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Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

When you compare this drawing to the drawings I did of kids at the New Year’s Eve party (previous post), you can see how different the humor is.  This was an engaged couple who had met at St. Xavier College somewhere in Indiana, if I recall that correctly.    Very wholesome, proper, polite.  Beautiful faces, she of the refined well-bred beauty sort and he of the seductive blue-eyed with the eyelashes and the strong neck….oh, my.  She had been an education major, he graduated with a degree in environmental studies specializing in water.   So, of course, I teased them a little to find out if they would give me permission to go for it and they loved every bit of it, letting me know by their chit chat to my chit chat that, well, that I could go for it.  I love drawing people who are secure in knowing who they are because then the pen just flows. On the other hand, I also love drawing folks who are mystified by what I do and sometimes even apprehensive.  Then the pen flows differently and I enjoy that, too.  Basically, you get the drift here, I enjoy this gig all the time. And, important point, the chit chat is essential.

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

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Pity the poor caricaturist.  It’s such a hard job.  Poor me.  I show up at a party, dressed for the occasion, with my good shoes, good jacket and good haircut.  I blend in and you’d think I’d know what fork to use and what pleasantries to say over a hand shake.  Well, I do, sort of,  but none of that is part of my job description.  My job, to put it bluntly, is to make fun of you.  Grrrrrr.   Okay, just how much fun directed at you can you really take? I can’t tell by looking at you.  I have to make you chat a little so that I can get a sense of how robust your ego is.  I have to find out, in other words, if you can take it.  It doesn’t take much, just a couple of back-and- forths about trivia will give me an idea of what’s allowed here.  That’s the normal procedure.

But then there are those super lovely people who seem to come prepared, as if they’d read the instructions on how to face a caricaturist.  One such lovely person sat for me at the Trinity event in Carmel, Indiana recently.  (See post Nov 15)  We’ll call her Dee.  As soon as she sat down, she said with a giggle: “Make me tall and skinny.”  Wonderful!  Of course, as soon as you read that, you knew that Dee was anything but.  Precisely.  She went to the heart of caricature:  make it look like me but with a twist.  The twist can be 180°.   Why not!  A twist of 10° is often not funny, but 180° can be profoundly funny.

It’s like saying the opposite of what you mean, except that the tone of your voice carries the real meaning.  Or  “the opposite of a great truth can also be a great truth,”  where Dee is understood to be a great truth laterally but not vertically and where I apologize for bringing up quantum physics about which I know less than forks or hand shakes.

Anyone looking at this drawing can tell that I thoroughly enjoyed making it.  Thank you, Dee.  When she saw it, she let out a happy yelp. The drawing immediately went up on the wall in the banquet room and is by now, I’m sure, a source of relaxation for all who visit her office.

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