Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Taj Hotel - Boston

So last week I got a call from the elegant Taj Hotel
here in Boston. (The Taj is the former Ritz Carlton - the
one on Newbury Street.) They asked me to come in
(last night) and draw a group-caricature at a special
dinner honoring Mr. Zeller, the hotel's C.O.O.

The plan? I was to show up and secretly draw all the
"key" Taj players in attendance - the top managers,
VP's and staff. I would have 2.5 hours to make the drawing
and then they would frame it and present it to Mr. Zeller at
the dinner as a surprise.

Here's how it went down:

I arrived at 5:30 and they snuck me into an office. Then,
one by one, they sent in the Executive Chef, the Head of Sales
for all the Taj Hotels, the General Managers, and VP's, to sit and
pose for me. I sketched each person in about 3 minutes then sent them
back upstairs to dinner. A bunch of these folks flew in from
India for the occasion, so thank God I've got a little experience
at this caricature thing.

I penciled 19 people in 1 hour on an 11x14" piece of Bristol paper,
then gathered my art supplies and moved to a empty function room
upstairs to ink and color the caricature. I only had another
1.5 hours to finish the drawing before the presentation. Yikes!
Since I was alone in the room I could draw while listening to
my iPhone music. Loved that.

Some of the waitstaff popped in to watch me draw. They stood over me,
giggling, pointing to faces they recognized.

By 8:45 the two nice women who hired me, Nadine and Dana,
came over to see the finished piece. They loved it. Whew!

I managed to take a photo of it with my iPhone (above)
before they wisked it away and placed it in a gorgeous matt
that everyone signed (emblazoned with the Taj logo).

And then - this was funny - at least 6 men in dark suits entered the
room, framed the matted caricature, set it on a large wooden easel,
draped a black velvet sheet over it, and carried it out of the room.
For a second there, I thought the Pope was going to show up and
bless my cartoon.

I never got to see Mr. Zeller's reaction. Once my job was done everyone
ran back to the function room. So like a lonely caricature assassin, I put my
artsy weapons back in my black case and stealthly left the building.