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Why the need for SPEED

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Why the need for SPEED

Post by Just Jenny on Tue May 05, 2009 8:48 pm

I thought I'd start a new thread as to why I want to find ways to increase the speed.

A friend and I have gotten hired to face paint for a starter 2 weeks. If they like us, our contract will continue through out the summer. They were unhappy with last years painters because the lines were to long and the painters (in their view) were to slow. They had some of the top painters in this area. They painted beautiful faces, and none were slow. The client requested faster, simpler faces....some painters refused to do that, continuing on doing the deluxe faces with all the bells and whistles. The client then asked that they not return. I did all that I could to get into the mix last year, but the agent that they had for that event would only hire their own people. This year, the client (who I've worked for in the past) decided that it was time to give me and a friend of mine a chance.....So, we know a lot of the problems that they had last year, and we will be able to avoid those pitfalls before we get there.

Last year there were 3 painters in different areas, this year there will only be 2 painters and so far we are talking about having us together with just one line....So it will appear that the line moves faster. The other change that the client has discussed is that the attendees will have to make a purchase at one of the stores to get a pass/ticket for each of the events activities...or pay a small fee like 2 bucks for face painting or whatever they choose.

This was a terrific event for attendees last year, as everything was free. The stores complained that no one was shopping, just taking advantage of the free stuff. The lines were long, long, long. The place was wall to wall people, and every week the complaints came in about how people didn't get to do all the activities because the lines were to long, there should be more of this, and more of that. So this year they are trying a new approach.

Our first gig begins in June, and we're praying and practicing that we make the grade.

We plan on offering a small number of faces....We will without a doubt include a full butterfly, Rainbow, dog, cat and some eye design. We expect to offer 6 choices each week, so that we can keep it simple and fast.

I'm glad that they are giving me the chance to try out, and even more thankful that I got to work with Metina a while back, and with Shirley Pine in Vt just a couple of weeks ago. I learned so much from their set-ups, approaches to preparation and signage. I will take a lot of what I learned from them into this new gig.

Does anyone else always feel like you're doing it for the first time, everytime?

Jenny

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Re: Why the need for SPEED

Post by Metina on Wed May 06, 2009 7:20 am

I would get a commitment from the client as to their expectations. You can't predict the turn out or how much the customers will complain. If they are as picky and demanding as it seems, I would clearly show before you begin how you are working at the level they want.

Also, while putting you together instead of apart, the lines are going to appear longer even though they might move quicker. However, they don't seem to be very smart by only bringing in two painters, when three wasn't enough last time.

I would also get them to approve the photos of the designs as well. They may say they want quicker, but are they going to be dissapointed when they look at the photos and there are simple and less detailed designs.

Cover your basis, getting in writing and make sure that you communicate any concerns that you have about there tactics.

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Re: Why the need for SPEED

Post by AngieAnders on Wed May 06, 2009 12:49 pm

I think that charging a small fee for the painting will help keep the lines manageable and hopefully halt some of the complaining too. (It's crazy to complain about free stuff! Sheesh!)

I think that I would pick out what designs to offer, and then let the organizer know how long each design takes. (Send pic of full butterfly, tell them it takes 2 minutes to paint, etc.) This will show them that the designs might look like they take a while but are actually very quick, plus it shows that you are trying to cooperate with them.

This brings to mind the old debate on whether professionals should agree to do "small cheek art" or "only fast stuff" for jobs. I would personally rather do full faces for the WOW factor, but the person signing the checks - as we see here - always gets the last say!
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Re: Why the need for SPEED

Post by Just Jenny on Wed May 06, 2009 8:57 pm

Angie, Thanks for all your help. You are so right about the customer. I accept this as a challenge to improve my speed, do a good job and line my pockets with a little green. My thinking is that the quicker I can paint a simple quick face, the better I will be able to paint a 'show' face. It's almost like getting paid to practice.

I do like your Idea about sending the pictures to the client and telling them how long it takes to paint each one. We'll paint some up this week, and do just that. I believe that that will help educate them as well.

Thanks again,

Jenny

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Re: Why the need for SPEED

Post by Just Jenny on Wed May 06, 2009 9:32 pm

Metina,

You are so right about covering my bases. Like I mentioned, they are making some changes too this year, so everything isn't exactly 'free' like it was last year, so that will also help keep the number in line down. It's funny how 'free' brings out the worst in people. I guess that it helps prove that 'free' really has no value to people, and brings no respect.

This is a 2 week start-up session, which is open to change as the event goes on. If the face painting (which is always very popular) is successful in keeping the lines happy, it will continue, if not, they may go to airbrush or balloon art. I expect to be successful, and meeting their requirements.

Thanks Metina for your helpful input.

Jenny

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Re: Why the need for SPEED

Post by Heather Timmons on Wed May 06, 2009 10:24 pm

Yea...free can do that. On the first gig me and Metzpah volunteered for...we were painting our butts off....sitting there with no breaks, painting for over 4-5 hours straight and one parent was standing there complaining about how slow we were and how she couldn't stand there all day....

She also complained about the crappy little sign the event put out and how it was hard to see where the painting had been set up (really it's not that big of a building and we were where all the kids were standing around drooling...haha

To top this all off..no tips, no payment it was totally free donation on our behalf..our paints, our time and our cricks in our necks!

/sigh

But for the most part the kids were totally appreciative and most of the parents thanked us profusely.
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Re: Why the need for SPEED

Post by Wildcatfin on Sat May 09, 2009 11:49 pm

I'm afraid 'free' often brings out the worst in kids/ parents/ queues-it sort of lowers the value of the experience in many cases so they feel 'free' to act up - there have been some real horror stories on the UK site about it.

I must admit I often get hired so it seems 'free' to the public but I nearly always print off a couple of A4 sheets saying "todays FREE face paints arepaid for by" and have the clients name & logo up big beside my name.

That way THEY get more advertising/ look good, (and don't usually complain at that!) and it helps shut up the punters...as well as killing the idea that I'm someone's mum playing at painting for free!

Cat x
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Re: Why the need for SPEED

Post by AngieAnders on Sun May 10, 2009 12:50 am

As far as being someone's mum, it's strange how surprised many people are to find out that this is my JOB. I guess most people have never heard of "professional" face painters.

As for things being free, sadly I find myself with this subconscious attitude in other areas of my life. We can probably all think of times when we cherished something all the more because we worked hard to get it. It's more precious to us - worth more in our sight - if we paid a higher price for it. I guess the trick is to make sure people know that just because THEY didn't pay for it doesn't mean it was free. Someone paid! Whether it was a corporation or paid with our own efforts and sweat if time was donated. Either way, it needs to be appreciated!

Thankfully so far I've not had to deal with any disrespectful kids/adults at functions. I do hear about the wait in line, and I always apologize and really praise the kids (loudly) for being so patient. It helps parents and kids both if they know that I realize they have been waiting a while, and appreciate it.
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Re: Why the need for SPEED

Post by LoneWolf on Sun May 10, 2009 3:21 pm

Cat: good idea about the sign with the "paid for" sign. I have so many people saying it is amazing that I would go to the other site of the country painting for free *lol* (I normally just tell them that is is paid for by the company or whatever for that day)

And Angie, I also get asked a lot about what my "regular" job is. And when I tell them that is is face- and bodypainting they say: Oh, like in theatres and so...
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Re: Why the need for SPEED

Post by Sweet Loretta on Wed May 13, 2009 1:46 am

I'm confused - you say none where slow. Even though the client says they wanted simpler faces does mean necessarily that line will speed up any. There are many things to consider.

One of the things I note when a client says the line is/was so long and we're talking full faces is the perception that the faces, because they are full face, is the reason for the wait time - even when those artists are slamming 'em out a 3 min faces. Yes I can do some good 2- even 1 min designs but honestly how much more are you willing to pay me to work that fast?

One of my regular grad nights has new contact person in control. She asked i limit the airbrush tattoo designs this year as it seemed it took students too long to decide on a design - this because the line was long. Odd because they have to know what they want before they get to me - and I did over 30 students an hour. And my line is always long. But I sure next year they won't book another artist. Yes I do 1 min tats - I am one of the fastest in the business - but there I limit the designs - which I really hate to do a grad nights - that is a very special event. And as I discount the schools to a non-profit rate - they are not paying for that select service (nor are they willing).

Just because the line is long clients assume we the face painters take too long - really 2 min a person for tats and 3 for faces - ahhh they do have to have time to sit in my chair and get out....... so even 5 min faces is fast. The reality is usually the client should have booked more time or an additional artist, paid a premium price - or simply trust that we are the experts who know best.

I had an corporate event last weekend where parents w/kids where maybe 7 deep and they were vocal about the wait. Oh not complaining - but vocal. Hey sorry you have one painter and I'm popular - because I'm good. No one ever gets out of line.....

Rarely doing a pay per event anymore - I never, ever do an event w/o a sign that say XXXX Event - complementary face painting - x am to x pm. I only write free if it only kids who will read the sign and need it more clear. I take a sign as a way to make sure folks know when I am stopping and as a professional way to further service my client. Fast, Good, Professional - why I charge more that most.

Do be sure you are clear with your client - and if you can do 3 min faces no balloony or airbrusher will take your place and do any better.
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Re: Why the need for SPEED

Post by Metina on Wed May 13, 2009 8:30 am

Reitering the need for signage about who is paying for it. I have even gone as far as deciding that EVEN if I am donating my time, I will say that the "complementary face painting is brought to you by the XYZ company"

I never even say free any more because yes it brings out the worst in people.

Also, if you are "volunteering" ONLY do it with the provision that they supply at least one volunteer to control the crowd. These organizers also loose respect for us when we do it for free and often will hang us out to dry.

Metina

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