Anyone who’s had the misfortune of listening to me talk in the last few years knows that I don’t just draw Hubris, or even just Hubris and The Buckets. I do a lot of advertising cartoons and I do (and have done for years) caricatures of various types.
Caricature. Tricky word. My mom still can’t pronounce it, and I was first paid to be a caricaturist nearly thirty three years ago. She tries, though. When I was sixteen, a buddy and I actually used to set up at the entrance of the local WalMart (the manager had the idea that little fair/festival type things every weekend made the shoppers happier. He may have been right.) Once, a fella came in, looked at our table, looked at the sign, looked at the samples and said. “Them’re pretty good. Too bad y’ misspelled ‘character’.” So, if you didn’t know it before now, here’s your word for the day- Caricature.
And don’t misuse it, now that you have it. I have ad agencies call up and tell me they need a caricature. I ask for details, and what they want is a character. Literally, a cartoon character that can be licensed for some client or other. Not the same. If the character needs to have the features of a person or a kind of person, it might be a caricature. If it’s a blue furball that sells cleaning services, it’s a character.
But back to caricatures. Occasionally I get one that’s barely outside the usual request. Mostly, these days, I do the occasional party-style 4 minute caricatures for a few hours, or I do big 16X20 presentation caricatures that require a little paint and a lot of personal reference about the person I’m drawing. The person is usually retiring, or changing jobs, or moving to another town, and the corporation they work for is giving them a little send-off, including a big ol’ cartoon of themselves and the mess that used to fill their offices.
And now comes a Memorial. Kind of a sweet thought, that I would be asked to memorialize a customer’s friend who’s passed on. I hope I did him justice, and I’m not being irreverent by posting it here, but I was very pleased with how it turned out (Though the photo is kinda dark. It lost something when I lightened it, though). It’s not a caricature in the sense that I distorted anything in order to make recognition immediate. In fact, it’s more of a cartoon portrait filled with family and important things from a life.
So, just so you know that there is such a thing- Here’s a serious caricature.