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Face painting kit series: the gun case, part 1

Tanya's gun case holds all of her paints, brushes, and other items she needs for her face painting jobs.
Tanya's gun case holds all of her paints, brushes, and other items she needs for her face painting jobs.
Photo courtesy of Tanya Alexander, used with permission

As face painters have continued to look for ways to make their set up and break down quicker and more efficient, one of the natural solutions has been to find a large, flat case which can hold almost everything they will need for any gig. Of the pre-made options which are the right size and shape, gun cases have become the choices of many face painters. This month's continuing face painting kit series features Tanya Alexander, a Cloverdale, California face painter and her beautifully customized gun case.

California face painter Tanya Alexander currently uses her custom gun case as her face painting kit of choice.
Photo courtesy of Tanya Alexander, used with permission

Q: How did you begin face painting?

Tanya: I've always loved doing art, ever since I was a little kid. A balloon twister friend suggested I try face painting sometime to see if I would like it. I was pretty discouraged at first, because I had only a couple grease cakes and some bad brushes to work with, so I decided it wasn't for me. I moved on to other things for a while, but then happened to be looking around online and saw some face painting work that was pretty stellar. I decided to look more into materials, specifically paints, and found one strokes. I got a couple to try out with some better brushes, and the rest is history.

Q: What do you like best about your business?

Tanya: I like the freedom to run it how I like things run. I already had that, as I own a graphic design studio and have been self-employed for many years, but having full creative license to create based on client suggestions on skin is a lot different than setting up a business card.

Q: How long have you been face painting?

Tanya: I've have painted in many mediums as a fine artist for many years, but for face painting this is my third year.

Tanya's kit of choice: Gun case

Tanya: I started with a plastic rolling toolbox, quite similar to a FatMax, but larger. I found the wheels and handle flimsy. Breaking it apart to load was time consuming. I outgrew it quickly and decided to go the laptop case route for paints with a brush roll, a couple of storage bins on a cart for supplies, strapped down chairs, tables, etc. Moving a cart full of all of that by my lonesome got tedious and frustrating pretty quickly, so over a slow period in the winter, I decided to make my own kit, since I couldn't find one that had everything I wanted. I purchased an aluminum gun/rifle case through eBay and went to work customizing.

Weight empty: Approximately 16 pounds

Weight loaded: Approximately 33 to 35 pounds

Type of stand: Aluminum three-tier grill table from Amazon

Wheels or no wheels: No wheels

Tanya: I chose not to build any wheels into the case. To save wear and tear on the handles, I either strap it to a small, collapsible luggage cart or place it on top of a collapsible wagon with the grill table I picked up on Amazon. Aside from the table and kit, I have an Earth Products director's chair, which I find works great as a stand when I paint. The table and kit are at a perfect height for me.

Set up time: Two minutes

Break down time: Two minutes

Stop by tomorrow for Tanya's evaluation of her gun case face painting kit. You may also visit her website to enjoy more images from her gallery of work, or check out her post on the Face Paint Forum in which she gives more details about how she customized her gun case for face painting.