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keeping up appearences - aka clean set up

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keeping up appearences - aka clean set up

Post by avigailmilder on Wed May 06, 2009 12:51 am

hello all -

I am new to the business, and last weekend had a gig where i was swamped for the two hours, non- stop. no time for anything but greeting the next person and changing the water... At least that is how it felt and then, oh so suddenly it was over! Wink

i am curious as to what tips/ methods you can offer to keeping a clean set up, and what your experience has been.

i have a brush holder and the like, but at the end, while the clients were thrilled, I was not pleased with how messy my set up was. loose sponges 'stained' the tray I use to keep the paints together. giving it a dirty appearance, plus a couple of (minor spilts - paint and sparkle Wink )
I realize the answer is probably SLOW DOWN.

i also think I need a better craft brush/ sponge / brush holder..

Also, I've noticed that some of you have pallets - i have purchased single paints from a variety of brands. Do you manually insert the colors into form pallets?

many thanks!

Avigail

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Re: keeping up appearences - aka clean set up

Post by WyndyO on Wed May 06, 2009 1:06 am

I really like the pallette, I bought a premade one initially but have been changing out colors and adding a few splits now that I know what are the higher usage colors and faces. The beauty of the pallette is everything has it's little appointed "hole" and doesn't bash around in your bag/kit and it looks professional.

Just pull it out of your bag, open it on the table, fill your water bowl (mine is a black lined crushable fabric one and my new fave trick is to fill my spray bottle to the top before the gig and pour half in my water bowl upon setup - this saves me the trip to the nearest sink esp when you are having a line or dealing with a stressed host), unroll your brushes and GO!

Some people really like the deep rectangular tray rubbermaid thing so they can have a see thru box, paints secured on bottom, room for brushes, signage, cards, sponges on top..... all fitting in one fast to unpack unit. I am creating one of these at home for my diamond fx and wolfe paints to try out.

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Re: keeping up appearences - aka clean set up

Post by AngieAnders on Wed May 06, 2009 4:01 am

Hi Avigail! I love my palette - I have a Snaz Pro-22 and I've customized it to my preference with some split cakes and a few other brands of paint that I do just squish in there along with everything else. The palette can be wiped down with a baby wipe when it starts to look messy.

I keep my brushes in an "ice tube" tray. It's one of those ice cube makers that makes cylinder shaped tubes of ice for putting into water bottles. You can hopefully find one at Wal-Mart for just a few bucks. It's been a God-send!

With sponges, there are two good ways to do it. You can either keep a supply of clean sponges, and as you use them, put them into another container set aside for used sponges. This keeps them off your table. Or, you can use one sponge per color, and keep that sponge sitting on top of that color cake throughout your gig.

For water, I spray my paints to activate them, with a water bottle that lets out a fine mist of water. I have a white brush, a black brush, and a small selection of other brushes for various colors I use a lot, and I leave the paint on the brush throughout the gig. So I have no rinse cup and no need to refill water. This really makes things look more neat, and is faster and less wasteful than washing every brush between customers. The only brushes I do NOT re-use are brushes that have been used to apply paint to the lips. I have a supply of cheap brushes I use for this, and they are set aside afterward to be cleaned.

Hope this helps! The truth is that after any long crazy gig, your set-up will probably look like a hazard area. LOL. Just try to keep your kit wiped down, your hands as clean as possible, and your area free of trash, and you'll be fine until you have a chance to refresh things.
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Re: keeping up appearences - aka clean set up

Post by Metina on Wed May 06, 2009 7:09 am

One thing I do to keep things neat is to have a bucket of sorts for clean sponges on the table. Anything will do. I have a mesh laundry bucket, I think Shannon uses the large ice cream tub.

I take a mesh laundry bag and attach it to the back of the painting chair. Once I am done with a sponge, I put it in the bag.

I try to use one sponge per color, but will go through sponges when triple loading, someone appears to have a cold ect.

To keep your hands clean, buy a black golf towel with with the hook on it. Get it wet prior to your gig. Wring it out, but make sure it is damp. Attach to your belt look to keep wiping down your hands. Saves the earth, mess of wipes everywhere and since it is black, it doesn't show paint so well.

I also use a black table cloth and black hand towel under my immediate paint area. This limits the show of paint that splatters.

As to the pallette, I use a bead container I got from Wal Mart for about $6. It holds about 30 colors or you can also leave a couple empty for your water bottle, poof bottles, hair clips ect. Don't fill it all the way to the top. Go only about half full or less. It makes it a bit tricky with the sponges, but you'll manage. This allows for less splashing into the surrounding colors.

My goal like Angie is to use only a few styles of brushes and have severa for each of the main colors so I am not contantly rising. You do after a bit, because the paint can dry on them if you outside.

Another thing that helped me speed up was reducing the number of glitters. I only use irredescent, white, yellow and pink. You can get away with white(or pearl) as it reflects everything.


Good topic!

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Re: keeping up appearences - aka clean set up

Post by avigailmilder on Wed May 06, 2009 12:51 pm

Thanks ladies - good advice!
Will seek the ice (tube) tray

I am definitely interested in the pallet option... The Snazaroo pallet can be purchased empty for $60 - seems a bit expensive considering it is PLASTIC body and clear plastic cover.
How durable is it? Is there another (empty) pallet folks would recommend?

I am assuming that i can just shift my colors in there.. maybe keep re-using snazaroo pots for an easy fit since I like some of the wolfe paints and their containers are a smaller diameter.

Need to double check that the palette will fit in the TOOL BOX recommended by the... canadian painter (?). Must say, i am a tad frustrated with the search tool on the Forum - nothing comes up under carts.. even though I remember a conversation last month - possibly in March - about setting up carts which was VERY informative.

Best, Avigail
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Re: keeping up appearences - aka clean set up

Post by AngieAnders on Wed May 06, 2009 1:10 pm

I debated for a LONG time over the Snaz Pro-22... couldn't see spending that much money for an empty palette. I'm terribly frugal! But I finally sucked it up and bought it. I'm glad I did. My set-up is much more organized and professional looking now. The case itself is not very sturdy. I keep it on the top of my cart permanently so it doesn't bother me, but if you are packing it away in a bag or something it might be a concern. I've not found anything else on the market, for face painting or otherwise, that works this well.

A while back Snazaroo was selling defected palettes for a heavy discount. You might want to email them and see if they have any Pro-22s discounted.

The search feature here is not working for me either. It's frustrating as our archives are growing! Is this the tread you were thinking of?

http://www.facepaintforum.com/face-painting-kit-f5/new-kit-needed-t450.htm
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Re: keeping up appearences - aka clean set up

Post by avigailmilder on Wed May 06, 2009 1:31 pm

hi angie -
thanks for the tip regarding 'defecting pallets', I will email them.
And YES that is the thread - thanks!
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Re: keeping up appearences - aka clean set up

Post by LoneWolf on Wed May 06, 2009 2:44 pm

Great tips everyone. I will try the one with the towel for keeping the hands clean. Mine looks like a palette of it own, when I have finished for the day...

A tip for sponges: I have to black bags, one on each side of my high chair. In each is a mesh bag. In one there is the clean, in the other I put the empty. It keeps them away from sight, but are easy to get to for me. And when it is time to wash, it is just taking the mesh bag out and in the washing machine.
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Re: keeping up appearences - aka clean set up

Post by OC FUN on Wed May 06, 2009 3:07 pm

I now have a directors chair where I sit the kids. For sponges I have a plastic container to hold the clean ones sittin on my table. I have a bag hanging from the back directors chair for the dirty ones. It makes it faster for me that the clean ones are right next to my paint and when Im done with it Im already next to the bag. Very Happy
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Re: keeping up appearences - aka clean set up

Post by avigailmilder on Wed May 06, 2009 5:32 pm

In my search for a palette i discovered that Silly farms makes palettes specific to each of the major brands. They are aggressively priced at just $25, and are available in a variety of colors.

Now if I can just figure out the size differences and decided which to go with.
http://www.sillyfarm.com/sillykits3.html

Has anyone used these??
thanks

Avigail
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Re: keeping up appearences - aka clean set up

Post by Guest on Wed May 06, 2009 6:22 pm



I use ice cream buckets with lids for my sponges - one holds the clean ones, the other is for the used sponges AND my dirty water (keeping the sponges wet prevents them from staining.) When done I put the lid on the bucket and off I go.

I use the Snazaroo Jumbo Palettes and put anything I want to in them... I have four of them in my working kit.

I am VERY neat when I work - I use a sponge per person and then it is immediately put in the used sponge bucket, brushes are washed and put in the holes in the water tub to dry - I never have sponges or brushes laying on the table. Wipes and tissues are immediately tossed in my garbage pail under the table.

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Re: keeping up appearences - aka clean set up

Post by AngieAnders on Wed May 06, 2009 6:24 pm

Thanks Avigail, I didn't realize Silly Farm offered those. I'm pretty sure you'd have to put the whole cake (container and all) into the holder though, not the same as a palette with wells for paints to go into. It looks like these cases just have foam board cut out to fit the different container sizes.
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Re: keeping up appearences - aka clean set up

Post by avigailmilder on Wed May 06, 2009 8:40 pm

I don't mind having to put the container in the pallet since it will allow me to move paints around or swap out colors depending on the event or season.

However, if you are correct that the cut outs are foam board that will not be easy to clean and I can't imagine it would wear well.

Shannon - do you recall what the material for the cutouts is?

Also, I have been using a sponge per color and I find it gets messy (they move about) especially when working outside. I will try your idea shannon or one sponge per person. If it is a long gig that is a lot of sponges!! i'd be nervous to run out, and can't imagine cleaning them effectively onsite.

thanks for the input.
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Re: keeping up appearences - aka clean set up

Post by Guest on Wed May 06, 2009 9:55 pm

The sponges you see in my bucket are about what I would use on a normal 3-4 hour gig. For 5-7 hour gigs I will refill the bucket once... and have leftovers.

Really it isn't that many sponges - maybe about 30 cut in half. And those sponges in the photo are 8 years old....

And once used on they can't be reused until washed mechanically and allowed to dry completely... health regulations.

The palettes that I have seen like those cases have a stiff foam as the liner with the holes cut in it... some have sponge/foam rubber too. Depends how "inexpensive" it is.

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Re: keeping up appearences - aka clean set up

Post by Wildcatfin on Sun May 10, 2009 12:28 am

Oh def go for the 1/2 sponges thing - I have a huge mesh bag of clean 1/2 ones as I tend to paint at a lot of big events for 10 hour shifts or longer, and i have only ever run out once (13 hrs straight with solid queues!). I have mainly snaz & FWW sponges, I didn't buy that many and some are the same I started withy 5 years back, still fine. All added to when I get given some, buy a few to try every year or so....

I started with the 1 sponge per face thing as it stopped loose sponges (1 per colour back then) falling on the floor and also meant snotty, dirty faces kept more of their ick to themselves, but now find I am faster as I can load several colours onto one end of a 1/2 sponge and blend w/o having to go back the palette.

And yes get a palette, easy to clean, look good, easy to store...in the UK several are even just putting their pots, w/o lids, in those plastic document folder boxes with the lids that clip shut. Same idea. And you can make your own foam inserts too with floor tiles.

As a tablecloth I use a slinky shimmery length of fabric (usually to match the seats of my wee stools and the tieback of my tall chair) that I get from fabric stores - the sort of stuff Halloween costumes and dancers outfits are made from as it drapes nicely.

Keeping clean...well the best way is to train yourself to always put stuff back where it belongs which helps keep stuff neat. AND keep wiping your fingers as thats the easiest way to pass on the mess! I keep a set of black towels/ face cloths for f-p as it wipes me, faces, brushes etc and won't show stains; can also be used as tablecloth if I forget mine!
Every time I get a bases required i make sure I swizzle the sponge until any dipped different colours on that cake are mixed in and the colour is true again - sort of cleans the cake.
I have several of each type/ size of brushes I like best, kept in a brush holder in a lione so they don't touch, in an order I know off by heart, so I don't need to clean brushes to change colour (1 is kept white, etc) and as I spray most cakes that keeps my water clean for longer. (Had to change sprays until I found 1 that didn't make paint spatter out and hit the nearby cakes!).
I only have an empty paradise or grimas pot for 'open' water as its mainly to wet brushes for Wolfe white. Generally I can survive a long shift w/o even needing to wipe down the palettes....
What else; erm, I have the tips off all my glitters (now rehomed in puffers) so there is no mess there and basically all my kit is set up as ergonomically as possible with only the bits I might use out, to keep clutter down...

Cat x
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Re: keeping up appearences - aka clean set up

Post by avigailmilder on Sun May 10, 2009 9:55 am

it has been fascinating to read how you all arrange yourselves...

Cat X I found your description very interesting - and look forward to putting some of these practices to test ! 10-15 full sponges every 2 hours, that would be some 50-75 FULL sponges to get you through a full 10 hour day.

I find I quite like to use the craft - sponge - brushes to apply base for some designs. I tend to reuse those like the brushes.

Keeping hands clean - a point several of you made - is well taken. I also have been using a towel regularly - though making it a black one seems sensible.

Best,
Avigail

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Re: keeping up appearences - aka clean set up

Post by Wildcatfin on Sun May 10, 2009 7:59 pm

Well, its actually half that really, as in most cases I can get 3 or so colours on the end of a 1/2 sponge so can usually do 2 faces per 1/2 sponge as they each get a clean end! So, 4 per sponge, maybe 4 whole sponges per hour.....

And its only about 5 packs of sponges when you think about it. Plus as I said i'm always getting given them at jams etc (yay for goodie bags!).

Cat x
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Re: keeping up appearences - aka clean set up

Post by Magic on Tue May 12, 2009 12:34 pm

I always keep paper plates under my palette for sharpening my brushes or checking for the right consistancy. But from reading the posts -I see I have a long way to go. I still fit everything in to a shoulder bag.
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Re: keeping up appearences - aka clean set up

Post by WyndyO on Tue May 12, 2009 11:45 pm

Avigail- I have the Paradise/Mehron pallettes (2 black ones that I use for all my gigs) - They are the same as the Silly Farm ones basically- a plastic thin briefcase with handle that opens to 12 cutout holes. The material is a black or dark gray foam. It is pretty easy to wipe clean and Angie is right the entire cake and its container fit in each hole. The size is standard for Mehron, Snaz, Kryolan, and Wolfe and Diamond I believe if you buy the 18 ml size of cakes.
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Re: keeping up appearences - aka clean set up

Post by Sherry on Thu May 14, 2009 9:01 am

I have two of the briefcase palettes that I got from Silly Farm to hold Starblends. The first one is starting to break along the back crease. I also use the Snazaroo empty Jumbo trays and I find that the clear plastic covers tear easily at the corners. I know I'm rough on things, so that might be the problem.

I'm still looking for the perfect (extra durable) palette to store my paints, but I have to pace myself on buying new supplies! Smile
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Re: keeping up appearences - aka clean set up

Post by Wildcatfin on Sun May 24, 2009 3:24 am

Nope its not you, they do/ did break....

I was VERY precious with mine when I 1st started and it was ruined at the corners very fast. The 2nd & 3rd Snaz blue pallettes I got I reinforced with sticky tape on all the corners, lid & bottom, and they lasted a bit longer....the Paradise/ Silly farm ones are way stronger.

cat x
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