Drawing for my supper…
I was asked along to this great event in order to record all the happenings in my daft cartoon style. Double tempted because not only was I to be put up in a glitzy hotel with dinner, but I was promised a list of the email addresses of the delegates – every single person of any consequence in the event organisers world. This meant I could email them afterwards, attach a few wise, witty and relevant cartoons, and tell them I was cheap and available for conferences anywhere, stressing that I don’t do caricatures because the more accurate I am, the more insulted the subject becomes.
Anyway, the event was mainly people talking one to one behind loads of screens for privacy, a bit like speed dating or, as one of my cartoons pointed out, prison visiting. I found a table where I would be noticed and, coffee and bikkies at the ready, started to draw my particular brand of conference cartoons.
By lunchtime on the first day I had done twelve mono cartoons which onlookers seemed to like, inspiring me to do another ten before I repaired to my lovely hotel room to prepare for dinner. Preprandial drinks were mentioned so I was there. Walking in I was grabbed by a bush (please re-read that sentence) and was welcomed by a gold sprayed girl in an enormous dress with dozens of glasses of sparkling variety encircling it. “Does that come off?” I asked . “The gold paint or the dress?” She replied. I liked her.
Well to cut a long story short if it’s not too late, aliens arrived, along with other girls disguised as various bits of furniture, before we all went through to dinner. Unsurprisingly a large cake was wheeled in, and a Marilyn Monroe lookalike popped out and sang happy birthday in the ‘happy birthday Mr. President’ style.
Those of you who know me really well (or as well as they want to) will know that I love, and am totally bewildered by, magicians. We had one at our wedding but he refused to saw Cathy in half. Never mind, knowing my luck I’d get the half that eats..
So, there was a magician there and he went from table to table, doing close-up magic. Two things totally blew me away – he borrowed a fiver from me and then made it hover between his open hands. How did he do that? Just when I was getting over this bit of genius he wrapped one of our bottles of wine in a serviette, put a pound coin under it, and when he lifted the bottle again the pound had disappeared. I rated his talent more than that, but then he gripped the neck of the wrapped bottle, pushed it through our solid table, and pulled it back again. Staggering…
After that we all made several wine bottles disappear.
The next day I did some more original and highly whimsical cartoons (the table girls added to my inspiration) and my work there was done. The hotel desk lot very kindly photocopied my efforts and I was able to present the organisers with 45 conference cartoons, which they can use copyright-free for ever more, on websites, mailers and all that.
Great time. A well organised event. But then, why wouldn’t it be, with all those conference organisers around?