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Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

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Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by LoriSamson on Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:42 am

I did a grande opening at a big store that opened. I had really long lines waiting to be painted. When I went to get paid (after I had finished the two days with them) , I got a little lecture from the General Manager about my long lines. He basically told me to not do face painting that takes longer then a few seconds to do. I asked him if a star and heart was ok to paint on faces (being a little snarky). He said how beautiful my designs were but he didn't want the customers mad because they had to wait in line so long. He said he observed me and I took 30 minutes (soooo, not true) per kids (probably 6-8 minutes).

I feel exhusted and discouraged. How do I compromise for the sake of speed and do a great job so that I get other bookings from it? He wants me for a once a month kids event at his store but wants really basic stuff. Darn it.... I don't want to represent myself with tacky art!
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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by KaraMundy on Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:06 pm

It sucks that when you have to deal with a customer like this. "I want you to work for me, but I want you to give up your artistic freedom. I want you to be a machine."

Lol, or atleast that's how I look at it. The only advice I have is invest in or make spilt/rainbow cakes. Do all one stroke work with minimal out lines and highlights. Also, start practicing your speed. Buy a timer. Only give yourself 5 minutes. Once you can do that, then 3.

I'm not saying go to other gigs and take 3 mins when you have 2 hours for 15 kids. I'm just saying if you can do simple, impressive, quick when the time is right then you won't have to tell a client to stfu.
I get very impatient with clients who demand that I do "a heart, a star, a balloon". I'm like "I don't paint that kind of stuff. You hired me for my work, not yours." I'm really fast. So when a client is upset with my speed, I get angry. I worked hard and very competitively to gain this speed. They are the kind of people who want you to have the kid in your chair for no more than 2 minutes. It takes most of that just to get the kid in the chair, to make a concrete decision on their design, the parent giving their two cents, and then of course showing the mirror and getting the kid out of the chair.

I rarely recontract with these kind of people. I'd like to stab 'em.
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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by Denise Cold on Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:48 pm

But when you have a crowd like that you need to do 3 minutes or less...I have to agree with him, not necessarily hearts and stars, but 3 minutes or less. There has to be a difference between corporate and birthday.

Here's a link to my quick design board. If I have shorter lines I can add teardrops or little details or bling but they all take 3 minutes or less.

Sounds like a good gig so come up with your own designs (use mine or others here) and shoot him some photos.


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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by martha on Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:04 pm

I'm kinda with Denise. While I can understand you wanting to do "WOW" work, you have a customer who wants his customers to be happy and keep coming back. If you can provide him with what he needs, you'll have repeat business. Denise's designs are super cute and ought to make any kid or parent happy especially since the store is paying for it.
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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by Mika's Creations2 on Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:38 pm

I totally agree with Denise. While I love full face and half mask designs the only way to get through a large event with minimal lines on your own is with relatively quick designs. I also use a lot of one stroke designs and rainbow cakrd.
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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by martha on Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:53 pm

If you want some of your own quick designs to look a lot more "difficult", Lisa Joy Young has a video on dressing up cheek art that is great. (But then most of her stuff is great)
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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by bee on Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:56 pm

its a really hard situation because whenever face painting is free you are always going to get long lines!
At least he has asked you back. I'd say just pick 10 or so designs you can do fast and display them on your board, and encourage your line to pick one of those I love you

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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by MasterpieceFacePainting on Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:13 pm

If you can come up with some one stroke eye designs, little girls love them! This one proved insanely popular last night, and it only takes 2 minutes or so:



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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by LoriSamson on Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:58 pm

I'm heading off to buy a board so I can come up with some new designs. BekahCat, I love one stroke designs and that's what I had in mind while sitting in church this morning(and not paying attention...bad I know). I was thinking how I could create more quick one stroke because the girls really love the one stroke look. Marvelous Mask has a fairy wing that I stole and use all the time and if I quit using outline work I could use it and others. I am going to concentrate on my designs this week and speed. I have 3 restaurant gigs this week and one birthday party that I can use as practice.

I asked my daughter to come with me tomorrow night and time some and film me so I can see where some of my problems might be. When I have tried timing at home I always get side-tracted or something. It doesn't compare to the distractions that happen at an actual gig....like moms and kids changing their minds, staring endlessly into the mirror...etc.
BTW- I cut my teeth on Lisa Joy Young when I first decided to start making some money at this. I love her stuff!
I searched the forum for quick designs and some are not so quick to me. I guess because I haven't done it 100 times and in my sleep yet Sleep .LOL
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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by LoriSamson on Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:10 pm

Oh... BTW.. Denise, I printed your design board and I will work on a few of those and see how they work tomorrow night and I'll let ya know. I loved the heart with wings! He said he wanted me to do stars and hearts!
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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by Denise Cold on Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:35 pm

Cool! I like Clayton's eye designs. They look cool but they are really quick.

Speaking of mirrors...another trick I used at fair/festival type gigs is to have the mirror separate. Those door mirrors are only about $6.00 at Target and you can have it away from your chair. It literally saves about 1 minute per person.

D.

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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by LoriSamson on Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:30 pm

I back-of-the-door organizer at Target that had an oval mirror on it that I worked so hard on to bring my pics in. I bring it to my next gig and realize I have no where to hang it! ARRRGGG! I rig it up on the back side of the nearby booth and the mirror is too low for the kids to look into. Poop! Live and learn! This last gig(the one we're talking about) they set me up in the center of a wide isle and there isn't anywhere, again to hang my cool looking picture holder/mirror thingy again. At one point I had the kid get out of the chair first and then handed him the mirror. I got on to the next kids and went to grab my mirror and I can't find it! The kids left with it and set it down somewhere in the store. I had to send the kids to the wall mirror in clothing to look at their selves. The mirror showed back up 10 minutes later. But... wow... the problems we can have! Who knew....???? How hard can it be to put a little paint on a sweet childs Twisted Evil face!
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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by Denise Cold on Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:49 pm

Oh, no. Mirror walk off! I think Silly Farm has a cool unbreakable table one. I liked the door mirror because I had a tent leg to attach it to and it was so big so you can get the smallest child to the biggest. Good luck finding a solution.

D.

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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:29 pm

I have a board that is only designs that are 4 minutes or less with the majority being 2 minutes. That's what I use for large volume events. I don't restrict choices but I will do the fast versions of things that are asked for. Split cakes are a huge time saver.

And I use locker mirrors that I attach with velcro to the back of my display board.

I had my mom use a stop watch to time me years ago... a nice pink and white butterfly with black details takes me 1 minute 48 seconds.

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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by billiebcc on Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:17 pm

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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by Taradoodles on Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:39 pm

I also use a sign that says "TODAYS choices- choosen and sponsored BY: company name' that way the people KNOW I can do other designs but this is what that company wants painted. =0)
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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by Taradoodles on Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:40 pm

I had a gig where they wanted NOTHING but the BASIC simple colored superhero eye masks. (Think INCREDIBLES) and I used one strokes and rainbow cakes to jiffy them up but the sign got the point across to where people were still taking cards. I DID feel like a machine, but they paid my rate so I was ok- and I know they were the best superhero masks ever! LOL
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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by Tash on Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:06 pm

Am I the only one that breaks it down for them?
I know it seems obvious to us but the clients really have no idea what they are asking from you.

I explain that my painting may only take 3-5 mins but them getting in my chair - telling me what they want after umming and erring- and me making them feel comfortable with a stranger touching them - closing eyes distractions etc it can take twice as long.
I would suggest they hire another painter to paint with you if their event is so popular or perhaps a balloon twister to entertain the line as they wait.
People line up for an hour becuase your painting is so good.... not to get a little star.
I do limit my designs in a busy enviroment... BUT.... I will not give something I class as half assed. Certain things I can do very quickly.... tigers butterflies and rainbows with flowers. spiders, princess crowns, and arm designs..... but I will not spend 5 mins of my time trying to talk that stubborn little kid out of the Ben Ten face he has been dying for.... that is a HUGE waste of my time.
If people complain in my line about the wait I tell them in my nicest tone " I did not ask you to wait." or " Personally if the line was that long I wouldn't of waited - but that's your choice". If they are particularly snarky I tell them I haven't had a toilet break in _hrs or stopped for a drink and wait for them to realise what a donk they are being.
You can try word signs so there is no expectations.... but honestly if the kid wants spiderman and spiderman takes you ten mins to paint then only a design change up and practice will get you around it.
I think I'm pretty fast at 20 kids in two hours that's 6 mins a kid... less if they just want the rainbow based designs... and I still get people/clients complaining about time.... funnily enough never about quality though!
( I have also managed to talk quite a few of my top clients around by explaining the whole process. They don't realise 20 kids in two hours means 5-6 mins per child IF everything goes to plan).
Oh and you could offer to bring some stencils ( airbrush Tattoo ones) and just sponge a tattoo on them... the boys love this and you can litterally do it in seconds! I do that for all our movie openings.... face paint for the ones who can spare the time... tattoos for the rest! - Good luck! These types of clients bite the big one!
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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by Gamezgirl on Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:33 pm

I disagree with most of you respectfully of course. LOL I refuse jobs like that. I don;t care how long the line is, I paint the way I paint. I was hired because of the quality I do. They booked me based on a certain speed and skill, that is what I give them. Speeding up, dumbing it down and fitting in masses of ungrateful people for an ungrateful customer does nothing but hurt me and my business...unless of course that is the type of business I want to attract. There are hoards of cheap/free/volunteers who will do what i refuse, and the client chooses wether they want quantity or quality. Don't get me wrong, I don't do 10 minute monsters if I have a line, but I don;t change the standards, tigers, butterflies, spidey ettc... I guess it is just my preferred way to work though... to each their own. (For the record, in the beginning I _DID_ do the 40-60 faces an hour silliness...and hated it. I love my business now. Smile
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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by LoriSamson on Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:00 am

I want to be thought of as an artist and not a 'stars and heart' face painter. The whole time I had the complainer yapping her mouth I still had 10 different people ooohhhhing and aaahhhing about what an awesome job I was doing. I'm in a small town of less than 100k and there are quite a few face painters. I want to be quality. I am going to learn more with split cakes and one stroke because I love the look and so do the kids/parents but I really hate the thought of giving up quality to satisfy a few. Maybe I'm shooting myself in the foot but I hate stars and hearts and I hate painting spongebob!
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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by KaraMundy on Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:08 am

Gamezgirl wrote:I disagree with most of you respectfully of course. LOL I refuse jobs like that. I don;t care how long the line is, I paint the way I paint. I was hired because of the quality I do. They booked me based on a certain speed and skill, that is what I give them. Speeding up, dumbing it down and fitting in masses of ungrateful people for an ungrateful customer does nothing but hurt me and my business...unless of course that is the type of business I want to attract. There are hoards of cheap/free/volunteers who will do what i refuse, and the client chooses wether they want quantity or quality. Don't get me wrong, I don't do 10 minute monsters if I have a line, but I don;t change the standards, tigers, butterflies, spidey ettc... I guess it is just my preferred way to work though... to each their own. (For the record, in the beginning I _DID_ do the 40-60 faces an hour silliness...and hated it. I love my business now. Smile

Nicely put. I agree.
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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by LoriSamson on Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:11 am

Tara you made the best super hero mask ever and you left feeling good. I felt like a kid in his office being repremaded for being bad. It took me all night to shake it off. Our business is about happy faces. I just don't like the ice water being poured on me and my day when I've just poured out my heart and talent to half the kids in town. (Ok... now I'm whinning...)
You guys are my souce for true experience and understanding. My husband tries to console me and give advice but he can't paint a stickman and I know that he really doesn't understand. He thinks putting a number on their hand will solve everything. He's never been there when the beggers show up with the crying child Sad that I turned away because they had no number!
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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by Denise Cold on Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:26 am

Hey, we may all have to agree to disagree but people do not expect full faces from free face painting. I've never had any kid have a tantrum because they had to choose from a quick design board...they may ask "can you do Spiderman?" and I'll give them a quick version but usually they understand what you are offering is free and not your usual painting. Most people I've talked to are REALLY happy that I'm fast (we have a lot of big parties here) better that all of the children are served than I fill my own artistic need and have a huge line.

Think about it in terms of balloon art. You are sitting in line with your kids and you are 10th in line, not so bad right? The balloonist that was hired insists on making 8 to 12 balloon creations, monkey in a tree, princess, motorcycle...for each child instead of swords or flowers or other quick creations. How would you feel? You'd start looking at your watch...you'd watch the artist and time each balloon. You'd see that they are taking at least 5 minutes if not longer and by the time they get to you it will be at LEAST an hour. Now, as a parent I'm left with a choice. I walk off, screaming child in tow or I wait it out and by the time I get there do you think I'm going to be thinking how great the balloon art is or just how you got stuck waiting FOREVER for this thing that is going to be gone in a day or two (or less with face painting.)

I think we have to have a little empathy for our clients and their needs, the parents and then balance that with the needs of the kids within the parameters of situation. Do the best dang 3 minute designs you can!

My go-to line is "These are just my quick designs, at birthday parties I get a chance to go all out and do any design that they want!" and I hand them my card and tell them to look at my gallery for my work.

D.


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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by LoriSamson on Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:50 am

Ohh too much to think about..... I go back and forth in my mind..... I am working on the quick designs while trying to make them really great looking. I practiced the heart with wings about ten times and I can do it really fast and I really like it, so.... I will be adding it to my fav list. I already do a spider and flowers and I created a quicker version of several designs I already do.
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Re: Got chewed out for having too long of lines!

Post by Gamezgirl on Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:50 am

This is why I don't take that kind of job though as I said. I am a mom of three small children, I understand completely how crappy it is to stand in line, I do have empathy in most situations, but, if you want free face painting for hordes of people, hire extra artists, or get volunteers. It simply isn't what I built my business on. I didn't mean to imply other are wrong if this is the way they choose to work, but I spend time and money making myself the best in my area...I am quick and I am good...and I am happy to leave the crappy jobs for everyone else. I just lost a mall gig to another company because I refused to do cheek art at warp speed for 2 hours. Which is fine because that day I landed a 5 day gig, full days, for a major company for the same dates that the mall wanted. People here are now booking me for higher end events because I am fast, AND I do the good stuff all the time. I will book more birthdays and good events from the full faces than I ever do from the line work speed stuff. I would rather see professionals getting the jobs they deserve than being beaten down doing jobs where they are set up to fail or feel used and abused. Smile
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