What are important things to consider in preparing for a face painting class.
Instructions for the instructor, the participant and the host.

by Gary Cole


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Make sure you read (and write) the correct class description. It is irritating to all when the objective of the class is not met. This is especially irritating when you are at a convention with multiple options or you drop paid events as a sacrificed opportunity to earn income to attend the class and you learn little.

Instructors... do not even attempt to make a two day (8 hours each) class into a FABIC class 1.5 or 3 hour class. This is a fight/mistake first time instructors often make. Just as an example... If your 1.5 hour class is on painting butterflies do not spend one hour on teaching the blending of colors using a sponge or brush. ASSUME most know blending and move past this section quickly (quick answer) and get to various ways to making great butterflies.

If you are teaching (also just as an example) how to do tribal designs do not spend one hour on the history of tribal designs unless you state "history" in your description. No doubt it is good to give a brief history but move onto the how-to quickly.

If you are an attendee PLEASE do not derail the instructor by getting them to spend 20 minutes to explain where they buy their business cards in that butterfly class.

A good instructor can "stay on task" and divert the business card question with either a 30 second response or a "see me after class for more details" remark.

I've seen MANY great painters fail at teaching as they end of spending 20 percent of their class on the stated class directive and 80 percent off topic.

Also in fairness to the instructors... Do not expect to see 15 faces taught in the 1.5 hour time just because the instructor can paint those faces every 5 minutes. When you are talking, explaining the how-to do that 5 minute face slows to double or triple the time as they talk methods. If the class wants hands on, the normal 5 minute face goes to 20 or 30 minutes. If the instructor is critiquing the students individually, add an additional 5 minutes per person in the class.

Those that set up classes do not take up 30 minutes intended for the class in club business or chit chat, as it eats up valuable time. Also start on time. If the instructor has to run to another class or catch a flight be courteous at the end, then let them leave when the time comes.

Instructors... When at all possible have FREE handouts for those in the class. If you are attending... Do not take extra 5 handouts for your friends that are in other classes or not paying for the class unless there are plenty. Handouts are often in limited supply and are costing somebody money.

Think about what you want or need to learn and ask the instructor beforehand if it will be covered. This will remove a lot of frustration by all.

The class members, especially if you are paying for it, has the right (and obligation) to HELP keep the instructor on task.

I've seen more than one instructor fail to meet the course objectives because they were more interested in showing off than teach. If it is a a beginner butterfly class (again an example) the instructor should be rolling through lots of easy butterflies within the grasp of the beginners in the class and not spending one hour to show how they did the butterfly for the recent issue of Playboy. If it is a beginner class then do not spend 30 minutes of your class to tell of the party you attended while at the body painting championship in London. Save those talks for around the bar or dinner later and focus on the scheduled class objective. If they paid money to learn butterflies do not spend the time explaining how wonderful you are or how many beers you drank the night before.

If you are teaching to a bunch of people that have never face painted before (and it is a beginner class) do not let the one in the class that has been painting for 15 years dominate the questions answered in the class. On the other hand if the class is meant to be more advanced, the teacher should not stop and show 20 minutes on how to do a teardrop.

If you are great at teardrops and sitting in on a class, let the teacher handle the answers. Show respect for the teacher unless it is a jam. The teacher might make a 20 second lesson on tear drops so the class can move on when you take 20 minutes. Let the instructor take the lead. It is not your time to grandstand.

If YOU have lots of questions you still should not hog all of the instructor. Be courteous.

I'll tell you MANY instructors will be happy to answer ALL of your questions after the class. Ask if you can buy them a drink or dinner and pick their brain. You do not have to monopolize the class. Think of others that also paid.

All of us have a responsibility of getting the most from classes. I'll get off my soapbox now. I'll post this to a faq as many forget these important issues.

Gary Cole




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