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How to paint in Nightclubs etc

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How to paint in Nightclubs etc

Post by Wildcatfin on Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:18 am

As asked & please feel free to add to this:

In the UK I got my 1st club bookings randomnly, far from where I usually work, when a private hotel club saw my www and booked me in Edinburgh when luckily I was up visiting family.

From that, I emailed a bunch of my local clubs after several nights out, when I decorated my mates & I and went clubbing. So I could have pics of art in club situations AND knew that people kept asking us where we got it done so there would be a market. In HK I again decorated a dancer as a freebie and got 'in' from there as well as having good photos of her out and about.

I don't do ppf, I only charge by the hour but I am flexible. So far that has been fine, in the UK & Hong Kong; clubs pay me, either I paint all comers or they hand out special tickets for whatever reasons (to VIPs, buyers of certain drink-types, competition winners, etc).

It isn't for everyone.
Bear in mind;
its dark, noisy, hot, smokey if its a private bar, AND many will be drunk or worse. I used to be a bar manager and a teacher so I'm used to/ confident enough to handle all that - plus I'm fairly hefty and hard to intimidate. But have heard of other painters/ had an assistant who hated it and refused any more club gigs. I have to say I do pick the nights I work at so its music I don't mind! Don't think I could stand 4 hrs of acid rave ...

But I like them; they fit in with my family - if I work evenings, hubby is home and can watch the baby/ put him to sleep, and as long as I can catch up on sleep later its fine.

My tips:

1) Get booked by the hour, I have done/ do for all my nightclub stints. Does mean I may be there until 3 am but hey, its money and I don't have to fiddle round in dark giving change. Also offer to decorate staff (a set number of them!) free or for a small costs/ slightly longer booking - looks good, pleases management AND encourages punters.

2) Make sure your set-up is an a safe (non-bumpable) place, and easy to spot, pref OK light. As well as my trusty petzl field studies LED head torch I have some strings of those tiny Ikea (etc) LED fairy lights wound round me (hair, waist) & my kit. Is pretty but effective lighting & I use rechargeable batteries.

3) Make it clear to bookers AND punters you do NOT paint things YOU consider offensive - or PARTS of people you consider the same. They will expose all sorts of areas to you. If you have it on a sign to point at it saves your voice too. Take no crap - I tend to treat them like naughty kids, it works!

4) Cut kit to bare minimum. At clubs the lighting is NOT going to show beautiful subtle blendings, etc, only bold contrasty stuff works. I basically take UV, black, white and rainbow with a few faves, and a handful of brushes. Also means less can get knocked.

5) I discovered I had a few more UV glitters than I thought when they glowed at the club and I spotted them in my 'normal' glitter section.

6) The UV torch/ light (think I got it from Bibi/ Dauphines?) is handy as shows them what it looks like.

7) Chain your mirror to your kit/ something - the BLOKES are all at it - doesn't the gents have one?

Cool Refuse to let anyone put their drink on your table at ALL. Otherwise you get left dozens and the ones who pick theirs up often knock them into your kit.

9) Be tough re table situation. I insist on being near the entrance - often better light, air, quieter, and you catch the less sweaty less drunk punters as they arrive. Also handy for bouncers. Tell them you can amuse the queue that way too.

10) STENCILS!!!! I have a range, home made and bought, especially good for UV nights. Tribals, whatever, quick up the arms/ chest/ face.

11) I always wear a brightly bold lettered top, especially on my back - with that and fairy lights in my hair I'm spottable.

12) Safety; if its a big club and you don't have a minder/ queue manager, make them leave you a security radio and KNOW how to use it/ who to call. Whether its a drunk hassling you or a punter passing out in the queue, you need it. Also if you need a loo break, call someone to watch your kit - clubbers worse than kids in a sweet shop....

13) Don't bother printing pics for them to choose; its dark, they are often drunk and will either damage the sheets, take them down & carry them off into the distance to their mates, or not be able to focus at all. Maybe have a few LARGE words to point at - 'tribal' pretty' butterfly' 'chinese symbol' etc (again save your voice) but basically its up to you, I find.....

14) Have an alarm/ timer etc clock with luminous display on your kit; keeps track of the time overall AND you can judge how long to spend with punters - they tend to want arm and face and cleavage etc so if I stop & they want more I can just say '5 mins max' sort of thing, again helps quell arguments, its 'official'. If PPF I suppose you could make it clear it would cost more.

15) I only do freehand glitter tatts but watch out for fake tans, the alcohol wipes take that off!

16) If you ARE using UV paints make sure the club HAS UV lights or its a bit of a waste. I tried most and now only take Wolfe or Diamond FX UV - bright in daylight too, easy to use AND can be both base or linework - many others aren't strong enough for linework. Also get a UV white, I thought all whites glowed (like white underwear - wear black!!!), but, nope!

I actually like club gigs tho as its often 8 hr bookings on a weekend (after doing kids parties) its tiring.
But very brainless, I find - no need to talk really and you are more likely to be allowed to paint what you want!

And my own personal opinion is NOT to take an alcoholic drink if management offer it (maybe after the gig tho). ESPECIALLY not from punters, even if they seem nice. Who knows what they might get you/ put in it for a 'laugh'.

Oh yes that's my other tip - your drink -
17) Get/ take a bottle WITH A LID - then you can't dip into it accidentally, won't get knocked into your kit, and is very hard for anyone to spike...

Cat x
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Wildcatfin

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Re: How to paint in Nightclubs etc

Post by JBax on Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:35 am

Excellent tips! Thanks.
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Re: How to paint in Nightclubs etc

Post by modernmagik on Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:23 am

Great words of wisdom there Cat.

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Re: How to paint in Nightclubs etc

Post by LoneWolf on Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:07 pm

Thank you for the tips =)
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Re: How to paint in Nightclubs etc

Post by Michelle Heffner on Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:51 pm

Thank you, Cat!

Your tips are awesome! We'll be sure to add some as we get the gigs rolling in : )

~Michelle Heffner
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Re: How to paint in Nightclubs etc

Post by artsyality on Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:07 pm

Thanks Cat!! Great details!
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Re: How to paint in Nightclubs etc

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:19 pm

Really good advice Cat!!

I'm lucky in that my regular club sets me up in a private room to paint the staff so I don't have to worry about lights, being bumped, etc.!!

The only really bad thing is [sigh] having to paint on real human six-pack abs (on the very fit bartenders and bouncers!) and all that perky feminine flesh in my face while I'm painting in the cleavage and on the stomachs...

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Re: How to paint in Nightclubs etc

Post by Magic on Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:32 pm

look I know it sucks and no one wants to do it but that's why we get the big bucks
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Re: How to paint in Nightclubs etc

Post by Wildcatfin on Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:11 pm

Wink
Was debating painting in a corset recently but realised it just squishes me so my boobs and bum look even BIGGER.

Is why I dress all in black and halo my head with lights, usually - hope I am like a floating disembodied head:)
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Wildcatfin

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Re: How to paint in Nightclubs etc

Post by artsyality on Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:40 am

Wildcatfin wrote:As asked & please feel free to add to this:

In the UK I got my 1st club bookings randomnly, far from where I usually work, when a private hotel club saw my www and booked me in Edinburgh when luckily I was up visiting family.

From that, I emailed a bunch of my local clubs after several nights out, when I decorated my mates & I and went clubbing. So I could have pics of art in club situations AND knew that people kept asking us where we got it done so there would be a market. In HK I again decorated a dancer as a freebie and got 'in' from there as well as having good photos of her out and about.

I don't do ppf, I only charge by the hour but I am flexible. So far that has been fine, in the UK & Hong Kong; clubs pay me, either I paint all comers or they hand out special tickets for whatever reasons (to VIPs, buyers of certain drink-types, competition winners, etc).

It isn't for everyone.
Bear in mind;
its dark, noisy, hot, smokey if its a private bar, AND many will be drunk or worse. I used to be a bar manager and a teacher so I'm used to/ confident enough to handle all that - plus I'm fairly hefty and hard to intimidate. But have heard of other painters/ had an assistant who hated it and refused any more club gigs. I have to say I do pick the nights I work at so its music I don't mind! Don't think I could stand 4 hrs of acid rave ...

But I like them; they fit in with my family - if I work evenings, hubby is home and can watch the baby/ put him to sleep, and as long as I can catch up on sleep later its fine.

My tips:

1) Get booked by the hour, I have done/ do for all my nightclub stints. Does mean I may be there until 3 am but hey, its money and I don't have to fiddle round in dark giving change. Also offer to decorate staff (a set number of them!) free or for a small costs/ slightly longer booking - looks good, pleases management AND encourages punters.

2) Make sure your set-up is an a safe (non-bumpable) place, and easy to spot, pref OK light. As well as my trusty petzl field studies LED head torch I have some strings of those tiny Ikea (etc) LED fairy lights wound round me (hair, waist) & my kit. Is pretty but effective lighting & I use rechargeable batteries.

3) Make it clear to bookers AND punters you do NOT paint things YOU consider offensive - or PARTS of people you consider the same. They will expose all sorts of areas to you. If you have it on a sign to point at it saves your voice too. Take no crap - I tend to treat them like naughty kids, it works!

4) Cut kit to bare minimum. At clubs the lighting is NOT going to show beautiful subtle blendings, etc, only bold contrasty stuff works. I basically take UV, black, white and rainbow with a few faves, and a handful of brushes. Also means less can get knocked.

5) I discovered I had a few more UV glitters than I thought when they glowed at the club and I spotted them in my 'normal' glitter section.

6) The UV torch/ light (think I got it from Bibi/ Dauphines?) is handy as shows them what it looks like.

7) Chain your mirror to your kit/ something - the BLOKES are all at it - doesn't the gents have one?

Cool Refuse to let anyone put their drink on your table at ALL. Otherwise you get left dozens and the ones who pick theirs up often knock them into your kit.

9) Be tough re table situation. I insist on being near the entrance - often better light, air, quieter, and you catch the less sweaty less drunk punters as they arrive. Also handy for bouncers. Tell them you can amuse the queue that way too.

10) STENCILS!!!! I have a range, home made and bought, especially good for UV nights. Tribals, whatever, quick up the arms/ chest/ face.

11) I always wear a brightly bold lettered top, especially on my back - with that and fairy lights in my hair I'm spottable.

12) Safety; if its a big club and you don't have a minder/ queue manager, make them leave you a security radio and KNOW how to use it/ who to call. Whether its a drunk hassling you or a punter passing out in the queue, you need it. Also if you need a loo break, call someone to watch your kit - clubbers worse than kids in a sweet shop....

13) Don't bother printing pics for them to choose; its dark, they are often drunk and will either damage the sheets, take them down & carry them off into the distance to their mates, or not be able to focus at all. Maybe have a few LARGE words to point at - 'tribal' pretty' butterfly' 'chinese symbol' etc (again save your voice) but basically its up to you, I find.....

14) Have an alarm/ timer etc clock with luminous display on your kit; keeps track of the time overall AND you can judge how long to spend with punters - they tend to want arm and face and cleavage etc so if I stop & they want more I can just say '5 mins max' sort of thing, again helps quell arguments, its 'official'. If PPF I suppose you could make it clear it would cost more.

15) I only do freehand glitter tatts but watch out for fake tans, the alcohol wipes take that off!

16) If you ARE using UV paints make sure the club HAS UV lights or its a bit of a waste. I tried most and now only take Wolfe or Diamond FX UV - bright in daylight too, easy to use AND can be both base or linework - many others aren't strong enough for linework. Also get a UV white, I thought all whites glowed (like white underwear - wear black!!!), but, nope!

I actually like club gigs tho as its often 8 hr bookings on a weekend (after doing kids parties) its tiring.
But very brainless, I find - no need to talk really and you are more likely to be allowed to paint what you want!

And my own personal opinion is NOT to take an alcoholic drink if management offer it (maybe after the gig tho). ESPECIALLY not from punters, even if they seem nice. Who knows what they might get you/ put in it for a 'laugh'.

Oh yes that's my other tip - your drink -
17) Get/ take a bottle WITH A LID - then you can't dip into it accidentally, won't get knocked into your kit, and is very hard for anyone to spike...

Cat x

Hi Cat,
All you info is great!!! I have a question for you....when you and your friends went out...what did you paint on yourselves? What did the clubers want you to paint on them the most? Thanks for your time- Kerrie/Artsyality!
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Re: How to paint in Nightclubs etc

Post by Wildcatfin on Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:41 pm

When we went out I mainly did delicate gothic blackwork around eyes, down neck onto cleaveage, over pearl colours with nen dots, as we usually went to a club that had alt music upstairs and student club night downstairs. upstairs was pretty extreme outfits.
Depended what mood I was painting in!

At clubs boys are ALWAYS tribals on arms. face, either tribal tribal or Mike tyson face style or gothic. Oh and lots want to be tigers;)
Girls - lots of sexy pretty eyes, lot of cat species, buterflies. Same as kids just smaller surface area, like just eyes.

Cat x
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Wildcatfin

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Age : 45
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Re: How to paint in Nightclubs etc

Post by nikkili26 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:34 am

Does this work to get jobs in 2013 America too? I want a night painting job like this, but not sure how to approach it-do I paint up a bunch of people before they go out, take their picture AT the club, and then send the pictures in my inquiry about a gig?
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Re: How to paint in Nightclubs etc

Post by Guest on Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:30 am

I sent postcards to the clubs, and... my first club gig was because I parked my car across the street from the club and the staff took my information off of it.

Mostly word of mouth though, really.

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