Monday, February 13, 2017

FAQ for a February

If you’re looking to hire yours truly for an event, surely there are questions you have about the whole caricaturing procedure.

Voila! Here are frequently asked questions and answers. 

(And don’t call me Shirley…)

Welcome to the February edition of Not Your Usual Caricature Artist from Caricatures by Joel.

How long does a caricature take?

Generally, a caricature drawing takes anywhere from 3-5 minutes per face (about 15 faces an hour). Which would mean two people would take twice that, and so on.

Do I draw everyone at an event?

It all depends on the number of guests…and the time that’s been allotted for me to draw.

Can I also draw from photos?

Yes, but I prefer not to draw from camera phone photos; they’re often not clear, too small, time out…and it’s generally not fair to those who are already there in person.  I will happily fill your request to draw from photos via a separate arrangement where it’s done from my studio.

Do I draw children as well as adults?

Of course! I draw kids at birthday parties, camp/school events, graduation parties, family reunions and, naturally, at weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, etc.

What size paper do I use for the caricatures?

I use 11” × 14” sized paper. It’s a good surface size for drawing, especially if there is more than one individual, and it’s a standard size for framing and photocopying.

Do the caricatures smudge, run or smear?

Not generally. It’s best to just leave the drawing as is, though an option would be to spray it with a “Fixative” to further assure that it indeed won’t smudge, run or smear.

Do I do anything to the caricature drawing when done?

I insert each final drawing in a clear plastic sleeve for protection and ease of portability.

Is there usually a sign-up sheet or number system for getting drawn?

Most events tend to be on a “first-come-first-serve” basis. A line is formed once people realize that I’m drawing. This is generally pretty fair and the more popular option for weddings. However, some event planners prefer to designate someone that would help organize and maintain the order of those in line by using a sign-up sheet or number system.

Do I do full-body, “themed” caricatures?

I have found that just drawing the head works best at a well-attended event. The line moves more quickly that way and doesn’t get bogged down because of elaborate scenarios per each person.

Do I work alone?                                                                                                  
Usually, yes.  But if an extraordinarily large crowd is anticipated – whether it’s a private function or corporate event – I can bring in other artists to join me…anywhere from one to six or more.

What about color?

I draw only black-and-white caricatures for live events; it’s the same reasoning as for the full-body, themed issue.

How many people can be drawn together in one picture?

It works best (both in terms of quality and quantity) to limit the caricature drawing to no more than four subjects. That’s because with each new person there is an extra consideration in terms of composing the drawing, getting them to fit on the page. The fastest caricatures would then have no more than 2 people in them.

What materials do I use?

Unlike most other caricaturists who use a Sharpie pen, I use a common utensil often found in the kitchen, garage or work shed – a China Marker, or grease pencil. I like the tone, depth and texture the pencil provides.

Do I overly “exaggerate” in my caricature interpretation?

While, stereotypically, caricature artists are seen as over-emphasizing facial effects in a gross manner, I apply a “gentler” touch to make the face just more whimsical looking.

Is it okay for guests to photocopy their caricature for use beyond the event?

Yes, guests can make unlimited copies for private use.

What do I need from event organizers to accommodate my needs?

I bring all art materials to create the caricatures.  A table, three chairs – one for me and two for couples – and enough lighting in the area to see my subjects are all that the venue needs to provide. However, if the latter items are not available, I can provide my own, including a portable lamp.

And that's basically it.

Remember, I can work from photos, too. But that's another FAQ for another time.

See you again the first Tuesday of next month for another inquisitive iteration of Not Your Usual Caricature Artist.