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Balloon Decor Project

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!

Here we are hanging the 3D glasses “garland.” It worked great! We also dangled a few glasses from this across the room. On either side of this we hung red and blue crepe paper, lying against each other and twisted…which actually looked funky through real 3D glasses!

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NEW: “Bling-to-Go” DIY Body Bling Kits!

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!

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Are You A Potato or an Egg?

Are you a potato, or an egg?

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.”

-diffen.com

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!

Still life art lessons with Mom!

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!

Will you let this change you for the better?

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!

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Use your DOWN time to UPlift: Flood your Friends’ Accounts with Positivity!

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!

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Coronavirus and Face Painting: Tips for Artists and Event Planners

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)
  • Don’t paint over lips with your brushes. There is no need; there are plenty of disposable lip application tools out there. (see my older blog post)
  • 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!

More Resources & Information

World Health Organization: The WHO has issued an event planning guide. Check it out here. It is meant to be read in conjunction with their Key Considerations for Public Health for Mass Gatherings.

The Center for Disease Control: The CDC has also issued a statement about mass gatherings as they relate to coronavirus.

They also have posted the best household cleaning recommendations for killing the virus here, and have a list of EPA approved products here.

Interactive Map: For an interactive map of the spread of coronavirus, check out this map by Johns Hopkins.

Got some of your own tips and tricks that I didn’t cover here or in my more extensive post on hygiene? Please feel free to comment and share!

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Learning to Face Paint: Where Do I Start?


Need a little help getting started face painting? Been asked to face paint at your church or school event and you just don’t know where to begin? This blog post is for you. I’ve been face painting professionally for over 19 years and love helping others learn how too. 

What Supplies Do I Need to Get?

It is easy to get overwhelmed with all of the products available on the market today.  The most important thing is to make sure you get quality paints that are specifically designed for skin.  For a really easy way to get started, check out our “Smile Painter Set” package deal, which includes quality makeup, brushes, a design sheet and a book full of tips and tricks! But if you’re interested in picking out all of the supplies yourself individually, read on for some suggestions and advice!

Paint:

A few things to consider when shopping for paint:

  • Safety should be your TOP deciding factor, not price. Stay away from cheap craft store paints made in China.
  • Never, EVER use craft paints or acrylic paints on skin! Here’s why. “Non-Toxic” does NOT mean safe for use on skin!
  • Use only professional makeup that is FDA approved for use on skin. (Kryolan, Wolfe, TAG, Paradise, Snazaroo, Cameleon, Mehron, etc…)

Check out this blog post for more information on how much paint is needed, and how long it will last.  For someone starting out or just doing a small event here and there, I would recommend a multi-color palette. These sets enable you to try a variety of colors without spending a fortune. When you run out of a color, simply purchase a refill and keep using your set for years to come! Or, if you plan on using a lot of certain colors, you can purchase larger cakes of colors individually that will last a LONG time!

Brushes:

A few things to consider when shopping for brushes:

Designs:

You will need some designs for the children to choose from that you are comfortable painting. I prefer to use a board or sign that is on display so that everyone in line can see it and have their design chosen when it’s their turn. Start by displaying only designs that you are comfortable painting. I have several heavily laminated design sheets available that work great…they are small enough to put in your tote bag of supplies, and sturdy enough to wash off at the end of your event!

 Never painted before? Then I’d recommend getting my companion book of full-color photos showing you how to paint every design on my Classic design sheets in 6 steps or less!

If you’d like to design your own menu and don’t want to tie yourself down to an exact image on a visual menu yet, we have a service just for you.  Choose the type of designs you’d like and we will create a custom word menu for you to print out!

Other Supplies:

  • Glitter: Not a requirement, but glitter sure does add a lot to a design! ONLY use glitter that is approved for cosmetic use by the FDA. Metallic craft glitters can scratch the cornea and are extremely dangerous!
  • Rhinestones & Adhesive: Definitely optional, but if you are doing a fancy princess party, they are a HIT!
  • Split Cakes: If you’re familiar with one-stroke painting, rainbow cakes can really add that WOW factor in little time! If you’re not familiar with this technique and want to learn, check out our book, “One Stroke Face Painting!”
  • Mirror: To show the kids the finished product. Bring an extra in case it breaks! Or better yet, get an unbreakable mirror.
  • Wet wipes: In case of mistakes and to clean your hands. Makeup remover wipes work especially well!
  • Water jar: To rinse your brushes and wet the paint.  We sell a variety of great brush tubs with ridges in the bottom, which really help get your brushes clean!  But to be honest, you can get by just fine with any old jar or cup of water!
  • Towels, Chairs, Hair Clips, etc…

How Do I Learn How to Face Paint?

We have many resources available at Paintertainment:

Feel free to email me any time as well! I love to help fellow artists!

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How to Paint Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Hey everyone! We’re just two weeks away from Christmas eve!! I don’t know about you but I’m swimming in Christmas events and loving painting all the fun holiday themed designs!! I’ve been getting such a great response for my quick Christmas painting videos, I thought I’d put together a video of one of my favorite Christmas cheek designs…Rudolph!

I like to have fun with this one…with the nose you can do red paint with red glitter. In the video I use red Liquid Bling! You can also use a red gemstone! Sometimes when I’m not totally slammed with a huge line, I will even use a google eye attached with Pros-Aide, which makes it extra fun. Now if you live in the Midwest like I do, where it’s -2 degrees as I type this, be sure to protect your Pros-Aide! If it freezes, it does NOT come back to life and becomes useless! I keep my Pros-Aide bottles in my purse this time of year so they always come with me!

You can watch the video here, or check it out with the others on my YouTube channel, here! Thanks for stopping by, and happy holiday painting!

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Holiday Elements: Paint Realistic Pine Branches!

Pine tree branches are a great element to learn for your holiday themed designs! I use them often and they are not as hard as they look. (This step by step can also be found in my HUGE full-color book, “Realism for Face & Body Artists!”) Here is a video where I demonstrate how to create these branches in just 1 minute, ending with a few inspirational designs that utilize them! Watch it below or click HERE to go to our YouTube channel! Thanks for stopping by, and happy painting!

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Holiday Elements: Learn 4 Snowflakes in 90 seconds!

Since yesterday’s candycane video was such a hit, I thought I’d do another one today on snowflakes!

Sometimes you can’t find your snowflake stencil, and sometimes they get caught on things and bend or break…but don’t fear! Snowflakes can be really quick to paint with the right tools and techniques. I could paint snowflakes for hours and come up with dozens of different ones, but here is a video with just 4 quick renditions. I paint snowflakes a lot for holiday parties, but they really have become more popular year-round with the release of Frozen, and now Frozen II! I’m just showing you some really simple elements here, but you can really punch these up with some outlines, color variations, painting them in clusters, adding swirls & teardrops, festival glitter, you name it! Have fun with them and make them your own!

Watch the video below, or check it out with others on my YouTube channel!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy painting!