Planning a party, celebration, corporate event, reunion or wedding that needs to make an impression? Looking for something out of the ordinary that guests can take home, something by which they’ll always remember that day? Nothing surprises and impresses guests like finding that the reception includes a professional artist working live to “capture” them on the spot.
For example, today brides are definitely looking to put the stamp of their own style and personality on their weddings. They want something that will make their ceremony and reception uniquely their own, and make their day stand out in their guests’ minds from all the other weddings they’ve attended.
If your reception is formal, or you’d like it to have a vintage theme or a nostalgic aura, consider hiring a silhouette artist or two to cut traditional profiles of the guests. Their silhouette becomes their favor, and being one-of-a-kind, is likely to be treasured as an heirloom rather than left behind at the table or discarded.
Additionally, guests find watching an artist work live immensely entertaining and even educational. Because relatively few professional silhouettists are at work in America today, many guests have never had their profile cut or watched an artist create one. Seeing likenesses start to emerge in just seconds from simple black paper and scissors wows viewers.
Silhouettes fit in perfectly with most events from parties for kids to 50th wedding anniversaries, whether or not the theme is “vintage.” The art of the silhouette was at its height in the mid-1700’s to mid-1800’s, with another important resurgence in the post-camera nineteenth century. But from the middle of the twentieth century, the number of artists with the skill diminished. Thus today freehand silhouette artists create excitement.
Many folks can recall having their head traced in grade school from a projected shadow, but have never seen an artist cut freehand. Most are astonished that a piece of cut paper approximately 3 x 4 inches can capture so much of a person’s appearance, posture, and often even personality.
A good silhouette professional will offer a number of different options, tailoring their work to exactly what will best satisfy your vision of your event.
If you want to emphasize FUN at your party rather than tradition, it may be more appropriate to engage a caricature artist. A good one will make every guest laugh and stress the idea that this day is meant to be a fun-filled celebration. Whereas the average silhouette takes about 5 minutes to complete, paste-up included, you should expect a corporate caricaturist to work on each subject for closer to 10 minutes if working in black and white, and a little longer in color.
There are even a few artists available who will bring an easel and turn out a painting of the crowd at your wedding reception or party! This makes a great memento for the happy couple and is fun for guests to watch, though it does not result in a gift they can each take home.
What will hiring an artist cost? Obviously, it depends upon the artist and their reputation and experience, as well as what extras you may want included (for instance, duplicate silhouettes for an album) and how many hours you want them to work (some artists have a three hour minimum, for example.) However, as a ballpark figure, you should expect to pay in the range of $1,000 to $1,500, not including travel expenses, if you want professional results.
Event artists are harder to find on some websites than, say, photographers. You can’t always count on them appearing where you might expect, such as under “vendors.” But if you use the right search terms, and keep looking, you will find the perfect artist for your event. You can search under the keywords for the type of artist you seek, or look on special occasion sites such as GigMasters.com
In many cases the best artist won’t live in the next town over. Nonetheless, if your budget permits you to fly a good one in and put him or her up in a hotel, you may find it is one of the best investments you can make.
After all, every well planned affair has guests, flowers, food and music. It’s only the extra special ones that have that crowning touch of a live event artist to help make the day unforgettable for all.