Mightygoods.com included me in a article about how professional face painters pack and prepare their gear. Here is my section.
I live in Northern California, about two hours north of the Golden Gate Bridge, in beautiful Sonoma county. A friend encouraged me to try face painting many years ago. She showed me a few designs and I painted at birthday parties occasionally. When I moved to Wine Country in 2010, I decided to become professional. I started face painting most weekends, attended face painting conventions and practiced a lot. Having good supplies makes all the difference, it’s an investment-I want every color! But I have to limit it or my bag would weigh a ton.
What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all face painters bring?
- I often bring balloons for twisting, which is a great addition for birthday parties, restaurants and lower volume gigs.
- I always bring an extra mirror that sits on my table so kids can run over and check their make-up.
- Although I don’t always use them, I like to bring some powder-based colors. These are great for super-hot days, wiggly toddlers and fairs where there is a long line, as they go on very quickly and don’t smear in hot weather.
How do you bring things with you?
I can fit just about everything I need into an old Eagle Creek rolling bag similar to the Gear Warrior™ 29. I like that it stays upright. It’s very important that I pack the same way so I can set up quickly and don’t forget anything. The bottom layer of the bag holds 3 plastic lock top containers containing individual paint cakes in containers that screw together for fast access; glitter and gems, hair clips, powders, 99% alcohol, lip applicators & body glue. Baby wipes go on top of them. My custom make-up case sits evenly on top of this. It uses less space to store the cakes with their lids on, but it takes too long to open all of those little containers, keep track of the lids, and put them away. When I open my case, I get oohs and ahs from guests observing the beautiful rainbow colors I have. Face painters are entertainers as well as artists, so I always arrive in a fun costume with flowers or something small painted on my own face.
Next, I place two folding holders full of paint brushes (from an art supply store) a plastic zip container with stencils, two small water bowls (better, IMHO, then the water containers that also hold brushes because they make it easier to change your water) and two ACE plastic buckets. One contains makeup sponges, a hand mirror, water spritzer, small brush holder, hand sanitizer, cards, a small towel, pen and notepad…so many little things. The other bucket goes under my table for used sponges and dirty baby wipes. My notebook of designs goes in front of the bag with my tablecloths. There’s even room in the top of the bag for a jacket. I strap the bag into my car’s backseat like a precious toddler so it doesn’t tip over. Packing this way, I can wheel in my gear and set up in five minutes.
I always lay out my supplies the same way, so that I don’t waste time looking for things. Another reason to keep your supplies to a minimum is that you might not have much table space at the party to spread out into.
What are your top tips for other face painters?
Safety is paramount. Only use skin-safe, high quality products. Use a disposable applicator for lip color, or clean your brush with 99% alcohol between kids. Parents appreciate smaller designs that avoid the sensitive eye area and messy mouth zone. Sure, that 5 year-old looks adorable in the chair with a full tiger face and painted lips, but within 2 minutes she or he will eat and drink and the bottom half of her face will be a mess.
Link to the entire article, including amazing face painters from around the world.