The Face Painting Shop Statement Re Covid-19 Procedure Implementation
We have been keeping a close eye on global developments regarding Covid-19 and planning on how we can best protect the health of our customers and employees and continue to trade.
We feel that it is now time to implement the following procedures:
· The Face Painting Shop has been, and will continue to be, deep cleaned
· We will continue to fulfil online orders at this time
· Our employees are briefed on correct hand washing procedures and have 99% IPA available in the packing room.
· We will not be open for walk-in customers, any customers that would like to come to the shop will need to make an appointment beforehand by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Just to reassure our customers - Any deliveries received or sent out are being handled with the highest precautions.
We will of course keep you updated of any changes.
Basic Face Painting Hygiene Practices
*DISCLAIMER* I wrote this over a week ago, and things have changed and progressed. I also appreciate that I am very lucky to be in a position that I have no underlying health conditions, and might, therefore, have a different perspective to others.
Ok, so there’s lots of scary stuff in the news at the moment about corona virus, and I just thought I would take this opportunity to talk about some basic hygiene practices while we’re on the job. Jane did a GREAT blog a while ago about how she keeps her kit clean, so I will link that for you to look at as well!
1 Wash your hands before you set up
2 Ask the host to ask all children to wash their hands (and ask parents to wipe any snotty noses or dirty faces) before they have their faces painted
3 One sponge per child, and keep used sponges separate to clean sponges. I have a 2 laundry bag system. Clean sponges in a pink laundry bag that hangs off the back of my chair, and used sponges in a large pocket attached to my chair, with the other laundry bag.
4 Clean your stencils between each child. I bring a towel with me and attach it to my brush belt. Spritz your stencil down with water and dry it on the towel
5 Paints have antibacterial properties in them, and you can damage them by trying to clean them with anything other than water.
6 Don’t paint any children exhibiting any signs of illness, or who have a rash, or broken skin.
7 Have a Multi Pot water system. You could put some brush bath in the first pot before rinsing everything off in the second, and even 3rd pot if you want.
8 Deep clean all your brushes when you get home, using a brush soap.
9 If you’re going straight from one job to another, carry some Isopropyl Alcohol in a spray bottle and give your brushes a spritz.
10 Keep your kit clean. Not only does this help stop the spread of germs, but it looks so much more professional!
So there you go, just some basic hygiene tips for while you’re on the job! The other thing you may want to think about, is what does your contract say about cancellation due to force majeure? You need to know that both you and your client are protected. Food for thought!
There are new developments with Coronavirus every day. Keep in touch with your clients, reassure them that you are taking their concerns seriously. Personally I am taking things on a day by day basis. Keep an eye on the news, but also look at the statistics, especially in comparison to other viruses.
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below and I will get back to you when I can!
MY TOP 5 LINE MANAGEMENT TIPS - By Jane Harding
We’ve all been there, the super busy events where you have an instant crowd of customers and multiple lines form all at once! You then have to become referee and undoubtedly upset someone by insisting everyone forms ONE LINE! Eek! Line management is probably the most stressful part of our job.
The list of line management challenges really is endless, and I’m sure I could provide lots of examples and suggestions of things I do and have tried, but for now, I thought I’d give you my top 5 tips that help me keep line management as peaceful as possible!
BONUS TIP – If you have the luxury of having a line manager with you… then do it! It really takes a load off your mind so you can focus on painting. Just make sure they know your rules and are willing to be firm and stick to those rules. Once you or anyone helping you bends the rules for one, it opens you up for complaints from other customers or the ever common “just one more” and “just one more” etc. Then before you know it, you’ll be there for another hour, so it’s not at all mean to refuse “just one more”, because inevitably it won’t be!
NEXT IN LINE MATS
Hi All! I often see questions on the various Facebook groups asking about taking deposits, contracts, and the booking process in general so I thought I would run you through my booking process! It’s simple, professional and straightforward and protects me against running into any difficulties in the run-up to, or during a job.
Enquiries – most of my enquiries come through Facebook! And they always have. I do have a website but I still find that social media for me has been the best tool for growing my business. When I get a message through the client is usually asking me about price first. So my response once I’ve given them a quote is ‘please do let me know if you’d like to proceed and I will pop you through a booking form with details of how to pay your booking fee so we can secure the date for you’.
Booking Form and Booking Fee – a dead simple word document that captures all the details of the event – including venue address, parking allocations, number of guests, theme, contact number, any other info, special requirements, whether a table & chairs will be provided, etc.. Most Importantly though, a large box at the top of the page with ‘Booking Fee Details’ where I explain that I take a non-refundable 50% booking fee to secure their date. I also mention in this part that they are welcome to pay in full in advance and that all monies paid will be receipted in their Booking confirmation agreement.
Booking Confirmation Agreement - Once the client has returned the booking form, and paid the deposit I then have one more step. I complete a booking confirmation agreement, which has two parts – it confirms the details of the booking, the name and contact number of the artist attending (if it isn’t me), the amount of money the client has paid, and the amount due on the day of the event too. Then – and this is important – I have all my Terms and Conditions here too. Things like wet weather policy, cancellation policy, etc and then I also have my disclaimer too – so parents are clear that I will not paint under 3’s, anyone with cold sores, rashes, etc When I send through this document I ask the client to read through and by response of email agree to the Terms and conditions.
A couple of days before the event I check in with the client to make sure that all the details are the same and to let them know that we are looking forward to coming along, and then a couple of days after the party I follow up with another email thanking them for booking. It’s all these little touches that help clients feel reassured that they are dealing with a business, rather than hobbyist painter. Once you have these forms and documents designed and saved they are really quick to amend and send out!
So that’s pretty much it! It’s very simple, but professional and straightforward and works for me! If you’ve got any questions or would like to see examples of the forms I use then please don’t hesitate to message me through my social media handles below
Painting in hot weather
Oh my goodness, shall we just talk about how hot it was on the 29th of June and how TOTALLY unprepared I was?! It was absolutely my busiest day this year so far, and my first 3 job day. I did a 9-12, 2-5 and a 7-9, and got home at about 10:30pm, having left home at about 8 am to get to job number 1. There were a couple of things I realised I could have done with throughout the day, nothing disastrous, just little things that would have made life a little bit easier, so I thought I would share them with you!
A Spare Top
I got to job number 3 after an hours drive in my very hot car with no aircon and was very conscious the I didn’t smell quite as fresh as I had first thing. I had remembered to bring deodorant, but I could have done with a spare top and possibly some perfume or body spray or something, just to feel a little less self conscious at this very nice venue for a 40th birthday party.
This is completely my own fault, I am an idiot, I know I turn into a lobster at the slightest hint of sunshine, I’m so pale I actually reflect sunlight. I didn’t even remember to apply any suncream in the morning! My only slight saving grace is that my foundation contains a small amount of spf, but I don’t know how long the spf in foundations are actually effective for once it’s been applied.
Luckily, job number one had put me indoors (although the small room did turn into a little bit of an oven), job number 2 was outside as it was a family fun day at a pub and they had all sorts of activities going on, and they did put me in the shade, but as time went on, the sun crept round and I was very aware that a) my forearms and neck waere very much exposed and b) some of my paints were turning to liquid (more on this in the next section!). And then job number 3 I had requested to be inside due to the sheer amount of rain we had had the week before. It did actually rain a little bit during the time I was there, but it was also much cooler in the room I was in than it was outside. If you are doing an event and you have the option, ask them to put you inside.
Ooooh god, it was bad. I was painting a galaxy at job number 2 (where I was painting outside) and I put my toothbrush in my uv pink and it was PURE LIQUID! I realised that the sun was directly on my paints at this point. I’ve got all my paints depotted into 3 little palettes, one for flat colours, one for pearls and one for uv’s. Before I had these palettes, I just kept my paint in the round containers they come in, but I would just leave the lids off over the course of a job. I normally bring 2 spare towels with me on any given job. They protect my one strokes and rainbow cakes from denting on the stuff on the bottom layer when they’re travelling in the craft n’ go ( I keep the lids off), and I have one to clean my hands and stencils etc on. (I am going to get there I promise). First I dented a couple of small holes with the end of a small brush into the worst effected paints and tried to let them dry out a bit (otherwise the top dries but underneath is still liquid), and used one of the towels to create some shade. For the rest of the afternoon I just keep my palettes under the towel and only pulled out what I needed fore putting it straight back. I do only have black towels at the moment, so maybe I could do with some white towels to reflect the heat for next time!
Ugh, isn’t it horrible, painting someones sweaty face, and then seeing them 10 minutes later with your design sliding off like it’s got somewhere else to be? This is where your eco cloths come in, or some spare tissue. Ask the parent to just wipe their childs face for you. There’s not a lot you can do about the paint sliding off afterwards, but its a bit more hygienic than getting all that sweat in your water, paints etc. I haven’t personally tried out the star blends or Elisa Griffiths powders yet, but I have heard brilliant things about them! Also Pro Aiir now do solids as well as the dips, which are water proof and need a special activator, and presumably have a special way of removing them, but I have seen images of people having used these paints at pool parties etc, so may be another good option!
Don’t forget to keep hydrated
So important. It’s also really important to make sure you eat something when you’re on a long, hot job. I did buy myself something in the morning but by the time I got round to trying to eat it, the temperature in my car had made it not so edible. I stopped off at Tesco (where I also cleaned my sponges from job number 1), and because I’m trying to be good, I tried to buy a salad, but they didn’t have any little plastic forks. Not to self, keep spare cutlery in the car! I always keep a big bottle of water in the car, but remember to keep it covered. The sun and heat can react with the plastic on your water bottles and it becomes dangerous to drink the water.
I hope this has been helpful to you all, you may well already know this and more, so if you have any advice of your own, please share it in the comments!
P.S although my paints got a bit melty, my glitter balms stayed surprisingly solid all day!
Let’s be Eco Warriors!
So, a couple of weeks ago, after a bit of a strongly worded conversation with Alex about who got to use the car that I pay for (which I lost so he could get to a brass band thing he signed up for AFTER I’d already been booked…) I had to get the train to a gig. Yes, I’m serious, but I’m still gonna marry the bastard. Not that I’m still annoyed about it. At all. I’m not going to lie, it was an absolute faff, but admittedly a lot less faff now that I have my Craft ’n’ Go, although I was still out the house for 9 hours for a 3 hour job. Really not still annoyed. But it did get me thinking about the environment and what steps we can take to do our bit in an industry that heavily depends on single use plastics and non recyclables. For the WBF in Austria last year, I made my headpiece entirely out of single use plastics I had collected in the 4 day run up to the competition, I couldn’t believe how much I collected, and I didn’t even use half of it! It makes me feel a bit sick thinking just how much waste we get through, but I’m hoping we’ll be able to discuss some ways we can each do our bit to help! If you’ve got any suggestions that I’ve missed off please comment below!
Let’s start with a biggie. I don’t know if the manufacturers are making any sorts of plans to package paint more sustainably but there are a couple of things we can do in the meantime. Until recently my council didn’t recycle any plastics at all, but now they collect all plastics. What they do with them and wether any of it still goes to landfill once they’ve sorted through it I have no idea. But if your council doesn’t take all types of plastics in recycling, you can save your pots up and go to your local recycling place where they’ll generally have a plastic recycling tip. Rosemary also suggested using empty paint pots for glitter gels as there is less space for air than in the dip pots. I know some people also use they’re left over pots to make confetti cakes and split cakes, but I know that can be a bit of an insurance grey area.
I know I know, we all love glitter, we are all a little bit guilty of this one and we all know how bad glitter is for the environment (did you know that it’s actually considered a micro plastic?) so I won’t talk about glitter for very long, and some venues actually have a bio only policy. There are gorgeous bio degradable glitters available, and something we can take a little responsibility for is ‘aftercare’ advice. A lot of the time, people will just wash the glitter off their face along with their paint, but what we can do is ask them to remove as much glitter as they can with sellotape and put it in the bin. As much as it is still going to end up in landfill, personally I would rather plastics end up in landfill than affecting our sea life. They have actually found plastic particles in the fish that ends up on your plates. Just something to think about.
Hands up who hates admin?! Met too! But got to be done right? There are a couple of things we can do here. I don’t print off invoices, booking forms, contracts etc, I do everything on my laptop and I have an external hard drive so at the end of the tax year, everything gets transferred off my laptop and onto that instead. However I did realise that I send my clients a booking form as a pdf and require them to print it off and sign with any amendments. This is because I didn’t want to send them a word document that they could edit and then not notice when they had changed things. However I have had a couple of digital contracts sent through to me, no printing required, and I know you can digitally sign for things now (isn’t technology great?!) So this is definitely something I’m going to investigate more. Also on the technology line, we all use devices as part of our business right? When they come to the end of their life, take them in to get a part exchange! I got about £150 off my new phone by returning my previous one, and the parts all get reused, saves you money and reduces waste!
While we’re on the subject of technology, has anyone got their own QR code? You can get QR codes that will send someone straight to your website or social media page, and you can change where the code sends people even after it’s been produced! It also establishes an immediate connection with your potential client. How many times have you given out a business card only to never hear back from someone? And how expensive are business cards?! I recently did a wedding fair and printed out my information and price list on nice photographic paper, but only one copy. I then painted up a little sign asking people to take a photo of the information rather than taking it away, and people were really keen on the idea! It also meant that I could tell people I was making an effort to be environmentally friendly, plus it saved me so much time and money! It also meant that they didn’t have yet another bit of rubbish that they were never going to look at again. Make real connections with people and exchange contact information. Follow up as soon as you can, and it will both be better for your business and save you in printing costs. If you do decide to print, have a look at using recycled paper!
We all love our brushes, and we can love our brushes and take really good care of them, but sometimes there is no stopping our brushes from getting to a point that they just won’t give you that gorgeously crisp linework any more. But don’t send your brushes to the grave yard just yet! Turn them into SFX brushes! Or cleaning brushes! I’ve got an old dead brush that I use to help me get into every nook and cranny of my airbrush, and that brush that might not be so good for perfect tear drops any more, might be great to give you a wash of colour with your alcohol palette or to put some blood in a scratch.
According to the UK government, transport is responsible for 25% of uk emissions. 25%! I’m not going to lie, getting the train with my Craft ’n’ Go, Directors Chair, Design board and back pack was not the easiest of journeys, but I did it. It’s not going to be the most practical thing to do for a birthday party, but if your doing an all day event in town and you happen to live near a train station, would you consider it? Or car sharing if you and another local artist are going to the same job? It can be quite easy to say only take work within a certain radius of where you live, but that’s also not always possible. I try not to do events that are too far away, but sometimes the opportunity is just too good to pass up!
I actually very rarely use baby wipes any more in face painting or my own life. I used to use them all the time for taking my makeup off, cleaning my paints and to have on hand for kids with messy faces. But they’re a) really bad for the environment and b) they can be quite harsh on your skin. A few years ago the pink makeup eraser started floating around on the internet and I just didn’t see how a cloth could get rid of all your makeup. I then started to come across more eco cloths last year and decided to do a bit of research into them and buy one. The difference between these eco cloths and a normal flannel for example is that the fibres in the eco cloths are knitted much tighter together and they actually lift makeup out of the pores and also act as a very gentle exfoliant. I am a complete convert! They get rid of the most stubborn gel eye liners, they great for getting rid of paint AND I tested it against alcohol based paint and it worked! I’m starting to build up the number of eco cloths I have in my kit so I can completely replace baby wipes. Because paints contain anti bacterial properties it can actually not be so great to clean them with baby wipes, so what I do to clean mine now is use a damp sponge. You could use your eco cloths to clean paints but they take in a lot more water than sponges and might eat into your paint too much!
Tupperware and Travel Mugs
How many ppf’s have you done where it’s really quiet, really cold and all you need in your life is a cup of tea? Most of the time we work over a lunch time too, and of course we want to support the other vendors (who often give trader discounts too) and sometimes we do bring our own pre made lunches with us. But what about bringing Tupperware to have your lunch put into if you are going to buy from a vendor? And what about bring a thermos or travel mug? It also means you can take a cup of tea for the road, rather than wasting not so recyclable coffee cups and and food packaging!
Vegan, Cruelty Free and ingredients
Every now and again I see posts on facebook with people asking about cruelty free pants due to a request from a client. This can be quite tricky. Cruelty free doesn’t always mean vegan, and one of the main culprit in paints and cosmetics that aren’t vegan is Carmine, a pigment made from crushed insects. Yummy. Cruelty free and vegan also doesn’t mean that a product doesn’t contain palm oil. That stuff is in everything, including a lot of lipsticks, and can be really cleverly hidden in ingredients lists under different names, including in some cases it can be labelled as vegetable oil. There are different regulations with regards to labelling depending on where in the world you are. It’s an absolute minefield when you start looking into ingredients, cruelty free and vegan etc, what we need to do is just take a little extra time to do the research on the products we buy. The new Fusion Body Art range is cruelty free, vegan, paraben free, perfume free and gluten free. And the beauty of it is that they tell us that information! A lot of other brands might have the same qualities but I don’t think I’ve seen it listed as clearly as the Fusion range, they’re not making us do any work! And the paints are great quality too! Sometimes I’ve found you have to sacrifice the quality of a product to get something cruelty free but these paints are incredible!
It can be really overwhelming to think about the environment, but there are so many little steps that if we all take can make a huge impact! How much paint do we all get through a year, and how much of a difference would it make if we all instead of throwing empty pots away, saved them up and took them to a recycling plant? How much paper could we collectively save by switching to digital alternatives? Not only will taking these small steps be a positive way for us to change our behaviours, but it can be a selling point to our clients. Why should I use you rather than the other painter? I’M AN ECO WARRIOR PICK ME! Well not quite, but you know. They will be happy to think that they are making better decisions too, plus, as I said earlier, how much money are you going to save on printing costs?! I’ve tried to cover as much as I can think of in this post, but if there is anything you do that I have missed out, let me know in the comments!
The Pixie Tribe
Trying to be an Eco Warrior
Here are the MSDS saftey sheets for Fusion Body Art - https://www.dropbox.com/sh/e9be420n2lmkqwb/AACLelfwh62AbKcbugRjEI2Ca?dl=0
Festivals – A Quick Guide
By Joni Nettleship
Do you do them? If so, do you pay pitch fees? How much? Is it pay per face and how much do you charge? How long do you paint for and what time do you pack away? Do you paint after sunset?
Festival season is looming and you need to keep your wits about you if you want to remain sane and end up with a profit. If this is your first festival experience here are my top tips:
-Keep your prices up, I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been asked to work for free/my best rate. Your current rate IS your best rate so don’t be haggled down. Any talk of no budget/small budget is not your concern.
-Pitch fee. Unless you’re turning a huge profit you shouldn’t be paying big daily fees. Similarly ‘donations’ at the end of the day should be reasonable, for example 10-15 percent of profit (not takings) and always discussed in advance.
-Remember that the start of a festival or music event can be slow. If you can, think about setting up early then returning when you know it’ll be busier. In my first years face painting I wasted hours sitting in empty fields wondering why no one else was there. Now I set up early, leave and go back mid afternoon sometimes having squeezed in a birthday party. Time is money.
-You will always get good natured souls trying to get you to paint them for free, if you’re lucky you may be offered different payment, for instance a slurp of their drink or a sweaty embrace. It is always their birthday. Do what you will.
-A headtorch is invaluable after the sun goes down and the evening crowds arrive, stay focussed and paint your ass off because it will get to that point where..
...Drunk people will stumble into your kit.
Good quick festival designs are one stroke swirls, flowers, rainbows, anything involving a stencil and good old glitter. Guys like the Bowie stripe and Mike Tyson (I know I know). Pack extra water, don’t drink alcohol until you’ve finished and enjoy!
Face Painting and Autism Awareness Month
Hi all, well here we are in in April already, if you didn’t know it’s Autism Awareness Month so I thought I would write my blog this time on face painting children and adults with additional needs. Before I had my two little boys, my career was spent helping people on the Autistic Spectrum, so it is a subject close to heart – you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t use the most current terminology, or if I leave something out. This is just my take, and my experiences! I don’t just cover children with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) in this, but kids with disabilities or health problems as a whole. I’m lucky and privileged enough to volunteer my face painting services at a wonderful hospital, and at my local children’s hospice (also my Business’ nominated charity) so I take my experiences from there too.
It goes without saying that all children are different, and this of course applies to all children with additional needs too. Although there are some common traits in behaviours, and different things you can look out for, the first and BEST thing you can do when a child sits down in your chair is a quick and subtle check with his parent or carer that he is going to be ok with what you’re doing. The chances are, that if the kid is sat in your chair, he will be! But it could be his first time, or it might cause an unexpected reaction, so saying something like “are we ok with painting on the face buddy?” would hopefully prompt a response from the child or the parent. Many children with ASD will be very happy to tell you EXACTLY what they want and don’t want, down to the tiniest detail.
Some things to look out for with children or adults with ASD, are that sometimes textures and feelings on the face feel alien or strange (as per ‘normal’ kids right?). Sometimes the sensation of touch, or even smells can be really intense for them, so go slow and steady. If it’s their first time, let them feel it on their hand initially, and explain what you are going to do next so they have the time to process it. Look for any non-verbal cues that the child/adult is uncomfortable and stop and reassure them if so. There may or may not be some repetitive movements/sounds that the child makes, if he does just give him some time to do so – these movements/sounds are important to help the child make sense of their situation and often to help them to feel safe.
There will be others with more profound disabilities that need their parents/carers to be their voice and say what makes them happy, maybe how they have been known to respond positively in the past etc. With these more profoundly disabled kids, it’s really important to be really verbal, talk about what you’re doing, show them the colours, let them hold a sponge or spray their hand with water so they can feel the texture and add to their sensory experience, and absolutely give them that mirror moment when you’re done.
When you’re working with children or adults that are suffering from a serious illness, and for example may be receiving chemotherapy, or are hooked up to lots of machines there are other things to consider. There are the practical matters of seeking guidance as to where would be the best place to paint these little ones, and then navigate the best you can around the tubes/ whatever may be in place. You need to be very careful with glitter, both fine and chunky in these scenarios just in case it gets into the tubes – and in some places it’s best not to take it out at all. It might sound really obvious but if you have the slightest cold or cough, do let your events organiser know, as the immunity of some of these people can be really threatened by the simplest virus. Psychologically it can be hard working with this group of individuals, but it is one of the most rewarding thing I have done in my painty career – and to be able to bring a smile to that child’s face is a huge privilege.
I thought I’d finish my blog by teaching you a few useful Makaton signs! As I used to teach this wonderful sign language as a communication tool in my previous career, I am always delighted when every now and again I get to use it in my painty life..
(I thought I’d give you a few options of what to sign, depending on how the face paint went! ;-) Remember that when you sign Makaton you always speak at the same time. If you’d like to know more there’s lots on youtube to learn from and I’m really happy to help out too – just send me a pm or contact me through my social media handles below.
I hope that you may have found this blog useful in some way, do you have any more tips on how to best support children or adults with additional needs that you can share with us? I’d love to hear them.