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Hired for a Party - yikes

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Hired for a Party - yikes

Post by mespo on Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:45 am

Some of you know that I do most of my face painting at the roller rink where I work. I don't have to "look" for jobs because we have kids here every weekend and birthday parties as well. Sometimes people pick up my business card though and ask about private parties. I did have some referrals also, so a mom contacted me recently.

Here's my problem. When I look at some designs that face painters do I say, "Oh I can do that" and my confidence goes up. When I see amazing work, I think, "Oh my gosh what am I doing in this business! Then I question if I am fast enough, good enough, etc and the confidence goes down. I'd love to do fairs,festivals and parties but I just can't paint as quickly as some of you.

Should I refer the family to another face painter, or just do it for the experience? I also prefer to charge per child rather than by the hour also. Does that seem fair? Otherwise I will really feel the pressure to rush through my work.
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Re: Hired for a Party - yikes

Post by thouartbeautiful on Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:34 pm

I think it's fair to book gigs to gain experience and you have an advantage of potential clients meeting you and seeing your work before picking up your card, so I think it's safe to say they like your work. You need to figure out if you want to pursue face painting and if you want to invest in insurance and go on your own, or if no insurance then are you willing to accept that risk. Working as a face painter and an employee puts you under their insurance umbrella and alleviates your liability but if this is something you want to do you need to look at a few different angels. There's a lot more to add but I think this is a good start.
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Re: Hired for a Party - yikes

Post by mespo on Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:33 pm

So if I want to do parties outside of work, then it would be a good idea to get insurance it sounds like.
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Re: Hired for a Party - yikes

Post by poopitypants on Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:10 pm

It's a good idea, yes (:

I just signed up with insurebodywork.com, which is a very low $100/year. And it seems to cover a lot. Some corporate events want you to have an insurance policy that has a higher coverage than what insurebodywork.com provides, but I feel like that in at least the next year, I won't have to deal with those people!

I would take the party, personally. It's a great experience, and practice as well. She knows how you paint, your quality of work will be of no surprise to her. Compare yourself to local face painters, and charge what you feel is appropriate- just don't forget, you will want to raise your prices as you get better, for the sake of yourself and the other painters in the area, undercutting is a dirty game. My first gig was $30 for one hour, with an acquaintance, who knew this was my first gig and that my prices would probably not stay like that (they didn't).

One thing I found, btw, that helped me with speed... was to limit the amount of times you have to switch colors. I volunteered to paint at the movie theater over last Summer, on their $2 Kids Movies mornings, in exchange for movie tickets. The lines were always huge, and with parents who barely tipped, if at all. But it wasn't for naught- I quickly learned that one way to paint faster was to keep all designs to 3 colors or less, and push my brush to the limits of painting in that color before I reloaded the color. And having the designs memorized to the point that they were a formula helped a ton too (:

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Re: Hired for a Party - yikes

Post by mespo on Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:09 am

Thank you so much for the great info! It really helps a lot. :-)
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Re: Hired for a Party - yikes

Post by JennVenn on Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:29 am

Hello mespo! It is so exciting getting your first gig outside of your normal ones! Yay! I know it can be scary and you start second guessing yourself. First thing I agree with getting insurance to cover you and your clients. I use bodyworks too. You can't beat the price Smile
As for the painting I am sure the person hiring you has seen some of your work and that is why they want to hire you. I get super nervous before gigs myself wanting to give my clients the best possible work and to work quickly. I am slow.... but I hope to improve with time. I am sure you have designs you are comfortable with so use them and leave trying new complicated ones for practice. There are always more skilled artists but its better to see that as a goal to hopefully one day paint that way Very Happy
Is face painting something you enjoy doing? If so, keep doing it. I get so nervous before I start painting while I am setting up until I sit in the chair and look at the child in front of me and my paints and remember I enjoy this job. It can be stressful at times but worth in my opinion. This will be great experience for you! Don't be discouraged Smile You'll do great. Hope it is a blessed party.
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Re: Hired for a Party - yikes

Post by JennVenn on Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:31 am

Your work is lovely by the way! Checked out your website. Very Happy
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Re: Hired for a Party - yikes

Post by mespo on Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:29 am

Thanks you so much JennVenn! I absolutely LOVE face painting. I get a little nervous just before starting, or if I try a new design, but I can't imagine not doing this. I feel like I have found something I really want to invest my time and talents in. My designs are pretty simple for the most part, but over time I may be able to expand on that more and get more creative. I'll look into getting some insurance then. I read someplace on line that said until you do at least one party a week, don't worry about insurance. Right now that hasn't happened which is why have not really looked into it.
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Re: Hired for a Party - yikes

Post by jlirie on Sat Mar 14, 2015 1:46 pm

someone posted this link to a company that offers one day insurance for $39, but compare that to $100 for a whole year, as mentioned above.

Re: 1 Day Insurance & Insurance Companies
 by Sarieka on Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:55 pm

Sometimes for gigs you can ask the client to cover the cost.  

I use Act Insurance, but I also sell caricatures.  It's $39 for one day or $90 for 3 months.  There are exclusions for certain types of events and artists, but face painters aren't on the list for exclusions.

https://www.actinsurance.com/coverage-details-show-event
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Re: Hired for a Party - yikes

Post by mespo on Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:07 pm

Thank you jlirie!
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Re: Hired for a Party - yikes

Post by Forest-Fairy on Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:34 pm

Speed comes with time. All of us when we are trying out a design for the first few times ara a little slow. You have to do the design a few times before you get fast at it.

You are totally worth the money, just believe in yourself. 

As for charging by child, i don't reccomend going that way.

Parents will call you out to their kids party to paint all of 5 kids, and pay you how much? $10 each? $15?

so you made all of $50 - $75 for the party? 

What about timeing? How to you manage say getting 2-3 bookings in a day if you don't have your times planned out? When you do leave the party? If there is no rush to get painted, what's the stop the mom from doing other parties activiies before the face painting? Now you have to wait, on your time and you aren't getting paid for it.

Or what if someone calls you out to a party of 15 and only 7 show up? Well now you just lost money. Again what if you get a part of 10 but half the kids don't want to be painted?! 

This happened to me and the mom tried to argue that she shouldn't have to pay my price because half the kids didn't want to be painted. How is that my fault exactly? 

Nope nope nope.

Just set limits on the number of kids you can do in an hour. Argerage is about 10. So charge by the hour and state that it's up to 10 kids an hour. If it takes you a little bit longer to paint 10 kids then stay a little longer until the last kid is done (honor what you advertise).

You can also combine the hourly with the price per head. Do 10 in an hour and each additional is $15 or something. Smile

Works so much better!
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Re: Hired for a Party - yikes

Post by mespo on Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:05 pm

Wow Forest-Fairy, I am SO GLAD you wrote! I didn't even think about that. Now it makes so much sense to get paid by the hour as opposed to per child. I am always so grateful to learn from people like you who are far more experience than me and can pass on that helpful information. I can see how all that can happen when I don't have a set fee in place. Thank you thank you thank you!!!
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