Since he was a boy, Charles King has traveled through life with paper and pen, ready to sketch the world around him. In school, his teachers asked him to make drawings for various projects and made him the official artist of the bulletin board in the first grade. And though he went to college to study accounting, he found himself continually drawn back to the arts. While at a party one day, he sat in a corner and began sketching the guests. Soon a crowd had formed to watch, and people requested sketches of their friends. Once Charles had been invited to a few parties and paid for his services, he realized his drawings inspired fascination in those around him and gave him more joy than accounting, so he immediately switched to graphic design.
Charles’s art career has grown in bursts in the 35 years since those early days. His wife persuaded him to sell his early business and go into cartooning full time, and today he receives invitations to draw at large-scale events such as corporate conventions and trade shows. He draws cartoons from photographs for prices ranging from $100 to $1,000 for a color likeness. When performing for a crowd, Charles can draw about 30–60 sketches an hour, simultaneously producing miniature tornadoes with the rapid flicking of his pen. At an event at an Atlanta children’s hospital, he sketched portraits of 700 children in six hours. When Charles draws, his arm takes over and runs on autopilot; he can even look away while drawing and maintain a sharp image and a true likeness.
His skills have even attracted the attention and business of famous fans including President Ronald Reagan and Colonel Sanders. Charles says that he draws because he enjoys getting a reaction from people and “loves to hear his customers, especially the kids, laugh.”
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with instructors during private lessons and other classmates for group lessons as instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.