Finding The Perfect Retirement Gift. It's Not A Rolex.

Posted April 28, 2014

Drawing at parties can bring up some challenges that always have the potential for true growth. What can I say. It's a "live" event and things can happen.

I had a request that was different than my typical party caricature fare.
And I have to admit, it made me a bit nervous.

I was booked to draw at an intimate retirement party in Albuquerque's north east heights for a woman who dedicated over 36 years to her career.
Of course, at the party were her beloved and equally dedicated colleagues who were more family than co-workers.

But that's not what made me nervous. That was the fun part.

The retiree had asked me to draw all the caricatures of her team on one big sheet of paper. Not really an "out of the blue" request. But....

I typically draw one or two caricatures per 8 1/2x11 sheet of card stock. And the recipient takes it home as a gift. I explained to the retiree that After each member of her team sits for a caricature,
they won't have a gift to take home.

My next concern was a technical one. I draw with a black fine point Sharpie marker which works perfectly well drawing one or two caricatures on the 8 1/2x11 cardstock.
Drawing smaller to fit more people in a larger size paper may eliminate some of the finer detail that is necessary for caricature likenesses.

She was clear in what she wanted.

One by one all her team members sat down for a caricature and enjoyed watching the large group portrait develop into shape. They all chose to be represented by their passion and NOT their team job title
which created a light, joyful atmosphere. Somehow all the caricatures fit on the page!

Drawing at live events is truly a collaborative experience. I'm so glad that I didn't persuade the honoree to have me draw individual caricatures just because it was the
easy way out for me. After all, it was her party. Listening to a clients needs and vision and co-creating a truly memorable and special occasion is always a better way to go.
Lesson learned.

And they all had a full color digital team caricature waiting for them in their email when they got home.

Your turn. Have you had a recent challenge that inspired growth in your career, training, relationship?
I would love to hear from you. And maybe it will inspire a cartoon!