Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, art, travel, make-up, cooking and the occasional rant!

Resources for Face/Body Painters

My E-book

The Business of Face Painting is a guide for those who want to set-up a face painting business.  Based on my years of industry experience as a professional make-up artist and face painter, and my background in business and marketing, I have compiled the information essential to properly set-up, operate and market your business.


Chapter One: Starting Out

Basic Business Operations – Tools of the Trade – Learn How to Paint – Getting Work – Summary – Document Templates: Full Face, Full Face X 2 with notes

Chapter Two: Money Matters

Your Investment – Setting Your Rates – Hourly versus Pay-Per-Face – Other Options for Payment – Rate Sheet/Pricing Guide – Travel Expenses – Dealing with Requests for Donations – Method of Payment – Banking – Getting an Accountant and Business Advice – Taxes – Document Templates: Sample Rate Sheet, Letter of Agreement, Service Agreement

Chapter Three: The Business Plan

Document Template: Business Plan

Chapter Four: Marketing Your Face Painting Services

What is Marketing? – Your Marketing Plan – Creating a Brand or Corporate Image – What is Your Target Market? – Soliciting Work – Direct Mail – Marketing on a Small Scale – Using Postcards for Marketing – Generating Publicity – The Internet – Advertising – Printed Material – Signage – Promotional Items – Keeping Your Name Out There – Document Templates: Your Marketing Plan Worksheet, Introductory Letter for Face Painting, Sample Restaurant Letter, New Year Letter, Festival Email Solicitation, Press Release, Sample Email to Media, Sample Coupon, Sample Flyer Coupon, Sample Prize or Gift Certificate

Chapter Five: Daily Business Operations

Telephone – Booking Records – Scheduling – Contracts –  Deposits and Cancellation Policies – Confirmation – Billing and Invoicing – Bookkeeping – Arrival and Departure Etiquette – Client Follow-Up – Workflow – Office Space – Your Reputation – Competition – Professional Courtesy and Networking – Staff – Agents – Getting Going – Document Templates: Inquiry/Booking Form, Invoice Form, Job Quote Letter, Customer Satisfaction Questionnaire

Chapter Six: Health and Safety

Insurance – Incident Reports – Risk Assessments – Photographic and Model Releases and Permission – Disclaimers – Personal Safety – Taking Breaks – Physical Set-Up – Dealing with Illness – Maintaining Your Equipment – Document Templates: Incident Report Form, Risk Assessment Form, Model/Photography Release Form

Chapter Seven: Kit and Equipment

Basic Starter Kit

Chapter Eight: Resources for Face Painters

Business Information, Insurance, Associations and Organizations, Conventions, Conferences, Festivals and Training Opportunities, Online Directories and Listing Services, Networking Online, Face Paint Brands, Tools and Equipment, Signs and Printing, Shop Around


Step-By-Step Designs: Penguin, Cow


Got it! It’s fantastic! Once again proves that I can always learn something  new!
Thanks, Shannon. It’s a real tour de force!
Sue Ferdinand, Faces by Ferdinand, March 4, 2012

I just wanted to share my news and thank Shannon Fennell for writing her amazing ebook: The Business of Face Painting. As a result of reading her advice-packed book I have managed to land two sweeeet gigs during the Olympic winter games here in Vancouver next week. Friends were asking me if I was doing anything to do with the games in February. But I had resigned myself to thinking that I was a year too late to possibly be considered for any of the many celebratory events going on around the Lower Mainland. Well, I got off my butt and decided to write an introductory email to the organisers of the local Torch Relay event going on when the Torch arrives here two days before games start. I based it on one of the many fabulous templates in the book. Essentially ‘cold-calling’ them for a job. Well, I get a reply the next day and they not only have booked me for 3 hours on torch day but also for a whole day on Valentines day at the 17 day festival for the games.

Thanks to Shannon’s experienced wording and advice not to work for free, I am working a high profile, once in a lifetime event that will lead to new gigs in my immediate area and new relationships with local businesses too.

Shannon, thank you also for your blog. It’s great to hear that your mum is doing better. and I love hearing about your theatrical experiences. Thank you for your all hard work. Best ebook I’ve ever bought. Can’t wait to do my first mailers and gift certificates soon (I’m donating a 2 hour FP party to be auctioned off for the local schools PAC). Best wishes to you and your mum. 

Sincerely, Melanie Dawn, British Columbia, Feb 3, 2010

That’s what I love about Shannon’s book — she doesn’t tell you how to get
work for FREE…she tells you how to get work for MONEY.  🙂  ANYBODY can figure out how to get UNPAID work…but Shannon helps you get the sweet gigs with the nice pay!!  😀

Cindy Trusty, Minnesota, Feb 3, 2010

Shannon’s new book is now available. 132 pages of pure business sense. I just got it and it is filled with that much need business sense that we all need especially when we are starting up. It covers everything from setting your rates to booking gigs and how to get the big company gigs. It’s pretty comprehensive. Great Job Shannon.

Jenny Henry, Maryland, USA

The book is available in a downloadable PDF file. For more information and to find out how to order contact me using my Contact form.

My Book

“Welcome to the world of face painting!  It is a wonderful activity but be warned – it is addictive!  In this book I show you what you need to know to get started.  I cover the basic techniques for using water based/activated face paints and demonstrate a variety of designs in step-by-step photos that are easy to follow for the beginning painter.”

Contents Include

Introduction, Getting Started, Important Safety Information, Hygiene, Supply List, Basic Techniques, Sponge Application, Brush Work, Practicing, Step By Step Designs of: Teddy Bear, Monkey, Leopard Mask, Dog, Cat, Tiger, Leopard, Lion, Wolf, Pirate, Bat, Dinosaur, T-Rex, Butterfly, Rainbow Butterfly, Flower Bandit, Kissing Fish, Tropical Eye, Skull, Witch, and a gallery of Shannon’s work.

Sample Pages


Here is my personal top picks in books… I think the “Your Face or Mine” book by Shannon is the best all around learning book currently in the market because there are clear instructions, within the grasp of a beginner and flat out fun faces.

Gary Cole

Jenjenhana wrote August 6, 2010 on  Shannon’s book is awesome, BTW.  AWESOME.  I’m about to embark on my own and escape my day job and I found it to be the best resources book I have found to date (and I am a book nerd). Thanks Shannon!

I bought Shannon’s book Your Face or Mine. It was actually the first “how to” book I payed mulla for. I have to say I LOVE IT! If you are going to invest and are a high volume painter or just want to have some easy faces that look pro, I highly recommend it. Her ability to optimize a minimal amount of detail is astounding. Honestly if you want some good solid fast crowed pleasing foundation faces go buy it!   Toni Bruce, Monster Princess Art, Corning, California.

To order your copy today check out the following sites:

For US orders Ruby Red Face Paint; for Canadian orders you can send me a message on my Contact Page.  It is also available worldwide from select face paint retailers.

Laminated Design Sheets – SOLD OUT

I have created a series of laminated sheets each containing 16 designs painted by me.    Each sheet is themed: Christmas, Spring, Butterflies & Swirls, Summer, Boy Designs, Arm Art, Eyes, 2-Minute Designs, Speed Designs and Halloween. More will be added as I collect images for specific themes.

Design Idea Sheets

Design Idea Sheets

Designs & Templates Volumes 1 and 2 – SOLD OUT

I have compiled onto two CDs a collection of templates, forms, letters, contracts, a spreadsheet to calculate your cost per face, marketing ideas and information as well as step-by-step designs for face painters.  All document files on the CDs are ready to personalize and use (Word, Excel and PDF files).  The CDs are available separately.


For information about ordering contact me via my Contact Page.

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