The first step in becoming a professional face painter is to gather all of the supplies you will need for your first few gigs. Although you may already have paints and brushes, it is important to ensure that they are of the highest quality. Your paints should be produced by a reputable company and be specifically made for face painting.
When it comes to brushes, the bristles must be secure and soft but rigid enough to effectively apply the paint. Other supplies you will want to consider include the following:
• Sponges and wet wipes
• Stencils, stamps, and cosmetic glitter
• Cleaning supplies
• Folding table and chairs
• Hair clips
• Trash receptacle
•Design sheets and banners
Perfect Your Art
Before you start a business, you will want to spend some time perfecting your art and honing your skills. You can do this by practicing on volunteers, but you may want to ask another pro if you can shadow him or her to learn the nuances of the business. As you practice, it is a good idea to take pictures of your work so you can create a portfolio, which is an invaluable tool for gaining new clients. Face painting is fun and family and friends make excellent subjects so don’t be shy to ask people to sit for you. Additionally, there are websites where you can find models looking to build or diversify their portfolios as well so you may be able to make a nice exchange practicing a new look while helping each other get new experience.
Make it Legitimate
Once you have all of your gear and supplies and are confident of your abilities, it’s time to obtain a business license, open a business account at a bank, and protect yourself from liabilities.
Business licenses are issued by the city where you live and are used to help regulate your activities and make sure you pay local taxes. After you have a business license, you will have to register your business name with the state to ensure that no one else is using the name. This also allows you to make financial transactions with your brand name rather than your personal name. When deciding on a business name, make it fun and lighthearted. In addition, interject your personality into the name, but focus on keeping it simple and memorable.
The next step to getting your business off the ground is to apply for an employer identification number (EIN) with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). An EIN is needed so that you can file federal taxes, and it is required by most banks to establish a business account.
If you are hesitant about how to file your taxes as a small business, definitely talk to the free businesses coaches at Score or an accountant. Filing taxes isn’t that hard as long as you keep good records though out the year.
Create a booking contract. A contract will ensure that both you and your clients are on the same page, and committed to you being at their event. You may want to think about requiring deposits to hold the booking as well.
You should strongly consider becoming bonded and insured. In some areas, insurance will be sufficient, and in others, you may need to be bonded. Both of these measures help you pay for any damages that may occur while you are working. While you will surely not be intending to hurt anyone or break anything, accidents happen, and when they do, you will want to have insurance. We have another post HERE that includes some additional information making the case to have insurance.
Branding and Marketing Your Business
Branding and marketing are important steps in developing a successful business. Branding starts by choosing a name for your business and continues with designing a logo. As an artist, you may be able to design an excellent logo that captures the spirit of your enterprise. However, if you are having trouble coming up with or perfecting a logo, seek the help of a graphic designer or a local marketing firm. If you use actual photos of people on your cards, or in your logo make sure that you have written permission to use them for advertising purposes. Decide on fonts and colors that you can repeat in all of your marketing material and website. This consistent look will make you stand out and be easily recognized, even from a distance. You will also want to get a website and some business cards to make sure people can find you if they express an interest.
In addition to being out there painting little faces, you may need to advertise your services in other
Good luck with your new business! If you have any questions or would like to share your own experiences, simply drop us a comment below.
ways. Some of the best types of advertising are free. This includes word of mouth and making use of social media outlets, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Create accounts on these websites, then get all of your friends and family to support you. You should update your pages frequently with information that would be interesting to your customers such as local events for kids or new looks you would like to share.
Have any tips from when you were starting out? Questions about how to do any of these things? Leave us a comment and let us know what worked for you, what was difficult, and what you would like us to address in our next blog posts below!