Posts Tagged ‘Wildfire’

AirlineAMichael fell in love with airplanes before he was ten and ever since, he’s been looking down from a plane, studying our globe’s topography as often as he can. He’s worked for airlines for thirty years now and his wife thought this was something worth throwing a party for. We were at The Wildfire in Glenview. Some family members flew in from the coasts to celebrate Michael’s frequent flying.
As an avid traveler, Michael naturally has a love of cultures and languages, too. Particularly, French and German, his wife Gail told me over the phone.

MoiBeretSo, I wore my velour beret and spoke French—right from the start and unapologetically. I explained, in French, that the wife has flown me in from Paris expressly for this party. (My French is flawless when I’m with people who don’t speak any French , beyond merci and bon voyage. When I’m traveling in France, not so much. Ha.)
When I had to communicate with someone about sitting or turning, I gestured dramatically, just like a tourist. I have never done this before, but it worked. People were a little baffled, probably wondering how Gail and Michael got so rich all of a sudden to fly in a Paris artist just for this family get-together. By coincidence, my carrying case has the Eifel Tower on it. I would point to it and so there, what more proof do you need! Very funny. At the end of the party, when I drew Michael and Gail, I switched to German, because Gail had told me that German was his most fluent language. So now, Michael was baffled. What a treat for him. Really, very funny. I loved every minute of it and so did everybody else. Thank you, Gail! Onward and upward, Michael!
All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

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You know how magicians talk to distract you while they’re doing their sleight of hand?  It’s called banter.  Well, a good caricature artist also has to talk, not as much as a magician (a constant stream), but enough to make the person “in the hot seat” comfortable.  They’re being stared at and that can be weird.  Some people with a theatrical bent are in their element when they’re being stared at and you’d think that in our video-and-photo-crazy culture everybody would love this, but you’d be surprised.  I’ve been drawing people at parties for twenty-three years and I am keenly aware of this dimension in my work.  A caricature artist at your party has to relate to people. What I do is actually a little unsociable—hey, you’re staring at me!—and I have to make it look and feel normal.  So, when you’re thinking of hiring a caricature artist for your party, talk to him or her on the phone to get a sense of how sociable this person will be.  A big part of my work is reading the ambiance at a party and to reflect that in the drawings.  I have to adjust the humor to suit the occasion.  There’s always humor, but it’s different at a trade show, wedding, adult evening party or a six-year-old’s birthday.  Pretty interesting, huh?!

Here are some pictures from a birthday party celebration in the wine room at Wildfire in Glenview a few weeks ago.  It was a small gathering of womenwho sat around the large circular table.  Btw, when I open my mouth like that, I’m not screaming, just hamming it up a bit.  I felt like one of the family there.

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




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