Sep 28, 2021
If you have just started looking for work as a face painter you need to be prepared to do some voluntary work to start with. This will help you to
speed up, get yourself known and give you practice with all the popular designs. If there are other face painters in the same area talk to them
and become friends, don't try to undercut them as you will end up working for peanuts and they will hate you. If they are much more experienced
they may be happy to pass you some work they might turn down due to budgets and also to help you. Be grateful. Do not poach their clients.
Have some business cards printed and make sure you have your name and contact details on the card as well as the fun stuff of choosing a working name
and your best picture. It is surprising how many people forget to put their telephone number or e-mail address on all their correspondence - customers
will only come to you if you make it easy.
Offer to do your friends' children's birthday parties and make sure you give out your cards to the guests' parents. Make sure your friends know you are doing it free as a favour and that you normally charge so that you aren't asked to be booked free for ever more!
Offer to do a regular session at your local after school club/play scheme. Be professional and make sure that a note has gone out the week before warning parents and asking permission. You could even use it as an advertisement and put your details on it. A regular session even for free is an invaluable opportunity to practice designs and to keep up with what the latest trends are. Making yourself known in this way in your local community will set you up as the person to contact for other events, fetes, fairs etc. If you are booked for a big event, be realistic as to how many faces you can paint and maybe take a colleague with you (remember that nice person that passed some work on to you?), it is more fun working as a team.
Wherever you are working, remember to take lots of photographs to build up a portfolio of work that you can show to prospective employers and entertainment agencies. Be ruthless in your selection, there is no point in showing work unless it is well photographed and looks professional. Try to take photographs of smiling children without a busy background, and in focus! You need to think about getting permission if you are publishing someone's photo.
Once you can do good work at a rate of at least ten an hour you should be able to take work where you are paid by the session or day. This sort of work often comes through an agency, but it may come directly from one of your own contacts. Maybe you have a website or Facebook page. How much you are paid depends on you, your area, and your customer but don't be tempted to undercut other face painters of a similar standard, you won't make any friends that way, and it is a surprisingly small world! If you are being booked by an agent make sure you have a contract. You may want to draw up a contract yourself if it is a private booking. You can find out more about contracts, disclaimers and that sort of thing in our Painter Information area. You will also need to have public liability insurance.
This may all seem a bit daunting but you can do it, we did! If you need more help or advice, have a look at all the information on this site or you can look at our interesting questions to Aggie that come up quite often.