Last week I did some balloon decor for my church, to help celebrate the first week of their kids’ services returning after quarantine! The balloons were designed to go with the graphics created for the coming month’s theme, specifically the words “Faith” and “Focus.” The graphics included colorful images of 3D glasses with halftone dots, so we had some fun with polka dot balloons! I also created a giant pair of 3D glasses using mylar 0’s, 7’s, and colored cellophane. It was super fun! I ordered a pack of 100 pairs of 3D glasses, and had my boys turn them into garlands using my Crop-A-Dile tool. Here are a few photos, and a time lapse video of the project going up!
My boys were great helpers! We built a couple columns in about 2 hours. I realized when I got there that I had accidentally ordered the dark blue balloons in 5″ diameter instead of 11″. Gah! So, I ran out to the nearest party shop to get more dark blue, while Sam stayed behind and kept filling the others to keep us on schedule. Thanks, Sam!
Here is a time lapse video of everything…scroll down for more pics!
We are SUPER excited to show you our all new “Bling-to-Go” Do-it-Yourself Body Bling Kits!! They are the perfect way to celebrate virtually with your friends, or bling yourself out for a socially distant night on the town! Each kit includes a storage tin, complete instructions, skin-safe Pros-Aide body glue, and coordinating cosmetic glitter gel! Simply peel your bling off at the end of the day and store it in your tin to use again!
We have a variety of different options as far as designs go, from unicorn horns to mermaid tails and everything in between! However, every kit includes full color instructions, a 1ml vial of body glue with applicator, a 1ml container of Pixie Paint glitter gel, and your hand made bling piece of choice, all neatly packaged in a little tin for storage!
Our kits come complete with step by step instructions to get you started, and you can wear your bling cluster again and again! Loving the bling more than you thought you would? No worries…we have everything you need if you decide you’d like refills of your glitter gel and adhesive in the Glitter Glamper Shop!
Our handmade bling is even better when one of our talented “Glampette” artists brings it to your event and applies it along with their skilled makeup embellishments, and we can’t WAIT to get back out there and “Bring the Bing” to your celebrations! (Click here learn more about all of our in-person glittery offerings!) In the meantime, we hope that these Bling-to-go kits will help fill that sparkly void!
With all the camping on our brains lately, I was reminded of a couple summers ago when we did a road trip to Yellowstone, and saw a grizzly bear! I got a few good photos with my zoom lens! So, I thought I’d put together a fun grizzly bear design. Check out the video below or view it here on YouTube!
Camping season is upon us, something my family and I love to do all summer long! Right now all the campgrounds are closed due to Covid, but we didn’t let that stop us! We took our camper down to my in-laws’ house last weekend and camped in their driveway, for a socially distant, outdoor visit! It was good for all of us to get out beyond the grocery store, and see some humans we know in 3-D! So, since we’ve had camping on the brain, I thought I’d put together a tutorial for you! Watch the video below, or right here on YouTube. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel for more tutorials to come! Thanks for stopping by, and happy painting!
I came up with this design years ago, and it got a lot of great reaction on social media! So, I thought I would put together a step by step video tutorial for you! This is one of my favorite and most popular snake designs. It can be easily adapted to fit within the time you have, and adjusted based on how wiggly your canvas is! 😉 You can add or leave out the background texture, or just do a solid color. Add extra glitter details, or leave them off. Here I added a little red liquid bling to the tongue! You can even add real google eyes in place of the painted iris/pupils! Try painting the snake in fun colors like pink or blue…the possibilities are endless!
Essentially these stencils are designed with spaces intentionally left blank, allowing you to insert your own painted tutus (one strokes make them fast and gorgeous!), or stick on your own tutu bling clusters! They are designed to be complemented with one stroke swooshes, swirls, teardrops, and of course festival glitter!! This is something I’ve been personally creating for the 2020 Glitter Glamper booth at the MN State Fair but I wanted to share the idea with my fellow artists who create bling! They are super cute, made with pieces of lace and trim. I may sell these down the road, but for now they are only available at the Glitter Glamper booth.
Now you could theoretically use both a set of wings and a 3D tutu bling on one of these fairy designs! I’m going to offer either a fairy with 3D wings and a painted tutu, or a Ballerina with a 3D tutu, to separate my offerings and have one 3D piece per design. Here’s how I do the painted tutus…..
Here are the stencils I have available now in the shop!!
Tutu Fairy Pair Stencil
This stencil gives you a lot of bang for your buck, with two fairies on one stencil. Spaces were intentionally left blank, allowing you to paint in a tutu with one strokes, or stick on a 3D tutu cluster!
Paint on a tutu with one strokes! Here I’ve attached my hand made fairy wing bling.
Ballerina 1 Stencil
This stencil is sized just right for the side of the face, and can be reversed as needed to flow around the eye!
Ballerina 2 Stencil
This stencil is also sized just right for the side of the face, and can be reversed as needed to flow around either eye!
Ballerina Torso Pair Stencil
This stencil includes TWO torsos on one stencil! They are sized a little larger than the full body ballerinas, and are perfect to go on the forehead or cheek! Add your tutu either with a one stroke or a 3D tutu cluster!
Please feel free to comment or ask questions here, and if you order these, we’d LOVE to see what you do with them! Follow us on Facebook, post your designs and tag us @paintertainmentdotcom!
Thanks so much for stopping by, and happy painting!
One of the best things about being my own boss, is that for the most part, I get to decide what I want to do, and when to do it. I can choose to take a gig or pass it on to someone else. I can decide to do more of what fills me up, and less of what doesn’t. Most self employed artists embrace and understand this, though when times get tough, we tend to forget some of our superpowers. Like we can choose to pick ourselves back up, or choose to wallow in self pity.
Lately I have seen so many of my fellow artists in one of two camps. One group is doing everything they can to remain positive, in the face of crippling financial hardship. They are using their newfound free time to do good and spread positivity, controlling what they can and letting go of what they can’t.
The other is curling up into a ball in their hole of despair, making comments like “well, I guess I’ll never paint again.” or “everything I’ve ever worked for is now completely worthless.”
I know that the state of the world is absolutely devastating to the core of us who rely on a thriving event industry for our bread & butter. My business of 25 years has come to a 100% screeching halt just like the rest of yours. What puts me into group #1, however, is that I have not given up my I’m-my-own-boss power. I am using it to not only decide whether to work in my pj’s today, but to decide that my circumstances don’t create my joy.
No, I’m not happy that I have no gigs in the foreseeable future. I am not happy that nobody else does either, and as a result nobody is ordering supplies from my shop. No, I’m not happy that my credit card debt is going to grow, and my income will not fund any family fun this summer. I’m not happy that my birthday was spent in quarantine. I’m not happy that my dad had a stroke right before the “stuff” hit the fan, and nobody is allowed to visit him in the hospital. I’m not happy, no, but I am joyful and that is what keeps me going.
I love this definition of happiness vs joy that I found via Google search:
“Happiness may dwell on materialistic, worldly pleasure while joy is derived from soul satisfying, emotional well being.”
What satisfies your soul? For me, it is absolutely my faith. I can’t imagine how people can get through things like this without it. For a lot of us, especially artists, it is also doing what we love to do…what we were created to do!
If you’re having trouble finding any positives in your current situation, try gratitude…yes…in ALL circumstances. Challenge yourself to find something to be thankful for every day. Sometimes a perspective shift is in order.
I’m thankful that I’m now forced to snuggle my boys & watch movies on my couch, while so many health care workers now can’t be close to or hug their own kids.
I’m thankful that I still have my talents, and can use them for so much more than my income.
I’m thankful that I don’t live in an abusive home
I’m thankful for Amazon, and my full cupboards.
I’m thankful for a home with multiple rooms, and a yard to play in.
I’m thankful for our health.
I’m thankful that I’m able to work from home.
I’m thankful for the technology that lets me see my family & friends’ faces and hear their voices.
I’m thankful for puzzles, perler beads and Neftlix.
I’m thankful that winter is on it’s way out.
I’m thankful for memes that make me giggle.
I’m thankful for our many parks that allow us to get outside while social distancing.
What are YOU doing?
“Well, I guess I’ll never paint again.” To this I say, why not? Sure, we face painters may move from painting on kids at parties to painting on practice heads, boards, and our own kids until this all passes. But the beautiful thing about painting is that you can do it anywhere! If the only reason you painted faces to begin with was to be paid at parties, it may not have been your calling after all. We don’t create our own circumstances, but our circumstances can reveal the person. Yes, even positive people are entitled to their own occasional pity party. But don’t let that be the new definition of you! Get your cry out and get back to creating!
You have control over whether you keep doing art or not. You now also have control over what you create, when and how you create it…no clients to satisfy, just yourself! Take advantage of that! I’ve seen artists sharing their huge, new design boards they’ve created this past week. I’ve seen artists painting designs to reflect their current struggles, depicting our current world through their eyes. I’ve seen artists sharing their gifts with others. Sewing masks. Decorating sidewalks. Making cards for the elderly.
What I’m Doing…
I can’t control the timing of when my income will return. But I can choose to make the most of this thing I ALWAYS seem to wish I had more of but money can’t buy: time!
The irony is not lost on me. So often I wish I had more TIME…the thing money can’t buy…because I’m so busy spending what time I do have trying to earn the money that can’t buy it, and spend what little extra time I have well. Now that we have no source of income, we find ourselves almost drowning in this elusive, priceless gift of time. Will we spend it well or waste it, only to long for it again when our work picks up?
For now I’m just taking it one day at a time. Having kids really helps because you HAVE to be positive for them. They are watching. All. The. Time. And learning from their parents how to react to tough situations. Right now we are on spring break, so I’m trying to let it be just that…a regular spring break with no strict schedules. They’ll get back to that soon enough when our district’s e-learning plans start. For now, they spend the week with mom, having fun and being creative, just less going out to movies & playgrounds…
Over the weekend I took advantage of the chance to give a little art lesson to my boys! Art imitates life, so I decided to do a still-life project with the subject being a roll of toilet paper!
We are each creating 9 little pieces, using 9 different mediums, on little squares of paper that are exactly the same size as a sheet of TP! The boys learned about drawing cylinders, how ellipses change with perspective, how to shade, and use some fun tools they’ve never used!
We now have a puzzle table set up, which we’ve really never done. My boys are helping me cook more…
…we’ve gotten out our huge stash of perler beads and are creating a growing honeycomb art piece. My boys have even been helping me sort and organize my gem stash!!
As for my work, I’ve been able to start some projects that have been waiting on the back burner, like creating new stencils for my shop that are designed to be used with my new tutu bling, and painted tutus with 3D fairy wings! (Follow our Facebook page to find out when these stencils are available in the shop!) I’m remaining hopeful that the MN State Fair will happen, and preparing for the Glitter Glamper‘s 2nd year! And if it doesn’t happen, I’ll be super prepared for 2021!!
I’m also already working on the next issue of Wet Paint Magazine. Not because it will make me any money, because it has yet to make any profit for me…it’s purely something I create because I love to do it, and it’s mission is to uplift, inspire, and encourage my fellow artists…something we ALL need right now!
I was in a wonderful Zoom call with over 20 other artists around the country last week, put on by Lori Hurley. My favorite quote from the call was when Steve Klein said, “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.”
The Big Question…
So, I ask you again…are you an egg or a potato? Will you choose to let your circumstances turn you into mush, or will you allow them to make you stronger than ever before? Whether you use your talents to uplift your family in quarantine, or your greater community, show the world what you’re made of! Your circumstances can’t take away your talent, or even your joy, if it comes from the right source! Stay strong painty friends! Hope and joy are just as contagious as fear! What are YOU choosing to spread?
What have YOU been doing to keep your sanity in quarantine? How are your kids keeping entertained? How are you using your art to spread hope and joy? Please share in the comments! We all could use some more ideas for the days and weeks to come!
Hey entertainer friends! Let’s use our “down” time to “UPlift” our fellow small business owners! Chances are you’ve worked with many artists who have their own business. Let’s use this time we have to lift each other up by leaving positive reviews!! Not made up ones of course, but share your positive experiences working with or for your peers. Lets flood our social media and business listings with great reasons for people to hire each other, once this all blows over and people start planning events again!! I’m planning to go through this list of sites and find all my friends over the coming weeks and lift them up! Who’s with me? Please feel free to share this jpeg and include any links needed for some sites that require them for reviews! We got this!
Keeping the face painting process hygienic has always been an important concern for artists and parents alike, although it’s getting a lot more buzz lately on social media with the latest outbreak of Coronavirus.
Whether you are someone who is living in fear of contracting the virus, someone who thinks it’s all media hype, or are somewhere in between, is really irrelevant. The fact is that however real the risk is, and whether we personally react to it at all or not, it IS affecting our business as entertainers. I live in Minnesota and recently started hearing of artists having events cancelled due to Coronavirus, when we hadn’t even had a single confirmed case yet. A lot more of this is happening in other parts of the country, so it’s a topic worth discussing. I am no doctor or infectious disease expert, but here are my thoughts on this and any virus this time of year, as they pertain to our industry!
Advice for artists & entertainers
Several artists have asked me what my common sense opinion is on this current situation. I actually wrote about this topic 5 years ago, and it all still applies for artists today, and really every day. If you are a face painter, I highly recommend reading this post and evaluating your practices. Make any changes you feel are needed, and let your clients know what you are doing to prevent the spread of germs. Here are just a few simple ways you can help stop the spread of germs:
If you use sponges, use only one per child, whether they are disposable or you wash/sanitize them later, & don’t double-dip. (I avoid sponges almost entirely)
Keep your rinse water clean by changing it often. Use multiple basins to keep dirty water and fresh water separate.
Rinse your brushes well between kids. For an extra precaution, bring a little jar of 70% alcohol to swish them in between faces.
Use hand sanitizer between customers & wash hands well whenever possible.
Keep disinfectant wipes/sprays on hand to clean your equipment periodically.
Allow your paints to dry thoroughly between events.
Wash and sanitize all brushes, sponges, towels, etc between events.
Don’t paint over open wounds or on visibly sick kids.
For an extra precaution, wipe the area to be painted with 70% alcohol wipes before you begin. I already do this when attaching bling, so wiping a larger area is no big deal.
Do what you can to boost your own immune system with whatever healthy foods and supplements are available that you like!
Advice for event planners looking to hire entertainers
If you have hired a professional artist who takes hygiene seriously like I do, then I would venture to guess that kids are at greater risk interacting with each other waiting in line for painting, than they are sitting in my chair. Any time a large group of people gather in one place, the spread of germs is a given. However, here are a few things you might consider when lining up entertainment for your event:
Ask the artists you hire what their hygiene practices are. If anything is lacking or bothers you, ask them what they can do to alleviate your concerns.
Hire a real professional. Someone who’s livelihood depends on happy, healthy clients is way more likely to invest in sanitary practices and the expensive, FDA compliant products we use that contain antimicrobial properties.
Hire enough artists for your crowd size. Long lines means more bodies in close quarters. The quicker you can get kids through the line and back to the event, the less time they’ll be bunched up, potentially coughing on each other while they wait!
Provide hand sanitizer for your guests. If you are providing a volunteer line manager to help the kids form a line and choose designs, this is a great job for them!
If face painting still makes you or your guests really uneasy, try adding on something else that doesn’t involve touching the face, like balloon twisting or glitter tattoos. Or, request that your artist only paint on arms. Our bling bar is another great option that can be done with no brushes or sponges involved!
Know that we care. As artists we want all of your guests to have an awesome experience! And trust us, this is a subject we are concerned with all the time, not just during a widespread public outbreak. It is in our own best interest to keep things sanitary too! We drop ourselves right down into the center of crowds of kids on a regular basis. Kids cough and sneeze directly into our faces often, so we are always vigilant. We don’t like getting sick either, so you can rest assured we are doing everything we can to keep our stations healthy, for you AND ourselves! 😉
With any virus outbreak, you have to use your own judgement depending on your location and your own event’s setup. But, if you are an artist, I hope that this post has given you some ideas to step your sanitary practices up a notch. If you’re an event planner, I hope that this helps to ease your mind to know how hard we work any day of the year, not just cold & flu season, to keep your guests healthy and safe!
The popularity of stencils in the face & body art world has grown immensely in the past decade, as is evident by the sheer number of options available out there! In the past, body artists mainly used stencils for airbrush (because they are essential to controlling your paint), or as a “cheat” for those who weren’t able to paint basic shapes freehand. Today, however, stencils are considered an essential tool, valued by even the best and most talented professional artists. As professional artists, given endless time and an inanimate canvas, many of us are quite capable of painting intricate repetitive designs. However, the reality of our jobs is such that time is a huge factor. Stencils allow us to create intricate textures and impressive designs in a timeframe that matches the length of patience our models have to sit still!
Most artists who are just getting into stencils will tell you that they are way harder to use than they originally thought. It’s that classic conundrum of professionals making something look SO easy! Stencils are supposed to make designs perfect, uniform, and fast, right? Well, if you don’t choose the right combination of tools and techniques for your design, and don’t practice enough to get a feel for those tools’ limits, it can result in disaster. Stencils take skill and practice, just like anything else.
Before we talk about the 3 main challenges of stenciling, let’s take a quick look at the types of makeup and tools available, because understanding these options will help you choose the right tools for the job.
Types of Makeup
Generally there are 3 types of makeup that face & body artists use with stencils. Pressed powders, water based makeup and airbrush. For the sake of this post we’ll just talk about powders and water based makeup because they are what most face painters start with, and come with the biggest challenges as far as getting a crisp image.
As you can see, they both have their pros and cons. I personally use both types of makeup for my stenciling, and which one I use depends on the design. Hopefully by the end of this post you’ll get a better idea of which makeup works best for what you’re doing.
Once you choose the makeup you want to use, you need to choose a way to apply it. Here are a few of my favorite tools for stenciling.
Foam Blenders – Use these when you’re applying powder. Small Pore Sponge – Use these when you’re applying water based makeup and covering larger areas with your stencil. (Larger pore sponges can work well on sturdy stencils too) Finger Daubers – Use these when you’re applying water based makeup and want more precise control, for example, you only want to use a small portion of the stencil. They can also work for powder based makeup. Press/dab if the stencil is very delicate; twist/scrub if it is more durable. Mini Kabuki Brush – Use these for water based makeup, especially on very intricate/delicate stencils. It can be pounced or swirled. Use these if you don’t want to accumulate a lot of dirty sponges/daubers as they can be rinsed between colors more easily.
There are three big hurdles we fight when painting with stencils. Prickly bits, water, and contrast/coverage.
I tend to categorize my stencils into two camps: delicate and sturdy. Delicate stencils can be gorgeous but finicky and easily broken. I don’t banish them from my kit…I simply have to treat them more carefully. Sturdy stencils can be used and abused, and still work just as well years down the road. Does your stencil have super intricate details, or large shapes? Does it have any pointy, delicate pieces that can easily bend or lift away from the surface? I like to call these “prickly bits.” Prickly bits are those small, pointy shapes that protrude into an open space in your stencil. Having tiny details and prickly bits in your stencil can make things more challenging. Sponges tend to catch on prickly bits, bending up your stencil, and so do wipes when you’re trying to clean them off.
If you’re not sure whether your stencil has “prickly bits,” gently curve/bend it while looking down the edge. If it has delicate areas, you’ll see them stick out around the bend.
Tiny, intricate details are also very easily lost if you don’t have the right tool to paint with, or just the right amount of water. Here are a few tips for conquering those prickly bits:
Use a mini kabuki brush instead of a sponge. Stencils must be flat and tight against the skin where you’re painting in order to create a crisp design, and sponges can easily catch on those prickly bits, bending and pulling up your stencil and messing up your design. A mini kabuki brush can be brushed/swirled over the stencil or pounced over the design without catching. They are also easy to clean, and help keep your fingers clean!
When applying your makeup in a brushing action (as opposed to stippling), be sure to brush from the outside of the stencil inward, or in the direction of the prickly bits rather than against them, to avoid catching them whenever possible or forcing paint underneath them.
When cleaning stencils with delicate, prickly bits, dunk them in your rinse water first. This loosens the paint, and then you can lie it flat on a towel and press to dry and remove paint.
Most professional artists use water based makeups, so it’s a bit ironic that water is one of the biggest enemies of a clean, crisp stencil design. Too much water, and your design will bleed under the stencil, leaving more of a blob. Too little, and you won’t see the entire shape/texture. This is one of those factors of stenciling that simply takes practice to master. Once you get the feel of how much water is just right, you’ll start seeing better results. In general, it’s best to use as little water as possible for a clean, crisp stencil design. Here are a few tips to help control your water levels:
If you want more precise control, use small daubers instead of a large sponge. Our finger daubers and mini daubers do a great job of applying paint in precise areas, while giving you just enough sponge to do the job. The more sponge you have, the more likely you are to soak up too much water. Daubers tend to be thinner and make it easier to control the water.
If you’re covering a larger area, use a sponge with small pores like our foam wedge sponges or mini petal sponges. Larger pores are more likely to soak up more water than you need.
Glycerine based paint (such as Paradise) tends to be more forgiving than wax based paint when it comes to stencils. Load your sponge or kabuki with as little water as possible, so that it is more tacky than wet.
Achieving a good contrast is essential for the viewer to be able to see your design. A perfect stencil transfer doesn’t do much good if it blends in with the background it is on. When creating a dark stencil design over a light background, this is less of an issue. But painting light colors over a dark background can get problematic. There are ways around this issue though!
Powdered makeups tend to be a little more translucent, so they work best when you apply a dark powder over a light background.
Powdered makeups work best when they have a base to stick too. See the examples above for the difference when applied over bare skin vs makeup, primer or glycerine. Notice the change in contrast.
Be careful not to let powder “fall out” mess up your design! After loading a lollipop blender, give it a little tap over the makeup cake to knock off loose powder.
Water based makeups are good to achieve opaque coverage directly on bare skin.
When painting a light stencil pattern over a dark background, the background color can bleed through. To combat this, lay the stencil on, use a clean brush or makeup wipe to remove the background paint inside the stencil pattern, then apply your light color makeup and remove the stencil. This will keep your light color bright because you’ll only have skin behind it, vs the darker makeup background.
While unfortunately there is no one “trick” to achieving perfect, crisp stencil design transfers, there are methods to help guide you down the right path as far as how to achieve that crisp, clean look. Which method to use is determined by many factors that vary depending on the design. I hope that this post has given you a better understanding of what methods and tools work best for the task at hand! Got more questions I haven’t answered? Have a great tip to share for achieving great stencil results? Post your thoughts in the comments!