BBQ big heads.

This past weekend I worked the first annual silicon valley BBQ event. pretty busy Saturday! I was set up next to a friend doing balloons so that was cool to pass the down time with her chatting. For lunch I walked across the street for some non-meat MacDonald’s food selections and had to sneak them back into the meat kingdom. Towards the end My super Q showed up and I drew her a caricature for the first time ever! Good thing she was all dolled up like a punk nice for me.

Then yesterday, a party company I work for recently sent me this questionnaire about hiring caricature artists, I have included it here with my diplomatic answers.

Here are the questions:

1. What should a client consider when looking to hire a caricaturist?
Reliability, speed, and quality/style. Check feedback to make sure they have shown up on time and made their clients happy. Think about how many people you want to be drawn in your time-frame, then check that against their estimated time for drawings, or ask them if the times are not posted. Look at their samples to make sure you are happy with the style and skill level.
2. What questions should a client ask a caricaturist that they are considering booking?
Do they need chairs lighting a table ect.? Will they need to take a break? If you think there will be a lot of pictures with multiple people in them, you may want to ask about larger size paper. Do they provide bags, or folders or something to give the guests with their caricature. Ask them how they usually dress, or inform them if you want them to dress a certain way.
3. What precautions should a client take when inviting a caricaturist performer into their home?
Don’t have them set up near anything valuable that can break as the crowd gathering around them can get excitable. If you offer a drink try to not use an open top cup, but a seal-able bottle, or a can, every open top cup I have ever had at a job was at some point knocked over by a guest. If you decide to have them set up in a “kids area” make sure you check in with them frequently.
4. Once a client books you for a performance, what details should be discussed prior to the event?
Attire, special requests such as doing someone that can’t make it from a photo, or doing the guest of honor in color when everyone else will be black and white, prioritizing children over adults, ect. Space and time needed for set up. How possible overtime will be handled. When and how any balance due will be paid. If a tip jar is acceptable or not.
5. Please tell us – when did you start as a caricaturist and why do you do it? 1999, an old art teacher of mine was heading up the Caricature department at six flags, I was there with a friend and he offered me a job. Being paid to draw sounded good so I said yes. Plus free roller-coasters :p
6. What kind of gigs do you usually book? Birthday parties, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Corperate events from small break room parties to company-wide carnivals, Project Graduations, Weddings, Family BBQs, you name it I have done it.
7. What services/specialties do you offer?
I will change from color to black and white, add or subtract an option to the guests for bodies, as the event progresses to help the line move if requested to do so. I can work from photos during the event, or prepare extra detailed work ahead of time. I give bags for free but can supply folders, tubes, or frames upon request. I usually draw in a cartoony style that is not insulting, but can upon request go full caricature and really rip into people.
8. What is the most interesting/unique event you have ever worked?
hmmm, a briss probably, though I have also worked a republican state convention, 2 bachelorette parties, and on several boats.
9. What other advice do you have for clients booking a caricaturist?
Look at the samples, if you don’t like them, you won’t like the work at your party, also make sure the artist is capable of producing that level of work quickly on-site and not just from photos in their studio. If a child or person does not want to be drawn for any reason do not try to force them, it is no fun for anyone, and the artwork will usually reflect that.
10. Anything else you’d like to share?
Bottled water is my best friend at jobs!

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