My good friend Chris Galvin pitched this job to me about a month ago, asking if I was available to work at a 3-day trade show in early September. I said “Sure!” and he then kind of grinned at me & said, “It’s kinda weird….” Chris then proceeded to tell me the client had requested that I wear a costume while I’m there. Turns out that the client, Jack, had created this character as a mascot for his company, and he wanted me to sort of “play” said character while I’m drawing. Now, I’m no stranger to wearing the attire of the event. If it’s a Christmas gig, sometimes they want you to wear the little Santa hat. If it’s a “Night in Paris” sort of affair, sometimes you have to wear a beret and a little black-and-white-striped shirt (you see, because I’m an artist, and the theme is Paris…GET IT??). So I replied to Chris that, as long as the client realizes that I’m not a professional actor, and doesn’t expect me to do a silly voice or anything while I’m drawing, then I’d be game to wear whatever costume he wanted me to wear. Not unlike Ernie Hudson’s line in Ghostbusters—“Uh…if there’s a steady PAYCHECK in it—I’ll believe anything you say!”
So once I arrived on the first day, it was understood that I was to be dressed as “Dr. Leonardo”—a character very much based on Leonardo da Vinci, but who was also a DOCTOR, because this particular trade show catered to those in the medical field. So, I figured, no biggie. Throw on a beard, wig, lab coat & beret—topped off with one of those little round head mirrors you sometimes see the “old-timey” doctors wear—and I was set!
Oh, and to further enhance the da Vinci angle, each drawing would be done to fit inside a folder adorned with a copy of the Mona Lisa on the cover. Furthermore, there was a hole cut out where Ms. Lisa’s face would normally be, so that when the finished caricature was placed inside…..TA-DA! Instant masterpiece, ready for the Louvre!
This was pretty brilliant idea, I must admit (all Jack’s idea—not mine)! The caricatures of the men seemed to work the best, as I thought it was kind of funny to see this manly face—especially with a beard or a goatee—peeking out from within the famous Mona Lisa bust.
All in all, it was a good gig! Jack, Brendan, and Reggie from www.Dr-Leonardo.com were a HOOT to work with for 3 days in a row, and I got to do some drawings I was happy with.
Wearing the outfit while working, well…..it’s all part of blending in and adapting to whatever your environment may be.