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Posts Tagged ‘hilarity’

FatmanBowlAFatmanBowlCThis is what happens when I turn the drawing around and people see it for the first time. Men also gesture with their hands, but women positively lose it. Women’s reactions are often so uncontrolled that they instinctively hide their faces. In their hilarious reaction, they tend to open their mouths wide and the hands fly up to cover what we are all taught is an impolite display of molars, uvula and fat tongue.
This was a corporate party on Rt176 in Green Oaks at Fatman Bowl, which has banquet facilities. Who knew, not just a bowling alley with a funny name. This company was apparently full of women who were over-qualified for their jobs. They were witty and self-confident. With a crowd like that, I can do good work. Thank you, Mandy.
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The Herrington in St. Charles has a grand ballroom with a mezzanine where the bridal party and the close family of the bride and groom were set up.

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Locating the caricaturists (there were two of us) on the mezzanine as well made it easy for us to draw a pre-selected crowd, a rather elegant solution to the sometimes awkward question of who will be eligible to get a drawing. It also meant that we were far from the loud dance music downstairs and therefore able to relate to the people we were drawing. When the artist can chat a bit with the subjects, the drawings tend to be better, more personal.
Things got really personal when a man named Mike got teased about his ears—all in good fun, of course.

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Since I relate not only to the person I’m drawing at the moment but also to the whole ambiance and everything I hear around me, the fact that Mike’s friends were mercilessly ribbing him, with one buddy saying, “oh, yeah, go for the ears, it’s like Obama had a one night stand and Mike is the result” was an encouragement that I should pull all the stops. Mike, as you can see, cracked up. What you see on the top edge of his left ear is his wife’s hand, holding on.
In general, this was a collection of buddies and old friends. Jokes were flying. Hilarity all around.
Look at this couple, for example————————

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45thAnniversaryWhat do you give your parents on their 45th wedding anniversary? You present them with a drawing that shows their quirkiness, their goofiness, their vitality. The drawing is nothing. What matters is that they will scream with laughter, they will throw their heads back, they will point to parts of the drawing and say omygod, omygod and they will reach for a Kleenex because they’re laughing so hard that they’re crying. That moment is your gift to them.
45thAnniversarySemiFinalBtw, before I do the final drawing you have approved every detail. On the right is the drawing in the last stage of the work process. This is what the daughter approved and this is what I traced on a light table to produce the drawing that became the gift to her parents. The process works very well.
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12CCCTech7

You’ll have noticed that in the shots of the people (the “victims” as some perceptive clients call them), they are always looking to the left of the frame.  That’s because after the drawing is done, I turn it around for them to see and I hold it up in my left hand while simultaneously clicking the shutter of my little Sony with my right.

This is the moment I work for.  Oh, sure, there’s a check at the end of the party, but this reaction, this sudden outburst of laughter—often accompanied by dramatic hand gestures—THIS IS IT!  Sometimes during long parties people ask me if I’m getting tired.  Well, yes, physically, but I’m not aware of it because this hilarity is so rewarding and energizing for me.  I just keep going.  It’s what I love to do.

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This year’s organizer found me through a friend who’s with the Park Ridge Art League, where—years ago—I gave a talk and demo on the Art of Caricature.

If you’ve never had a block party where you live because nobody knows anybody anyway—good reason to organize a block party.  If you’ve never had a block party where you live because everybody knows everybody anyway—ditto.

As I was packing up at the end of this wonderful summer evening, Carolyn helped me with my stuff and said, in the past they’ve had face painters, balloon twisters, magicians, clowns, all that, but this was the best.  I was delighted to hear that but not at all surprised.  When I draw, people stand around to watch and suggest how I should draw the person in the hot seat.  There’s running commentary, a line by line report to the person being drawn, comforting remarks, delightful outcries when I’ve done something nobody expected, hilarity when the finished drawing is turned around for them to see.  Clearly, the drawing functions as a bonding agent, ice breaker and social glue.

Moral:  we need more block parties in this world!

Thank you, Carolyn, Linda and Andreas!

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This was a well-planned event, with me being booked three months before.  The grand ballroom at the Rosemont CC is huge and the hallways reminded me that we now have seven billion people on the planet—might as well plan for them showing up some evening.  The band played Roaring Twenties tunes with a sweet clarinet, to fit the dominant theme of the evening.  Women wore hats and strands of pearls, guys showed up in dark shirts. A cigarette girl in fishnet stockings was giving away chocolate cigars and flashing rings, one size fits all. On the dance floor, Charleston lessons for all.  Everybody was in such a good mood, the five hours passed in a rhinestone flash.

Again, I’ll show just a small selection of the dozens of drawing (at least 50 people) from Saturday night and the reactions when I turn the drawing around and they first see it.  In this post I’m only showing the drawings with people wearing outer garments, though the women will be in low cut dresses.  In the next post, “Cleavage and Thongs,”  I’ll have drawings of people who didn’t have time to get fully dressed before rushing to this much anticipated party or who were more or less dressed but so sexy that the only way to draw them was un.

Thank you, Missy and Todd!

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The woman, above, was due and not sure she would make it through the evening.  this big laugh must have been  good for her and the baby and the father.

Then there are instances where I don’t steady the camera in my right hand and the picture’s blurriness conveys the dynamics of the evening.

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

www.khilden.com

http://facefame.wordpress.com

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