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Caricatures at Balboa Park!

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

January of this year I took a chance and left my “real job” to work a “not a real job” as a caricature artist at Balboa Park.

I can’t imagine going back to working a tiring, soul-crushing, dead-end job ever again.

I heard on the radio that 70% of people during quarantine started working towards their life goals... but more than half of them went back to working dead-end jobs when things lifted.

I’ve always had trouble balancing what a SHOULD do, and what I WANT to do. Right now I want to be happy.

It is a park in the middle of the city, adjacent to downtown San Diego, so there are a lot of interesting people! I've only been working for a few months, but already I'm thinking about creating some sort of comic diary about all the interesting people I've met, ahah.

At the same time, there are also some incredible people! Every few weeks I have a little boy come by to sit and draw with me. He also enjoys being an "assistant", selling the booth to passers by and holding conversation with them while I work.

Over time, I've become familiar with the other vendors, not only knowing who they are and where they are from, but also where they set up. I keep a mental note: "Do not set up here" during the weekend or weekdays to avoid any altercations.

When I first set up in the winter, an older gentleman riding a very sleek Mobo Triton (bicycle where you're basically laying down and pedaling) approached me and asked if I could work on some illustrations for his book and I happily obliged. Everyday he rides into Balboa Park and his appearance has become a daily appreciation in the mornings. We talk about life, death, people, experiences, and the like. He also happens to be an author and we traded our books. His book helped me get back into reading (it's been a slow process) because I would keep myself busy with it between customers.

Besides the people I talk to, just the overall atmosphere of the park through the week is entertaining enough. Museums are finally opening, the church bell rings every fifteen minutes, birds and ducks fly past me, the wind will blow things off my booth, silly dogs wearing sweaters walk past, rollerskaters blasting musical playlists speed by, musicians practice their craft across the sidewalk.... I could go on and on.

It really doesn't feel like work! But I make enough that it is. :)

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Jul 10, 2022

Love reading your little missiles. So interesting and enlightening!

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