Month: July 2012

At the Big Wow comic con a few months back, a guy commissioned me to do a sketch cover for him. This was the first time I had done one of these. Since then, I have done several more. Some were for a private collection, some to be sold on ebay. These are images from the second batch I did, that have all been sold already. The third batch is finished and when they go up for sale I will post about it.

 

I leave for San Diego Comic-con tomorrow, I have very mixed feelings. On the one hand I LOVE Comic-con, and the last 2 years I went were awesomely fun. On the other hand, some friends that live in that area, who I was expecting to see will not be there this year. Add to that the mix of awesome fun things I unexpectedly get to do , with the frustration of not just not getting to things, but the time wasted trying. As an example last year we went  to see the premire of the new Torchwood episode, unexpectedly the whole cast came out and chatted a bit beofre watching teh episode from teh front of teh audience with us, then everyone got a souveneer mask on the way out!   On the flip side, I wanted to get meet the Torchwood actors, to maybe get a pic or have them sign my limited edition mask. I had to get a ticket, the tickets were in a bag, it was random if you get a good ticket that gets you in, or a bad ticket that means get back on line or give up. First I spent 30 minutes walking briskly around the area I was told the line started, no one that worked there had any idea where it was, eventually I was sent outside, across the street, and into a parking lot with no shade, next to dumpsters and industrial machines. behind the center. There was a line but there was no official person just fans, I asked a few what the line was, different answers from different people, I eventually realized this line was for like 8 different things, but for some reason we all had to wait in the same line. Big bang, smallville, torchwood, and many others, all forced to wait in a line many times longer that was necessary, and you could only choose one thing. after 30 minutes on the line an official actually confirmed all of this, 30 minutes later the line started moving, an hour or so after that, I got to the ticket area, we spilled out into a semi-open area with 8 or so mini-lines  unmarked or unclearly marked as to what they were for, again, no officials were there, and when i eventually found someone, they didn’t know, I had to ask fans and hope I was on the right line. Eventually I found it and waited about 10-15 minutes on the mini-line for Torchwood. When I was about 20 people from the bag someone got a “good” ticket, and they announced that was the last one. Now, I had waited all this time in line and didn’t even get my chance at picking  a ticket. I also had passes the point where I could get into another mini-line, and was just done. What a waste. Meanwhile it’s a similarly mixed bag with meeting artists and showing them my work, or presenting my portfolio to editors. For every, wow nice stuff, good expressions and back ground detail, there is a you need to work on your perspective, and your stuff looks too cartoony. My favorite was at Image con a few months ago I showed 2 different image artists the same samples, and one specifically complimented my perspective, and the other specifically said it was way off. The thing is I am VERY aware how far from perfect my work is. I am always working on my weaknesses, and I believe getting better. The page below was one of three page roughs, I did last September. Then I did the “pencils” and started the inks, I probably spent 6 hours up to that point maybe more. Recently I decided to finish those pages to bring to Comic-con. It took me 9 hours to get the first page done, I redrew the Raph in panel two no less than 5 times. You may think I am exaggerating, but if anything I am under estimating the total time. I wanted to finish all 3 , but in retrospect that was never gonna happen in the time I allowed myself. I know I can do a page or two a day in color! I’ve done it under a deadline. But, when I have “unlimited” time I redraw and redraw and second guess myself forever. Part of this is my own standards, but much of my “perfectionist” nature comes from outside myself. I have many artist friends and family member who tell me I am my own worst enemy and I should relax and less it be a little less than perfect sometimes. They are all on my side, and I appreciate that and they are not wrong. However, the reason I take a decent page that can be done in 8 hours and work it for 15 hours is because it will be better at the end. There is a diminishing returns affect for sure though. the extra 8 hours makes it maybe 20-30 percent better.  Which means, in half the time, the quality would still be 70-80 percent as good. Even when I am done, as with the page below, I have to fight not to fix things. I want to re-draw the front shell plates on Raph in panel 2, and add something to draw more attention to the gas bombs he throws in panel 3. These are objectively correct alterations I could/should make. Over time I will see more. Maybe most people never will never notice, but the editors, and other artists, and my father always notice more flaws than I do. So, I quest to eliminate as many flaws as I can, just so they can find ones I never even realized were there, or maybe place more importance on the imperfections, I thought were good enough. Imperfection is a great descriptor, because I almost never have mistakes, I usually know exactly where I failed and why, and just decide it is not worth even more time to fix it. Many of my “pencil” samples have been difficult to ink, or had too much detail to ink, ect, so this time I am bringing stuff I have inked myself digitally. I am sure they will have problems with that. They will defiantly have problems with the grey tones I used on this page. But I think it looks good, and in that one small way I guess I don’t care what they think.  Believe it or not I will have fun :p

 

 

 

 

This past weekend I worked the first annual silicon valley BBQ event. pretty busy Saturday! I was set up next to a friend doing balloons so that was cool to pass the down time with her chatting. For lunch I walked across the street for some non-meat MacDonald’s food selections and had to sneak them back into the meat kingdom. Towards the end My super Q showed up and I drew her a caricature for the first time ever! Good thing she was all dolled up like a punk nice for me.

Then yesterday, a party company I work for recently sent me this questionnaire about hiring caricature artists, I have included it here with my diplomatic answers.

Here are the questions:

1. What should a client consider when looking to hire a caricaturist?
Reliability, speed, and quality/style. Check feedback to make sure they have shown up on time and made their clients happy. Think about how many people you want to be drawn in your time-frame, then check that against their estimated time for drawings, or ask them if the times are not posted. Look at their samples to make sure you are happy with the style and skill level.
2. What questions should a client ask a caricaturist that they are considering booking?
Do they need chairs lighting a table ect.? Will they need to take a break? If you think there will be a lot of pictures with multiple people in them, you may want to ask about larger size paper. Do they provide bags, or folders or something to give the guests with their caricature. Ask them how they usually dress, or inform them if you want them to dress a certain way.
3. What precautions should a client take when inviting a caricaturist performer into their home?
Don’t have them set up near anything valuable that can break as the crowd gathering around them can get excitable. If you offer a drink try to not use an open top cup, but a seal-able bottle, or a can, every open top cup I have ever had at a job was at some point knocked over by a guest. If you decide to have them set up in a “kids area” make sure you check in with them frequently.
4. Once a client books you for a performance, what details should be discussed prior to the event?
Attire, special requests such as doing someone that can’t make it from a photo, or doing the guest of honor in color when everyone else will be black and white, prioritizing children over adults, ect. Space and time needed for set up. How possible overtime will be handled. When and how any balance due will be paid. If a tip jar is acceptable or not.
5. Please tell us – when did you start as a caricaturist and why do you do it? 1999, an old art teacher of mine was heading up the Caricature department at six flags, I was there with a friend and he offered me a job. Being paid to draw sounded good so I said yes. Plus free roller-coasters :p
6. What kind of gigs do you usually book? Birthday parties, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Corperate events from small break room parties to company-wide carnivals, Project Graduations, Weddings, Family BBQs, you name it I have done it.
7. What services/specialties do you offer?
I will change from color to black and white, add or subtract an option to the guests for bodies, as the event progresses to help the line move if requested to do so. I can work from photos during the event, or prepare extra detailed work ahead of time. I give bags for free but can supply folders, tubes, or frames upon request. I usually draw in a cartoony style that is not insulting, but can upon request go full caricature and really rip into people.
8. What is the most interesting/unique event you have ever worked?
hmmm, a briss probably, though I have also worked a republican state convention, 2 bachelorette parties, and on several boats.
9. What other advice do you have for clients booking a caricaturist?
Look at the samples, if you don’t like them, you won’t like the work at your party, also make sure the artist is capable of producing that level of work quickly on-site and not just from photos in their studio. If a child or person does not want to be drawn for any reason do not try to force them, it is no fun for anyone, and the artwork will usually reflect that.
10. Anything else you’d like to share?
Bottled water is my best friend at jobs!

About Me

If you would like to contact me regarding commission work, art, illustration, or whatever my e-mail is fcyclops@aol.com

Instagram

Archives

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2 other subscribers