August 17, 2013
Drawing caricatures of people has been part of my cartooning repertoire since I was a young child. Even then I had a keen sense of the personalities around me and an eye for faces. My favourite caricaturists were artists like Mort Drucker from MAD Magazine, and Australia’s John Spooner, whose styles were more like cartoon portraiture. It is quite a specific skill, and for me the challenge is not just in getting a likeness, but also capturing something of the subject’s essential personality.
From time to time Andrew Brassington from Island Entertainment gets me in to do caricatures at the corporate events he services. These gigs are intensely challenging – I have 15 minutes to simultaneously put the person at ease, chat with them about whatever is on their mind while observing the nuances of their faces, getting a sense of their personality as well as trying to capture a likeness that wont offend or upset them! It certainly sharpens my attention & hones my skills – most people are delighted with the results, but occasionally either I don’t hit the mark, or I hit it too well! For some it’s just a bit of fun over drinks, but for others its quite an intimate & reflective experience.
So, on this particular night, I went straight from a very relaxed 4 hrs of Cartooning For Adults workshop into 4 hrs of masquerade masks & thumping hits from the 80s/90s at the Hobart Town Hall, met and drew some very intriguing individuals (a husband & wife team who had a business on the side baking & decorating wedding cakes? A pharmacology student going out with a burlesque dancer?)……as always I had a great time, and slept very well that night.