It might have been the local beer (kidding) that found me making a portrait of a statue but the experience was strangely similar. While he didn't talk back the same process of exploring the face and making compositional decisions was nearly identical.
I responded to the "wrinkles" and the cowboy background with all the same markers I'd have had for a real person. I looked around to see that no one was staring at me like a crazy man and I started shooting as if this cigar store indian was real. While doing so, it felt almost real. I thought that it might be good practice for someone who is otherwise shy about portraits to get a mannequin or something to work out some of those issues. Practice portraits?! I've had crazier ideas.