Monday, April 09, 2007

Day Eight: Weather or Not

After a pleasant day off of watching movies all day, I returned to the park to meet a new friend at the caricature stand:

Today I found one more reason Busch Gardens is better than Cedar Point. At Cedar Point, no caricature stand closes down for any reason other than the park itself being closed. And even then, it's questionable. I remember when Cedar Point closed down because of a state-wide blackout in 2003, and even the caricature stands stayed open until sundown... because "there were still people fleeing the park." Here, it started raining pretty hard:

And after maybe 5 sketches, Dion, Joe, and Myself went home. I did have enough time to get these done:

The reference:

I have 3 more full work days before I come home, so I really hope it warms up again so I can get back to making that sweet sweet money!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Day Six: Timbuktu

Busch Gardens in Tampa is Africa-themed throughout. It's very beautiful, with four distinct corners of the park, each with their own ethnic soundtrack. Animals I've never seen before roam areas of the park entitled "Morocco" and "Egypt."

"Timbuktu" is where one of the caricature stands is located, and where I worked today.

This day's sales were just over half what I made yesterday, but I did more good drawings that I'm ready to show.

This girl's mom watched me do the pre-sketch and asked me not to "exaggerate too much." I politely explained that I will only exaggerate to the point that I feel it's necessary to achieve a likeness.

This one's for you, Orlando.

Day Five: High Sales, Low Quality

Today again, one drawing came out "all right," the rest were quick, painless, and sale-worthy. While the quality of my sketch dimishes greatly with higher volumes of customers, the money in my paycheck increases greatly. It's an interesting trade-off that most artists can't resist at some point in their day. The realization hits when they notice that the faster artists who are doing less-quality work are making more money than they are.

I haven't had that problem all week. At every stand I've worked a full shift, I've ended up the top salesman there. Yesterday I made $1009 for Busch Gardens, which translates out for me into $24 per hour, for 11 straight hours.

The trade-off is that I can feel sad about not doing the best work I can do, but I can feel happy about being able to buy Guitar Hero II for the Xbox 360 when I get home. If the tables were turned, I could feel happy about having five great drawings a day to post on my blog, while at the same time feeling sad that I am not making enough money to cover my student loan bill for next month.

This is the one sketch I did that I spent more time on than the countless others.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Day Four: Bluhm-ology

Sorry about the delay in the blog posts. I have forgotten my digital camera every morning on the way to the park, usually right after I leave the house, but not early enough to turn around and pick it up. Not that it would have made any difference, since my first picture-worthy drawing at Busch Gardens happened today:

Click to view full image.

Click to view full image.

Pretty much everyone I work / live with here (Joe Bluhm, Dion Socia, and Brooke Howell) have been taking digital pictures of their work to show off at the end of the day. Joe's are by far the best, and usually because he works with natural lighting in the sketches instead of "made up" lighting. This means, for those of you non-caricaturists, that instead of just doing the same peach tones for the face and brown tones for the hair, he'll put in the exact colors he sees based on the given lighting of the subject. Pretty amazing. So I thought I'd try it. The above sketch shows one of my better attempts at this.

Here's an example of made-up lighting from earlier in the day.

Of course it is too much to expect for me to want to draw at the same caliber as someone who is my age but has drawn caricatures for eight more years than me, but I can't help but want to learn from the best.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Day One: The Flight

Flying isn't the most fearsome thing in my life, but it has to be one of the top 5 things that make me nervous. Today was no exception; but at least it was two of the smoother flights in my 6 years of flying experience.

I left at 3:30 after many morning hours of intense packing, rent-paying, and last-minute XBOX-360 binging, and I certainly brought enough on-board entertainment to keep me busy: Several TV-on-DVD sets, a couple of partially-read books, and two completely un-read "Men's Healths."

Despite all my efforts to entertain myself, I always find myself gripping the seat, sweating on the people next to me, and looking out the window whether I'm in the window seat or not. And, also despite my own entertaining "reads," I found someone else's efforts to self-entertain left behind on the plane: a Crayola "Color Explosion" notebook, which once probably belonged to a kid, who drew in every last page. The idea is that the special pens will create lots of patterns of color on what appears only to be a black piece of paper. The child who owned this notebook before it became mine wasn't all that bad at drawing. Everything was cute, cuddly, and sort of indistinguishable until one drawing stood out to me:

This is the exact view I had of the drawing when i turned the page to it. If I wasn't nervous about flying before I looked through this child's drawings, I was now.