Thursday, July 31, 2014

To insure or not to insure?

How can $100 can save you $100,000 and keep your business alive?

For a lot of people insurance can be a hard topic. Some think is not needed, some think is a waste of money and others can’t imagine working without it. I choose to think of insurance as an investment; while others see it as an expense.
Consider this: most insurance companies will charge you around $100 to $200 for a full year of coverage. For the average painter that means that they can pay for their annual insurance with 1 to 2 gigs (if you are charging less than $100 an hour you might want to re consider your rates). Not too bad, right?
Now, consider what you are getting: peace of mind, potentially more jobs (many malls and fairs won’t work with you unless you have your own insurance), and coverage in the rare case of a claim.

Why do I see it as an investment? Because if $100 can get you into jobs that you couldn't have done without it, then, as long as those jobs bring you in more than $100, you profit from having insurance.
Also, what could happen if you get a claim and you didn't have insurance? Most likely you will be put out of business and find yourself in major debt. So, that $100 can be the best investment you ever did.
Some say claims in our industry are so rare you shouldn't worry about them, but many still have life insurance, car insurance, home insurance, health insurance, and play the lottery, even though you may also be dealt with small odds of something critical happening. The thing is that, although chances might be high that you won’t get sued, if you do, the expenses related with a court case are most likely impossible to afford on your own and all of your dreams of running your own business could be over. We hate to say it, but we know that very well at Jest Paint.

Being careful in any matter concerning your business won’t be the answer to avoiding a law suit. Keep this in mind, even when you haven’t done anything wrong, you can still get sued by someone trying to get money from you through a settlement. Just to defend yourself and prove you haven’t done anything wrong can cost you a small fortune. Our legal fees were over $100,000, even after wining the case, and it didn't even make it through the traditional court process. 
Thankfully, our insurance took care of the crazy huge bill and we only had to pay a small deductible. Without insurance, we simply wouldn't be here. We were surprised to find out that to get a lawyer to start representing you, you would have to pay a large retainer fee from the get go.  This can start at  $3000, which barely covers the initial paperwork to respond to the plaintiff. If we didn't have business insurance we wouldn't even have been able pay to defend ourselves. We would have lost the court case, and would have had to pay for all of the money that the plaintiff requested in damages, which would have taken two lifetimes, even though we were innocent. If you find yourself in a similar situation, all of that drama can also be avoided for you and your family with a small insurance investment.
We thank God every day that we chose to get business insurance when we did. Going through a law suit was stressful and emotionally draining, but we were confident that we would come out on top and that our business would be able to thrive.
Of course, insurances are not always there when you need them. You need to make sure that you are getting the proper coverage so that you will be protected when you need it. READ your policy, ask questions, and don’t sign if you are not comfortable with it. Most insurances won’t let you read the entire policy until you sign, but you have the right to cancel within a certain time frame after you have read the policy if you don’t agree with it. Make sure that every aspect of your business is covered under the insurance and that you work within that frame so you don’t void your policy.
In the end, it is your call as a business owner to do what you think is best for your business. Just make sure that you consider every angle, and always think on a long term basis if this is something you are doing as a career rather than just a hobby.
Is there an insurance company that you would like to recommend to other artists? Write a comment below and let us know who you work with.

Disclaimer: we are not lawyers and our opinion is based on our personal experience. We recommend for you to always check with a lawyer before making any decision. We are not in any ways giving legal advice and we are not liable for any decisions you make or stop making based on the opinions provided above.

"Image courtesy of foto76 /".

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Face-Painting Hygiene: Cleaning and Care Tips for Face Painters

In recent years, face painting has developed from a fun, informal activity for children’s events and parties into a formal art style with specialized techniques, paints, brushes and other equipment. Professional and amateur face painters have discovered the importance of hygiene, especially when dealing with dozens of children in a single day.

Some face painters don’t mind the messy look while others like to stay neat and clean, but in either case, all of the brushes, sponges and other tools of the trade must be sanitary. This begins by keeping a clean space, but it extends to every facet of the art. In addition to a clean space, you will also want to wash your hands regularly and possibly use sanitizer on them between each child. It is too much to expect that everyone who comes to you will have a clean face, and if any bacteria or other pathogens are present, you don’t want to spread them.

Are Disposables the Answer?


Long ago, some face painters who were concerned about hygiene thought that the solution was to use disposable products, such as cotton swabs and makeup pads. These can simply be thrown out after each use so that dirt and germs are not spread to others. However, cotton swabs and circular cotton pads do not allow artists to make the precise strokes that are required for most styles, and the finished work can look rather unimpressive. More importantly, by throwing away your products each time you are ultimately spending more money and creating a lot of unnecessary waste for the environment.
The best tools for face painting are high-quality brushes and sponges that can be used for months or years if proper cleaning procedures are followed. A wide range of brushes and sponges are available for a variety of face-painting styles and applications. In addition, brush holders, water buckets and storage containers will help you keep them clean and hygienic over multiple events no matter how high the traffic.

Cleaning Brushes and Sponges

While it is important to keep your workspace and hands clean, it is also necessary to keep your brushes and sponges clean. Some of the easiest brushes to clean are those from Paradise and Prisma because of their acrylic handles. They can be sanitized in a mild detergent solution or with special brush cleaner. To make the task simple while on the job, you can purchase several different types of washbasins. Some artists prefer the travel brush washers, which are collapsible and available in two sizes, while others like to use soft-sided water buckets. These buckets are colorful and have pockets to hold up to six brushes at once. The wide bases of either style help prevent the spilling of water while you are washing and rinsing your brushes. Some painters will clean their brushes out on the job, while others will wait until the end of the event.

When using sponges, the ideal product for keeping a clean looking kit while face painting is the Never Stain sponge from Kryvaline. These sponges are precut from black foam and they are easy to wash with mild soap and water. Since they stay black, you will not end up with a bag of sponges dyed all different colors, which some parents might think are used and dirty when you grab for one in your sponge bag.

Following are a few additional tips for cleaning brushes and sponges:


• Use a fresh sponge for every child. Then, clean and sterilize the used batch before the next event.
• Regularly change the soap solution in your brush washer or water bucket and change your clean rinse water as much as possible.
• Clean brushes with a mild solution made with water and a small amount of liquid hand soap or baby shampoo. Do not double dip, or reuse a brush on a child who you think may be sick. Set the brush aside to be cleaned later. Try to avoid painting sick kids in general.
• Sterilize brushes with 70 percent to 99 percent rubbing alcohol, but make sure they are thoroughly air dried before you use them again. This can wear out your brushes sooner than using soap and water.
• Dry brushes on their sides on a clean towel or paper towel instead of in a brush cup or brush holder.
•    Make sure that you do not leave your dirty or clean brushes and sponges in an air tight container. After cleaning make sure that everything is thoroughly dried before packing up for the next gig.
Storage Containers

All of your brushes and sponges should be securely stored between events. Some great storage products for brushes include zippered brush carriers and brush wallets and open sided brush holders. The TAG Brush Wallet and Mehron Brush Holder also double as brush stands to set up vertically on your table while you work. Black mesh bags are great for drying and transporting your sponges.
Face painting is fun and exciting, but keeping a high standard of cleanliness and safety should always be a top priority.

If you have any questions about our selection or choosing the right products for your needs, simply give us a call at 269-598-5436 and we will be more than happy to help!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Temporary Tattoos: Making Your Kit a Whole Lot Cooler!

Why You Should Be Using Temporary Tattoos in Your Face Painting Business
Available in grocery store vending machines and on the toy aisle, temporary tattoos have long been worn and enjoyed by kids and adults alike. These harmless, short-term body decorations offer all the fun of a tattoo without any of the pain or long-term consequences of getting inked. Whether you run a face-painting business or do occasional body art at your children's birthday parties, temporary tattoos can make a great addition to your face-paint arsenal.

What Are Temporary Tattoos Anyway?

True to their name, temporary tattoos are a type of body art that is designed to last for only a short time. These tattoos may be applied in a variety of ways. Many consumers are familiar with temporary tattoos that are transferred directly to the skin from a piece of paper. This type of body art is made up of a layer of paper, a decoration on a silicone release layer and a thin layer of transfer film. While this type of temporary tattoo is very popular, it's not the only available option. temporary tattoo kits include stamps and special, non-toxic inks to create designs on the body. These designs last about as long as other temporary tattoos but can be customized. Talented face-painting artists can embellish designs using temporary body ink. The LaDot Temporary Tattoo Kit even offers rhinestones to add a special, finishing touch to temporary body art creations. You can also pair body glitters with temporary tattoos for an even more dazzling look or to tie multiple temporary tattoos together.

Adding Temporary Tattoos to Your Face-Paint Arsenal

If you're a face painter catering to clients at festivals, fairs, dances and parties, temporary tattoos can add a little something extra to your current offerings. A variety of temporary tattoo stamps are available so that your clients can choose from many different designs. Instead of feeling inhibited by the simple designs, use them as a base to create your own unique artwork around the extra level of detail and precision the temporary tattoo offers. After all, a simple flower or star tattoo will save you time with the core of your piece and can be turned into something even more stunning with additional effort.

Durability can be a concern with all face and body painting situations. LA Dot temporary tattoo kit is also a favorite because the designs are waterproof. This means kids can have all day fun in the sun or splashing in the pool while keeping their great detailed designs until they are ready to remove them that evening or possibly longer if well taken care of.

A temporary tattoo kit is also a great choice if you'll be working a high-traffic event. Striking body art complete with glitter and rhinestones can be completed in just a few minutes, allowing you to work with more clients and enjoy greater profits. Using your own artistic skills to dress up temporary tattoo designs is one of the best ways to increase your work capacity while still satisfying your clients.
Using Temporary Tattoos at Home and for Fun

Of course, temporary tattoo kits aren't just for professional face painters. Maybe you only paint faces at casual, friendly gatherings or birthday parties. Temporary tattoos are just as easy to use at home as they are in a professional setting. Consider offering temporary body art at a birthday party or summer gathering to keep kids occupied.

Many teens also love using temporary tattoos before dances and special events. With a basic tattoo kit and some body glitter, you can create homecoming body art with school colors or design beautiful body art for prom. You're only limited by your creativity, so take time to play with your temporary tattoo kit and discover everything it offers.

If you have any questions about our selection or choosing the right products for your needs, please give us a call at 269-598-5436 and we will be more than happy to help!