Archive for January 19th, 2011

A caricature of a friend or lover, son or daughter, grandpa or boss…makes an excellent gift.  To whom?  To the one caricaturized, of course.  Actually, that may sound odd, since you might think there would be a risk of offense.  But if you know the person and have a comfortable relationship, it will work.  In fact, it will make for a fabulous,  intimate gift.

Most of my work from photos celebrates someone’s greatness or a great event.  For example: a colleague at the college where you teach, a son who keeps winning medals, a nephew who just got his college degree, a super team leader at the office,   an au pair who’s going back to France after a year with the kids.  A great event might be when he asked you—on his knees, yes it still happens!—to marry him, the wedding announcement itself, or when you exhausted yourself in Australia, abseilen and climbing that steep crag of a mountain and you’re not kids any more.

Here’s how it works.  People send me photos by email.  I need a good front shot of the face and optimally a side or three-quarter view.  I immediately make a pencil drawing and email that, asking for comments.  In most cases I hit it right on the head (so to speak).  This is uncanny and I don’t know how I got the knack, but there it is, it happens most of the time.  Sometimes the client will ask for more symmetry in the face or more of a smile or a little more hair on the bald guy.  At this stage people sometimes seem to say to themselves, “ohmygod, what have I started here, will he get the joke, maybe I should just get him a tie like I did last year.”  But not to worry, the artist has been here before and knows the psychology operating in your loving heart.  So, if you want sweet instead of riotous, I can do sweet.

This is Karen and Bob, a we’re-not-kids-anymore couple who flew to Australia to do some strenuous climbing near the Three Sisters mountains.  Karen wanted this caricature as a Christmas present for Bob, who, you guessed it, is hard to get presents for.  From initial email to finished drawing took one week. The client approves every stage of the drawing, including color choices of clothing, so that before I put the pencil drawing on my light table to trace it in color, the client has approved every detail and knows what to expect in the finished product.  It’s a proven process, works every time.  The only topic that had to be weighed here in the case of the mountain climbers was just how far the derrières were going to drag behind them.  Apparently, there had been some conversation between them when they were thoroughly exhausted after the climb, something about “you’re dragging your ass.”  What better way to commemorate a daring adventure and something about your ass, than to get a celebratory caricature.  No photo can do this.



All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.


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