Why Face Painters Cannot Work for Free

© JinglesAndTricia.blogspot.com


Face Painters often receive requests to work for free, to donate our services, to work for tips only, to work for "credit" or "exposure", or to work for a discounted rate.

We are generous people, we like to entertain with our face painting skills, and yes, sometimes, maybe a few times a year, we may donate our time and supplies and talent to a local cause that is close to our heart. (See below for conditions to this exception).

Face Painting is my livelihood. This is how I earn my living, how I pay my bills. I wonder if those who ask us to work for free would do so themselves? Do they ask the caterer to discount the food prices? Do they ask the Birthday Party Magician to work for tips? Do they ask the Bounce House provider to work for the 'exposure'? Do they ask the party planner to donate services and work for 'credit'?

Face Painting is my business. I am a business owner. I have business expenses, including professional make-up quality face paints, which are costly but safe for skin. I do not use craft paints. I purchase cosmetic-grade glitter. I research and study face painting daily. I practice my skills. I take classes. I educate myself. I spend hours before, during and after an event, learning, practicing, prepping my kit ($1000 worth of paints, sponges, brushes, stencils, glitter, mirror, etc, not to mention the kit itself), entertaining the guests, travel costs, cleaning my kit and paint and brushes once I return home. A two hour event usually means about 5 hours of my time. I have operating costs that you don't see when I am performing at your event. I am not paid by the hour only, though my hourly fee reflects all of my average business ownership costs. I am not an employee, I am an Owner.

You have a budget and so do I. When you ask me to work for free, on a day when I could be working for a paid event, my budget is cut and I have to make sacrifices. I am either providing for my family or supplementing my family income, and being paid for my time, talent, education, supplies, experience, professionalism, and business expenses is a necessity. If you are hiring a balloon artist, a magician, a pony ride, etc., you can incorporate my fair and reasonable fees into your entertainment budget. Everyone else gets paid for their work, and I should too.

Why you should hire a Professional Face Painter. The number one reason is safety. Experienced Face Painters are a community of teachers and mentors who gladly share their experience and knowledge with new face painters. We share tips on professionalism, hygiene, safety, business practices, code of ethics, proper supplies, creativity and design. Non-toxic does not mean skin-safe. Keeping the water cup clean and rinsing brushes well between faces is important. Wearing a smile, engaging the children, using kind words, and being an example are part of our training. Keep this in mind when you ask a teenager or other inexperienced volunteer to sit in for a trained painter. Even a new trainee has more knowledge, experience, practice and mentor support than a volunteer. A face painter is an artist and entertainer.

"I am an Artist. I cannot work for free. I have bills to pay, just like you. Art work is still work. Some artists are professionals. I am one of them. If I could afford to work for free I would become a volunteer. Thank you for understanding." {author unknown}

Exceptions/Discount Pricing: I am occasionally able to offer a discount to charities of my choosing, with the following conditions: "Regrettably, I am unable to donate my services on the weekends, which is my best income-generating time. Currently I save up to four Tuesdays a year for charity events, so if you were to ever host an event on a Tuesday, please let me know. However, I do offer special pricing to certain approved non-profits and fundraising events, year-round. Example Pricing (subject to change without notice): Regular Pricing is $125/hour with $100 Non-refundable Booking Fee to reserve your time and date, and full balance due on day of event, before set-up. My Discounted rate to qualified and pre-approved charities is $100/hour with $100 Non-refundable Booking Fee paid at time of reserving your time and date, and full balance due on day of event, before set-up. This includes all the Smiles I am able to provide! Thank you for your interest!"  

Blessings to you! ~Tricia the Children's Face Painter

UPDATE: Tricia and Jingles are now RETIRED from face painting and the children's birthday party business, but Tricia is still passionate about educating others as to the importance of hiring a professional face painter and seeing their worth as artists, entertainers, and business owners. She is also the owner of a children's whimsical photography business: Castles N Crowns Fairy Tale Photography at FairyTalePhotoArt.com

READ: FACE PAINTING STICKER SHOCK - Why does Face Painting cost what it does?