What to ask every face painter
Whether or not you decide to hire Amanda for your event, here are important questions you should ask ANY face painter. It's not worth it to save a few bucks when you are risking children's health and safety, and not to mention happiness.
"What kind of paint do you use?"
If they are not using FDA-approved water-based make-up, beware. Even make-up kits from party stores are only "non-toxic" and some are not intended for kids under the age of 8.
Good Answers: Snazaroo, Wolfe Brothers, Kryolan, Mehron, Paradise, Ben Nye.
Bad Answers: Water-colors, acrylics, markers or "I don't know."
Amanda's Answer: Snazaroo, Wolfe Brothers, Kryolan, and Paradise.
"Do you carry liability insurance?"
Professionals carry liability insurance. Many event planners require it.
Good Answer: Yes!
Bad Answer: Um, what?
Amanda's Answer: Yes, and it extends to all of my artists.
"How many people can you paint in an hour?"
Make sure the painter can paint the number of people you expect in the amount of time you have. Some painters do exquisite work but only paint 12-15 people in an hour. If you have an endless number of kids (like a festival or large party situation) you want someone fast so the line moves quickly. You'll also want someone who knows how to shut down the line so no one ends up waiting for nothing.
Good Answer: [However many kids you have]
Bad Answer: I don't know, I've never painted that long.
Amanda's Answer: 20-25 kids per hour, up to 35 if we keep designs very simple and with adequate crowd control, down to 20 if everyone wants a full face.
"Do you have experience painting very young kids?"
Obviously this is important if you are expecting very young kids.
Good Answer: Yes!
Bad Answer: I would rather not waste time painting babies who won't appreciate it. I can't do good work on squirming people.
Amanda's Answer: Yes. If a child doesn't actually cry or try to wriggle away from the brush, I can put a small painting on him or her.
I'm good at predicting IMDs (Imminent Meltdowns) and it's best not to paint a child who is having a meltdown.
"How long have you been painting faces?"
As with any other profession, you want experience.
Good Answer: Many years.
Bad Answer: I painted some kids in kindergarten last month so I thought I'd try to make money at it.
Amanda's Answer: 20 years professionally.