Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cub Scout banquet

For the second year running, my caricatures were featured today at a large Cub Scout pack's annual banquet. This year, not only did I draw the Cubs themselves, but also many parents and even entire families. The Cub Scout leader, Andy, does a phenomenal job of both organizing and emceeing the event. (Thanks for having me back!) He and his wife told me that my caricatures of their family from last year are framed and proudly displayed in their basement. That really is a warm fuzzy feeling for me!

Okay, why did I put a photo of a chair on my blog?
Look closely at the rollers on the legs. I have never seen rolling chairs in a banquet hall--I imagine they are better for the carpeting than metal chair caps. But for this caricaturist, they make it far too easy for my subjects to do what some instinctively do when they sit for me...pull themselves up til they are THISCLOSE. I just laugh and tell them I don't need to see their pores or their molars to be able to draw them!!! :-)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Happy birthday, Eric Clapton!

Wow, two Erics in a row! This one is for the same purpose as yesterday's post, and for March 30. I don't know if I can keep up with Jan, but I'm going to try!
One hour in Photoshop.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy birthday, Eric Idle!

On the NCN/ISCA* forum, master artist Jan Opdebeeck had the bright idea of organizing a daily caricature sketch practice--and the subjects are well-known personages celebrating a birthday. I have been wanting to participate, but real life has intruded a bit lately. For March 29, the chosen celebrity is Eric Idle of Monty Python. Had to have a go, know what I mean, nudge nudge!!

The sketch is a half-hour exercise in Photoshop.

* The National Caricaturist Network, of which I am a long-term member, is in the midst of re-organizing itself as the International Society of Caricature Artists, to better reflect its global membership. I don't know when it will be official, so I am going with both acronyms.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Corporate Mardi Gras party

This afternoon, I found myself helping some hoteliers celebrate a late Mardi Gras...

I thought they did a great job with the decor..and they served a 'shrimp with grits' dish (there was actually some left when I finished up--mmmm!)

Below are some of the faces that came and went...

There were supposed to be nine faces on this drawing (all managers) but two of them got diverted somewhere, despite the fact that I was asked to ( and did) stay on a little longer. So I remedied the big white space I'd left for them by putting in a title. It went over quite well. Their copy machine will be busy tomorrow! :-)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

MORE marketing

If folks don't know about you or your service, how can you expect to find new clients?

I believe in marketing wherever or however I can, to expose what I do--caricature-- to new audiences. You can't sit back and wait for gigs and commissions to come from sources you've come to depend on, especially in this economy. The most important world marketplace is definitely now the Internet. So, any time I learn of a new site to do that, I try to take advantage of it. Twitter has turned up some advantageous methods already. Today's tip came from Steve Hearn, a caricaturist friend from England, who posted a link on the NCN forum about making a Google profile. So that's what I did today!

My Google profile

Thanks, Steve! :-)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

BW Party-style caricature from photo...

These neighbors of the little birthday girl couldn't be at her party that I drew for earlier this month, so recently her mom sent me this photo-- so they could also have a special memento to commemorate Josie's 1st.
Doing party-style caricature from a photo involves a somewhat different skill-set than doing it live. A person in front of you offers a lot of visual information; a photo is more limited and sometimes misleading. This was a good photo to work from, however. Also, in my experience, drawing from a photo can't be done as quickly as a live drawing. That's why I usually turn down requests to draw from photos at a party gig (unless there is a special situation.) At big corporate events, I don't do them at all, because the point is to entertain the guests who are there. Earlier in my career, I also found that if I drew from one photo, everybody in line would start pulling out their wallets and hunting down too-tiny snapshots!!
But photos ( and the more the better) work just fine for studio situations, and I enjoy it as a different discipline. Thank you Laura!:-)

This photo caught me mid-squint! Honestly, I am not winking at older men, but gauging shapes and sizes of features. Either that or my glasses aren't strong enough!

I didn't get a photo of this young man, but my client did. Thank you Laura! :-)

Friday, March 20, 2009

My Caricature Gig Paraphernalia

One of my blog readers emailed me to ask about my easel (thank you Hilary!) so this is a post about what I take to a typical gig.
I pull along an inexpensive collapsible cart--this one was $20 at Staples-- that holds just about everything. My easel is a half-size French easel, which is a portable, expanding-legs-and-top type which folds down very compactly. There's a container for my paper and plastic bags, and another for my pens, then there's my lights, and finally there's my display board and its own lightweight metal easel. I also carry along my own chair that is the right height for me...and it has a padded seat! It takes me about ten minutes to set up and tear down.
One of the perks of being a caricaturist is that you don't really need to haul much stuff! :-)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day! (that would be...yesterday)

For this most Irish day of the year, my fiance and I were invited to Baltimore to do some pub-crawling. One of the bars we went to, the Life of Reilly, was one I had visited previously for a gig last year, so I knew there were caricatures of the bartenders gracing its bar... (above)
When we arrived at our third and final destination of the night (J.Patrick's Pub) there was a pleasant surprise waiting for me. Adorning its bar was another caricature I had done from that same gig, of two gentlemen cousins who certainly seem to get around!!
The two gents weren't actually present, but they must be favored patrons to be hanging there on permanent public view. What's more, I could tell it was a copy (because my 11 x 14 paper had been lengthened to 11 x 17) so who knows how many other displays it might have, depending on how many Irish bars these two frequent?? ;-)
Here's a wee bit of that very Guinnessy, Harpy, Jamesony, Tullamore-Dewy ambiance...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Caricaturist friend on Dutch television....

Through the NCN, I have been able to make friends with caricaturists all over the world. A special one to me is Johanna Veerenhuis, whom, along with her husband Johnannes, will be opening a caricature museum in the town in the Netherlands where they live.

The photo of us above was taken at the 2007 NCN convention in Reno.

Johanna is multi-talented, being an award-winning sculptor as well as a 2-D artist. She was just featured on a morning show in her country--the piece showcased her upcoming museum as well as her live drawing skills in the TV studio. Was I surprised when I saw that my wedding caricature of she and Johannes was briefly shown (at 8:18) during a montage of caricatures!!!

Click here to watch:
Groningen Vandaag

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Two-year-old's birthday party!

I've been drawing for/celebrating many March-born people's birthdays this month, which is funny because my own birthday fell this past week, too!
Today, it for was a cherubic little Elmo-loving toddler. I drew her family and friends, and Elmo too (he really WAS a guest!).

Update: 3-17-09 Another happy client sent me an email... Thank you!!!!
Thank you so much for being part of Rosa's special day! It was such a pleasure to meet you and your work is absolutely fantastic! You were the hit of the party! Everyone commented what a great touch it was to have you here! I will most definitely keep you in mind for future parties and will be sure to pass on your name to anyone who asks for my input on finding a wonderful artist!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Photos from a party guest of last weekend...

One of the guests at my Saturday color-gig last weekend is an avid family photographer (as I kids were always rolling their eyes at how I took photos of everything!) Anyhow, this gracious lady took some pics of drawings that I didn't get a chance to, and she sent them to me this morning, along with "Thank you so much! You are incredibly talented!"

Thank YOU!!! :-)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

1st birthday party!

This afternoon, my caricatures were the party favor for a little Pisces baby's first birthday. The birthday girl posed for both her own color drawing and a family version; then her mommy had me draw a BW one from a favorite photo. Then it was on to the guests--here's a few of them:

Another wonderful family welcomed me into their home...I am so lucky to be able to do what I love for a living. Thank you for having me! :-)

Update: This morning I received a happy email from the client:
Thank you so very much for coming yesterday- EVERYONE had a fabulous time and couldn't stop talking about your work. SHOW IT OFF!!!! YOU ROCK! Of course, your work speaks volumes of your unbelievable talent. Thanks again!
Thank YOU so much! It makes ME happy that you and your family and friends were so thrilled with their drawings! :-)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

40th birthday party!

Back to the gig whirl---today I drew at an intimate 40th birthday party. A thoughtful wife had invited their family and friends over to celebrate her hubby's big day. "40 is the new 30" right? ;-)
The small number of guests meant that I was able to do full-color caricatures of everyone, which was especially fun for me; and meant an even nicer favor for the guests, since I could spend a little more time on each one--and chat too. Sometimes at hectic events, where the goal is to draw as many people as fast as possible--I miss the interaction with my subjects. Today, I had it in abundance. Thanks so much for having me! :-)

Update 3-10-09. This party came to me through my Gigmasters webpage, and the client can afterwards opt to submit feedback there. This is what she posted:
Emily was an amazing addition to my husband's 40th birthday party. We hired Emily to draw caricatures during our cocktail hour-- Our guests were surprised and delighted to take part in this experience. Emily put everyone at ease as she worked and was 100% professional. I would use her again in the future and would highly recommend her to anyone considering a caricature artist.

Thank you so much!
I am always amazed and humbled that my clients take the time to do this. Their words are like valuable gems to me, as they put potential clients at ease-- in knowing that their entertainment dollars spent on my caricatures will go a long way in making their guests happy.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

My new page

I'm back from gallivanting and looking for new opportunities to keep drawing.
Visit my new artist page on !

Monday, March 2, 2009

Not drawing right now...

...but celebrating my fiance's birthday (and checking out possible locations for our own wedding in beautiful, warm, seaside Mexico!)