Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. View my work on website for full examples of Face Painting and Caricature Drawing- Fast, Unique, Custom for Birthday parties, Bat/Bar Mitzvahs, quiencenaras, School and Church Fundraisers, Military events- National Guard, Army family Appreciation Events, Corporate Events, Wedding Receptions, Reunions and more.
Murals and faux finishes of any style and size for residential and commercial clients. Custom Canvas art. For Art Lessons and Art Therapy I utilize pencils, acrylic, watercolor, 3D perspective, I work with students of all ages, from 2 years old to 104 is my oldest. Physical and mental conditions can be worked with in most cases. I love to let everyone work at their own pace to create what They want. Have worked with children and adults with Autism and Alzheimer's with great success.
My facepainting is only FDA approved for skin, no staining or allergic reactions, washes off easily. A full face elaborate design takes less than 2 minutes. My caricatures- I like the flattering portrait style, and also do the exaggerated cartoon style take about 3-5 minutes single clack and white, I also do multiple people in pictures and color as well. I have a unique process for creating drawings at events, that let the guest be in two places at once- it's fantastic.
I also create drawings from photos for Great gifts for any occasion. I have artwork featured on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption.
Please give me a call anytime to discuss your event.
Q. Describe three recent jobs you've completed.
A. Created Caricatures for two different Fiances who were giving the drawings to the women as a way of asking her to marry him.
Facepainting and caricature drawing at an assisted living home for the residents.
Huge desert landscape mural on block fence for a family- turned their hot desert backyard into a really pretty location to look at- seems much cooler now.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. I am not the least or most expensive, but I am the best at what I do. I work with the client to give them exactly what they want regardless if it's Murals, faux finishes or face painting. I work very well with clients and students of all ages to make art understandable and doable regardless of age or ability.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. There are specific paints to be used on skin, not all paints are safe for skin. It takes a true professional, caring person to know the requirements, and be honest enough and care enough about the health of people to spend the extra money to help insure their safety. For murals/faux it takes special products to get good dependable results, that cost money. Be willing to pay the professional for using the best product available to do the best long lasting artwork.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. Most Important- "Do you use FDA approved for skin Facepaints" My answer- I ONLY use FDA approved paints specifically meant for skin. NO exceptions.
"Do you have a 'Plan B' if a child is nervous to get painted, or shows signs of any skin rash or abnormality- Answer for me- Yes, I provide a drawing for the child on the spot- either a caricature or a drawing of the child's choice.
"Can you create artwork to match our theme?" Answer- I am a true artist- I can create and compliment your theme very easily without any notice.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. I have spent over 20 years working with clients to create custom artwork in forms of murals, canvas art, face painting, and faux finishes. I work extremely well with my client to understand what they want and I execute that desire. I work very quickly, but more important to me than the time requirement, is that I get it right and the client is totally satisfied.
As a part of my work ethic, I take the time, buy the better products and do the extra work required to really insure that the mural or finish is created well from the prep work to the final protective coating to ensure years of enjoyment.
Even my facepainting and caricature artwork is approached in this same method.
I want my artwork to be fantastic, protected and long living for my own artistic ego as well as my client's financial investment and years of enjoyment.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. Quite literally, EVERYTHING!!!! Meeting people, making them happy and smile. Being exposed to new surroundings, seeing new ideas for artwork of any medium. Encouraging people to try art- in whatever form. Telling kids (and adults) "Yes, you can draw, just practice." I really love it.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. What's the normal Mural price- There is no Normal Mural- EVERY job is different. If I paint 5 Italian scene murals- they will all be different because of many factors including- size, wall texture, lighting in room, and many other factors. Style of artwork, colors, level of detail, size, height of wall(if scaffolding is needed) all play a part of pricing.
I will come meet with client free of charge- Take measurements, work up sketches, select approximate finishes and provide estimate of cost and start date at time of first meeting.
Facepainting, caricature drawing bookings and Art Lessons can be discussed over the phone easily.
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. Just last week, I had a new student in an art class. She is completely blind now- no sight at all. Was an oil painting artist for a long time. I assisted her in keeping her place on her paper, while she created a fantastic oil pastel drawing of a wicker flower cart with wheels and a huge array of flowers in it. Everyone could tell what it was, Gerry had the best demeanor and could totally "see" the picture in her Mind's eye, it was SOOOOO rewarding to work with her.
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. That it is very physical and takes time. I work quickly, and long hours. I dearly love what I do, so time does not affect me really till the end of the day.
I do my very best with every client, and try to add a personal touch or momento of the client into what ever I do for them. A special date painted on a wine bottle in a Italian theme mural, special colors in a finish, etc.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. My Mom and grandmother are great artist, I was fortunate to inherit those abilities. I spent almost 20 years doing Mechanical Drafting (and other drafting disciplines) just so I could draw, then a friend asked me to paint a mural in her kitchen- that turned into two walls 18 feet long each...the rest is history. The facepainting came after a mural client asked if I could paint her children at a birthday party...
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. Facepainting and caricature drawing at Phoenix Children's Hospital for patients and their families. I also handed out over 100 hand drawn pictures for anyone who wanted one. It's amazing how this simple art can spread such joy. I've been able to help a few times now, and been asked to come back this next week for a different group, CAN'T WAIT!
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. Constantly researching, trying new products in home studio, verifying, always working on new artwork to sharpen skills, broaden skill set.
Q. Describe your most recent project, what it involved, how much it cost, and how long it took.
A. A mural at a church in phoenix, approximately 500 square feet (45 feet long) Courtyard view looking out over lush desert landscape. Flagstone courtyard floor, stucco pony wall, lots of mountains, trees, potted plants and trees on courtyard, sunset flowers. Lots of details, realistic colors and style.
Primed wall, layout mural lightly, paint mural, seal with polyurethane for washability and protection.
Time to create start to finish- 7 days over 40 hours. Discounted some for church- $2000.00
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. Not too complicated. facepainting and caricature pricing varies by location a bit- facepainting is $75 an hour with 2 hr minimum, Caricature art is $125/hr with 2 hr minimum. I also travel to Tuscon, Benson, Sierra Vista, Clifton is available, with extra charge to offset gas and travel time- Clients feel that they do get their money's worth- I always stay late.
Murals and Faux finishes are either based on a square footage of wall space, or a project rate- at the consultation I figure it both ways, and give the client the cheaper of the two. For example, a powder room with 10-14ft ceiling height would cost more on a square footage rate than it would on a project rate if I was creating a color glaze finish- so I take that into consideration. I go over this in great detail at the free consultation.
Art lessons and Art therapy based on a case by case situation. Starting at $25 per class, but number of people, frequency of classes, at my studio or your location are all variable. I provide all supplies.
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. For murals, do not do any copyrighted artwork without permission- it is absolutey not worth the lawsuits. In 18 years I have never lost a job because I would not do copyright infringement- as a true artist you can always create your own art.
The murals and faux finish work is very labor intensive and physically demanding. It's not "I want to stand and paint that pretty picture." Exercise, strengthen and take care of yourself. It's not for the weak.
Q. What is your greatest strength?
A. Truely Artistic, My years of mechanical drafting and very mechanical nature enables me to be a very good 3D artist, creating very realistic Trompe l'oeil effect artwork.
Ability to listen to, understand and create exactly what the client wants.
Work with children, seniors and make them enjoy what they are doing.
Q. What are you currently working on improving?
A. Commissioned Canvas Paintings, Portraits,Book illustrations, Manga Art, Watercolor painting. More detailed portfolio for facepainting (I have a HUGE portfolio, but it can get bigger) Being a better teacher of my crafts.