Live Caricaturing for Charity @ Harry’s Bar

me trying to draw chou hui...

Earlier this week I got an email from a colleague whose friend, Michelle, was looking for people to volunteer their services to raise funds for autism concern in tandem with a European cycling trip (hur hur, get it? tandem? cycling?… never mind).

While I was really excited for the opportunity, I was also terribly nerve-wracked since this would be the first time I’d be drawing caricatures live – usually I work from photos and can take however long I like drawing and erasing and re-drawing, and so on. But I figured that it was about as good a time as any to start.

I stopped procrastinating and finally sent my business cards for printing at EzyCopy. To be honest, I wasn’t sure of what quality they’d turn out since I hadn’t managed to find any reviews of EzyCopy online. But they were much better than expected, with the cards being sturdy and well-printed, with no smudging or peeling or anything of the sort. And they really did mail it out within 24 hours of payment, which in my case was the nick of time since I only put in the order on Wednesday afternoon! Only minor grouse is that the hardcopy seems to have lost a bit of reddish tint in the softcopy (the cards were supposed to be more orangey), and some of the light grey areas (shadows under the words) also didn’t turn out.

business cards!

So it was that I turned up at 6.30pm yesterday at Harry’s @ Boat Quay. The very warm hosts, Michelle, Chris and Murli, helped me set up my drawing area. Armed with a HUGE BALL OF BLU-TACK, Chris scaled the bar stool and helped me stick my samples up on the wall behind me (blu-tack not pictured, unfortunately):

pimp my drawings!

Since the event wasn’t due to start until 7pm, me and Ser Ming the Tarot Card Reader decided to make like Singapore in the mid-19th century and do some barter trade! He dealt the cards before me and asked me if I wanted a general reading, or had a specific question I wanted answered. I decided to ask if I’d be able to make a living from drawing by the age of 30 (one has to dream, right). He spread the cards before me and asked me to choose 9 using my left hand, while keeping my question in mind. I actually found it really difficult to keep focussed on the question because my mind is always running all over the place and, in this case, I was thinking about how to randomly – yet not-so-randomly – pick 9 cards.

He then arranged the cards in three columns of 4, 1, and 4 cards. Apparently there were two ways to read the cards. Using the first way, Ser Ming said, the answer was negative (my heart sank). Using the second way, the cards said that I would have a change in job, but it might not necessarily be drawing. However, the people around me wouldn’t be supportive of my job. (For some reason, my immediate thought was “prostitution”. When I recounted this to my husband later, his immediate thought was also prostitution.) But if I stuck with it despite the nay-saying, I’d be able to make a living from it, and become a well-known person in the field (immediate thought: Mamasan). Jokes aside, I found this quite intriguing. Maybe I’ll get another reading from Ser Ming at next week’s Really Really Free Market 🙂

Ser Ming the Tarot Card Reader

I think I could’ve drawn Ser Ming much better as well. He was literally the first person I’ve drawn live! Maybe at next week’s Really Really Free Market too 🙂

Next up was Shao Han the Soup Nazi (although he is many other things as well). I think I got his likeness a bit better. He’s saying “Support the Soup Kitchen… OR ELSE!” while brandishing a “Civil War-era sword”. Nothing affords volunteerism more than threats of bloodshed, I say 🙂

Shao Han the Poet

After Shao Han was Jan the Beer Drinker. (I know that beer-drinking is not unique to him.) Halfway through, his friends came along and said they’d pay extra if I didn’t draw in “all the extra chins” that he had. I didn’t think he had extra chins in the first place!

Jan the Beer Drinker

Next up, Charlie the Chemistry Professor! He even drew in a random molecule hovering above his hand.

Charlie the Chemical Engineer

Next in line was Marshall the 15-year-old. Although it took me several tries (and much pain on the part of Marshall, who had to hold the huge grin on command), I thought his caricature turned out quite well, except I should’ve made his face rounder (same for Ser Ming’s). I don’t know why I seem to put angles on everything.

Marshall the fifteen-year-old

The last subject of the night was Lillian the Tourism Boarder (hee hee), who turned out to be my good friend’s ex-colleague, and who also recognised Enrique the Spanish Guy from work! How small can Singapore get?

Lillian the Tourism Boarder

I decided to call it a day at this point because I had a headache and I could feel my focus rapidly waning. Despite having spent 4 hours at the event, I had only managed to caricature 6 people! Thanks to their generosity, though, the total raised was $116.

Murli, Money, & Me

I need to work towards drawing much, much quicker, maybe by focussing on getting the overall impression right rather than the nitty gritty details. Which is exactly why I’ll be at the Really Really Free Market a week from now!

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