Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. Birthday parties, corporate events and glitter body art for weddings and dances are definitely our most common jobs. We also do festivals around our area.
At birthday parties, we offer either one face painter, one face painter and one glitter artist, or two glitter artists. The birthday guest of honor receives special gifts and body art to make them feel special and honored.
For weddings, we can give the bride and her bridal party exquisite glitter body art, similar to henna, but much more elegant and sophisticated. The glitter art resembles jewelry on the skin and can be placed on the shoulders, hands, arms, legs...anywhere :)
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Look for a body artist who uses ONLY professional makeup and glitter, not acrylic paint or craft glitter. The ability to interact with people of all ages and cultures is also a must, and keeping cool in stressful situations, such as the ability to stand up for long periods of time is also important.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. As a customer, I would want to know what kind of products a body artist uses. Are they safe? I would also want to know what kind of training the artist has had, and how clean they keep their supplies and how hygienic their working style was. For example, do they use a clean sponge for each client? Do they use a clean disposable cotton swab when painting around the lips and not a paint brush that has been used on other people's lips?
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. Always, always, ALWAYS ask if the face and body artist uses acrylics and/or craft paints or glitters. Crafts paints are NOT safe for use on skin! Acrylics can blister skin and metal craft glitter can cut the eyes. Unfortunately, many "artists" become face painters to make a quick buck and don't consider their clients' safety at all.
We use only professional makeup brands such as Fab, Wolfe, Tag and Ben Nye, as well as polyester cosmetic glitter and Pro-saide body adhesive, used by theatrical and movie companies for special effects. These brands are approved for use on skin, activated with water, and removed with soap and water.
Another question to ask, is "Are you insured?" Most artists who are in face painting to make a buck are not insured.
We carry Entertainers and Performers General Liability insurance through Summit America Insurance Services for your peace of mind.
If a face painter is charging significantly less than others in the area, odds are good that they are using cheap paints and craft glitters and are NOT insured.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. While it's sometimes difficult to know the exact number of guests who will ultimately attend your event, it is helpful to have an estimate so that we can let you know if we can paint/glitter everyone in the amount of time you want us at the event. It's also important to let us know of any theme you'd like us to keep to with our designs, as well as if you'd rather have quick designs to paint as many people as possible, or a selection of all of our designs. This way we know which designs to bring on our menu board for your guests to choose from, and really speeds up the line so your guests don't have to wait as long.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. Parties are so much fun, and the look on a child's face when you "reveal" the finished design is just something that can't be described. We love creating smiles!
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. "Do you carry insurance?"
Yes, we carry liability insurance for your peace of mind.
"I want to have a party with 2 year olds. Can you paint on them?"
We don't recommend painting on anyone ages 3 or younger unless you think your child can handle it. Babies and toddlers are often afraid of the paintbrush coming at their eyes and can jerk away, potentially harming them accidentally, so we recommend a simple design on the back of their hand so they can see it and not have a paintbrush around their face. Many parents choose one of our quick stencils or stamps and then we add a touch of glitter- young children are mesmerized! Parents and older kids at the party will love our regular body painting and glitter art, though!
"I'll have young children at our picnic. Will you only paint non-scary designs?"
Absolutely! We can bring a catalog based on what you would like us to paint, whether a catalog of only cheek art, only girls' designs or boys' designs, non-scary, princess... or our entire catalog. Your party- your choice!
"What kind of paints do you use? My child was painted at a school fair and had a horrible rash the next day."
Your child was probably painted by a volunteer who meant well, but maybe without knowing any better, used cheap craft paint. That kind of paint is never meant to be used on skin! As professional body artists we are concerned about the safety of the products we use and spend a lot of money on our supplies. We use professional face and body paints (which are actually not paint at all but water-based makeup) as well as cosmetic-grade polyester glitter, the same kind used in glitter eye-liners, that are safe for use near the eyes. We never use metallic craft glitter that has sharp edges and can damage the eyes.
"How hard is it to remove the paint?"
The greatest thing about professional cosmetic paints are the awesome, bold colors and how long they last, but that can also mean they're sometimes harder to remove. Just remember: don't scrub! Scrubbing will irritate the skin. Simply use a dark cloth and a gentle cleanser, such as a baby shampoo because of its "tear-free" feature. Lather the cloth well, wipe, rinse and repeat, but don't scrub! While some stains may remain, they can be easily removed by applying a moisturizing lotion, waiting 30 minutes, and washing again.
"How long does the glitter art last?"
Properly cared for, glitter art will last approximately 3 to 7 days, depending on the skin type and where the design is placed. It will last longer on dry skin than on oily skin and it won't last as long if it gets rubbed by your clothing. For best results, your skin should be clean, dry, and free of oils or moisturizers before application. To prolong the life of the glitter art, wash it gently with a mild soap and NO cloth. Pat, DO NOT RUB, the area dry.
"Glitter art is gorgeous but since it's waterproof, how do I remove it?"
If something comes up and you have to take off the glitter art early, it can be removed easily. Just use some rubbing alcohol and let it soak into the art for a couple of minutes. Once the art has been soaked, it can be easily removed with a washcloth.
"What do I have to provide for a party?"
We provide all equipment and supplies needed- you provide shade outdoors in the spring or fall, or a corner indoors in the summer or winter.
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. I had a little boy, maybe 3 years old, climb into my chair at a festival. He picked out the most vicious, scary monster face he could see on the display board. I checked with his grandmother, who shrugged and said, whatever he wants, so I completed the face. When I showed the little boy his face in the mirror, he didn't recognize himself and started screaming- he had scared himself silly! Once we told him to wiggle his nose, he recognized himself and then we got a big smile out of him... he even began to act like a monster and started growling at everyone!
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. I wish customers knew that "face painting" has come a long way from acrylic paint and small cheek art. All professional body artists now use theatrical makeup with bold, vibrant colors and our art is now full-face and full body. We can still do "cheek art" but we can do so much more than that. The imagination is the only limitation. Be whatever you want to be!
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. Some friends of mine were putting together a benefit for a little girl in our church with cancer and asked me if I could do some face painting. I told them I'd give it a try-- and fell head-over-heels in love with it! Couldn't get enough and tried to get as much training as I could. I was asked to do so many events that I eventually decided to go into business.
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. The last birthday party we did we were hired for 3 hours and since there was two of us painting and we weren't as rushed, we decided to be very creative and give everyone whatever they wanted... it was so much fun! We don't usually have the freedom to do that, since we're usually very rushed and have to paint exactly what is on our display board, but that day we had a blast and everyone was extremely pleased with the results!
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. There are many different body art conventions that are held around the country as well as local workshops by well-known artists, and we try to attend those as much as we can. I'm also a member of several online forums and clubs where we exchange ideas and information, and we're currently getting together a guild for our local area, to exchange ideas and references.
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. We have many different packages available on our website. For each service that we provide (face painting, glitter tattoos, pregnant belly painting) we have packages that save our customers money, or they can just hire us by-the-hour.
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. Do lots of research! Join some face painting forums online and find out as much as you can about the proper paints, glitters, brushes, etc. to use before buying anything so that you don't waste your money on supplies that won't work or that aren't recommended.
Then once you have the proper supplies, attend workshops and conventions and then practice, practice, and practice some more! The only way to get better at anything is more practice. But even with practice, the only way you can really experience the reality of being a body artist is by putting yourself in a stressful situation such as a 12-hour long festival day without bathroom or eating breaks!