here are a few things I do to embrace and work with my introvertedness...

Don't let your feelings make your business decisions.

I made a conscious decision that I would not let my introversion stop me from snatching up opportunities...particularly the part that sends shock waves of terror through my body when being asked to speak.   If I did, I'd be turning down way too many awesome opportunities, and when you run your own business, you simply cannot afford to turn down everything just because the thought of it makes your skin crawl.

Our local paper did a story on one of my new book releases this past spring, and out of that came a phone call from our local Rotary Club, asking if I would be a speaker at one of their meetings.  My internal reaction: "That sounds absolutely terrifying!"  My verbal reaction, "Sure, I'd be honored!"  Yes, I was terrified, and my stomach churned immediately.  (Heck, who am I stomach churns every time my phone rings!)  I worried about it and spent countless hours preparing.  But I made sure I had what I needed to succeed as the introverted speaker I am, which brings me to my next tip...

 Don't be afraid to ask for what you need to succeed.

Why not, everyone else does, right?! The Rotary Club didn't call me at an ideal time...  I was super busy with work AND had my two boys home with me 24/7.  For a moment I freaked out about how I was going to pull together a presentation during my busy season, and whether I could keep my boys quiet in the corner with ipads while I present, or if I'd have to find a sitter.

I decided that if I was going to do something so far out of my comfort zone, I wanted to do an awesome job, and needed to ensure I have what I really needed, which was time to prepare without distractions. I requested a date a few months later, when school was starting back up, so I wouldn't have to worry about my kiddos running around the room with me that day.  I planned, I prepared, and the meeting went great.  I was able to share my history, educate the group about safe paints, made some awesome connections with local business owners, and ended the meeting with a "balloon dog 101" lesson that left everyone smiling.  Two weeks later I did it again, giving two presentations at the Minnesota Professional Family Entertainers and Artists' Business Conference.  It was all terrifyingly exhilarating and I loved it!! (Mostly when it was over, of course.  And then I was completely exhausted and useless for the rest of the day until I recharged.  But I was SO glad I did it.)

 Embrace who you are, instead of wasting energy trying to become someone you're not.

Don't get me's AWESOME to find something you struggle at, and work hard to become great at it.  I do this all the time.  But when it comes to something you can't just change, like your own inner personality, just embrace it! You are made that way for a reason...find your own super powers! If we would only invested as much energy into helping ourselves thrive the way we are as we do trying to change ourselves, just think of the amazing things we could accomplish.

Susan also spoke about our society and self help those book titles have changed over the years to echo who society thinks we all need to be at the time.  Specifically, she mentioned the popular title "How to Win Friends and Influence People."  This immediately struck a chord with me because I have that one on my Amazon wish list.  It's been sitting there a while, after being recommended by various people as a way to really help your business.  But then I realized why it's still sitting there in my list and on my shopping cart: I have absolutely no desire to win more friends or influence anybody.  

Friends to me are not something that I strive to "win" as life's prize for being outgoing.  Real friendships, for me, are something that happens naturally and mutually by being ourselves, being who we were meant to be and finding those who feel the same, not by trying to be something we're not to impress or influence.  They shouldn't have to be impressed by anything I do to be my friend, and I have no desire to influence people otherwise.  Now, I have not read the book yet, and I realize this isn't the entire book in a nutshell.  I will probably still read it down the road as I love to hear other people's perspectives and learn how others tick, because we do, after all, interact with each other, and I interact with different personalities all over the world in my job.  But the title itself doesn't represent anything I'm personally striving for.

So, while I may have NO desire to WIN FRIENDS and INFLUENCE people, I do, however, have a desire to BE A FRIEND and INSPIRE people!  

This is really what drives me to do everything I do...holding paint jams, creating free e-newsletters, publishing informative blog articles, writing books, speaking at conferences, designing custom word menus, creating new products, and helping my retail customers find the right tools.

Find your solitude among the crowd.

Embracing your introverted-ness doesn't necessarily mean demanding a private office at work or abolishing all collaborative work! I worked for years as a designer in Best Buy's corporate office, where we had an open floor plan and work stations in clusters.  I really loved my co-workers and being surrounded by them.  But when I needed to really channel my inner creative juices, I'd put on noise cancelling headphones and crank up music, or  I'd take my laptop to one of the many great corners of our building to work without distractions.  Introverts don't have to be in complete solitude all of the time.  But sneaking in a little bit of solitude here and there throughout the week can really boost their productivity. After all, as Susan Cain so eloquently summed it up:

"Solitude matters.  And for some people, it is the air that they breathe."

I really benefit from collaborating and sharing with my painty friends at jams and wouldn't give that up for anything.  But something extra special still comes out of my time alone in my basement studio.

Do what works best for YOU.

Being my own boss, I can allow myself to use communication methods that I know represent my company the best. For me, that is in writing, via email. I am NOT a good phone salesperson and am terrible when put on the spot.  (And guess what...that's boss even says so!) I prefer to think things through and edit before sending, and have actually become really great at selling myself via email. I ALWAYS include a phone number and encourage clients to call me if they have any questions, and will happily talk to anyone who calls.  However, most are perfectly happy never speaking to me until I meet them at an event.

I used to think this was bad for business, but I now know it's least not for MY business.  Of course, if I were an awesome phone salesman, I'd probably get a few more gigs.  But considering that 1/3 to 1/2 of the country is comprised of introverts, I know that many of my clients appreciate being able to book me via email.  (not to mention the paper trail comes in very handy, very often!)

Open up your suitcase!

In Susan's TED talk, she uses the suitcase full of books she brought with to summer camp as a child as a metaphor for what we carry with us inside...things that represent what makes us happy; the things we live for and where we thrive.

"Take a good look at what's inside your suitcase, and why you put it there....occasionally, just occasionally, I hope you will open up your suitcases for other people to see, because the world needs you, and it needs the things you carry."

Since making this revelation in who I am and learning that it's not a bad thing, my business has really grown and opportunities are flowing in.  I am taking on things I never thought I would years ago because I've learned to embrace my introverted ways instead of fighting them. I am looking forward to using my powers of solitude to carefully construct more amazing talks and workshops to share what's in my suitcase with the world in the future!  And am super excited to announce that I will be flying to New York to speak at the Northern New Jersey Face and Body Art Guild's May 2016 meeting, and holding an all day workshop the next day. I can guarantee you that I will prepare the heck out of that talk and workshop, I'll be socially exhausted afterwards, and it will be an awesome experience! :-)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Painted Jewelry Design: Blue Gem Necklace

I thought I'd share a design I did a while back and shared on Facebook, but forgot to add to my blog! Here's a necklace design that I did for Illusion's jewelry competition! Scroll down for step by step photos....

You can really do a LOT with just paint! I have no gemstones, glitter, or anything attached to this design.  Just paint and I used my fine brush. 

You can find some more in-depth instructions for painting jewels in my book, "Realism for Face and Body Artists!"

Happy painting!!  :-)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Halloween Face Paintin 2015!

We've had a great October here at Paintertainment! October is one of those months where face painters are often super busy.  I was not only busy with events, but also busy filling orders for all of my clients across the country who were stocking up on supplies for their own events!  Nowadays I don't take on too many gigs because I also want to be available to celebrate with my boys.  However, I did take a few appointments during nap time on Halloween, and tried some ideas on myself!  Here are some of the paintings I did this month!

I had SO much fun painting this sweet family of four on Halloween this year!!

Family photo! Hoping they send me a pic with their costumes on, too!

Half skull! I did this for Illusion's "scary Halloween" competition!

Half first attempt at a skull design! (besides my cartoony cheek art skulls!)

Experimenting with my Alex Hansen spider web stencil!

Some new Halloween cheek art ideas!

I love making Halloween CUTE! Some great designs to use google eyes on, too.

A Halloween kitty mask, inspired by a design on my Halloween kitchen towels! ;-)

Frankenstein mask!  I used some gear stencils for texture here.

My boys dressed as the Wild Kratt Brothers! Sam was Martin with wolf powers, and Toby was Chris with eagle powers! I was happy they chose costumes that could incorporate some face painting! The wolf was very much inspired by Tina Carroll's new book, "A Face Painting Trip to the Zoo!"
Some fun cheek art I did for a dog Halloween event!

Ghost design!

My first attempt at the headless horseman!

I hope you had a fun Halloween, whether you were busy working, busy having fun with your kids, or both!