If you are looking at
hiring a face painter this information may assist. Please note it is general/recommended information only and not intended to be legal or binding. There is a strong presumption that all Face (and Body) Painters are the same and this just isn't the case. We all have our own style and personality of work in the way that all artists do. You wouldn't presume that all performance artists are the same. A few things that might help with your next booking are below.
- A professional face and body painter should hold
current liability insurance and be able to provide you with a copy upon request.
(I hold current insurance to $20 million with Duck for Cover as do artists I work with)
- Up to date police/working with children check.
(I have an up to date Working with Children card (WWC), as do artists I work with)
- Any current painting related memberships?
(I'm also a current member of AFABA - Australasian Face & Bodypainters Association, ABAA Network (Australian Body Art Awards) and am a competency certified level 2 member of FACE, the International Face Painting Association)
- Examples of similar work that you are after for your function should be available to view either on a Facebook page or a Website. If what you are looking for isn't there contact the artist and see if they can send you anything else.
- Images sent this way or viewed online, cannot be used commercially or in any way without permission and possible payment by agreement. You cannot use a 'google searched' online face painting photograph for your event poster, even if its just the local kindy fete. This is poor form.
- Pricing varies considerably from painter to painter. This can relate to years of experience painting but keep in mind that artists starting out now can escalate very quickly in quality so it's not the only thing to look for at all. Possibly artists have cheaper rates for during the week, or winter season. Prices are often higher for evening bookings or high summer season. Many artists have a minimum call out fee, like your plumber would also have.
Keep in mind that a booking that is say 2 hours 'on the ground' ie actually painting, in fact equals approx 4-5 hours total. This may be made up of:
- liaison with you the client about your booking
- confirming via email at the time of the booking and again just prior,
- packing and unpacking their kit at the start and end of the job at
home and when they arrive and leave the booking,
- cleaning and prepping the kit before and after,
- business insurance,
- car running costs incl insurance and petrol,
- business registration,
- online and other marketing costs,
- workshop costs to keep up to date with current designs,
- product ie replacing paints, sponges, brushes,
- uniform/logo-d t shirt,
- business cards/stationery.
These are just a few of the costs that a face painter incurs.
So the initial call out fee or hourly rate has to cover a lot.
Basically, if you find a painter you really like, love their work, their pricing and their personality, then keep track of them and book them as much as you possibly can! Your guests should be raving about their work to you and complimenting you on your genius of finding this artist. If they don't, then maybe keep looking. Australia has some of the best face and body painters in the world so please don't approach finding a good one from the narrow perspective of price first and foremost.
You may find a newer painter who is just starting out. We've all been there but it helps to know this from a client's perspective. Often a new painter needs a bit of confidence so be encouraging and don't pressure too much for time etc. Hopefully you'll be paying a bit less for a newie and you may well be helping to foster an amazing new artist. Follow their journey!
- Is the painter you are booking with doing your job or sending someone else whose work you may not have seen? Is it the same quality level?
Make sure you get what (and who) you are paying for.
- Be clear as to how many people and the sort of faces (level of detail) you are expecting. If you are having 40 children and you want one painter for one hour only, it will probably not work! Quick designs are approx 2-4 minutes, more detailed faces up to approx 5-8 minutes. Very quick and small images for larger crowds can be faster, and limiting the options to say a spider, a small butterfly/flower, or Christmas icon can speed things up as well. Note that these times and capabilities vary between painters. But you won't get a fully finished perfectly painted design in a tiny amount of time, it just doesn't work like that. Michelangelo took a while to do the Sistine Chapel.
- If there are lots of kids (or adults as the case may be) please look at employing multiple painters, or multiple painters for the busiest part of the day. The perception by your guests is much more positive if they see a few painters getting through a line, versus one painter working their butt off and not getting a break for hours on end. Happy painters make for a much happier event.
- Book as early as possible to get your preferred painter. Deposits may apply to confirm your booking. If you cancel last minute you will incur a cancellation fee. Remember that we will have turned down multiple other inquiries in order to book your job.
- Painters should only use
professional quality face paints. Craft/kindy style glitter glues for example are not suitable. Many things are labelled as non-toxic ie some house paints, but you wouldn't put them on your face. Professional products also work better and are designed especially for the skin.
- Please provide a good environment for your face painter. This means at least a card table (or trestle) and two chairs per painter, under cover (out of the weather AND wind). If it's too cold, hot or dark it becomes impossible to do good work. Please don't put us in front of the loos, or speakers. If you wouldn't want to be painting in your event environment, then neither would we. We respond really well to offers of drinks and food (these should be included regardless on jobs of 3 plus hours), and will take short breaks on longer jobs. We have to change water containers, go to the bathroom, and most importantly, stretch often.
- If we are asked to paint something offensive we have the right to refuse to paint it. We also have the right to refuse people we deem to be rude or offensive, or if we feel the environment is unsafe. Alcohol, drugs and face/body painting do not mix. We need to be in a location where we won't be bumped by those walking past. If you hire us it's your responsibility to ensure our safety. You may be asked to provide a safe escort to our vehicle. If you want us for a grown-ups event suggest to start us early so we can leave before it gets too rowdy.
- Babies and young children under 3 years. We prefer not to paint children under this age as their skin is still developing. Plus they are often not able to sit still or understand what is going on. If they cannot follow instruction to close their eyes, are still wearing nappy, the parent is holding the child's head in a headlock (yes it happens), are crying, or are asleep in a pram it's a fair indication that they are still a bit too young. Can suggest something small on their arm perhaps where they can easily follow what is happening but it is the parents/carers responsibility and they do still have to keep still regardless. It's our call not yours if we choose to paint on a child's face or not. It can be scary having a complete stranger so close to them, and attempting to paint on them (from their point of view a brush coming straight at them!) while holding their head or chin gently but firmly. Best not to push it at all and bring them back when they are a little older. Different artists all have different personal guidelines on this matter. Parents will also say that their child has been painted before. What they may not tell us is that the child cried the whole time and hated it. At this age it's not fair to ask them to sit still each and every time, sometimes they might, other times they just won't. And that's fine.
- Confirm everything in writing/email when booking and again during the week prior. (If it's not in writing with me, it's not booked).
- Payment is negotiated per client and is usually before or on the day of the job at the very latest.
- If you like our work tell everyone, if you don't, please tell us so we can continue to improve. If this information has helped you please let us know. If you have anything constructive to add to this please send it through so we can include it. It's not intended to answer everything under the sun, nor to please everyone, however safety is important and is behind many of these points.