Archive for September, 2016


At large summer festivities there’s often a face painter. Face painters have become very  skillful and imaginative.  Though I encourage people to get there caricature first before they go over to the face painting table, they often forget or ignore that and then come to my stand with a painted face that looks like a mask.  In that case, as followers of these posts know by now, I draw them in profile.  That way I can at least approximate a likeness.

victory2But when I saw this woman I broke the rule.  She’s obviously an older woman, a resident at the retirement home actually, and her demeanor was gentle and dignified.  But her cat face was so funny and endearing, that I decided to go for it.  I simply drew a cat with her face.  She loved it and said she would send it to her kids.

I did a family day at this retirement home about three years ago  and this year I recognized some of those  faces.  That’s always fun.  One of the residents is Mr. T-Bone, who always wears his black baseball cap with that name on it. He remembered me, too.

The Soul Entertainers Band, led by Carlton Moore, was excellent:   (219) 688-1117.


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




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Just labels, you say?  Oh, no. Labels are a huge industry.  Who knew.

I worked for an international Swedish company at the Rosemont convention center last week. The whole place was swarming with experts on printing machines, color nuances, adhesives and whatnot related to big and small labels.  I drew dozens of people from dozens of countries, but only took a few pictures of my work.  Because it was a business atmosphere, you understand.

Notice that the lower left corner holds a sticker—a label, ta-tah–identifying my client, because that’s the real message we’re trying to get across here.  Notice, also, that I drew right over the label, not much but just enough to make sure it stays on there when people frame the drawing for their office. BTW, labels are much more economical  than pre-printing the paper and they can hold a lot of information–and in color.

People liked the drawings so much that they occasionally showed me photos of kids or girlfriends on their phones.  Sure, I can do that, too.  In that case, I drew on paper that I hadn’t stuck the sticker on.  Everybody went home happy.

Thank you, Cornelia!

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




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abigail2Grandma Abigail threw a fabulous back yard party for Neil, who flew in from Texas with his parents.  I have to word it that way because Neil, having just turned one, was clearly in charge.  He wasn’t particularly interested in a family drawing, so I drew him separately and then later his parents also sat down to be drawn.  All in good fun.

It was a wonderful, relaxed afternoon in Homewood.  I drew twenty-four people in two hours.

abigail3Thank you, Abigail!

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





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When your sister turns forty, you have to throw a big party for her. It’s written in stone somewhere.

Emilia’s yard wasn’t big but every square inch was filled with games to play, prizes to win and goodies to eat. I drew thirty-eight people in three hours, including the birthday girl in color.

Thank you, Emilia!

emilia3All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.




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This is the moment!

I hold the finished drawing in my left hand while the right twiddles with my little Canon hoping to get this moment.  This is the moment I work for.  Sure they throw money at me, but it’s this instant of uninhibited hilarity that makes my day, or evening.


Here are a few of the drawings I did that Chicago-at-its-Best evening.


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






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Ajun is a physical therapist with a kind, gentle manner that comes through in the Lincolnwood2first few minutes of anyone talking with him.  My job is to draw him funny. How can I do that?  Saying something that is obviously the opposite of what you mean is one way to be funny.  So I drew Ajun as assertive and tough, as in “you talkin’ to me!?”

He cracked up.  Everyone got the joke.

Lincolnwood Place is a retirement/assistant living community.  This was an afternoon party for the staff. I’ve done many staff parties in retirement and nursing homes and I’m always amazed at how energetic and cheerful these people are. I can’t imagine that work being easy.  They Lincolnwood3certainly deserved this afternoon of food, games, music and, ta-tah, my drawings.

Thank you, Lori!

As you can see, some people got into it and let their hair down.

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





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This gig came through GigMasters, who encourage clients to give feedback and an evaluation of the artist after the event.  Here’s what the Director of Human Resources wrote:

Katherine Hilden was without a doubt 10 STARS!!! She was the highlight of our employee picnic. She was hired as the character artist & the employees loved her. She is great at what she does, very respectful & talented. Very reasonably priced. We want to hire her for every single employee picnic in the future. Its Monday morning & the staff is still talking about how great Katherine was.

Thanks again, Lori!  I loved this party.

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