How does your service stand out?
Sweet Cheeks Face Painting and Artist, Kelly Fitzgerald will work with the client to customize designs for any given event, whether it’s a Birthday Party, Corporate Event, Club Opening, Faire, Festival, Holiday Party, or Shower; I am always well prepared.
I use only the highest quality face paints and provide ingredient lists at all events. If an allergy is an issue, I can customize the products I bring to the event, or if the client requires vegan paints, I have them ready to go!
I keep all my equipment sanitized and take great care to maintain sanitary equipment throughout the event.
What do you enjoy about the work you do?
I keep up with the latest trends. Any given day that I’m not working with clients, you’ll find me taking classes, going through tutorials, working on my designs and brush work, reading the latest face painting news and blogs, and working on my own brand of designs.
I genuinely enjoy learning from other face painters and finding new ways to achieve better results. I love creating various designs within any given category. I have numerous Fairies, Superheroes, Mermaids, Masks, Crowns, Princesses, Monsters and Dinosaurs, Disney, Various Holidays….you name it! There is no theme I can not handle! I welcome the challenge.
My greatest joy is when I put the mirror up to the clients’ faces and see how happy my work makes them. That’s the whole reason to be in this business.
What is your typical process when working with a client?
For a large event, such as a corporate event or a festival, whenever possible, I like to meet with a new customer ahead of time to go through my book and find out what that customer wants me to offer his or her guests. We then go through the contract, modify it if necessary, and I collect the down payment.
For birthday parties, I either email, or speak on the phone with the client. We do many of the same things….going through the contract, I answer any questions, I get all the information about the party and the theme, and the client sends the down payment in the mail. In some, special cases, the down payment may be waived and I am willing to accept the full payment at the event.
I then go through my designs, create a collage specific to the theme (if that is what the client wants) and customize my kit to make sure I am well supplied for the event.
When I show up to the party, I am always 15 minutes early so I can set up my space, which can either be my own table and chair, or the client prefers, the dining room table or kitchen bar and stools.
For a restaurant, hotel, or mall event, the process is a little different, and the best thing is to call, or meet in person and work out the logistics together.
What education do you have in your field?
I answer this question on the front page, but I have a strong background in theatre, a large portion of which is in stage make up.
I take classes, I am a member of a number of professional forums and I work almost non-stop on my own designs and style.
Do you have fixed, standard pricing?
I have a fixed, hourly rate for parties and corporate events.
For Festivals and Faires, I work with a pay-per-face system. For the Pay-Per-Face, I bring a board and my book and have the prices clearly marked for the clients.
How did you get started in face painting?
I’ve been in theatre all my life. Other than being on stage, which will always be home for me, my favorite part has always been stage makeup. I’ve designed the makeup for numerous productions over the years, and have done very well with it.
My whole family is very artistically inclined. My husband is a writer, one of my sons is a musician, the other is a cartoonist, both my daughters are actors–so I fit right in with my painting.
Face Painting, as with most things I do, just sort of came to me one day. Because I live in Celebration, FL, directly outside of Disney World, I’m in the country’s stronghold for face painting and exceptional face painters. I took some classes, and MANY tutorials. I educated myself on the right techniques, researched and purchased the right products, found the right insurance, developed the right contract, registered my business with the state, and practiced my heart out. Around the end of October of 2015 I was ready to work with the public. I’m now a member of local guilds, and networking groups as well as a group who trains together monthly. It goes fast if you’re truly committed to the work.
With which type of customers do you work?
I will happily work with almost any type of client; Restaurants, Clubs, Churches. Schools, Birthday Parties, Scouts, Holiday Parties, Black Light Parties, Pool Parties (I do offer waterproof options), etc.
I live in Celebration, so because I’m local, I’ve painted at the Celebration Farmer’s Market, at Food Truck Friday, the Art and Wine Stroll, the Corpus Christi Easter Egg Hunt, the Celebration Easter Egg Hunt, Posh Pooch (SO MUCH FUN), and Celebration Oktoberfest.
I have also worked with the Wyndham Orlando Resort where I did the face painting, waterproof face painting, and glitter tattoos for their special events. The guests really enjoy the party, and the glitter tattoos, which are waterproof, are always a big hit!
You can find me on the first Saturday of each month in Windermere at the Summerport Village Food Truck Nights. Great food, great music, happy people, and face painting! What could be better?
Festivals are some of my favorite events. Getting to paint lots of different designs I do a “take a number” style of line management, which gets everyone through the line, and no one has to wait in the line for more than 10 minutes. It works great, and everyone is happy.
Describe a recent project of which you are proud. How long did it take?
Lately, I’ve been working at a lot of large festivals. I have to say, I’m quite proud of my work at the Celebration Oktoberfest. I was whipping through that line like lightning yet every customer received special attention.
I’ve taken to employing a line manager who gives numbers to everyone in line, and gives them each a return time. This makes everyone happy! They can know that when they come back in their 15 minute interval that the absolute longest they will be in line is that 15 minutes. It’s the perfect solution to those long lines. No one gets impatient, everyone gets to enjoy the festival rather than spending it in line, I have the time to give individualized attention to each customer, and most importantly, the client gets his/her money’s worth.
I started this at the Celebration Oktoberfest, but have continued to utilize the line management policy for all my large festivals. I have no need for the line manager at birthday parties; at birthday parties, I ask that the host provide a line manager so that the guests all get their special attention.
What advice would you give to a client looking to hire a face painter?
I would make sure the face painter you choose is using the best possible products. Often, when a face painter is offering his or her services for a significantly lower cost, it means that he or she is either using lower quality paints, or worse, acrylic paints! If your face painter is not using face paints with FDA compliant ingredients (there is no FDA approval process for face paints on the whole, but there is for the ingredients) you should run from that face painter. Acrylic paints are harmful to the skin, even though the label says “non-toxic,” merely not being toxic is not the same as being safe for the skin. Just like you wouldn’t gobble down a bunch of Play-doh; even though it’s not toxic, it’s also not food….same thing with paint.
It is telling for you, as the client, if your face painter is charging a far lower rate than the majority of the face painters in the area. It means that they are not using proper face paints, or are not reinvesting in the business with education and training.
I would also make sure that the face painter you are hiring is registered, and insured. This isn’t the kind of business where you can merely set out a sign and paint some faces. There is a process, and it’s important that your face painter knows the business as well as the artistry.
Invariably, the cost is worth it.
What questions should a client think through before talking to a professional about their project?
What is it that you want the face painter to provide? If you are asking for cheek art, you should know that quality cheek art often takes more time than a fairy, flower, monster, or mask.
We usually have a lot of categories of designs (Animals, Fairies, Flowers, Monsters, Holiday Themes, Superheroes, Masks, Crowns, etc.) and we want to bring the correct products for your event, so if you give us a limitation, it actually helps us to do better work. For example: I won’t need to bring my fairy and flower stencils to a party where the client wants all monsters and zombies. Conversely, I probably wouldn’t bring my Zombie Skin or fake blood to a princess party.
Another idea to consider is what do you want your guests to take away from the experience. Do you just want them to have the experience of being painted, or do you want a work of art of which your guests will be proud? Look through the face painters’ photos on their Facebook page, and website. Great work typically costs a little bit more, and takes a tiny bit more time, but is worth it.
I have never had an unsatisfied client. There are good reasons for that. I take my time to prepare and to offer appropriate designs for the event. I keep my work station meticulously clean. I take care of each individual customer in my chair. I focus on their needs, I make sure they have as close to a complete experience as I can. Yes, there are some events where I have to move through the line quickly, and I do, but I still maintain focus and serve the client in the chair.