Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Caricature Convention

It seems like I've spent the whole month of November in airports. Just recently I've been to Las Vegas for the International Society of Caricature Artists' Convention (ISCA). I was the keynote speaker based on the fact that 20 years ago, I was a syndicated caricature artist.

And also, perhaps, I've had some success as an animator.

It's a 1 week event with a lot of exciting activities. The highlight is a caricature jam session where they take photos of everyone there and then pump out as many drawings as they can, then they're posted up on the walls of the convention hall, and at the end of the week the drawings are scored on quality, humor, style, and quantity. I shouldn't say they are all drawings, some people used sculpture, some used cut paper. It's a wide variety of techniques and styles. The winner gets a trophy and the prestige of being the best caricature artist of the year.

I met many wonderful artists from all over the world on my 3 days there. And the interesting thing about this group is that none of them work for print. They are all sketch artists – you know, the ones you see at parties or Six Flags – which is very interesting for me because I always wanted to try being a sketch artist at Coney Island. I thought it would be a wonderful experience drawing strangers and hearing their reaction to my strange interpretations of their weird faces – in fact it may even be dangerous to my health.

So I tip my pen to these courageous artists who put their drawing skill and lives on the line every day so us chicken cartoonists can draw in relative safety in our safe, insular studios.


  1. Who did that lovely painting of you, Bill??

  2. A guy who does state faires told me the usual reaction he gets is amazement. And it is amazing -especially to people who haven't seen the drawing process.

    One kid even asked him, after watching him do a drawing, if he "used computers to do that."

    I agree with Brett W. Thompson's assessment of that painting. Lovely.

  3. i didn't know you were going this year! I went waaaay back in the grand year of...oh 2006 I believe. And yeah, drawing park-side in this field is like a war zone. I earned my artist's balls working 2 years in it!

    And that looks like Court Jones' sig - http://www.courtjones.com/. Too bad the BF Grigor and I wern't there, we'd have torn you up Bill!