Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Get Ready...The Party Is About To Begin!

I try to arrive early at my gigs whenever
possible. Usually between a half hour
and fifteen minutes before I'm supposed
to start drawing. It wasn't always so.

There's nothing worse than getting caught
in traffic jam on your way to an event. Rushing
into the function room with a minute to spare
is stressful, and obviously, makes the client
wonder where the heck their entertainment is.

So I always leave extra early for the job.
And I have rituals too, similar to those of a baseball
player stepping up to the plate. He usually fidgets with his batting
gloves, spits in the dirt, and taps home plate twice with his bat.
I don't spit, but I do have to mentally and physically prepare
so I can perform well.

Here's my ritual before I start drawing at parties:

My table and chairs must be ready.
I ask the client to pre-arrange my seating in advance. I need
1 table and 3 chairs, set up next to an outlet, far from DJ speakers.
Sometimes when I arrive there are only 2 chairs. Sometimes they
seat me next to a loud generator or amplifier. These things
make me go "Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr."
As long as there's time to resolve the issue, I'm okay again.

I need to have a full stomach.
If I'm hungry I can't concentrate. That's why I always eat before a gig.
After I eat I must have a piece of chocolate.
This is critical for drawing excellence.

I need to have a beverage at my table.
Drawing makes me thirsty. I usually sit for at least
1.5 hours before I take a break. So I must have liquid -
water or soda. Coffee is a nice pick-me-up in the home-stretch.

Altoids are the secret power-pellets that give me
enduring caricaturing power.

Yup, if I'm drawing for 3 hours or more, I take an
Advil before I start. This keeps my arm from
getting sore.

I meditate for a minute
I really do - it helps melt away the racing thoughts
of my own life and gets me on purpose, which is to serve
the client and make great drawings for everyone.

My tools must be sharp.
I must have fresh pens, plenty of paper, bags,
and a lamp that works. If any of these supplies are low
I feel a little uneasy.

But if everything is in place, which it usually is, I feel great
and can really give 100% for the party people.