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Mental Support Wanted :(

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Mental Support Wanted :(

Post by gracie621 on Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:45 am

Hi everybody,

Sorry if this isn't the appropriate place to post this, but since it is the Break Room I thought it might be?

Just needed to vent/whine. Part of it is still face painting related despite that this break room is intended for a break of the face painting topic.

I guess this will be a long one, but thank you to anybody who reads it all and who responds Smile
____________________________
I'm young at 24, moved to a small town where my boyfriend resides to pursue his PhD and before moving to this small town I face painted for a leading face painting company in my hometown. I didn't have an official job despite having a Marketing degree (which is ironic because I couldn't market my own business right!). Relationship-wise, things are great, so that isn't something I need to vent about.

A preface to the rest of this post, I tried, tried tried tried, to market my face painting business best I could but I can't get any jobs. Financially I wasn't doing well at all. I would fly back and forth to my hometown to facepaint for my facepainting boss to get enough money to live off of the savings for a few months until I run out again and fly back to paint some more.

I recently obtained a cosmetics mall job to sustain myself financially and I had this vision that since it was a company I believed in including their products, that things would be fine and dandy and that I will be making a career out of this (since my facepainting business failed as mentioned). I just started. Things, yes, are always difficult at first and get better. But really it's the shoving products in people's faces and making your sales quota that I thought I could deal with but it's making me feel kind of like a bad person.  

There is another opportunity ahead of me with this other company I was a receptionist for, in which the opportunity won't really come until June/July next year and it'll be a stroke of luck if I obtained that salary-positioned job.

Regardless of that opportunity that would be good for me, I really truly miss face painting and am addicted to it (been painting for nearly 5 years, though I know that isn't nearly as much as the rest of you) and really wanted to make my business stable. I didn't need to be the leading company in town. I didn't need to be famous about it. I just wanted consistent jobs, not just because of financial reasons, but honestly, as many of you all know the feeling, face painting gives this amazing feeling and seeing the client's faces light up is priceless. And you know what? I miss that. I miss the joy that I brought to kids. I miss using my artistic creativity to turn a frown upside down to a smile.

I admire you all who have built your company from the ground up and succeeded.

I feel like the typical "young and lost and discovering myself" phase. Everything is up in the air and I feel very sad about it. Nothing is consistent. My relatives always ask if I have a job yet which makes me feel worse, and not to mention I have clinical Anxiety and am on medication for that, so with all this inconsistency it's been making my anxiety go haywire.

I hope one day that I can become a successful face painter with my own company. i don't have to be the biggest in town nor do I want to be actually, but to consistently have several parties each week would be nice.

Blah. I just feel sad that I feel like such a failure. I tried making my company happen but it just didn't work out as planned. Either this town is too small or the competitor doesn't like me and what not, or simply I just SUCK at marketing. Probably the last one mentioned is what happened. Which as mentioned is ironic because I have a Marketing degree.

Anyway this is getting way too long. Sorry. Thank you to anybody who bothered to read all of it. I do appreciate it if you did and have some advice or prayers to give to bring some stability in my life.


Last edited by gracie621 on Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Mental Support Wanted :(

Post by jlirie on Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:13 am

you mention a couple things that might be a factor - in your hometown you face painted for a company for 5 years, and you can still fly back and earn money working for them, and in your new town, there is an established face painter, and you can't seem to get any work.

so the first question in my mind is what is the market in each place?

were you working for the established and/or best face painters in your hometown? is the established face painter or face painters in your new town also the best, so you are at a disadvantage trying to break into their "territory" so to speak?

in that case, it may not be your ability at all, it may just be that they were here first, people already know them and hire them, and you are a threat as a newcomer.

is your work as good as the face painters in your new town? would you be able to work for them if you wanted?


Last edited by jlirie on Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:18 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : typos)
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Re: Mental Support Wanted :(

Post by gracie621 on Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:05 am

@jlirie

Thank you for responding and reading! I appreciate it Smile

My hometown is HUGE so there's so much that can be done there. This small town, where the competitor is, they have consistent work based upon their facebook page despite it being a small city. I charge $5 less per hour than them, but have been told by one or two of their clients that I face paint better than they do.

And I too feel like it's because they're here first and that I am a threat as a newcomer like you mentioned.

I also might be able to work for them, but they already know who I am and my company so I think they'd be reluctant to let me paint for them, since they probably think I'd steal their clients.

Furthermore, this company tends to hire people that can double up as a princess character. I'm Asian, and they seem to hire girls who are Caucasian who can act as Disney princesses.

I don't know, I hope something better is in store for me through this financial and mental instability part of my life.

Thank you again for your response Smile
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Re: Mental Support Wanted :(

Post by fesspenter on Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:25 am

Dear gracie621:
It is really, really hard to make a living face painting.
I have to work at creating jobs all the time.
While I have been face painting for 17 years as a volunteer at SickKids Hospital, I decided to make a living at face painting 6 years ago. I made a lot of mistakes, so please, take note... and make NEW mistakes.

The day I said out loud that I wanted to make a living doing face painting... the phone rang and a daycamp wanted for me to come every two weeks to paint their new crop of campers all summer long, and a BIA called to ask if I could paint at their family picnic. WooHoo! This was as easy as falling off a log.

I decided to make business cards, and I needed more photos. I painted my children, our neighbours children, I set up at my middle daughter's high school softball games beside the local school playground, and armed myself with Model Release Forms, and I would paint a child for free, if the parent would sign the form.
I made business cards.

With the help of my children, I made a website. I am NOT computer savvy.

I walked around with my face painted while grocery shopping, banking, and errands. I painted my children. They began to run away from me when they heard the sound of my kit opening. I walked around talking to people and giving them my business cards. I dedicated one day a week, to marketing and creating signage. I challenged myself to make five new contacts every Monday.

Nothing.
No new business.
Tumbleweeds were blowing through my face painting plans.

I invested a lot of money from my face painting jobs into face paints. I bought every new colour that tickled my fancy. I should have spent time practicing new techniques, rather than spending money on new fancy paint.

I still kept my day job.
It is honourable to make a living.
It is not honourable to starve to death.
I am glad I kept working at a steady pace.
I cut down my hours as my face painting business increased.

As for your new sales job in cosmetics from home... you keep saying you are terrible at... Marketing! It sounds like you need help with sales. Marketing is the Plan. Sales is the execution of the Plan. In sales, you must believe in the product to sell it. Marketing and Sales are two different things. If you believe in it, you can enthusiastically convince others they need your product, too. You are not being BAD. If people do not want to buy it, they will not buy it.

After a solid year of working on getting face painting business... I had no jobs face painting.

I said out loud to my husband... I wonder if I should be doing this for a living... and the phone rang. I received a booking! The business got better every month. It was those cards I personally handed to people and chatted with them. I got more leads from cards on the local coffee shop community cork boards, than I got from the ones at our local Children's Activity Centres and Bowling Alleys.

I can never rest on my laurels.
I still have to keep working at getting work.
This Forum is filled with people who are struggling, like you, like me. I am constantly working at getting more jobs. I am still called back to do my old day job, when they really need me. I like that! I feel loved and wanted... and the face painting obsession/passion calls to me. I adore face painting.

It has taken five solid years face painting to get to the point where the face painting paid for itself.

Reach out to other face painters.
Make friends.
Go to Jams.
Work at a day job to pay for the real life things.

You live only an hour away from a major city. Try your marketing hand in that city, as well as your own. (I live in a major city.. and because of the traffic, it can take me an hour and a half to go from one side of the city to the other side. I would much rather drive an hour out to the outer portion of the city, than sit in traffic for that long.

I do not look at fellow face painters as threats... they are my soon-to-be-compadres! I welcome other painters. I learn from them. I share jobs and give them my double bookings. I do not charge them a fee for getting the job. It is good karma for me to share in the wealth. I adore going to jams!

I am hoping this helps.
I cannot imagine being in a small town, away from my family and friends. It must be very hard.
You are not alone on this Forum.
There must be other painters who are in your shoes... and future painters who will read your plaintive missive, and you will unknowingly lift them up.

xoxoxo
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Re: Mental Support Wanted :(

Post by jlirie on Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:40 am

what fesspenter said Smile. she is wise (and sweet). i attribute it to a steady diet of cookies Razz. and lots of experience. (and lots of experience eating cookies).
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Re: Mental Support Wanted :(

Post by fesspenter on Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:57 am

I make lots of mistakes,
so that makes me 'experienced'.
I don't feel wise inside.

What I really want,
is for people to drop by my living room and pay me a lot of money to be face painted.

xoxox
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Re: Mental Support Wanted :(

Post by gracie621 on Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:55 am

@fesspenter

Your words never cease to make me feel better Smile

Thank you for telling me that even after a year, tumbleweeds were still blowing. Because I know after more than a good year in this tiny town with no family or friends other than my boyfriend, my tumbleweeds were blowing into tornadoes worth of them. It's good to know that (sadly) this is the norm.

The problem with marketing to Birmingham is that in Alabama, they require you to pay a business license for EVERY single city you are servicing. So I can't just do Birmingham and then say it covers "the metro area". I'd have to pay $100-200 for each: Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, etc. So far I paid for Tuscaloosa and Northport. And I'm extremely tight on money to be able to pay for the additional business licenses, BUT after working for this retail job I might have enough money to do it. Since this is retail I am required to work Saturdays so I don't think I could make face painting gigs necessarily work for now Sad

I will most likely end up moving to a new city, hopefully a bigger one, after my boyfriend graduates with his PhD and obtains a job somewhere, so perhaps it's best anyway that I wait until I'm in a new bigger city and am able to stay there for more than the 3 years I'd be staying here in little Tuscaloosa.

I actually joined this face painting group for Southeast US and there was gonna be a lesson with Shawna Del Real somewhere in Georgia but it'd be too far of a drive for me and the money spent on a hotel overnight in addition to the gas would set my bank account kind of back too much. Honestly I'm not even sure enough people signed up for that lesson to happen.

Anyway, I did happen to befriend one of the girls who worked for that leading face painting company in Birmingham. She's a sweetheart! She no longer works there as she moved to another city in Alabama.

As for my dayjob to pay the bills, I suppose that is what needs to happen whether I like it or not.

Ideally I'd love to have that salaried job for the mon-fri deal and have my weekends open to be able to pursue facepainting. With a retail job I'm freelance and they call me in whenever they want me so things aren't really consistent.

I suppose I will end my reply here because it's getting long! Sorry!

Thank you FessPenter Smile What you said cheered me up some Smile
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Re: Mental Support Wanted :(

Post by Guest on Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:12 pm

Having a dayjob is a fact of life for most of us. If you don't have another income earner to cover your household expenses, you need the dayjob. Face painting is weekends/holidays 90% of the time - the rest usually afternoon birthday parties etc.

I have a full-time dayjob, always have. Even though I offer diversified services it still is not a full-time gig in my region. Just not enough work available.

But I enjoy both careers so it works well.

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Re: Mental Support Wanted :(

Post by JJJJJ on Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:16 pm

Do not ever give up, Gracie, on any part of your dreams or life. Much of the time, in life, things take way more time and patience than we would like (count me in, here! It is so hard to be patient!). But it's the way the universe unfolds, and every action you take, whether it appears to be doing anything or not, is like a bunch of stepping stones you are tossing into a river (an often confusing, tossing, tumbling, hard-to-make-out-the-other-side, river). It could be taking lots of stones to form the path across, but everything you do is making more and more of a way for yourself every day. This applies to the face painting pursuit and any and everything else. And then, "all at once", one day, the path, or part of the path, appears. And you step onto it and see some progress. And then, the river rages and tumbles again, and you have to throw out new stones and be patient all over again. And again. And again. And then, when you get to the other side of the river ... there is ANOTHER river to cross. And so on. That's life. What I wish I'd know at 24 years old is that it's all going to be okay (not perfect, not painless, but, okay), and that just staying the course, while working hard AS WELL AS being gentle with yourself, is the way to live. Time and experience in life often reveals this truth to us more and more clearly over the years. The fact that you are 24 and so willing to talk about your anxieties and concerns is a huge greatness for you. Because none of us ever knows it all, has it "all together", or "has arrived". Those are all myths and illusions. What IS real is the fact that just being alive, and having a heart, and trying your best every day to become your best self and live your best journey, is the miracle in itself. Breathe, relax, take it day by day, and even if you are not in love with whatever "day job" work you do, see it in the context of an overall growing, developing, promising YOU. There are many stones to throw out into that river. Celebrate each of them, and celebrate yourself while you journey. (And I predict a future for you that certainly includes face painting. Stick it out, and read and re-read Fessy's excellent and generous missive above. It says it all. It takes TIME and persistence. It DOES manifest if you keep at it and if you ride loosely in the saddle of life.) And yes, Fessy, you ARE wise, and would be even if every cookie were extracted from the great country up north! Best to you Gracie! Keep us up on how it's going! Smile I love you

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Re: Mental Support Wanted :(

Post by gracie621 on Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:35 pm

@Shannon Fennell

Thank you for letting me know that you yourself do a weekday job. That helps me put things in perspective that full time face painting isn't easy to come by and that we need something else to supplement our income. I'll keep what you said in mind!

@JJJJJ

Thank you for your comforting words. I truly appreciate it! So far my cosmetics job is on-call only, and they said they have absolutely NO hours for me this entire January, and thank goodness I have another receptionist job to hold myself over financially until I can figure out the marketing position I'm aiming for.
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Re: Mental Support Wanted :(

Post by Guest on Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:13 pm

And you have to put in your time too - I've been at this almost 20 years, 15 years in my current market. It takes time to build a client base, a reputation and word of mouth.


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Re: Mental Support Wanted :(

Post by gracie621 on Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:59 pm

@Shannon

Yes, that's one thing I keep forgetting and get impatient about like with most new business owners. I asked my FP boss in my hometown and she said the first 3-4 years were tumbleweeds blowing around but she still got maybe 1-2 a month. Now like 8 years in she's got it down to a science and is full time with FP with a whole team under her.

I need to mentally accept the tumbleweeds. And I guess I should just forego my business in this town if it'll take 3-4 years to get it to a bare minimum consistency. I know my boyfriend will finish his PhD in that time frame and we'd end up moving to a new state and city anyway.

__________________

In response to I think FessPenter's earlier post, unless I'm mistaken, I have had to turn away business in October since I was in my hometown face painting and went ahead and did the right thing in referring the clients over to the competitor because I know they're not bad people at all and if I couldn't do the job, I knew somebody had to.
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Re: Mental Support Wanted :(

Post by gracie621 on Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:50 pm

Update:

I terminated my business and am requesting to work with the local FP company and/or neighboring big city's company while I work as a receptionist. I also will terminate my cosmetics job to be able to face paint after I get the official "ok" on being accepted into the FP company.
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Re: Mental Support Wanted :(

Post by jlirie on Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:43 pm

sounds like that might be a strategy that could work for you during the time you are in the new town. hope it works out and you get the opportunity to paint with them. could be good practice and experience.
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Re: Mental Support Wanted :(

Post by Mellygee911 on Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:18 am

Way to roll with the punches! You never know what life will throw at you. I worked for my business for some time, before the owner had a sick family member and said "can you handle all the legwork for an indefinite amount of time?" and I said "sure!"

A few months later, the owner came out and said she appreciated having the stress off her plate, and after a long hard think, was going to close the business. So, with my life's savings (not much, as a student!) I offered to buy the business, and found myself owning a stable business with a wide client base, offering a number of services (but face painting was my pet project to begin with!) With smart marketing (and quite a few "donations"), I increased our bookings 5X more than what the pervious owner had managed, and doubled our staff.

I never expected a business to fall in my lap, and neither should you, but the point of my story is to be a "yes!" person! When opportunities come up, say "yes!" if you're able, and you never know what could happen. You've already taken so many risks, and made so many changes, so I know you'll make it soon!

PS: My business also does princesses as our primary attraction, kind of like the one you mentioned. If you're worried about the "white girls only" hiring policy that might exist because of this, be sure to remind the owner that Mulan is asian! I hire ladies on their merit and credentials, and then add characters if necessary to best suit their background!
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