The Winning Peace!

The results are in for the Peace Out Contest. We had a ton of voting going on! This was by far our most active contest ever with nearly 200 votes and 16 entries! A lot of people had a hard time choosing their top choice when they entered the voting booth! Congrats to our top winner and to everyone for taking the time to practice with their creativity!

The winner of the contest is Cat Cabajar, and here is what she submitted with her entry.

My name is Cat Cabajar and I own The Painted Cat Professional Face & Body Art Studio in Sarnia, Ontario Canada. I have been face painting since the summer of 2004 when I was on the committee for a local arts festival called Artwalk. Since then I have done birthday parties, festivals, fashion shoots, fundraisers and all sorts of amazing events. This year I have started my journey into full body art. My goal is to travel with my trade and enter more competitions. When I saw that you were holding this contest I thought it would be a great way to delve in!
My submission is the result of an image I envisioned when I first read about this contest. The most important part of peace is finding it from within. It is only then that you can express the kindness, compassion and clarity that it takes to share that peace with others. Keeping calm amongst the chaos, that is what this piece represents to me.
I used Wolfe Bros. and Mehron products for this design.
Thank you for this opportunity 🙂
Cat Cabajar
The Painted Cat
This contest was sponsored by

Clash is giving a Class in Michigan

I am going to be teaching on the west side on Feb 25th…see the info below. Also on March 18th I will be doing some demos in Kalamazoo at Dennys at 4pm and then we can stay to jam after that…clown alley related function but all are welcome!

WHEN: Saturday, February 25, 2012 1:00 – 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: New Beginnings United Methodist Church of Redford
16175 Delaware (northwest corner of Puritan and Delaware)

DETAILS: Class is limited to 40 artists

PRICE: $20.00 C.A.R. members ($25.00 (non-C.A.R. members)

DESCRIPTION: Learn Cheek art and Full face
Use sponges and brushes properly-
Learn the technique of double loading brushes
Learn how to use Rainbow Cakes

Mail to: Bob Ferguson 36495 Joy Rd. Westland, MI 48185

Call: Bill Brasgalla RSVP at (248) 426-0776 by February 22, 2012
Or email Bill at
Please indicate your experience level: beginner or advanced

Call now to make your reservation. Bring your kit and your enthusiasm with you and join us for an afternoon of creative painting ideas. Professional products will be available for purchase. Jam session will follow until 6:00 p.m.

Call or e-mail me for a free shipping coupon if you want to order products online and we will bring them to the class, since we aren’t taking the whole store with us. (, phone: 269-598-5436)

Peace Out Contest Voting Booth

Here are the top 5 entries that you can vote on! Read the voting rules below before  selecting your choice.

Thanks so much to everyone that took the time to enter! From inner peace to world peace, to getting funky with peace, it makes me soo happy to see how creative everyone was with adding such an important message to their face and body art.

– You cannot tell others what picture you submitted until after the contest is over.  After looking at  the poll results on how to run contests here, we are trying to base votes solely on the quality and creativity of the design.
– Only our blog subscribers can participate and vote, so sign up if you are in the voting mood!
-Voting will take place from February 15th until February 20th at 11:59pm eastern standard time.
-You can vote only once, and you can only choose one entry.

-The winner will be announced on the blog and Facebook and contacted through e-mail on February 21st. We will tell you how to redeem your $50 store credit. Yeah!!

I want to thank every one for taking the time to submit such beautiful works of art, and give a huge shout out to those who were entering a face painting contest for the first time.

It was very difficult having to choose the top 5 submission for us to vote on, I was so close to choosing the top 12 instead! But rules are rules, and I had to stick to them.

Click on the image below to zoom in and bask in the glory of all of the other submissions that we received. Feel free to praise the designs in the comment box below! After the contest I will post the names of each artist next to their work.

The Reality of Rates Post # 2 “What to charge when you are starting out”

The Reality of Rates la la la la!

Post #2 I am just starting out!

A lot of beginners ask what they should charge. Because face painting is so much fun to do, it is hard for a lot of people to ask to be paid for doing it. If you read the first post you will see that there is a lot of work, time and expenses behind having all the fun of painting those cute little faces. Even beginners have to pass on personal activities and family moments to go out and face paint on the weekends.

I’ve been painting most weekends of my life since I was about 15 years old.  I took a month off of face painting for the last two winters and I would actually cry the first few weekends when I realized how amazing it was have two days off to spend with my family in the mornings, clean the house and go on little trips. We gain and spread a lot of joy painting faces, but we need to realize that our time is valuable, no matter how new we are.

Are you comfortable to charge for your services?

You might find yourself stressed out about accepting money for your first few gigs. Your designs do not have to be elaborate, just clean line work and smooth blending…and recognizable. Does your penguin really look like a penguin, does your horse really look like a horse, or more of a donkey? Display designs that you are sure you can re-create. If you think you can make kids happy and are ready to charge per hour scroll down a tad. If you still aren’t comfy with the idea,  keep on reading below.

If you don’t feel comfortable charging yet, get practicing like a crazy person! Practicing at home on yourself or your family is great, but doing a fundraising event will really show you what it is to like to paint under the stress of a long line of kids for a long period of time, with actual wiggly models. I recommend choosing a fundraiser for practice because it seems like the most appropriate place to volunteer your services if you were to ever do it again. You could also volunteer for a friend or family party.  Take note of how many faces you paint at this event by marking a dot on a piece of paper with your paint brush each time a new kid pops in your chair. Try to average how many kids you painted in an hour.

If you feel like you  need to practice before you start charging hourly, you can consider asking for  a fee for supplies. You can come up with the fee amount based on the amount of faces that you think you will paint, and let them know that you will be keeping the left over supplies if there are any. Say $20-$30. No one should bat an eye at that. Now at least you are not at a financial loss for your trial runs, but you won’t feel totally guilty if you felt that you bombed. (Don’t worry, you won’t bomb!)

I’ve practiced a lot, I’ve worked under pressure and I am ready to charge.

1. Once you have read post #1 imagine how much you would like to earn per hour.   (A lot of beginners are tempted to charge $20- $30 per hour.  Just remember that that can break down to $8-$10 per hour when looking at the big picture. ) Then think about the maximum dream rate you would like to charge per hour.  If you want to do this for a large part of your income, figure out how much you would need to make per month and break it down from there.

2.  Take time to see the quality of work and speed of other face painters in your area. If you can find out what they are charging, you can get an idea of what the people in your area are used to paying, and what level of work they are expecting for that price.

If there are no other painters in your area,  you can look into what other types of  family entertainers are charging or take into account the rates of face painters who live in  similar communities outside of your own.

4.   Try to fit yourself in as best as you can, really looking into your current quality of designs and speed and your set up.  Do you present yourself  as a professional? Then charge like one. If you think you are missing something that would make you feel more professional, then just  get it or do it.  This includes business cards, a website or fan page, a contract, nice display signs and even just being on time to your events.

5.  If you are nervous about charging the rate you think you are worth, practice saying it over and over and over and over so that it sounds normal to you. And imagine that when you say it to a potential customer, they are happy to hear it and want to hire you! Practice being confident in selling your services with your family too. Mock phone calls can work wonders!

6. How many hours do you want to work each week painting faces? When thinking about your rates, also remember that you probably won’t be working 8 hours a day 5 days a week face painting, so you have to make the most out of the HOT periods for booking parties.  For most painters starting out, one booking every other weekend  is normal, as you get your name out you might be able to fit two or three gigs on a Saturday, and maybe two or three on Sunday.  A lot of gigs will burn you out faster than one or two longer gigs.  Friday nights are also common for parties.  In the summer, weekday events are more frequent due to company picnics, library activities, festivals and city wide events.  You could also spice up the weekdays working at restaurants and day cares all year long.

7. Treasure those Saturdays for your prime gigs. I don’t do volunteer work on Saturdays, or offer reduced rates because of this.  I do encourage those planning fundraisers to find a sponsor for me so that I can be there, and that usually works out well.

8.  Remember that a lot of people will judge you by your rates. If you are charging a very low rate they may feel that the quality of work might not be so good. If you have a website with pictures to show that you actually do a great job painting, they may question your speed. If you stand by the fact that you can paint those types of faces in your gallery at a decent speed (usually 10 kids per hour) then why charge so low in the first place? You are basically a pro!

9. Understand that most  people who take the time to look for entertainment for private parties are also already expecting to pay for it. I never had a face painter come to my party since my parents couldn’t afford it, and that was just the way life was.

Sometimes you will find yourself in a bartering situation on the phone. Don’t feel like you have to work for what they want to pay you. If you do not stand by a fair minimum rate, you will find yourself passing on gigs for the same day for those who were willing to pay you for what you are worth. If a person cannot afford to hire you, you both will just have to deal with that reality.

If you make an amazing deal for one family, word may spread about what you charged and you will get calls from other family members or friends requesting the same low rate. If  you do choose to book a job at your minimum requirement, you may want to stay for a shorter amount of  time or offer less services (e.g. no magic trick at the end, or only simple designs, or coming in plain clothes versus a costume).

10.   Pick a target area that you want to serve. Some face painters try to reach large companies for events by sending out e-mails, post cards or making calls to HR departments. Others serve the less fortunate in their community, and have less concern about making a decent profit to do this good will. You can also try to paint for those who have a lot to spend on their child’s party. You might find that you are willing to serve all areas, but you should also consider charging accordingly.

Charge accordingly? Companies that are looking for entertainment for their events should have a bigger budget to spend than those throwing a family party. They are usually expecting to pay a corporate rate for entertainment. Think of your corporate rate as your real rate, and the smaller rates as discounted rates for those with smaller budgets. This way you don’t feel like you are just charging a company a lot more money for the heck of it.

11.  Respect other face painters in your area. If you are new to the scene, try to understand that many face painters are doing this for a living. If you bring down the value of face painting in your community by charging less to win a job or just because you want to paint faces but don’t really care about how much you make,  you may be hurting a lot of people. After reading the first post you will realize that face painters charge what they charge for many reasons, and they are not getting rich even if their rates seem high to you.

12.  Take the time to find your own customers. There are tons of birthdays and other types of events every year. Look for events that don’t already have a regular artist there first.  Dream up ideas of where your services will be needed and approach those in charge of planning. We all have to support each other in this community. If we stay on good terms with the other artists around us then we can pass on gigs to each other and look to each other for friendship and advice.

13.  If you feel like you need to charge less based on your skill, don’t get stuck with the same rate for the rest of your life. As you improve, keep increasing your rates. Don’t feel bad if the same person calls you for another event and you now have a higher rate. Just tell them that your new rates are…..  People expect people to charge more as they gain experience and skill. Also as gas prices go up, costs for services go up in general too.  You might raise your rates every 6 months, or when you get new supplies and a set up that makes you look more professional.

Rates are a touchy subject to many. People have their own stories about money, what they are worth, what types of services are worth, and even the ethics of  charging for spreading happiness.   It takes time to wrap your head around your real reasons for being a face painter, and what you want to get out of it emotionally and financially. The goal is to come to a place that makes you  feel happy knowing that you considered the whole picture when establishing your rates.

Living with a Face Painter, a hubbys point of view

So, I figured the other day that I wanted to write a blog post about how is it to live with a Face Painter.

I know there are a lot of hubbies, and some wives too, that might not quite understand what the Face Painter’s job is.

I have heard and read many Face Painters comments about how sometimes family is not supportive enough.

I wanted to tell the way I see a Face Painter’s job, so maybe you can share with your family… and at the same time, I wanted you to see what we, husbands of painters, see.

One of the first things I noticed is that no matter where I am in my house, I can always find a brush, and I mean always! There are a couple of them in my tooth brush holder, some with the creams, and the soap. There are some drying with the silverware, and others next to my computer. I have found one in my shoe, and underneath the pillow, and thank God there is none in my food!

I can find them also in the car, the shower, and sometimes even in my drinks! And that brings me to the second most interesting and maybe dangerous part of living with a Face Painter: my drinks! Any cups with any liquid  can turn into Face Painting water! Every time I grab a drink I have to test it and make sure that it  is drinkable. We don’t have enough cups at home, because, you need one in the kitchen when painting while cooking, one in the dining room for painting while eating, on in the bed  for painting while sleeping, and one in the bathroom (and I hope it never leaves it) for painting while …. While reading a magazine.

NEVER, NEVER leave your cup close to a face painter, she will turn it into a face painting cup with her magic brush … I wish it was gold, but not, it is just dirty water!

I have woke up a couple of times thinking I had some weird disease… my arms were purple, and green, and red. Then I realized, my wife has it too! Oh no, wait a minute, is paint! Yes, paint is everywhere! And in my house, everywhere for real! I never thought I was going to have paint underneath the couch, in my hallway, in my living room, in my dining room… paint paint paint.

But lucky me, painters also like glitter! You should see the face of the cashier at the supermarket when I go there all covered in glitter and I stop to look at the e.l.f. cosmetic stand to see what is new. Yeah, not your average customer right?

Better yet, when I go to pick up my daughter at school…. I think I now know why she walks a couple of feet away from me until we get in the car. All other dads are wearing ties, or covered in oil, or brick dust… I… I am covered in glitter.

On the bright side, at least I look pretty in all the family pictures!

Now, if you think that those ladies during the 80’s were wearing too much makeup, have you ever dated a Face Painter? I asked once my wife if she could wear some makeup for our night out, I just wanted to see how she looked with beauty makeup. Two minutes later she came out of the bathroom with a butterfly mask! Yeap, that was her idea of fancy makeup for a night out. And I always thought that my mom’s red lipstick was a little too much ….

Now, I have  had the pleasure of working with my wife during some of her gigs as a balloon twister. It was during those gigs that I actually understood what she does for a living.

I always thought she painted faces. I thought that was her job. It sounded like an easy to do job. Grab a brush, put some paint on it and make a pretty design on a face. Piece of cake, right?

I figured, I know how to draw, I have played with tempera before, this shouldn’t be any harder. You don’t need a degree for that, right?

Well, I try it for the first time with my daughter… and one time was enough to realize that while a degree might not be a requirement to paint faces, my 5th grade art class wasn’t enough either!

My First Face Painting Ever

Yeah, I realized that what my wife was doing was an art form. She was actually doing unique designs on each face. She was making people look different; she was bringing the best out of them.

As an artist, she needed inspiration, and she was finding it in those little faces she was painting.

I found out that she has a really hard job. She can’t take years planning a face, she only has a couple of seconds to listen to what her “customer” wants, and when she is done, she has to start all over again, right away.

But, even though I now knew her job wasn’t easy, I was still wrong about what my wife does for a living.

You might think, ok, my wife is an artist, and that is a real job, complicated. But no, really, I think a Face Painter is more than that.

After doing a couple of gigs with her I realized that my wife’s job wasn’t to paint faces. Not really, her job was to make people happy!

Now, that is a job! Yes, she is not there to paint their faces, she is there to entertain them, to make them laugh, to make them feel good, to make them feel nice about themselves. Her job suddenly got A LOT more complicated! What a responsibility! She has to make people happy, after all, she paints at parties, not at business meetings (but maybe she should start painting at those meetings, because boy, those need some happiness!).

So, I realized my wife is what I would call a Professional of Happiness, and, as a professional, she never stops doing her job. She is one of the happiest persons I ever met. She is always singing and smiling, making people laugh, talking crazy, making no sense, working hard with a smile on her face.

A Face Painter can bring so much light into your house that you barely even need to turn on your lights at night. A Face Painter adds color to your rooms, and sheets. A Face Painter makes a room warm even during Michigan’s cold winters. A Face Painter will make you laugh, even when you just drank a big cup of dirty water full of paint.

I really think there is a giving heart inside every Face Painter. They give up their weekends and sometimes their families, to make others happy. They make people happy even when they are sick or feeling blue (because Face Painters don’t feel sad, they feel blue), or when they are tired. No matter what, they smile, they fill your face with joy, they make you look great and feel great.

They are nurses for our souls, they are smile makers, they add a little bit of funkiness to our world.

So yeap, that is how it feels to live with a Face Painter, at least in my house, with my wife, that I love.


Oshi’s first Face Painting on me

Wolfe FX White and Black (and all other colors) are BACK IN STOCK!

Just a quick note to let you know that ALL Wolef FX colors are now back in stock! YEAH!!!!

Happy Friday!

The business side of face painting- The Reality of Rates.

This is the first of a  super series on the  Business Side of  Face painting.

Over the next week I am going to make more posts about the much fretted  RATES issue.

  As an artist I have struggled a lot over the years about my rates, and I know I am not alone. I am going to take the time to reflect on what I have learned by experience.  I would love your input as well, so feel free to agree, or disagree with my posts in the comment box below or e-mail me if you would like me to post your comment anonymously.

Post #1 from the Reality of Rates Series (ooh sounds so fancy)

   Consider the time and money you invest into each gig when calculating your rates

After doing my taxes for the last 14  years I realize that my expenses really add up.  Those who do face painting as a hobby may be able to face paint with just a small kit and they are set, but professional face painters usually  incur more and more expenses as they grow.

Normal Face Painting Expenses:

-Face painting Supplies

-Set up

-Costumes or uniforms

 -Day care expenses if you have children


-Insurance, booth fees, conventions, learning materials, and party give aways.

-Cell phone and or internet fees, advertising fees, office supplies and so on.

Though these costs are considered deductions…paying less in taxes will not equal how much you spent.

Time invested into going to one gig is more than you may think:

  1. I spend about 30 minutes talking to the client,  creating and e-mailing an invoice, and then more time with any follow up e-mails if questions come up or changes are made.

  2. The day of the gig, I usually spend about an hour cleaning my kit, getting dressed,  Google mapping the location, and  calling to let them know I am on my way.

  3. My radius from gigs averages about 10 miles per gig…so that is 20 miles per gig…usually 30 minutes of driving.

  4.  I take about 10 minutes to set up at a party, and then, if I don’t not stay longer for free, I take  about 15 minutes to clean up and find the hostess to collect my balance.  So that is an extra 25 minutes.

All in all I spend about 2.5 hours doing things for an event besides actually working at the event.

That 1 hour party is really taking up 3.5 hours of my time.

If  I charged $100 (for one hour) and divided it by 3.5 hours of total working time I would actually be making $28.57 per hour.  If I also  look at the expenses that I had to do the party…then my hourly rate is even less.

Below are some things that you might  want to do to increase your actual hourly rate.

Consider requiring  a 1.5 to 2 hour minimum booking.

Many entertainers have a 1.5 to 2 hour minimum requirement for an event, so that they are not investing so much time for one small event.   If I worked a 2 hour gig…I can add the 2.5 hours prep time to the two hours painting time, and then  divide 4.5 hours of total time  by $200, giving me  $44.50 per hour before expenses.

Consider offering a reduced rate for additional hours to encourage longer gigs.

Other entertainers offer reduced prices for each additional hour  since they already took to the time to prep and drive to the gig anyway, and it motivates the customer to hire them for longer.  $175 for 2 hours painting  divided by 4.5 hours of total work time will give you $38.80 per hour.

Consider raising your rates or charging more for travel time:

If the reality of making much less per hour when looking at the big picture bothers you, consider raising your rates. I have slowly raised my rates over the years and I have also had a gradual increase in gigs. Time lost traveling to gigs outside of your city should be compensated by either charging just for the travel time or by requiring a minimum  booking time that is bigger than normal.

I will talk more in the next blog post about other things to consider when choosing or changing your rates, so keep posted! is all spiced up! New site…new products!

We have been spending the past two weeks working together with a great graphic designer, Tal Soriano Thompson, to give a fresh face and better navigation to Jest Paint.  Ohh it has been a lot of work, but we are so glad that we made the switch!

You can hit the links on this page to bounce around and then just go dancing through the store once you have read the post.

Please let us know if you spot ANY spelling errors or glitches. We are working on better images for the Subcategory Headings, some look like they have been stretched in a fun house mirror!

VIP ITEM:   You will have to sign up with a new account because we have a new website provider.  You might also have to delete your cookies and cache and history if your computer is stubborn and won’t let you see the new site.

Some new Features to Jest Paint are:

-Easier Navigation with a subcategory menu on the left that stays open when you look at items under that category. Our old site was a disaster in this department.

-Subcategory pictures to help you identify what you are looking for.

 -When we are out of something you are hoping to order you can click  “Email me when item is back in stock”.  When we update our stock you will be sent an e-mail to let you know that we have the item.                                                                                                                                           

  1. You have to click on the product or add it to your cart in order to see the link.  It will be under the Wish List Button (If you go look at  SUPER M STENCILyou will see the small link) 

  2. -What’s really great is that we are notified when you hit that magical link, so we know what people are hoping to get back in stock soon and we can place orders accordingly.

-We now have an easy to use FAQ page to find answers to your most intimate, I mean important, questions.   Go check it out and let us know of any other good  questions we should answer.  Thanks!

-We have more options for shipping Priority and Express.

Please read our Shipping/Returns page to see other important information.

-We have a page just for those who want to place International Orders with all the good info you need!


We have a nice variety of Bad Ass Stencils to help texturize and speed up your face painting talent. Stencils seem like cheating to some, but they actually amaze those watching, and you can always add your own pizazz with a brush to make every design look unique.

We have a lot of new Loew-Cornell Brushes, including the Gold Grips,  and fun special brushes!

Under sponges we have their Smoothie Blenders  and Double Dotters.

We have new DFX brushes by Da Vinci which we have tested and approved for awesomeness.

We now have Sponge Stamps which are GREAT for closing a long line. Load one of these up on a rainbow cake and run down the line stamping those last folks that you don’t have time to paint. Bad Ass stencils would also be great for this.

Thanks for being so great!!

Peace, Love and Paint,

Anna and Santi