Tips on hiring a professional sand sculptor

Tips on hiring a professional sand sculptor

Just to make things clear, yes I do own a professional sand sculpting company and yes, I do want you to consider my company when ever you think about hiring a sand sculptor.  However, there are many times when I will refer a client to another company if I know they will be in good hands, treated fairly and get the same consideration that I would offer them.  Due to my busy schedule, there are some projects I must turn away. Rather than let my client endure the painful search of finding a sculptor that will satisfy their needs, I would rather refer them to someone who I know operates on the same high level of standards that I follow. I have forged many great client relationships following this rule and feel that this practice  benefits not only the client and the artists involved  but the industry of sand sculpting as a whole. That is  where the idea to write this blog post came from. I realise that many clients will miss the opportunity to contact me for one reason or another. Hopefully by reading this post it will give them the tools to help them during the sometimes confusing process of hiring a professional sand sculptor. So here are some top tips from Fitzy the Snowman that will surely make your search for a great professional sand sculptor a little less painful.

  1. Know your budget Even if you haven’t decided on a final budget for your project, you should at least have a vision of the scale of your project. By knowing the scale of the project and it’s level of importance to the over all event or presentation, the artist will have critical information needed to present several options that will fit that need.
  2. References and examples Don’t be afraid to ask for references. I am always more than happy to provide references on request and have created a whole page of testimonials  for my potential clients to review. Also, ask if the art samples you are viewing  on a company’s website are done by that artist that will be working at your event.  Many companies  use sculptors for hire. This a common practice and one that I do not particularly frown upon unless there is not full disclosure to the client prior to booking. About 95%  of the work featured on my site was created by myself or my very talented  wife of 24 years. If a client is taken by a particular sculpture that was created by one of my associates, I always make the best effort to make a direct referral to that artist.
  3. Know who you are hiring To elaborate on what I’ve mentioned in the previous paragraph, It is important to know who will actually be creating your project. If the person you are speaking with is not the artist who will be creating your project, be sure to ask to see examples  of the artists work and how long this person has been working a professional sand sculptor. There are a few companies that have a history of sending underqualified artists out to projects. Many problems can arise from this practice other than the obvious poor quality of work. It takes many years to develop the skills to operate as a professional sand sculptor. Even if the person is an extremely talented artist, there are many other skills required to make a project run smoothly. Without the necessary experience of dealing with logistical issues, having strong communication skills and the ability to problem solve, new artists can quickly get overwhelmed with a project. I make it a strict rule to only work with the most experienced and talented artists in the industry. We also run extensive background checks on all the artists  that we contract and maintain a no tollerance drug policy.
  4. Best Business Practices Realistically there are only a handful of legitimate professional sand sculpting companies in the US. When searching for professional sand sculpting companies however, you may reveal hundreds of results. So how do you distinguish the real companies from the part-time hobbyist? The easiest way is to ask for a certificate of insurance from the artist. Only companies with active business licences can obtain liability insurance. This will also protect you and your company in the event of an unexpected accident or mishap. I’m proud to report that I have maintained a spotless safety record since my company was established in 2000. That said, accidents do happen and it’s always a good idea to request this document.
  5. Trust your instincts Once you have narrowed your search to a few top results, it’s time to establish your initial contact. Whether you do this by email or by phone, it’s important to pay attention to the details of that first contact and simply trust your instincts. In my experience, a delay in more than 24 hours to respond to an email or phone call is a bad sign. In any business it is critical to maintain an open line of communication with your clients at all times. Of course there are always exceptions to this rule, but if you are having a difficult time on the second or third attempt it’s probably wise to move on in your search.
  6. Look for a diverse portfolio When you are searching for someone to create that perfect sand sculpture you probably have a specific idea in mind. If not, you want to be confident that the artist you are working with will be able to provide a wide range of options. If all you see are castles and you are looking for a classical greek depiction, these guys may not be for you. Another thing to look for are artists that are skilled in multiple mediums. Artists that work in more than one medium tend to be more creative and flexible. This also gives you the convenience of one stop shopping. You may find that in addition to needing a sand sculpture exhibition that you also need an ice sculpture for a cocktail party. At Fitzy Snowman Sculpting , we offer many different carved mediums such as sand, snow, ice, pumpkins and many types of fruit.
  7. Be realistic Calling me or any professional sand sculptor a week before a special event or promotion is not the best idea. Often there are multiple issues that need to be solved, not to mention, there really aren’t a lot of us out there, so the chances of landing someone truly talented are very slim. Also, keep in mind that you are hiring a performance artist. I don’t know this for sure, but I imagine Leonardo may have gotten a little grumpy if you wanted to ask him repeated questions while he was painting the Sistine Chapel. Professional sand sculptors thrive in that enviroment. Your event is our studio and your guests are there for us to entertain. That kind of talent is hard to find, and doesn’t come at discount prices. Sand sculpture represents one of the best values in experiential marketing and performance entertainment. If you follow this simple guide you will get to experience that value first hand. Or just give me a call, I’ll explain  everything… One Grain at a time!
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