I have to confess - when I started Broadway Up Close five years ago I never imagined that one day I'd have a cartoon version of myself gracing the pages of our website! A few months ago I came across an illustrator named James Claridades who draws under the pen-name of Squeegol. He lives in the Philippines and had illustrated a friend of mine who is currently dancing and singing in the ensemble of the international tour of Beauty And The Beast. In looking at his other work I was astounded by his illustrations of some of my favorite Broadway shows. My first commission of his was actually a present. My fiancee Emmy was finishing up the national tour of Wicked as one of the Elphabas so I enlisted James to illustrate her as Elphaba as a final closing night present to her.
I was so impressed by his attention to detail that my second task for him was to see if he could create an illustrated version of my tour guide Tim persona - which you can see he did successfully!
I'm always fascinated by the process through which different artists create. On all of our tours our guests are always asking questions about the process, rehearsals and behind the scenes jobs that all lead to the finished product they've seen. Every time someone asks me one of these questions I always have to smile knowing that everyone seems to share the same curiosity as I do.
When it comes to drawing, an art that I know nothing about, I was equally fascinated by how someone can take a picture and turn that into a creation all their own. As James began to sketch and send those drawings and illustrations from the Philippines I was fascinated by the entire process. He was always open to my notes and thoughts and he was able to incoporate everything into his finished product.
Now that I have the finished product you'll see Tour Guide Tim popping up in different places on our website and our social media. I like to think of him as a Broadway guide who has fun little Broadway tidbits, facts and helpful hints to help you navigate your theatre-going experience.
Let me know what you think of Tour Guide Tim and James' work!
See you on the sidewalks!
Owner of Broadway Up Close Walking Tours