Classes for Face Painters - FAQ
 


One thing that has greatly improved over the last four or five years is the educational opportunities in regards to the art and craft of face painting. These classes can range anywhere from having a local mom who has face painted for a year come and teach at the local Girl Scout event, to three day intensive workshops as taught by the so-called "masters". If you wish to improve I suggest you take all the classes your pocketbook and time schedule will allow. With that said, only you know what your personal budget will allow. I'll leave that part up to you.
 
I've been painting for about ten years now and I still sit in on any class I can slip into. I find that no matter who the instructor is, I learn a little tip here or there. As time develops, it might just be something as simple as how to use a particular brush or how a particular product works, but either way, you do learn something new. When you start to allocate your time and money, you need to ask yourself what you hope to gain from a particular course or class. These classes will range anywhere from free to hundreds of dollars. If you are going to be spending a couple of days as well as a couple hundred dollars, you might get a set schedule for the class. I would also suggest you let the instructor know what YOUR needs are. I think most of the skilled instructors might be able to work in a slot of time to meet your particular need.
 
Since there are so many instructors, teaching so many different styles, using so many different products and teaching at so many different levels, you might be wasting your valuable time and dollars, if you do not speak up a bit and let that instructor know what YOUR NEEDS ARE. I teach classes all the time and it really is a challenge, since each group in the audience, is so diverse. We as instructors are also getting better at defining exactly what will be covered in the class. In other words... is the class for beginners, intermediate, advanced or expert painters? Will the class be geared to three to five minute faces or geared to twenty to thirty minute faces. Make sure you know what you are looking for. I've heard many people complain about going to a particular class, spending a full day, and spending well over $100 to hear the complaint that there wasn't a single face painted that would work in their environment, simply because in their world, they never could spend that much time on a single face, even on the birthday child. That is why I say to you as a participant in the class, what are your objectives for the class? If you do your research you can probably get a set schedule and detailed layout of the course. Do this and you will find you end up the winner.
 
As an instructor, I routinely teach a series of about ten different classes. Each of these might vary a bit but they are fairly well defined on my objective as an instructor. It is not an easy task for the instructor. This is probably true for all instructors. A smart instructor at the beginning of the class will do a quick poll on the skills of those sitting in on the class. Invariably, there will be one that has never painted, several that are doing only simple cheek art designs, a broad mix of beginners, several intermediate painters and perhaps one that can paint several of "your faces" either better or faster than you can. I'm always amazed at the people at the face painting jams at Marcela's FP convention as some are better than some of the instructors.
 
Try to learn as much as you can about your desired instructor. What are their strengths, versus your needs. It is not that difficult to do the research these days especially with e-mail and the internet. Ask others their opinion. Each of these instructors have a range of skills and no doubt you can learn much from their expertise. As examples... Jinny is known as one that has perfected the "swirls" in her beautiful designs. Olivier has mastered blending, the use of colors and using the brush as a tool. Melanie can teach you the perfect tribal face. The list goes on and on. In my area, I think I can really help the entry level painter that wants to do the top ten or so three to five minute faces. I teach you how to do it quickly. I give the beginner painter confidence. Do some self evaluation and try to build up your areas that could use some improvement. That is where the face painting conventions are key because at any given time you can choose from several classes. They might be three to five classes all going on at the same time. Select those classes to help you out as a painter.
 
I also think that some of you need more one on one time. I certainly know we all have time constraints. We also each have budgets for learning. I think in particular, those that have moved into the "intermediate" range, you would benefit MUCH MORE, if instead of taking a two day course for $350, you would corner the instructor for a two hour one on one course even if you paid the same amount of money. If you let the instructor know your very specific needs, you would make huge advances. As a note to instructors that work for hire, I would encourage you also to think of this angle. The instructor would not go crazy teaching the same class, they would earn more money and the pupil would get a much greater value. I'm certainly a campaigner for quality instructors to teach one on one classes. I think everyone would win.
 
It is great that guilds or small regional face painting organizations are popping up around the world. You can view a list of open face painting guilds / organizations at www.snazaroo.us/hold/guild.htm  Face painting organizations also can be a great resource as well as a real value in terms of what you get for your time or dollars spent. If you get the chance, drop in one of these classes, workshops, jams or other informal gatherings. Many of them are FREE so take the time and do some exploring.
 
If you are wanting to jump start your own face painting, take a look at what is out there. Then take a look at your strengths and weaknesses. Find the instructor that will be in your area. When an instructor comes to your area, ask them specifically if they will be teaching in the areas of your weakness. If they are, then jump on it. If they are not planning on covering your needs, then it does not hurt to ask them if you could hire them by the hour perhaps the day before or the day after the schedule class. Most of these instructors for logistical reasons come in or leave in a manner whereby they could squeeze in a one to three hour workshop one on one. Simply ask them the price and if it meets YOUR PARAMETERS then go for it. The instructors really do want to help each individual person but in group settings, if all in attendance, are way ahead or way behind your skills, then most likely very little time will be spent on your needs. If you would like to see a schedule of face painting classes then check out the list located at www.snazaroo.us/hold/classes.htm It is sorted by date but you will find the location for the event, the costs and what the theme is for the event. Many of them are free.
 
For instructors... when you make a stated program, please stick as much as possible to that program. As an example, I sat in on several classes CLEARLY DEFINED as advanced classes, only to spend an hour or more, hearing them try to teach me color blending with a sponge or dry brush. It drives me crazy.
 
Well, I've bounced around a lot but I think you are finding my point. Do your research and take those classes that will benefit you the best. Do not be shy, feel free to tell the instructor your specific needs, even before you place your deposit. Then in the class, try to get the instructor to help YOU advance. Finally, consider taking private lessons from the instructor of your choice. You will probably spend more money, for less instruction but the instruction will be worth so much more.

You might also be interested in knowing that SNAZAROO will come to your location AT THEIR EXPENSE and teach face painting classes. There is a minimum number needed for this to happen. If you wish to see the full details as well as a list of classes available go see www.snazaroo.us/lecture.htm

Questions regarding SNAZAROO classes or this FAQ should go to gary@snazaroo.com


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