Drawing at NASA!

So, my buddy Sage calls me up and asks if I’ll come to where he works to draw at his company picnic. They can’t pay me but it’ll be cool to hang out and I can bring the family. There were only about 50 people expected so it would be pretty laid back. Ordinarily I’d probably say no (It’s an hour away and I do have a lot of office work to catch up on and have gotten virtually nothing accomplished this week) but I haven’t seen Sage in a while and in fact might actually be a pretty cool gig. See, Sage works for NASA.

I didn’t know it but he invited his wife and some other cool people we hadn’t seen in awhile too. It was great seeing everybody again and catching up. Another big surprise was that Sage led us on a tour of the facilities!

He told me once he was in maintenance and HVAC systems. So naturally my dumb ass imagines him pushing a broom and fixing air conditioners… Not so much… Uh, Sage maintains the vacuum and exhaust systems for where they test rocket propulsion systems and payload deployment systems for rockets!

We started out by watching some hobby rockets go off in a field on base, which was some 1600 acres in Lorain with a really cool history of a weapons manufacturing facility in WWI. Then we saw the vacuum chamber which has 2 5′ thick concrete doors and a suspension system under the floor to keep it from imploding! After lunch, (which went fast and I only got to draw about 25 people) Sage showed us the rocket testing facility which was a giant sheltered hole in the ground that the rocket is bolted onto and the exhaust is expressed underneath the floor into a 250′ deep chasm, cooled, analyzed and sucked out. It was pretty amazing.

Thank you so much, Sage, for asking us to join you and giving us the tour!

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Something Fun and Different Entertainment

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So I’ve been hinting around at a big project that has been taking up a lot of my time. Well, I started an entertainment agency. It’s called Something Fun and Different. The agency specializes in unique interactive art novelties and unique variety acts. If you’re looking for entertainment and want something you’ve never seen before that is artistic and probably a little bit silly- please give us a holler!

Speed Sketchers Caricatures is a group of specialized speed artists that I have put together and am training to do exactly what I do at gigs, nationwide. This is kind of a big deal for me because I am the only one who does what I do. I have (thankfully) been in demand and have one dedicated back up artist, but sometimes my schedule is just too much for me. I have chosen artists regionally so that everyones time gets used efficiently. (and nobody spends 3 full days traveling to and from a single gig because it’s so far out of the way) We can draw together at some gigs and cover for each other. Also important to note is that the more people that can do speed sketches, the higher the demand for them will be!

Apart from Speed Sketchers, I am also representing digital caricature artists as well as traditional caricature artists. Other artistic novelties of note are silhouette cutout artists, henna, face painting, balloon sculptors, an origami artist, live scene painters, portrait artists, giant mural painters and customized color by number projects! I am also pleased to represent an amazing journalistic photographer, a variety of original singer/songwriter KICK ASS musical acts, a speaker/artist presenter and a world famous magician who holds several world records.

The website is here: http://www.somethingfunanddifferent.com if you are interested in checking it out…. Facebook page is here: http://www.facebook.com/somethingfunanddifferent. New website is already in the works now that I have some additional promotional materials from some of the performers.

It’s going to be a big year! Wish me luck!!

Link

Interesting NY Times article interviewing one of the Chinese caricature ‘bosses’ in Times Square.

Times Square Artists

My thoughts: Retail caricatures may be free speech but should not be exempt from vendor licensing or paying local sales taxes. Let alone by undocumented immigrants. Reading between the lines of this article, seeing them first hand and knowing how things work for NYC artists who have tried to set up in Times Square, I can tell you – something fishy is going on…

If you try to set up and are NOT Chinese the cops will actually chase you away. The artwork in their displays are snagged from the internet and are done by caricature illustrator friends of mine who are fellow ISCA members (yes, we have a large group and it’s fun sometimes when the someone from our group snaps a photo of their signs and we all know who’s work is on the sign. One of the artists even cheekily confronted one of the Chinese artists when they saw their own illustration on a sign. …no speaka engrish! Lol)

I hear about these artists almost everywhere I’ve been. They sell a caricature for $5-$10 or more, (some good some bad. Honestly some do good work) but then a lady comes over and tries to sell you a matte, plastic sleeve or frame for $20 or something. She’s pretty aggressive! Again, I have seen her in action.

My advise if you are in NYC and want to get some artwork done? Go to Central Park and get one from one of the artists there. They are as good or better artists than the Chinese artists, probably American, probably from NYC and you will probably have a much better experience. I know some of those artists and if they have signs depicting caricatures, they use their own work. They probably have a sketchbook, some business cards, a website and some fine art they can show you as well, and they might even be able to draw your guests at your nieces birthday party!

Holiday greeting card special!

Ooooo….. some exciting stuff in the works for December. Been very very busy. I’m a man with a PLAN!

In the meanwhile, once again I am offering greeting card/gift caricatures for a special rate for the holidays. $50 gets you a full color digital drawing of 2 people, head and shoulders, a simple background and a holiday message. Extra people, bits and backgrounds are $25 each. Hit me up if you want one! Here’s ours from a few years ago.

This year you can also get a CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT with your custom artwork on it as well!!

4×4 ornaments made from sandblasted crystal! (other sizes and objects available as well, including wine glasses, bottles, etc… just call and ask!)

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sandblasted caricature on crystal

sandblasted caricature on crystal

Recent stuff

Been traveling again already this fall. So far I have been to NY, PA, IL and KY next week I’ll be in VT and NC too. Most of the time I have been too busy to snap a photo but amazingly I had a minute or two during a very busy event in Potsdam, NY (5th year in a row for that event!) to take a couple of pics.

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When I got home I drew at a wedding at the Western Reserve History Center, which was a pretty cool venue. The bride wanted the copier and most people obliged and made copies  for the bride and groom and left them beside the coper for them after writing a little note on them. I draw at a lot of weddings, which is what I did most of the summer. I can draw around 200 people in 3 hours.

 

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While I was in NY, I went to a school I have worked at about 7 years in a row now. One of my favorites! It’s in a little community by the Canadian border in the Adirondack mountains where there are ponds everywhere and it’s a school for naturalists, lumberjacks and forest rangers. Very cool place and cool students as well. They are very into conservation and their cafeteria program is the most efficient I’ve seen. They recycle, reuse and compost everything. Every time I go there I am always in a hurry to get to the next town (since it’s in the middle of nowwhere). I usually have a little bit of time to take photos and maybe go on a hike but this time I actually had a full day almost to enjoy the scenery. On top of that I was driving from home so I brought along my handy dandy inflatable sit on top kayak with me and finally got to explore the beautiful lake that the college sits on the shore of. (you can just barely make out the school in the distance in the last photo) Here are just a few of my favorite photos from that trip! Enjoy.

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So this week I am drawing at 2 all day events that I’m pretty stoked about. The first is the Great Lakes Brewery’s 25th Anniversary party in Ohio City. I will be there drawing all day for free and accepting tips of course. My friends from the Rust Belt Monster Collective will be painting a  giant group mural too, which is really neat to watch. Wedding on Saturday and then the Berea Arts Festival has hired me to draw free pictures of the attendees all day again. I think I must have drawn 500 people there last year. It’s going to be a busy weekend no doubt! After that I will be going non stop so this will probably be my last post for a long while in September. Have a great fall!

Beginnings…

HOW MY CAREER FOUND ME

So Oakland was a really fun little college town/borough in Pittsburgh and there were lots of parties and lots of pretty girls to chase around. I was a good kid for a good while but I was a young man and being good is pretty boring when the one you love is so far away… Wouldn’t you know it, it didn’t take long for me to screw up the whole long distance GF thing and we ended up breaking up not long after (although clearly the story continued…)

School was taking up more and more of my time and I had pretty good grades though I still spent a lot of my extra time drinking beer and going to parties. Even though most of the people I knew were lowlifes we somehow kept out of trouble, for the most part, and had some of the best times of my life that I won’t remember, lol!

A year went by, most of my savings was gone, I had a girl living with me and I was 21, which made drinking and partying only slightly less fun… I had a really fun job as a bike messenger in the summer but I had quit it to concentrate on my studies during my last quarter of school. Seeking out just about any opportunity to make some extra money during the rough months of January through March when bills are higher and income is lower, I went to see the freelance advisor to see what was new. I hadn’t been there for a while and had missed out on some pretty decent gigs apparently and there were a lot of new artists that had snatched them up. There wasn’t much of anything worth bidding on but there was this one gig that had apparently been offered to about 13 artists and every one of them passed on it. As the advisor told me about it, I started to kinda get excited because it actually kinda sounded like it might be fun!

A few streets away from the Birmingham bridge on the south side off of East Carson St, there was a “Speakeasy” that was rumored to be a common hangout of Al Capone. It was closed for a long time and somebody bought it (mafia) and wanted to re-open it. The grand re-opening was in a week or so and they wanted somebody to come in, walk around and draw the customers at the bar. They wanted the artist to be there from about 8PM to 12AM but he could stay later if he wished as it was an after hours joint.

I was intrigued! I didn’t know it but this was going to be the start of something special.

Copyright, Adam Pate 2013, all rights reserved.

1992. THE SUMMER OF LOVE!

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Mr. And Mrs. Pate

Mr. And Mrs. Pate!

Even though AIP was open year round, I wanted to have a summer to go work back home if possible. I had a really tough time finding work as it turned out. I called and stopped by places I had always been interested in working when I was a kid and found nothing for the first couple of weeks. I eventually found some work working at the Christmas store in the bottom of Grandpa’s Cheesebarn that is owned by the Goshinski family in Ashland near Fin Feather and Fur Outfitters (better known as the Ashland Mall). I worked with some very nice ladies but the Christmas thing really got to me.

I endured listening to Alvin and the Chipmonks’ Christmas album about 100 times a day and if it wasn’t that, it was a Disney music album (featuring It’s A Small World After All). Needless to say, I was happy to have an opportunity to draw caricatures here and there…

On my days off I visited some friends of mine that were working at Camp Mowana where I had worked the previous summer. (AIP let out too late for me to get a job there again like I had hoped- funnest job ever, BTW…) I also spent some time with a good friend of mine from high school, hanging out at the college she went to, driving out to Fowler’s woods late at night and having lots of fun but somehow managing to stay out of trouble… I booked some fairs and festivals and one of the first ones I worked at was the Perrysville Street fair.

I was set up in a pole barn off the main street in Perrysville. It was kind of a smallish fair but they had a parade and a car show so it was pretty fun. Set up about a block from where I was sitting was a pretty girl with a 1969 Ford Mustang convertible that WNCO, the local country radio station, was giving away for free to a lucky listener who signed up to win it during the summer. I wasn’t a country fan by any means, but during a slow time when I had gotten up to go look around I stopped by and signed up to win it and chatted for a minute with the DJ chick who was there with the car. Her name was Stacie Thompson. I told her she should let me draw her later, and so she did.

After a little while, as promised, Ms. Thompson came over to see what I was doing and to let me draw her there at my ‘booth’, which was a couple of the old school nylon and aluminum folding chairs, a milk crate, a jam box and some pens and paper. (I think I had tossed the easel by then) I was sitting there listening to the Depeche Mode and eating some funnel cake with my high school friend Amira, who had come with me. I offered some to Stacie and she took it.

She made it a point to tell us that she knew who Depeche Mode was and that she wasn’t in to country music at all, which I thought was interesting because you know, she was the DJ at the country station and stuff. She clued us in that she was the DJ on the weekends and that she would be on later that night and if we wanted to check her out, but she also DJ’ed at the local college station in Oberlin and that she liked punk and metal, so we talked about music for a while, then other festivals we had gone to, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Ashland, New London, Mansfield, College, this and that and the other thing… There were some awkward moments there in that first conversation to be sure, but somehow we established that A. we liked each other, and B. that I was not dating my very attractive friend and was in fact single so we exchanged numbers and made a date to talk some time later on the phone. I listened to her on the radio that night and thought that was pretty cool and that she had a very sweet voice.

The following weekend she asked me to go with her to take the NCO car to a car show at the local speedway in Mansfield. (she was going to take her dad but thankfully decided to take me instead) I met her at the station and we drove the car over together, hung out, I did a few caricatures and we talked for hours and had a blast. I kissed her there in the garage at the radio station before she went to work -and that was it! That was the first time I kissed my future wife and the future mother of my child!

I know I’m going to hear how I got it all wrong now as soon as she reads this, but that’s the gist of what I remember, lol! What a great summer!

Copyright Adam Pate 2013. All rights reserved.