When I work a gig drawing live caricature the quality of what I do is generally dictated by the reactions of those around me, the more laughs and pleasure I get, the better my work comes out.
It's a confidence thing.
To achieve appreciation from your peers and those already in the public eye gives you an even greater sense of satisfaction, as society would have you believe that those people are harder to please.
For this reason the last few weeks have been particularly enjoyable for me.
Mai and I recently had the opportunity to be in the audience for the filming of one of Derren Brown's latest shows, you may have seen it, the one where a girl lacking confidence in her singing ability has to confront a huge audience.. well, we were among the audience in that smoky theatre. Having just drawn a caricature of Derren in the theme of his "Apocalypse" show it was such an honour to witness his abilities first hand. Sadly I hadn't brought a copy of the picture with me and could have kicked myself when one of his crew sat in front of me. For those that don't know, Derren Brown is also a master caricaturist.. to have received critique from him would have been fantastic.
A few days later Heston Blumenthal was making an appearance at Dickens World to film for his latest show. I've always been fascinated by this real-life Willy Wonka and having been asked to bring a caricature along for him to sign for the bar, of course I jumped at the chance. Heston himself was an absolute gentleman, showing such appreciation for the copy I had printed for him. To my disappointment, I realised I had drawn him with his old glasses on which he didn't seem to mind. I also put my foot in it further when asking him to sign the picture for the bar.
Concerned for his time being taken up, I said,
"You're not busy at the moment are you?"
Obviously for a man who fronts a hugely successful restaurant and a popular tv series this question must have come across as absurd.
Despite this, he posed for a photo and Mai and I also had the chance to witness the events being filmed and sample a few of his dishes which I have to say were amazing.
Am I a bit of a fanboy? Hell yeah, fanboy and proud.