One of the best things about being a freelance illustrator is you never know what you’re going to be doing next. I can be working along on a Biblical assignment for a client in the south, the phone rings and now I’m drawing wacky animals for a client in the midwest.
When I first started many years ago, I traveled more for my jobs and did some pretty diverse things. I once ended up on assignment at some sort of huge horse show in the Washington DC area. I flew in the night before, got to my hotel in the middle of the night, woke up in the morning and discovered I was in Chevy Chase, Maryland. This was just fascinating to me because the only Chevy Chase I’d ever heard of was that guy on Saturday Night Live (I’m from the midwest).
During the show I got to stand at the opening where the horses entered the arena. About halfway into the show, one of the horses got spooked in the center of the arena, flipped over its wagon, flipped over the other horse on the hitch, and they all started flailing wildly. Judging from the reaction of everyone around me, this was apparently an extremely dangerous situation for all involved. The next thing I knew I was sprinting to the middle of the arena with all the actual “horse people” to help. My help pretty much consisted of staying out of the way of the people that knew what they were doing…
…so the answer your question is, yes, I have appeared on center stage at the Grand National Horse Show.
I ran across this picture and it reminded me of that early art job I worked on so many years ago.