Monday, June 14, 2010

I had a reject...

It happens to all caricature artists once in awhile, for a variety of reasons...

As I excitedly drew this little girl, (because of Mr. Met on her hat and her sparkly-eyed expression), I sensed some reluctance on her parents' parts. When the line drawing was complete, I overheard the mother mutter, "That doesn't look like her." (Bear in mind that one of my priorities IS likeness).
I continued for a moment, and the mom said it again, this time loudly. I turned to her and smiled, "If you don't like it, you are not obligated to buy--no problem." At that, the little girl (she was about eight years old) jumped up and ran to the front of my easel to see for herself. She exclaimed, "Mommy, I love it!! It looks just like me! I want it!!"
Mommy answered, "But, honey, she made you look like a witch!"
Daughter got overruled, and they decided to have my colleague Gary draw her instead. I told them I would still color my version so as to use for a sample....after a few minutes, the mom came back to me and put a few dollars in my easel drawer (which was very nice of her). She said it was because she felt bad that I had worked for nothing. The dad also came back and actually apologized for not liking it. "I can see that you're very talented, but..."
I told him it was simply a matter of different styles for different people and that I wasn't upset at all.
There was another customer, a lady, waiting to be drawn, anyway! And this one remarked to me that the little girl reminded her of pre-nose-job Jennifer Grey (of Dirty Dancing fame). I had to concur...
Poor Gary had the added pressure of knowing that he had to satisfy my unsatisfied clients. In the end, his version didn't differ hugely from mine, just sweetened a little!
Here are two kids drawn by me whose outcome was happier:

Besides placating victims of witchy-drawing caricaturists, Gary draws a mean Snoopy:

This is Gary next to a super-buttoned uber-Mets fan who was strolling the ballpark during this rare match-up of MLB inter-league play:

Another personage strolling the ballpark:

Everyone loves the Oriole Bird...although I'd rather draw the Phillie Phanatic or Mr Met!!!


  1. Sounds like you handled it very professionally, hence why you got the tip.
    I thought it was a lovely picture myself!

  2. Thanks, Niall! The one thing that seems to be true for rejections, in my experience anyway, is that unless the customer gives warning signs before they even sit down (which was not the case here) I am usually surprised-- because I'm in the midst of feeling it's turning out well. Especially as the likeness here is definitely strong--which probably was the drawing's downfall.