Right after leaving Busch Gardens, I got my first party gig, from word-of-mouth. It was kid's birthday party. In 1994 I had a gig in Italy drawing portraits in pencil, but this was the first time I'd ever been paid do theme-park-style caricature at a party. I know some would argue that the goal is exaggeration, but for kids, this is the kind of thing I like to do:
There are plenty of challenges here to keep me satisfied, such as line quality, and realistic color. We were trained at Busch Gardens to use Prismacolor Art-Stix, which are colored pencils in pastel form. They are a lot like crayons, but much denser and more heavily pigmented. A small sheet of foam rubber is placed under the drawing when applying color, resulting in a smooth, buttery feel. The marker used is a Dixon Markette bullet-tip. These days it's considered the industry standard.