This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

Setting up for caricatures at a private party

I did caricatures for a family birthday party this past weekend here in Glendale. I call them "gigs", as if I'm some kind of musician or something. I've been doing caricatures for special events for years, and it's always fun, but this one was exceptional. I started doing this type of thing for big corporate events, and small parties always make me a little worried. But this one was perfect. In fact, so much so that I have to tell you about it.

The parents of the birthday boy, who turned six, hired me by finding me on Google. I have had a website since 1999, and I do show up well on the search pages, especially if you include Glendale, Arizona. I cover the greater Phoenix area, but my location is Glendale, and I guess that shows up well on the indexes.

Anyway, in a situation like the party last weekend, there are basically three places that the guests like to hang out - the kitchen, the backyard, and the living room (or den). The most commotion is always in the kitchen area (it's where the food is, after all), so it's not a good place to put a caricature artist. Outside is usually a mistake, too, for various reasons. The best place for me is in an area that is out of the way of main traffic, but not too hidden. So I was in the den.

I really don't need any setup space at all, I use a hand-carried sketch board, not an easel or anything complex like that. A few chairs, a lamp, and I'm all set. In the den, the guests posed for me while sitting on a couch, which was perfect, as most people like to be drawn as couples, or in small groups. The best situation is so that guests can look over my shoulder at the drawing and at their friends at the same time, and that was the setup. Perfect! If they like what they see, even if they're a little nervous about getting a caricature drawn, they come over and sit down in front of me.

And did I mention that I got some birthday cake, too?