Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Another trip down Memory Lane!

The time: the early 2000s. I was a fresh RISD graduate, back in my parents' house in Florida, when I read the following ad in the Classifieds of the Tampa Tribune (that statement's a time capsule in itself): 

WANTED: Portrait Artist for Carnival Cruise Ships

Well, I had nothing else going on, I thought I'd give it a shot! After some training sessions with "the best portrait artist in the Walt Disney World complex", I was given my assignment aboard a ship (the...Destiny? Celebration?... hmmm) sailing from Miami to Jamaica, St. Croix, San Juan, & other exotic locales!

While the portraits themselves were rather cheesy (they were on velvet paper, after all), to this day I think it was an immensely valuable experience. I was drawing people! 8-12 hours a day, seven days a week! Mostly from photographs, but sometimes people wanted to sit for a live portrait, which was always a) fun, and 2) somewhat panic-inducing.

It WAS a cruise ship, I had to have some sort of celebrity portfolio! This was, if you can imagine, a time when Harry Potter was NOT a household name! The first movie hadn't been released yet, and when I dressed up as Harry for Halloween, barely anyone knew who I was.


Nina Crittenden said...

What a cool job! The portraits are lovely! I love Harry Potter, too, and am hoping the next movie comes out before all the kids are 30something like on 90210!

Kristi Valiant said...

Wow, what a fun job for a new grad - and you got to go to exotic places. I did caricatures for a summer in Myrtle Beach during college, and yeah, it was super cheesy work, but the beach was fabulous.

I really like that third portrait. Something about the lips parting and the deep dark eyes...

Anonymous said...

Very cool job! These are very good, too, especially the Harry Potter one.

Sharon Wagner said...

I used to do face painting at the Mall of America. I always envied how fast the portrait artists could paint someones likeness. Yours are beautiful.