Hello Face Painting Friends,
This month I would like to talk about my experiences with managing lines while Face Painting. Most of the events I paint at I am paid to paint the children for free, so I often end up with a huge line! Sometimes it works out perfectly and my line ends at the same time I am finishing, other times I need to end the line so I can finish on time.
When I first started Painting Faces I would often finish half an hour to an hour over the due time as I couldn’t bear to turn away any children. Now I always finish within 5 minutes of my set finishing time!
To end my line I keep an eye on how long it is, particualarly as it gets closer to my set finish time. I have an idea of how many I will be able to paint in a set time frame, and base ending my line on this. I have had to end my line 2 hours before my finish time before, as it was so long!! Usually I end it at 10-30 minutes before my finish time.
To do this I go straight to the end of the line and ask who is at the end of the line. I tell them that they will be last to be painted today and would they mind holding a sign for me. I have a sign that says: I am last in line for Face Painting today, Please do not join the line. I then quickly mark each person in the line with a line of paint on their hand, to keep track of people who were in the line. This system works fairly well, I still keep an eye on things and occasionally have to tell people that I really won’t be face painting any more faces today. The people with the sign are usually helpful in explaining to those waniting to join the line, and the paint mark on the hand stops people from sneaking in! I always paint an extra special design on the last person for being my sign holder.
Sometimes I have my painting times on display, this also helps people to see that I will be finishing at a particular time.
Other tips to help manage your line:
– Have an “I’m Next” sign for the front person to hold. Good if there are multiple painters and you want to keep it to one line so it moves faster.
-Draw a line for those waiting to stand behind. I keep chalk in my kit to do this
-For Birthday Parties I number each child so they can go off to play and know that they will still have their turn.
-Have a line manager particularly for busy events, including pay per face, a line manager can help the child choose their design before they get into the chair, and keep the line organised and entertained with bubbles or similar.
–Streamline your designs, stick to the designs you are fast at for busy events to keep the line moving. I use lists of ideas for the children to choose from and I can paint a fast or detailed version of the design depending on how busy my line is.
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