Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Silhouette Artist Cindi Rose

Cindi Harwood Rose designs remarkable black and white silhouettes made from paper. Cindi began snipping her way to stardom at the age of 16. Her career began at Astroworld, in Houston, which eventually took her to Disney World and Disneyland. Cindi is considered the world's premier silhouette artist, and has sheared celebrities such as Elvis, Liberace, Mama Cass, Queen Elizabeth, Sammy Davis, Peter Fonda, Barbara Bush and Tony Bennett.

Cindi is also a co-founder of the Rose Ribbon Foundation where she creates custom "Silhouettes For Survivors," which are available for purchase. All Silhouette proceeds are dedicated to helping uninsured breast cancer survivors receive free reconstructive surgery.

In a family of three girls, Cindi grew up in Houston and attended Bellaire High, where she was editor of the paper and studied advanced art. Her father was a lawyer, and her mother, and interior designer. "My mother was selected to be a runway model with Ford Agency, but she opted to do work for Dad. She had very beautiful taste." She was always introspective, always writing poetry and with a sketch pad in her hand. Her artistic bent won her awards in poetry and art contests. "Friends began asking me to draw them, and I never turned anyone away. Soon people were calling me to ask if they could commision me"

Her grandfather was an orthodix Jewish rabbi in Houston and Galveston. Her dad believed in comparative religion, so she could pick the oneness of her religion, which for her was Judaism -- people connecting, loving one another, working together, not apart.

Cindi worked her way through college by doing silhouettes for customers at Astroworld. There she taught herself to handcut silhouettes, the ancient French way of looking and cutting, without preliminary sketches, in one minute or less. With talent and speed going for her, Rose broke speed and production records. After college graduation, she went to work at Disneyworld in Florida, where she did more than 600 silhouettes a day, including ones of Mohammed Ali, Joey Bishop, Sammy Davis Jr., and others. It was at Disnyworld that she changed her name from Cindy to Cindi at their suggestion. She loved it and never changed it back.

Eventually, she began cutting silhouettes for Neiman Marcus, Foley's, Joske's, Saks, Dillards, Lord & Taylor, Kaufman's (in Pittsburg), the Europec in London, and on the BBC TV show, Blue Peter. She set her world speed record in San Antonio for the Express News which timed it. She cut 144 silhouettes in one hour breaking her own record she se the previous year of 133 silhouetts in one hour.
In 1982 Cindi maried a local plastic surgeon, Franklin Rose. Since then she has become an asset to her husbands business. Now during her silhouette cutting sessions, Cindi will show her customers how they might improve after cosmetic surgery. If they like what they see, she refers them on to her husband.


  1. Cindi Harwood Rose did my silhouette 30 years ago and I think she really captured my personality- I was a shy child, and the silhouette looks like you want to hold the child and comfort it. I cherish it! Linda Arnold Rogers

  2. I also do silhouette portraits in Times Square, New York... but tourists barely opt for them instead buy caricature sketches for $5.00 each.

    I wonder how I can make it big in New York? SO I shifted to do Charcoal sketching and then finally settled to do spray paint art. Any suggestions?

    Enrico in New York.