Clean-up Time!

"Clean up! Clean up! Everybody, everywhere! Clean up! Clean up! Everybody do their shaaaare!". My little boy learned this song in Pre-K, and still sings it in Kindergarten today. It's a great little ditty, and a good reminder that cleaning up can be fun! 

Too often I see face painters who don't offer any tips to parents about how to clean up their kid's faces after an event. And don't get me wrong! These can be really super talented painters, and I am in no way implying that the painters who don't do this are being unprofessional. Some of the most famous top professional painters in the world don't hand out clean-up cards to the parents of the kids they paint. And that's okay. But I do. Want to know why? (Sure, you do.) ;) 

I do it because *I* am a parent. So I know what it's like to be a parent of a little kid, and how awesomely chaotic it can be. As a parent, we have enough on our plates. We are constantly trying to juggle our schedules, find our kid's socks, trying to get them to finish their homework, driving them to soccer or karate or ballet, trying to make them eat their peas...  We have so much to think about and do as it is! So when somebody hands us a call to action like a nice little card with instructions on it... really clear step-by-step instructions to ensure that we don't have to worry about messing this up... we as parents are really freaking GRATEFUL. 

When I put myself in the shoes of the parents of my tiniest clientele, I realized that they would appreciate such instructions just as much as I would. We need all the help we can get. It really does take a village... am I right? (In this case, of course I am). 

So I created these nifty little clean-up cards. On the front I have instructions on how to remove the make-up. The instructions are quite simple, but helpful. There is even a graphic that I created (quite proud of myself for that one, I must say!) that demonstrates just how easy it is to do. I even included a QR code that, when scanned with any smartphone, will take that parent directly to the clean-up page on my website. There, they will find the same graphic and instructions, but in more detail. Should they want or need it. And of course, my website gives them information on how to contact me should any questions or concerns ever arise. (Such as, "will my child look this green forever?" To which the answer is... no. No he will not. I promise). ;) 

On the back of this card, I have a little thank-you note for my customers to read. I want them to know that I am sincerely grateful for having had the tremendous honor to get to paint their face that day! And I let them know that I am looking forward to getting to paint them again sometime soon. Because I really truly am. I love my job so much, you wouldn't even believe me if you knew just HOW much. (Unless you are another face painter. In which case, you already know. Because you love your job too.) ;) 

Putting yourself in the shoes of the parents (and children) that you work with is always a great idea. It's SO important. As the mother of a child with special needs (our little boy has autism), I even went so far as to create a set of social stories for children on the spectrum to read about the face painting process, as well as the clean-up process that happens at home later on. As Ralph's parents, Steve and I know first hand how difficult it can be to get him to feel comfortable with any situation that is new. So I put myself in the shoes of other parents whose kids I paint, recognizing that many of them are in a similar situation. Even if their child does not have autism like ours does, there are still many other reasons why a social story could be extremely helpful for certain children! Such as a child who is nervous about being painted for the very first time. I know first hand what it's like to watch a child struggle with taking their face paint off at the end of the day, and how upset it can make them. That's when the social story comes in. Once a parent and child reads it together before clean-up time occurs, it can really help to ease the transition from princess or dinosaur or superhero, back to a clean-faced kid again. 

My point is, we are all human. We all have struggles. The parents... the kids... we all have things that we go through and have to endure. It can be something serious, or something as simple as having to wash off that awesome face paint at the end of a long and exciting day. The more that we, as professional face painters connect with our clientele, and become members of their village... the village that it takes to raise their child? The more good we are doing on this earth. It is the difference between being a business that is merely ordinary... vs. a business that is EXTRAordinary. All it takes is that little "extra". ;) 

Happy Painting! 

PS: Fellow face painters! Feel free to check out my clean-up page HERE
Please remember that while I encourage you to feel free to make clean-up pages and cards and QR codes of your own, I would reeeeally appreciate it if you didn't copy mine word for word. We are all very creative types, n'es pas? ;) I know you can do it in your own words! I have faith in you. And please don't steal my awesome graphic! It took me a long time to do. But please feel inspired to create your own! And feel free to share it with me! I cannot WAIT to see it! YOU ROCK!