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What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

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What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by Lady Jayde on Sat Sep 26, 2009 7:49 pm

I'm feelin' pretty crappy about my painting today. I'm a fatalist at heart and pessimism is an old buddy of mine (we used to kick optimism's butt on a daily basis). I know I need to pick myself up by the boot straps and persevere, but what do you do when the self defeating voices are drowning out reason and quitting starts to look reeeaaaaalllllyyyyy good? No

I know I'll never be able to paint 20 faces in an hour, not even if they're all unadorned butterflies. I'm a quality over quantity type of creative spirit and I know that that kind of makes face painting a poor choice for me. I must tell you guys about the time I got let go from a volunteer gift wrapping job at the mall...I turned out the most beautiful presents (the kind you don't want to open) and MY line was always long...but I took too long to create my "art", we were expected to crank them out in less than 3 minutes, but I couldn't get my time under 5 minutes. I have had a sick feeling all evening that face painting is going to go the same route as my gift wrapping career...
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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by Guest on Sat Sep 26, 2009 8:39 pm

Get you head out of your butt ... NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

Painting 20 faces an hour is not the goal... painting happy kids while YOU are having fun is the goal (that, and hopefully earning at least a partial living!)

For years I painted without worrying about speed, I was painting what I and the people I was painting wanted and no one, not one, complained to me that it took too long to paint it... (waiting to get to the chair is another story entirely but we won't go there right now! )

I've been doing this a lot of years... and I have the designs and techniques down pretty well so THIS year I decided to see how fast I could get if I concentrated on keeping it under 4 minutes per face... if I do that means 15/hour... the only people that matters to are the people waiting in line and the client who wants me to paint MORE people as they are paying me by the hour.

Your work is good...you show lots of promise and I think you are creative enough come up with orginal ideas once you get more comfortable with the techniques.

So put a sock in it, suck it up, and get back to painting.

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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by JBax on Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:39 pm

I love the boot-camp drill-sargeant come out of Sharon!

But she's right. What's the point of fast if it's not that good and good comes with confidence and confidence comes with time. And you're getting there. We all are. Be kind to yourself. I don't believe for a second that you would say things to anyone else like you say to yourself. And most importantly, and this must be remembered:

JUST BECAUSE YOU THINK SOMETHING, DOESN'T MEAN IT IS TRUE!!!!!!

Personal experience here: I've now done three public gigs. I'm really getting pleased with my work in general, but, like you, I was worried that I was taking too long. No one complained, everyone loved the faces, everyone loved watching us paint (even people would stop to watch for a while if they didn't stop to get painted).

I think this is about the experience too. This stuff will wash, sweat, drink, or whatever off quickly. For however long this little person (or big person for that matter), is in my chair, he/she is the center of a lot of attention, getting to make choices about what they want and how they want it, glitter, lipstick, admirers from afar. Not to mention the painter, as a stranger, is very interested in hearing all about them (i do ask all kinds of questions). Let them have a spotlight, take as long as it takes. And don't worry so much.

You are FABULOUS! queen
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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by Criss on Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:50 pm

mmmmmh, lady jayde I think your concern is misplaced. The object is not to crank out as many kids, as fast as you can, in an assembly line fashion. If it is, just use a stamp or a machine.

People come to a face painter, especially one with skill, because they see the skill and appreciate it. It's an experience they want for their children.

There are painters everywhere, but not all are capable of providing a quality job that is unique and fun.
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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by Ashley Pickin on Sun Sep 27, 2009 4:44 am

No pity parties here Miss Lady Painter! lol! Everyone had craptastic days of "man, I suck, I'll never be as good as blah blah." SO WHAT? All you can be is you, and do your best to have fun and be yourself, and you will be happy and everyone else will see that and they will be happy as well! That's how it works.


Also, I eat ice cream and feel better. Probly why I'm nearing 180... Embarassed
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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by Miss Yoko on Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:21 am

When I started to paint, I was trying to train at home with my practice head and a timer... gosh it was so stupid.
Now I just don't care. Like the others. I take my time with every kids and I feel that everyone appreciate it, parents like kids. OK, if the line is long I try to go faster but, it will take what it takes and it's not only you. Some kids will take even longer, because they are tickelish or not able to stay still.

Honestly, I don't think we can think about our work about productivity... painting peoples has nothing to compare with a factory.

Keep doing your art with your heart Smile
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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by Lady Jayde on Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:38 am

Thank you guys so much! I know that I just needed a kick in the pants. I just feel that I'm fighting an hopeless battle with speed. I want to be faster AND I want my line quality, blending techniques and overall quality of design to improve as well. I've done some thinking and I've decided that I can't/won't sacrifice quality for speed, I can't, I've been artsy fartsy for too long to do that. If that means I'll never advance beyond doing birthday parties and school functions, so be it...I am doing this because I love to do it so my livelihood isn't resting on my ability to do assembly line painting, kwim?
I know that with practice, I will get faster and I will mark that as a true accomplishment because I will know that I didn't sacrifice quality to get there. Hmmm...maybe I should have Metina change my login name to "Turtle"?
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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by Metina on Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:17 pm

You are absolutely right. With practice you will be able to create beautiful works of art in less time. I know we all get wrapped up in the "I want it all, now!" mentality, but we have to choose what we want.

I want to be a bette,r faster painter, but I also want the forum to grow and help more people become face painters or become better face painters. I love the community so I sacrifice my practice time to work on ways of building the forum, providing and researching things ect....

And we all have crap days. My last event on the 19th, was awful. I had one person there shadowing me and then another painter saw me while working in a coffee shop(he is really fab). I was really off that day, but I sucked it up and kept going. I was in two papers that weekend and got a job booking from it. It all works out if we stick with it.

We all choose our own desitiny you know. If you believe that you will become a fantastic painter with lightning speed, you will. If you don't, you won't. It isn't magic, it is a simple matter of what we choose to become will influence each of our individual decisions to get there. A super fast painter practices more to become it. One who isn't so fast chooses not to practice because he'll never get there. It is all full circle. Choose it, and become it. It really does work.

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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by smitty225 on Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:42 pm

My first elaborate butterfly took 20 minutes!!!! You will get better. Be patient with yourself.
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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by Criss on Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:58 pm

Don't forget to be gentle with yourself as well
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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by Lady Jayde on Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:08 pm

I'm always gentle with myself...

I'm sssssssssenssssssssitive. Twisted Evil
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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by Criss on Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:09 pm

hahaha
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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by Lady Jayde on Mon Sep 28, 2009 4:04 pm

I forgot to add:

Shannon, nobody whispers sweet nothings like you do... Razz

okay...i'm off to go find a sock...
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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by WyndyO on Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:29 pm

LadyJayde - I agree we all have those days especially when the "inspiration" didn't hit, we were off, or surrounded by AMAZING talent that makes us wonder what we are really doing here.

Shannon is an EXCELLENT butt kicker - errrr I mean drill sargent!!! Sometimes we NEED that and not the mamby pamby feel sorry for ourselves sympathetic bull. Empower yourself and believe you will be great and fast!!!!

It is a process - practice - love - believe. You are getting better every day!!!! If you like it or love it STICK WITH IT!!!! I remember my first gig and how happy all those kids were. I felt like a star because they were so happy and loved their face and arm art!! Those pics now make me cringe --- the crooked teeth, the forced lines, the uneven blending and sponging....... geez! and I was slow--- it didn't matter people were happy and so was I. i was hooked!!!!

For me, I just love painting!!!! even when I wish I did better or have done or could do a more perfect job- it is always satisfying and fun and creative. It is the struggle of the artist to determine "when to stop" your painting and declare it done. I think being too perfectionist of an artist can hamper us in the business of face painting - our primary goal should be making happy memories and customers NOT PERFECT FACES in under 3 minutes. Practice your top ten faces and MAKE THEM FAST if speed truly is your goal.

CHIN UP AND GO GET THAT PAINT BRUSH!!!!! of course after you install your sock as instructed by Sgt. Fennell!!!! Smile
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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by Guest on Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:29 am

How'd'you know my nick name was "Sarge"... was a long time ago, and I never made it up to sergeant... but...

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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by Lady Jayde on Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:02 am

you should have. They were probably afraid you'd make the other Sergeants look bad. Many men hate it when yours are bigger than theirs...no offense dudes.
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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by Dynamike on Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:41 am

The most important thing you should do is "smile". It won't only make you feel relaxed, but it will help relax the kids and parents too. Smiling at a past job not only helps for the present time, but it will last forever. The reason I mention that is because I finally tried full face painting last week. I was not smiling because I tried to focus on what I watched on DVD. Pictures have been taking of me the same time. Every time up to today I notice I did not look happy. It hurts me each time I see those pictures. I feel sorry for what was traveling thru the children mind.

Each face you finish should help make you happier because it is a step closer to reaching the end of the line, and because you just helped put a smile on someone's face.

Look into a child's eyes and remember what you see.
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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by starponysmama on Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:07 am

Fabulous advice everyone!

Both my boyfriend and I (since he started painting too) go through the whole "I suck" ordeal. He thinks I'm better than him and I think he' s better than me.......

I think it's just part of the process. I am well aware that I need to continue to develop my detail and drawing skills (for cheek art and what not) but, I don't sweat it. It will come in time.

Speed is something I think about but I don't harp on it. If people have to walk out of my line, oh well. It's just like any other job.....I am only one person and I do the best that I can. That simple.

Chin up - your work is incredible!

And I second smitty on the 20 minute butterfly!
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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by Guest on Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:43 pm

The reason I paint my face for EVERY job is that I look stern when concentrating or even just neutral.... so, if I paint myself the kids are looking at the painting, not my expression or lack thereof...

And honestly... the kids still get in my chair even when I'm a monster... they want that painting and sit still cause I might bite!!

Oh and I was in the Army in the 1970s.... so, yeah, not too many women Non-Coms...

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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by photomomma6 on Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:47 pm

You guys are SO great.
This weekend, we had Minnesota Clown Daze in St. Paul, and Gary Cole of Snazaroo was there. (pictures to come). He said that they have 10-20 painters that work for them at Party Faces. He himself can easily paint 35 kids in an hour. But on their business card, it says "You can expect us to paint 10-15 children's faces an hour." That's realistic. So just sit in the reality of it, and enjoy it. You do fabulous work.
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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by Guest on Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:52 pm

Gary can paint 216 people in an hour - he's the World's Fastest Face Painter and in the Guinness Book of Records.

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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by KathyO on Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:01 pm

When I first started out I priced my parties not by the hour but by the number of kids that way if it took me longer to paint all the kids I didn't feel bad and I didn't feel like I had to paint them in 1 hour and be all rushed.

It takes time to train your hand to paint the designs. I practiced for 2 years painting at resturants and teen dances before I even started my business.
It took time for my hand to lean what my brain wanted it to do.
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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by Perry Noia on Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:04 pm

I can usually do about 10 kids in a half hour time slot at a party, but many of those are not full faces.... if it were all full faces, then I'd probably fall into that 10-15 per hour as well. Funny how when given the choice of anything in my whole repertoire, the crowns have been ruling the day lately... good thing I got that Fairy Princess book at Moose Camp.
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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by Sweet Loretta on Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:09 pm

Scan the internet for really crappy images of painted faces!!!


I 'm with Shannon - your goal is not 20 faces - your goal is your personal best while enjoying what you do and having the people in your chair enjoy their experience with you.

I'm a speed painter - gee have you ever sat with me I talk faster than most folks - but my goal is not speed or great face art. It is good face art at a decent rate of time and everyone in enjoying the experience. I hear people make comments when I have a long line - but hey they don't get out of line because I provide fun. I have fast days, slow days, great face art days and crappy.

So that's it - 20 min or 2 min you paint at - right now - this day - on this job - however "good" that is - you are fine - if you are not liking what you do it's time to do something else.


Last edited by Sweet Loretta on Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:10 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typos)
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Re: What do you do when you feel like a crap painter?

Post by Guest on Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:22 pm

Sweet Loretta wrote: gee have you ever sat with me I talk faster than most folks

Oh yeah... she does

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