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Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

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Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by JennyNixe on Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:40 am

Newbie face painters, are you like me, getting all flustered over your sponge work? Do you have trouble keeping your split cake colors lined up? Problems applying even pressure? Do you end up with clumps of color and filthy fingers?

Well, let me introduce you to..... The Sponge Roller! Sure, they look like the pink things your grandma used to wear to bed (or out in public, covered with a chiffon scarf, like nobody could see right through. But I digress.). But they are so much more than that! If you slide the sponge off the roller, then cut out 1/4, it becomes a perfect paint applicator. Simply mist the sponge, then slip your fingers inside to load from the cake. Apply the same way. Voila! Even color and NO mangled manicure!

Now available at your local dollar store. Choose from Perfect Pink or Brilliant Black.

(In all seriousness, I can't remember who suggested the roller idea, but thanks. I am no longer making Picasso butterflies.)
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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by Miss Ronnie on Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:39 am

Hmmmm..... interesting concept... I may have to give it a try. Very Happy
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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by veelux on Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:21 am

Sounds like it would work, thanks for the tip.
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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by vegas mom on Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:26 am

These do work. I use the smaller ones for daubers. You do have to fill in the hole. Also I used the larger ones cut in 1/2 for sponging. They do have a rougher texture than say snap sponges and seem more porous than Martha Stewarts. i still like my lil greenies from Joanns (high density foam).
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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by Lady Jayde on Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:11 am

I'm not posting with the intent to rain on anyone's parade, but we as professionals do need to be careful when seeking out new items to repurpose for our never ending search for items to make our jobs easier and more economical. I've seen everything from jello molds for water (to keep the individaul water colors separate and to avoid the fated "coffee water" to yes, rollers. While these items do indeed make things easier to us in a way that makes sense to us, we have to ask the PIA question: What does the public see?
In my personal case, I had to learn the hardway that the high density foam is very abrasive to sensitive skin...after I bought a huge sheet of it and spent hours cutting out sponges. Now I have a bunch of foam and sponges that I won't use. They are definitely not the same as the FWW green sponges...when I think about how many true greenies I could've purchased with the money I spent on the Joann's foam sheet I want to kick myself.

I painted with someone once who did the hair roller thing and when the client who hired me (and ultimately us) saw that he was less than impressed and made it clear to me that the idea of seeing what he knows to be hair rollers being used made him question my professional status. I had to agree even though when I first saw them I was like, "wow, that's brilliant!...I have to try that!".

At the rate that I charge, I can't afford to show up with anything less than a kit that looks like a professional kit. It sets me appart and lends a little bit of mystery to what I do. If I show up with a kit with hair rollers, jell-o molds and a Michaels Snaz sampler, it doesn't matter how awesome my designs are because my setup will be screaming "You too can become a face painter for little or no money!".

There are a lot of good, even great ideas, but I'd hate to see those ideas doing more to hurt your growth than help it or even worse.

On another note, I love those Martha Stewart pouncers!
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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by Miss Ronnie on Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:01 am

The Lady Jayde doth make an excellent point about professionalism (although it IS fun to try different things.)

I, too love my Martha Stewart pouncers...

...but the bottom layer of my saucepan from her stainless steel cookware set came off in my dishwasher and that is NOT a "good thing!" Mad

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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by amylady222 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:06 am

Lady Jayde---awesome thanks for the insight!
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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by vegas mom on Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:26 pm

thanks for the insight as well Lady Jayde.. Its always nice to get other feedback and experiences. Very Happy
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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by JennyNixe on Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:18 pm

I appreciate the insight Lady Jayde, but I don't really know how anyone watching me would recognize it's a sponge from a roller. The ones I have are black, like the rest of my sponges. From the client's point of view, I have half round sponges, triangle sponges, and cylindrical sponges with a wedge cut out, in a variety of sizes. I could go to a foam fabricator and have them cast similar sponges for me. Then I could tell people I had them custom made, which sounds very elite. But they'd work the same!

I certainly understand the idea of promoting a professional appearance, and I'm not showing up anywhere with jello molds or wearing pjs. But I'm also not going to take myself so seriously that I spend unnecessary money or fail to use the most effective method in my work.
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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by Lady Jayde on Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:06 pm

JennyNixe wrote:I appreciate the insight Lady Jayde, but I don't really know how anyone watching me would recognize it's a sponge from a roller. The ones I have are black, like the rest of my sponges. From the client's point of view, I have half round sponges, triangle sponges, and cylindrical sponges with a wedge cut out, in a variety of sizes. I could go to a foam fabricator and have them cast similar sponges for me. Then I could tell people I had them custom made, which sounds very elite. But they'd work the same!

I certainly understand the idea of promoting a professional appearance, and I'm not showing up anywhere with jello molds or wearing pjs. But I'm also not going to take myself so seriously that I spend unnecessary money or fail to use the most effective method in my work.

Jenny,
The choice is yours to do what you want. All I do here is sprinkle seeds of wisdom from my minimal years of experience. It's up to you to do what you will with the advice. I run my business like a business and the expenses of running a business aren't always on the low end. Do I spend more on brushes that I know work best for me? Yes. Do I spend more on sponges that not only work best, but look professional? Absolutely. What you perceive as an excessive tendency to take ones self seriously is actually just me being a serious business woman.

Also, you'd be surprised at who is actually scrutinizing your kit..I know I was and instead of being offended by the lesson, I chose to learn from it. As I said, do what you will with the advice I dole out, know that it's not being given to hurt you or your bottom line, but don't be too quick to shoot or discredit the messenger if you don't like the telegram.
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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by JennyNixe on Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:31 pm

Lady Jayde, I don't really see how I "shot" or "discredited" you. I simply said that I didn't think my situation is the same as the one you described.

Years of representing clients in multi-million dollar litigation has taught me how to be a serious businesswoman. But thank you for offering an additional lesson.

Cheers!
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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by Erica's Funny Faces on Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:52 pm

Maybe you could post a picture Jenny...could it be that you are using them differently?
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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by vegas mom on Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:54 pm

okay I am tossing this out there... I went to a workshop a couple weeks ago.. The instructors were demonstrating how to load a sponge.. I had Joann green, snaz white and a couple of the black rollers. They paused at my 5-6 sponges... I am going to guess they were hoping the greenies were real thing, those are the ones they chose over all the others...
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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by Lady Jayde on Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:16 am

vegas mom wrote:okay I am tossing this out there... I went to a workshop a couple weeks ago.. The instructors were demonstrating how to load a sponge.. I had Joann green, snaz white and a couple of the black rollers. They paused at my 5-6 sponges... I am going to guess they were hoping the greenies were real thing, those are the ones they chose over all the others...

Possibly...I was drawn to those beautiful, large sheets of high density foam from Joanne like a moth to flame. The greenies have made quite a name for themselves in the industry it seems...unfortunately that name falls somewhere along the lines of "face painter sponge crack"... I'll admit to being a crackhead.
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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by Lady Jayde on Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:18 am

JennyNixe wrote:Lady Jayde, I don't really see how I "shot" or "discredited" you. I simply said that I didn't think my situation is the same as the one you described.

Years of representing clients in multi-million dollar litigation has taught me how to be a serious businesswoman. But thank you for offering an additional lesson.

Cheers!

While I'd love to get into another apples and oranges debate, I'll pass. You're welcome for the lesson.
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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by vegas mom on Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:06 am

Yesterday I attempted to create something on my face using what I had handy at the counter... black sponge roller cut in 1/2. wow it was super scratchy just like Lady Jayde said. I was dragging the sponge not pouncing. I won't use them again except for daubers. Thanks again and glad I used them on myself before any children.
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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by suture-self on Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:21 pm

I'm doing a HUGE charity event for a medical nonprofit and I want to be as hygienic as possible, which to me means disposable sponges. As a medically inclined person myself, I believe that the same sponge should NEVER be used on multiple children.

Since I am not being paid for the event, I had to figure most cost effective way to do this.

I tried the rollers on myself and they work great! They weren't scratchy at all...maybe because I was using pink ones???

Making sponges



I compared them with tack sponges and Snaz sponges and can't see any difference. When cut, they just look like regular sponges. The hole in the center doesn't affect the coverage either.

This isn't the best quality photo, but here is some Snaz green after a single swipe with the roller sponge

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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by Forest-Fairy on Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:42 am

This isn't something I would use in my kit. For me it's the wrong kind of sponge type first of all, as i prefer a certain brand. But also I wouldn't like the public image it displays. If some one recognizes what the hair roller really is most non artsy people wouldn't think "oh what a neat idea" most would think "seriously?" For that reason I would be more likely to use this idea for home craft projects if anything, but not professional makeup application on other people.

What Lady Jayde said defiantly rings true for my set up. I like things to look as professional and neat as possible. I don't like seeing setups with, for example, those red drinking cups being used to hold brushes or water. It looks cheap, tacky and messy in my opinion. 

I feel that if I am going to charge the price that I charge I need to look like I'm worth the price tag. It's all about adding VALUE to your business, it's not just about how good of an artist you are.

Clients want clean, hygienic, professional, good looking well dressed artists who have enough skill to do gourmet designs FAST. Yes they want it all. And I think if you are charging $75/hr or more for your services you have to raise the bar for your business and it's apparent value. 

Which means
- Clean and Tidy Work Space
- High Sanitary Standards for your Applications
- No food containers to hold your tools, like drink cups
- No cheap Tool Boxes for carrying your kit
- An outfit/uniform you wear when working (or several)

And that's just for your kit. To raise the value of your business you need to have a website, facebook page, professional logo and cards, signs, etc etc.

If something 'looks' like it was bought at the dollar store, that in turn makes your set up look cheaper. Same thing if something 'looks' like it was home made (to non artsy people especially) then it also makes you look cheap, not crafty, or frugal. Do I have stuff from the dollar store in my kit? Yes! Some of my best containers that I keep my cards, jewels and stickers in are from the dollar store, but it don't look cheap at first glace. Do I have home made stuff in my kit? Yes! I make costumes that I wear, and accessories, I also make my own brush rags and table cloths. But they don't look thrown together, they look like they were store bought or at very least professionally well made.

Your tables appearance can go a long way to what it says about your business, and in turn, how much people will be willing to pay for your service.

If you are going to get cheap stuff for your kit
1. make sure it doesn't look cheap.
ie: disposable, dollar store, or something clearly made for another purpose being used in your kit.
2. make sure it doesn't act cheap.
ie: break easily, fall apart, feel cheap

Make it look good ladies!
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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by suture-self on Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:09 pm

I totally agree with all this professionalism stuff. It's really good advice and I've been following all of it. Nice tablecloth, good brushes with brush holders, choice board on a pretty easel, baby wipes, 3 dip system for brush sanitation, fancy glass bowls for water..etc. Everything with the exception of the sponges. If kept organized and in a nice container, do you think people would really recognize a cut up roller? Tack sponges aren't really made for face painting either and people seem to love them.

I think it's great that you guys have such high standards and of course some people prefer different sponges, but for those of us just starting out, I still think it's a viable option.

I'm expecting at least 500 kids at this event. There's just no way can I, or anyone painting for free could afford 500 individual sponges. I've spent good money on everything else, but I feel like this is the best option to be the most sanitary in the sponge department.

Unless someone has another idea?
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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by Forest-Fairy on Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:15 pm

Well the Fantasy world wide sponges are .99 cents each or 10 for $7.99
If you buy $100 worth and cut them all into quarter sponges you'll have 500 sponges. It's about .20 cents per quarter sponge. But are you really going to need 500 sponges? I doubt you are going to paint 500 full faces at a single event. I have about 100 or so half moon sponges and i have NEVER used them all at a single event even with Aryn and I painting at the same time. We don't reuse them either. Not every design calls for the use of a sponge. 

Instead of wasting money on something cheap that works 'ok', I'd rather drop the cash and get something that is going to last, look good, work better, and ultimately be not that much more expensive. :/

But that's just my reasoning.
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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by FUNtasy on Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:45 am

What I always say to my team, the first thing to be professional is look professional, people tent to judge first by appearance after that keep being and looking professional:

The materials that you use
The way that you dress for your events
and of course the way that you paint.

Agree that if you will charge a high rate your customers expect first a good looking set up and appearance, followed by a good looking job.

We all learn by personal experience and the hard way.

Best wishes for all
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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by Lady Jayde on Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:22 am

I can't agree more! The way I see it, if I'm charging upwards of $100/hr and getting it, my customers want to see or suspect where their money is being spent. When I hire someone for big dollars, I expect to see evidence of them reinvesting in their company. What that means is that insurance, appearance, quality products and an awe inspiring setup matters. Yes, we should strive to save where we can, but never at the expense of sending a message to the public that can ultimately negatively affect the public perception of the value of professional face painting.

BTW, there are creative ways to hide the true nature of the things we use to make things easier for us. Cheap pencil cups can be jazzed up with glitter tape. Rollers can be dyed to obscure their nature. We are a crafty sort and I don't have any doubt that face painters can come up with some pretty creative ways of making what we do less "accessible" to the scrutinizing eyes of the public.
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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by Forest-Fairy on Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:24 pm

Lady Jayde wrote:I can't agree more! The way I see it, if I'm charging upwards of $100/hr and getting it, my customers want to see or suspect where their money is being spent. When I hire someone for big dollars, I expect to see evidence of them reinvesting in their company. What that means is that insurance, appearance, quality products and an awe inspiring setup matters. Yes, we should strive to save where we can, but never at the expense of sending a message to the public that can ultimately negatively affect the public perception of the value of professional face painting.

Totally. I also liked your bit in your last comment about keeping the mystery and not sending the message that face painting is something any one can do. I get moms asking me all the time about my paints because they want to paint their kids at home (or so they say). I tell them my particular brand is from Australia (and it is. Tag) and that deters most. The ones who keep asking questions I turn them to Snazzaro starter pallets found at Micheal's Crafts and say "it's a smaller quantity, but with many colors, so it's perfect for at home use. I buy these because as a professional I need a larger volume." I don't have to go into details from there about snaz being a different base, or how i find the colors pale and chalky some times in comparison to most wax base paints lol. They asked about paints to use at home, so i gave them the best most affordable answer for that use. Very Happy

Sorry but as much as I love to help out on the forum, the last thing I need is for more competition to crop up where I live. I even go to the extent of removing the TAG logo from my cases and lids of paint. Some times mom's get grabby with my stuff and will pick up my paints and look at the bottom for a logo. So i started removing those too. I have the MSDS print out for everything in my kit so it's not a worry of losing information. But when it comes to locals I guard my secrets; which is REALLY hard for me because I love sharing my knowledge! But knowledge is power, and shared knowledge is power lost.... I do this for a living remember. I can't afford to train my local competition. Thank god for the forum where i can share with others from around the world, or else I'm sure I would explode!
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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by Lady Jayde on Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:11 am

I totally agree! I usually tell the insistent inquisitors about Snaz as well, but I tell them that it's a perfect starter paint for home play and is only like $7 per color. The only part usually gets a raised eyebrow and a question about how much MY paints cost. Once I point out the $12 tiny split cake, the $20 big split cake and tell them my single colors run from about $8-$16 per color, there's a general backing up and rethinking strategy on their behalf.

I love to share as well, but I'm just not willing to hurt this industry anymore than it's already been suffering in recent years. We've worked really hard where I am to improve the perception of painting value here and now things are taking a southern slide because there are a LOT of painters who don't perceive the value of painting (often based on either the overabundance of tutorial videos or the perception that is given that 'anyone' can do this with a brush and some paint'). My opinion isn't the most popular, but there it is.
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Re: Sponge rollers -- Holy Cow!

Post by jlirie on Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:21 am

well, anyone can buy face paints and brushes and try it out, but it will be pretty obvious whether or nor they have artistic talent or experience. people who know what they are doing don't really have anything to worry about.

and there will always be people who opt for the cheaper, lower quality of any service or product. they will probably not be your customers.
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