Interview with Face Slap faceslaphk.com
Tell us about yourself!
Face Slap is a team of 3 members in Hong Kong so far (Nina, Sam, and Linda), but we hope to grow to about 20+ painters throughout Asia within the next 5 years.
Face Slap originated in 2009 in Beijing, when British makeup artist and fashion designer, Nina Griffee, set up ‘Nina Griffee Face Painting Co.’ The business was based solely on providing high quality face painting. As the business, the team, and the services grew, we changed our name to Face Slap. Since the beginning of the year both Nina and Sam Chun, the first member and co-founder of Face Slap, have been based here in Hong Kong. Linda Miao Li, the former Beijing Branch Manager, has also recently arrived in our vibrant city. Now, as a trio-team, we are ready to show Hong Kong our creative and colorful designs!
How did you get into this business?
Both Nina and Sam did face and body painting in the UK. It was a natural progression to want to keep exploring their talents once moving to a new city, Beijing. Face painting was also very new to the city and Nina took advantage of this opportunity to show the city the culture of body art.
How long did it take to setup your business?
Since the idea of face painting was rather new, we had to do it correctly from the beginning. In fact, we order our face paints from Taiwan: which is FDA approved and safe for children.
The business started by word of mouth, and as our popularity increased, it made sense to expand the team. Within a year of starting up, the community recognized us as the face painters. It did not stop there, we soon started to receive requests for bigger body painting projects.
What is the body painting scene like in Hong Kong?
In Hong Kong, the industry is still relatively new as well, but there are high quality body painters around the city. This is very exciting, as there is nothing more fun than to meet people who share the same passion in art and creativity!
Who are your typical clients?
It really varies from project to project. Sometimes we are at a bubbly children’s birthday party, other times at a high fashion photo shoot, and even others we are doing makeup for movie sets! Face Slap is a team of versatility, we all have different talents that can be shown in many ways and we are excited to accept any challenges.
How do you go about finding clients and marketing yourself?
We have a professional website, which is very helpful when people do Google searches. If you look up “face painting Hong Kong”, we are at the top of the list. Mostly we network and try meet new people. We also look out for creative collaborations and helping out others on interesting projects.
What are the biggest challenges?
The process of learning the culture of the city is always difficult when you first start out. You never really know what to expect when you put yourself out there, people either love our body paintings or they find it strange.
What are you most excited about?
The best thing about running a business that you enjoy is that it doesn’t feel like work anymore. Face painting on a weekend for a kid’s birthday party is almost like a holiday for us! Of course we are faced (no pun intended!) with challenges and obstacles like any other business, but the idea of people really appreciating what we do – now that is exciting!
Who are your ‘go-to’ business mentors in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong is still new to us, but in Beijing, Tom Pattison of Surge Art China mentored Nina on how to run a successful creative business. Surge Art showcases China’s most promising emerging artists, and makes their works accessible to the public. Nina learned from Tom how to be a strong leader and believe in making a difference with her artwork. Nina is proud to call Tom a close friend and often helps on Surge Art Fairs that happens annually around China.
Tell us about the upcoming fashion event. Who should be going there?
Anyone! The whole exhibition center will be full of clothing and accessories from many designers and brands. There will be so much to see! The fashion week is a 4-day event, run from Monday July 7 to Thursday July 10.
The project Face Slap has created is Nina’s collection of clothing that incorporates anti-pollution masks, by Vogmask- from Beijing. This is a unique idea since pollution has become quite a large problem for China and this is the design for the future.
The actual catwalk of Nina’s collection will be on Tuesday 8 July, but we will also have a booth to showcase our clothes, masks, and catalogues. We will also have surprise giveaways over all 4 days!