I couldn't believe it. A well meaning guest, yes. But please ~ Can you imagine what it's like for me to miraculously Do my job? To quickly get an amusing likeness of a person? I don't know what you look like until those few minutes that I get to see you. If you turn your head or cover your face, you might as well be in the other room. I cannot possibly know what you look like. I certainly don't need (or even like) for a guest to model like an immobile statue, but I do need to be able to see him/her as though we were having a conversation. A conversation without speech.
This time, a guest actually put this child in front of me like this. Completely face-painted. With a bottle covering his mouth and bottom of face. And a big cotton candy to cover the rest. A small child, with so much going on, that he couldn't possibly have any idea that his face was being looked at to get his Caricature drawn. He probably felt lost, and I had no way to break through.
Luckily, I am a Face Painter as well as a Caricaturist. At least I was able to impose my own 'Face-Painting' onto the picture. The one that had been painted on this child was sooo not my style.
Here's a series of photos that show the sort of subject that I was trying to look at to quickly draw his Caricature. It started as a little boy, new to Parties, who didn't know about Caricatures yet. That's not unusual. In which we start showing the children how to have healthy Fun while they are still young. But in this case, the concerned caregiver thought to hand him a bottle immediately. Now, what's that going to do for the Caricature Activity? How will I know what he looks like when he's not 'eating'?
And sure enough, the good boy drank his bottle:
But then, hard enough as that was ~ for me to know what the boy looked like under his face-painting and any possible glimpse of him behind that bottle, the well-meaning caregiver chose to surprise the boy with
Cotton Candy! A Big cloud of cotton candy. To put in front of the rest of the face-painted face and the bottle. How am I supposed to know what to draw? And even more confused than I was, the child, looking around while trying to drink his bottle and handle his cotton candy and make sense of it all, looking around and turning his head ~ I have no idea of a person's expression, of the size of his nose, etc, if I am looking at the back of his head. Stressful for me. And I imagine it's confusing for the Child too.
At least I love the Caricature. Amazed that it came out so good. It's a good thing that I Pray before each event ~ I Pray to create joyful pictures.
I just wish there was an Order to the events that we bring the children. I could see that this caretaker was conscientious about watching the child and helping him have a good time. But he seemed unaware of the affect that all this good stuff was having when it was piled on too fast.
We wouldn't bring a child to the bathroom the same time we give him/her Birthday Cake. And we wouldn't teach them to eat at the same time that the cake is seen and the Happy Birthday song is sung. It would make so much more sense to apply the same rationality to the Party Events. To have the Caricature drawn Before the Face-Painting. And if the child needs intermittent bottle-comforts during the drawing process, don't surprise him with other wonderful foods at the same time. He can learn to eat them like a conscious gourmet if the wonderful foods are given the same conscious focus as the Fun Art.
Let's Think. Let's take a moment to notice the experience we give the child. I know that I see the guest's experience. I just sit there observing everyone. That's the first step of my job as an Artist.
You can click on some pictures in this blog to see them larger.
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