Thursday, December 29, 2011
Sketching the Rose Parade Floats
In 2001 a friend and I tested our luck to see if we could get into the largest Rose Parade Float building barn. Mind you this was 2001 and only a few months earlier was 9/11. The level of security was very high! We knew we would have a hard time getting access on the main floor but we came prepared with patience, smiles, good cheer, and a massive amount of pleading, flirting, and begging. Eventually we were given I.D. bracelets and a long verbal list of don’ts. Once we got inside the building I could feel the energy and excitement as the Rose Parade was only 2 days away. People were gluing flowers, seeds, and spices, cutting stems off strawflowers, sticking vial with water into the float frame to hold roses, moving scaffolding... People looked like little specks climbing all over the floats. The P.A system was constantly calling a “Float Chief” to an area. Judging was going on.
The energy in the building was magical! Immediately we tucked into any space we could find. If we were in the way they’d ask us to leave. It wasn’t easy!!! There is so much going…I had to constantly duck, lean, and dodge someone or something! Sometimes it is very hard to even see the float through the scaffolding and people working.
And I loved every minute!!!!
I have had many fun experiences over the last 9 years. I was interviewed and ended up on the 5:00 O’clock news, people beg me to sketch their float, and I’ve done the illustration design for my towns float (South Pasadena). It was used by the float builder and was published in the souvenir magazine that was sold in local stores and along the parade route.
I can’t wait till tomorrow when I sketch the floats, again!
Happy New Year and Happy Sketching!