How to Win Face Painting Contests

Posted by Christen Gomez on

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I had only been face painting for 3 months when I became a finalist in a face/body paint contest. The image above was my submission. I was so excited because there were thousands of submissions by lots of very talented and experienced artists. While I did not win, being a finalist in such a big contest got me more social media followers and a free prize. There are dozens of contests, big and small, all over social media and the internet. Entering these contests is a great way to practice your craft, possibly get free supplies or other prizes, connect with other face painters, and gain social media followers. Even if you don’t win, there is nothing to lose! There is no magic formula to winning these contests, but I will give you a few tips on how to increase your chances of getting noticed.

Be Unique

Usually, contests have themes. These themes could be as vague as “spring” or “halloween” or they could be as specific as “twisted Alice in Wonderland”. Whatever the theme is, make sure your idea is unique. That doesn’t mean that you can’t do the skull you were planning for a halloween contest, just make sure something about it sets you apart. Maybe it can be a half skull half zombie, or maybe it could be a multi colored skull. The design should be something that only you have made. Don’t simply recreate a design you have seen before. I recommend throwing out your first idea because, chances are, it was another person’s first idea too. Thinking of a great design idea is half of the work.

Take Good Quality Pictures

Quality is key. It is just more visually appealing when a picture has great quality. Think about it: if you have two face paint designs that are equally good, but one is crisp and clear and the other one is blurry, which would you choose? Not everyone can afford a fancy camera, but you don’t need one to take a good quality pic. All you need to do is make sure that there is plenty of light (Natural seems to be best). Make sure the background is a solid color; there should not be any clutter in the background. Take the picture at an appropriate angle so that the design is the focal point.

Enter Enter Enter!

Enter many contests and enter often! If the contests offers multiple submissions, I would recommend entering at least twice. It increases your chances of winning, and you will get noticed more. The more you enter, the better you will get, and the more chances you will have to win! Even if you’ve unsuccessfully entered many contests and have seen no results, I think that you should keep on entering. It is a great chance for free money/ supplies/ gift cards, and there is nothing to lose by trying.

Be Supportive

In some cases, being supportive of other artists can work in your favor. If the contest is through a social media site, comment how much you like another person’s submission. It can never hurt to tell another artist that they are doing a good job.



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