Monday, November 16, 2009

ISCA Convention 2009-Part 1

This year's annual caricaturist convention, held in Sandusky, Ohio, was the official unveiling of the new name of our organization. Formerly the NCN (National Caricaturists Network) we are now the International Society of Caricature Artists, reflecting a worldwide membership of over six hundred artists. Two-hundred-forty-one of them came to learn, draw and socialize during the week of Nov 2-7 at an amazing resort hotel---the Kalahari, which features a huge indoor water park. However, that was a very small part of the experience as most of us were just too busy drawing each other to think of swimming. We finally did take advantage at the end of the week, after the competition voting and before the final banquet. OK, I'm getting ahead of myself...

The first morning features a communal breakfast, where we hear the latest from our board and get ready for an intense week of all caricature, all the time...

L-R Dave "Bippy" Boyer, speaking in front of board members Robert Bauer,(president) Glenn Ferguson,(v.p) and Lorin Bernsen,(secretary.

My roomates, the lovely and talented Anne Bush and Marlo Meekins.

First on the agenda was the Caricature 101 seminar, hosted by "Unca" Lar deSouza ( shown here drawing new ISCA treasurer, Ron Kantrowicz). He gave us some very interesting takes on his live-caricature process, especially since it was his first time giving a seminar. I should mention that to his surprise, it was SRO!
Next up was our own Tom Richmond, who was responsible for getting other MAD greats (incredible all-round talent Hermann Mejia, digital artist and cover artist extraordinaire Mark Frederickson, and jovial art-drector Sam Viviano) to be co-guest speakers along with him, thus making it a very Alfred E. Neuman kinda shindig!

Here's a view from my seat at Tom and Mark's presentation:

Below is an example of one of Mark's hilarious MAD covers. He works exclusively digitally now, as his previous airbrush work (which is equally fantastic)caused him some serious health issues.

Mark, Sam and Hermann were kind enough to pose for a photo with me at an evening reception for gold members of ISCA, of which I'm one. To caricature artists, these three gentlemen are celebrities of the highest order :-)

Below are all four guest speakers and ISCA president Robert Bauer during a question-answer session:

I've always been particularly drawn to Hermann's work. He has an painter's eye for likeness and humor, but his drawings (and sculptures) to me seem to be more than the sum of their parts. Below--look at the range of his abilities!

Hermann has a real fairy-tale story, too... MAD got one look at his portfolio and he was hired instantly, a non-English speaking young man from Venezuela. He called it luck, but I say he made his own luck.

Below: Sam spoke about the history and future of MAD magazine, and the part he's played in that as the current art director. Alfred E. has been around far longer than the magazine!

The ballroom opened after the first seminar and remained open and buzzing with activity 24/7, as artists claimed their spaces and began drawing each other. The goal was to have a wall space filled with work, created at the convention, of fellow artists, to be judged at the end by one's peers. Here are some views of that effort:

Above, my two table-mates ( and power-strip mates too!) Paul McCall and Patrick Harrington, who both worked exclusively digitally. I opted to do several different media, but I was very happy with my lone digital of that to come.

Above: Amazing sculptress and friend, Johanna Veerenhuis, shows her husband in the Netherlands (via Skype) her amazing Sculpey rendition of fellow artist, Gwenda Saunders of New Zealand. Yes, we ARE international!

Below: As usual, Marlo is amazing...

This year my fiance John came along for the fun (he hasn't been able to come the last two years) so he was able to renew old friendships. Here he is being digitally drawn as a rock star by fellow wine-enthuisast Lar!

And here's the result!

Below: Hermann Mejia chats with last year's Golden Nosey winner, Jason Seiler. Jason gave a unique seminar, where he critiqued the work of artists who had submitted to him caricatures they'd done from photos. It was quite interesting to me, as I am getting more and more of that type of work myself.

Perennial seminar-giver Court Jones gave a combination informational/demonstrational class on human anatomy and why caricaturists should have at least a basic knowledge of it:

I learned as much from my friend Wade Collin's t-shirt ( who was seated in front of me at Court's seminar) as I did from Court!!

For the first time, I did not participate in the Likeness or Speed competitions, as I was more focused on drawing in the ballroom. However, I did sneak over to the room those competitions were held in, and was rewarded with a view of this rainbow over a bleak, flat Ohio landscape. :-)

If you're interested, these and many, many other photos from the convention can be viewed on my public Facebook fan page, under "Photos".

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