Making Quarantine Productive for Face Painters

Kelli Zermeño — 30 April 2020 —


Has social distancing left you feeling depressed and unmotivated? Or have you used this time at home to dig further into your creative portfolio to explore new ideas?

Come along with us as we dive into a world of creative possibilities that we can explore at home and in our community, both now and once we are released to go back to “business as usual… ish”.

It’s no secret that, just like any other people-group, we face painters are a diverse bunch! Whether face painting is your second source of income or your primary, we are all feeling the loss of finances in these days of social distancing and isolation. So what’s a working artist to do?

Skill Sharpening

Being safe at home does not mean stopping all creative endeavors. No, we cannot go out and safely paint the children of our community right now. But don’t let that stop you from practicing and continually creating and learning new designs and ideas.

Inspiration is everywhere! Just as with our typical practice schedules, keep painting!

Paint your own children, your legs, your arms, your own face, your husband’s hairy back! Use practice boards, paper, or even your windows.

Do not allow the inability to paint the faces of the public stop you from keeping your skills sharp. We don’t just face paint to make big bucks… we face paint because we are in love with it.

You can come out of quarantine with a higher level of skills than you had going in. Homeschooling doesn’t need to stop with your kiddos!

There is no shortage of entrepreneurial veteran painters putting together tutorials, online workshops and even private classes to further your skillset.

Speaking of which, be sure to sign up for the 2nd Online Summit for Face Painters. Olga and the International Face Paint School crew have compiled a roster of some of the top artists in the business for the summit!

If you attended last year’s Summit, you know how amazing and valuable the content and teaching was. Sign up here to take part this May.

Twelve of the most talented artists in our industry for just $22?! 😱😍

You likely spent more than that ordering cat wine on Amazon from your quarantine couch! 😉

Don’t Stop Creating

Our artistic capability does not stop with face paints. What other talents do you possess? Cake decorating? Canvas art? Crafting?

Allow these alternative expressions of your creative talent to not only serve as an outlet, but you may find that you have the ability to earn income through these endeavors as well.

While art doesn’t save lives the way a medical professional does, it speaks to people’s hearts and minds and helps to lift people’s spirits. This is more important now than quite possibly any other time in our history. Art has been a primary source of expression and historical content since the beginning of mankind.

an image with a caption that says "If you think artists are useless try to spend your quarantine without music, books, poems, movies, painting, and games."

It’s beautiful to see your resourcefulness, combing through social media to find an array of ideas to spread art, color and earn income in the face of adversity.

Lenore Koppelman (the Cheeky Chipmunk) has been painting custom artworks for the children in her neighborhood. So many of you have begun painting windows and murals for businesses or private homes. This is a fantastic and safe way to utilize your painting skills during this time.

Sally Ann Lynch and several other artists have taken to painting cards, gift boxes and other items as gifts or items to sell.

Mark Reid has painted custom face paint cases and decorative boxes for many years now and is a fantastic inspiration for creativity.

Matteo Arfanotti began posting videos of him creating these crazy magnets.

Try New Things

If you’ve considered learning balloons, now would be a great time! Balloons are a great addition to a face painting business and they require little to no physical contact with your customers.

Combing through social media, I came across quite a few balloon artists delivering personal balloon bouquets, sculptures, candy cups and decor with contactless delivery options.

People are still hosting family-only birthday parties for their children in their homes and the desire for balloon decor and similar items are flourishing!

My business partner (and fellow IntFPS student) Sara and I have added virtual character interactions and contactless gift delivery services to our business, Painted Pinup. We have always dressed up in character, but we simply created a way for parents to book Elsa, Minnie Mouse, Jessie and a slew of other characters to facetime their children for birthdays, holidays or just to bring some joy to their day!

Chicago face painter Eric Stiles has a Tshirt printing business where he creates an amazing variety of custom gear specifically tailored towards face painters, airbrush and balloon artists. He has a wide array of styles and takes custom orders!

Acacia Tanner, Morgan Vemu and many other artists create and sell bling clusters for themselves and for purchase by other artists.

Freida Warren creates blinged out hats, mirrors and other items for her fellow artists and the public to sport.

Andrea Moje has her own line of luxurious chunky mess free Creative Faces Glitter Sticks available to purchase.

Cassandra Jackson is making masks, for those of you who would like to purchase from a fellow face painter.

Artist Manuela Cason invented an apron perfect for “walking artists” called the Gig Genie… this may be the new item you didn’t even know you wanted!

And why not commission a digital caricature from Svetlana Novikova while you’re at it?

Do you have a special project coming up this fall or summer that needs a headdress or special flower crown? Michelle Pulsifer not only makes them but teaches classes so that you can learn to make your own!

Wall murals, window paintings and even sidewalk art! Your creative juices have surely been flowing, and the art that is being produced right now is so beautiful.

Texas artist Robyn Adams has taken to beautifying her town and neighborhood by creating these gorgeous custom works of chalk art.

FP Family! C’mon now! Art is not over, we have only begun to see the tip of the art renaissance that we are about to go through together.

There is no shortage of wall and window space available to paint. Your murals will forever embody a time when the entire world came to a standstill. It is our duty as artists to bring something beautiful out of it.

We are entrepreneurs. This has not changed. If anything, this current world situation has issued us a challenge to dig deeper, get even more creative and determined to support our families and simply to create.

A Family Affair

Family time is certainly not lacking right now. Many of you who previously had your children in school are now homeschooling. We are attending church services at home.

We are trying to figure out corporate meetings in our bedrooms, teaching algebra to our middle schoolers and cooking more than most of us have ever cooked in our lives.

Families are planting gardens and delving into baking from scratch. These are beautiful (and sometimes terrifying or stress-inducing) experiences that your family will remember and cherish forever.

Face painting can be a fun and exciting way to teach your children art, entrepreneur skills, or even a fun new way to relax.

Jest Paint is offering beginner kits for children right now! Seeing your children painting your faces is beautiful, hilarious and priceless.

a face painting kit from the brand "global colours"

You are a professional artist! You are definitely qualified to teach your family art! Anna and Santi from Jest Paint shared photos teaching their children how to create character letter art and other things using split cakes and face paints. What a fun idea, and yet again, another possible alternative source of income.

Tip: Fun Face Painting and Craft Ideas is chock full of fun projects you and your children can create together!

The New Normal and Safe Practices

At some point in the nearish future, the world will begin to normalize again. Businesses will open back up. Parties will be booked. Festivals will be planned. Life will go on… how will you prepare?

an image of a japanase face painting booth
Sometimes, a little humor goes a long way. It has always been part of our job description to bring joy and light-heartedness. This is needed now, more than ever.


While none of us can really say for sure what exactly that will look like, it is up to us to be prepared and ready to lead the way. Practicing proper sanitation will be more important now than ever.

Our Beginner’s Guide for Face Painting addresses the topic of safe and hygienic face painting practices.

Beginners Guide Cover

Providing wipes, hand sanitizer and the like, readily available for your customers will demonstrate your dedication to cleanliness. Be sure to use them frequently yourself, between clients, to keep yourself clean.

Many artists have signs that demonstrate “rules for face painting”. These include not painting children that are sick, and asking parents to clean children’s faces while in line.

This provides another tangible assurance for families that you are a professional and that you take the well-being of their children just as seriously as they do.

Make your own, or order a professionally designed sign from a fellow artist such as Tracey Keers of TK Design.

Many artists have discussed wearing face masks on the job. This may be an optional step for some, and a requirement for others, depending on the laws of your government.

Prepare for this step, as some families may request it, even if it’s not a government requirement. Keep sanitizing wipes on hand to clean your kit frequently.

Use SAFE brush sanitizers such as Lush Brush or Brush Bath in your water to ensure cleanliness and take the time to change out your water frequently.

DO NOT put unsafe chemicals such as bleach or ammonia in your water. This can cause a slew of harmful reactions to delicate children’s skin and eyes.

an image of two different face painting liquid soaps

Use one sponge per child, per color. This will help you avoid any cross-contamination of germs.

If you don’t do this already, you may need to purchase additional sponges for your kit. You may also consider investing in a backup supply of brushes. Oftentimes we don’t have the luxury of washing and sanitizing our brushes between busy gigs.

A backup set will allow you to swap out clean brushes for used ones, reducing any contamination.

an image of a brush holder that is filled with brushes

Alternatives to Face Paint

Products such as DIPS are alcohol-based and require the use of alcohol in brush rinsing. This comes with an additional level of anti-bacterial properties.

Consider adding airbrush art to your list of services.

Once again, these products are alcohol-based and require less contact than traditional face painting.

When offering painting, add arm or leg designs to your board. While some families may feel hesitant to have you paint their children’s faces, or near their eyes, nose or mouth area–painting a fun arm design is a fantastic alternative.

If you don’t already know how to write calligraphy or graffiti letters, now is the time to learn! You can use your lettering skills to write on kids’ arms as well as use those skills when making cards and other sellable pieces of art.

Bling application is yet another way to offer your services in a way that will grant some peace to parents. If you haven’t given bling making a go… here’s your opportunity!

Join groups such as Lily Schemerhorn’s Jewel Junkie Face Painters for a ton of ideas and tips as well as handy downloadable templates! Making bling can be a family craft activity as well.

And don’t forget about glitter tattoos. Much like bling, glitter tattoos primarily placed on arms and such can offer families a fun alternative to face painting.

a banner that writes in glittery purple letters "Festival Glitter"
Tip: Read our Glitter Guide to get more info on the different ways to incorporate bling, glitter and all other sparklies into your kit.

Our friends at Jest Paint took the time to write an fantastic article on Face Painting and Coronavirus that includes additional useful information, tips, products and a video.

a banner with a woman holding a face painting kit with a caption "keep face painting sanitary in the era of coronavirus"

The world of face painting will surely be changed by this historical event. But we can choose to embrace change and allow it to catapult us further.

Change can be a great thing. What changes are you going to be implementing in your business?

What alternative options are you offering to your clients during this time?

We would love to hear from you, please leave your comments below. Blessings to you all, our painty friends. 🤗

 — Kelli Zermeño

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