A SATURDAY IN THE LIFE OF A FACE PAINTER – BY JANE HARDING
Hi everyone, how are you? Keeping busy I hope… I certainly have been, hence why I’ve not had a chance to write a blog in a few weeks. Over the Easter break (which falls a week later in Leicestershire, compared to the rest of the country); I worked 17 days straight at various events. Then almost as soon as that was over we went straight into the May bank holiday, so I feel like I’ve not stopped! I’m shattered, but you won’t find me complaining, I feel very grateful for being so busy.
Anyway, having read Joni’s ‘Day in the Life’ blogs (which I loved and if you haven’t read them yet, go check them out) I thought it was a great idea and so decided to write one too! If you’re anything like me, I love to hear about other face painters, what they get up to and how they work, so I thought you could never have enough of this kind of blog!
Are we sitting comfortably? Then here we go…
My Saturday funnily enough starts on a Monday, because this is when I send out a courtesy message to all my customers for the upcoming weekend. I reassure them that all is well, check any last minute details and provide an opportunity to answer any further questions the customer may have.
I then skip to Friday when I get all my kit ready to load straight into my car on Saturday morning. I also sort out any themed designs I might need and route plan so I know exactly where I’m going and when I need to leave.
Most Saturdays my alarm goes off and then Mark (my lovely man) brings me a cup of tea in bed, how lucky am I?! I give Ted (my Maltese fur baby) a full days’ worth of fuss and kisses, then get up! Lol… Pretty much all I need to do is get ready, make a packed lunch, load my car and I’m off! On this particular weekend I have 3 parties booked in on Saturday and 2 on Sunday.
If I don’t have any big events or corporate jobs booked in at the weekends, I generally have 3 or 4 parties booked in, sometimes 5 or 6 if I’ve been lucky and the timings all work out. But as I’m sure you all know, very often the times clash as most parties fall between 12 - 4pm. The biggest tip I can offer to you to try and increase your number of bookings on a single day, is to always suggest a time slot you can do, if an enquiry comes through for a time you’re already booked for. I frequently offer alternative times and days to customers when I can’t originally fit in and I’ve had a lot of luck with them being able to move the time or change the day, so this is definitely worth trying,
Back to my day… The first party is 11am -1pm, I arrive approx. 20mins early so I have plenty of time to get set up and start promptly. There’s not as many children as was initially expected so I’m really happy that I can spend a little bit extra time on each design, the parents opted for a Glitter Tattoo ‘Bolt on’ as well so every child has the opportunity to have a paint and a tattoo if they like. I even fit in a few adults; it’s a lovely warm up to a busy day.
This was the first time I ever painted a Thor design. It was a special request from the guy who wanted a superhero who has a beard. Off the top of my head Thor was the only one I could think of, and thanks to the Onalee Rivera FABATV class I watched and using my Onalee Hero Pallet, I was able to keep the customer very happy.
Time to pack up and get going to my next party… and as with many parties I am set on my way with some food for the journey. Literally one of my favourite sandwiches ever… fish fingers with pink ketchup and a can of Coke! Mmmmmm
I quickly eat my sandwich in my car, set the Satnav and I’m off! The next party is 2pm – 4pm, I arrive as planned 20mins early, unload my car again (seriously, this loading and unloading is the hardest bit for me! Lol) meet the parent, start setting up… as normal a small crowd of children stand around watching. I encourage them to play and promise to tell them as soon as I am ready. I don’t know if it’s just me, but normally they prefer to just stand and watch anyway… so I make sure I put out my design choices for them to look at and encourage them to choose, in the hope they will know by the time I’m ready for them!
This party’s a busy one, 30 children in 2 hours. I’m a pretty fast painter, so I don’t restrict my choices for a party of 30, I use my full word banner and normal designs. I then decide how detailed or basic each design will be based on how well the child is sitting. If they are the perfect model I can whip out most of my full designs in 3mins, if they struggle to keep their chin up or constantly move around I will leave off some line work or highlights etc. They still look fab and the child goes away having had an enjoyable face paint.
Party number 2 done… pack up, load up and on to the next one! The last party of the day is 5:30 – 7:30pm and across the other side of the county so I have enough time to travel over without rushing. Again I arrive 20mins early unload; it’s a new venue for me so I find the area I’m supposed to be in, it’s a huge children’s zone, with slides, soft play, ball pits, climbing walls and more! This party’s a big one… there’s a lot of adults around helping with what looks like a banquet of food, the professional photographer comes over and introduces herself to me which is very lovely. I start to set up as one of the parents find me, I’m informed there’s approx. 60 children (almost double than I was originally informed), but many of those are under 3 years (who are not old enough to be painted) and they are very understanding that not all children will get painted.
Needless to say, I display a limited range of my fastest designs and paint like the wind! I paint solid for the 2 hours, I barely even notice when the photographer is over my shoulder taking snaps. I’m sure she got some amazing shots and promised if she could get permission she would send me some *fingerscrossed! Half way through the party the food is ready and OOOO EEEMMMM GGGGGG… It smells incredible! So I am super excited when I’m given a big takeaway box full of food to take home with me… this is definitely one of the big perks of being a Face Painter! They gave me so much food I share it with Mark when I get home… at least I don’t need to make dinner! lol
With there being so many children to paint, I closed the line around 15mins before I was due to finish, I had 5 children in line which I got finished a little after my official finish time. But as I didn’t have another party to get to, I was happy to stay just to finish those in line, I often find this little bit of flexibility and kind gesture is noticed by customers and much appreciated, as it certainly was by the parents at this party. They couldn’t thank me enough. All in all a very successful day!
Obviously I have the dreaded car load and unload again, then drive home... my lovely Mark comes out to help me unload my car for the last time today, we eat the delicious food and then it’s time to clean my kit… ugh this is literally the last thing I want to do right now, but it’s all got to be clean and ready for tomorrows parties.
By about 9pm I’m finished, I spend some time with my boys, cuddles with Ted, double check where I’m going tomorrow and then bed… this Face Painting lark is hard work!
There we have it, a Saturday in the Life of me!
Oh and if you were wondering… no, I didn’t eat my packed lunch, I took that with me the next day! Lol
PRODUCTS USED IN DESIGNS:
Onalee Hero Pallet
Leannes Neon Rainbow
TAP Fairy Stencil
Sillyfarm Rainbow Cake – Crystal Water