Sunday, December 21, 2008

Observe Everything.
Communicate Well.

Draw, Draw, Draw.

~Frank Thomas, Disney Animator, When asked to give advice to young animators
(...and something I try to do at every gig— as fast as I can!)

This past weekend I was hired to draw at the "The Ultimate Staff Party" on both Friday and Saturday night in Red Deer, Alberta. I was one of the 5 "acts" performing each evening.

The events were HUGE...On Friday night there were 1200 guests and on Saturday night there was a whopping 1700 people (by far the largest event I have ever drawn at).

For three hours each evening I was on centre stage with two huge video screens projecting my drawing hand as well as the person I was drawing. What a blast! As much fun as it was for me, I guess it was especially entertaining for the crowd (as I was told, I was the sleeper hit of both nights).

Thanks to all the guys providing my technical assistance and a special thanks to Jeff for taking some pictures of me drawing Saturday night. Also a very special thank you to the organizers, Richard and Deborah Popovich for making my final 2 gigs of 2008 an amazing finale and giving my family and I a great reason to get out of town and stay in a hotel for a couple days of some pre-Christmas relaxation.

With the temperatures still hovering around the minus 30's it was wonderful to stay at the Red Deer Lodge and have a swimming pool and hot tub only 10 feet from our hotel room door in a beautiful open "inside" courtyard.

After 6 weeks of gigs and freelance work, it was so wonderful to stay in my pjs all morning on Saturday, then head straight to the hot tub and back to laze around in our hotel room some more and play Are you smarter than a 5th grader?. When I got home from my gig on Saturday night, the kids and I watched our Christmas classic Elf and ate cheese popcorn and popcorn twists.

We arrived home today to a very messy house but that still has to wait a couple more days. Now that I'm finished art work and gigs till January... its time to think about Christmas shopping. So I started it at 2:30 this afternoon and finished it at 7:30 tonight and now I'm just wrapping presents up, with a glass of wine and listening to some Christmas tunes...

PS...after I published this, I reread how absolutely perfect I made the weekend sound. In many ways it was, but it was also a weekend with 3 kids and for those of you who don't have children and think that having children is all relaxing and romantic like that, I think I should add some of the normal moments too ...
... like the arguing in the van almost the entire way to Red Deer, or Piper's melt down at the restaurant during our late lunch on Saturday because well, who knows, she just has issues with eating food that isn't made as perfectly exactly as bland and simple as she is used to at home, or my intense discussion with Ry about his attitude towards everybody AGAIN, and then of course there's Kieran's constant negotiation about everything...

...I could go on, but that should give you the idea :) ...


James Bourne said...

You are really an artist.

James Bourne

Becki Henderson said...

Dear Caricature Girl:
I am very pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay with us here at the Red Deer Lodge and thrilled that you even had a picture on your blog of your room. Being the center of attention for 1200-1700 people is quite a task. I believe you are the same caricaturist that used to go to the Romada in Edmont with Carolyn. I wish I had have know you were coming to town. If at any time you need assistance please do not hesitate in contacting us.

Thanks again for the free publicity, Becki Henderson, Guest Experience Leader, Red Deer Lodge

Caricature Girl said...

Thanks James.

Becki, thanks for commenting. Its been about 20 years since I'd stayed there (because I had friends in Red Deer and never needed a hotel)
You know the Red Deer Lodge has been one of my favourite hotels since I was a kid (My dad used to have Locksmith conventions there). It is like staying at a summer resort (even in winter):)
It is still as wonderful as I remember it. Also REALLY loved the live music in the courtyard on Friday and Saturday night!