There’s a lot of debate among caricaturists about the method to which we work weddings and events.
You’ll find some caricaturists will set up a pitch in one corner with a little sign and others will wander among the guests doodling away.
I often set up a pitch at festivals or in public but for parties etc I’m most certainly in the latter category. Personally, if a customer would prefer a caricaturist that sits in the corner at a party I will recommend someone else.
There’s a very big reason for this: for me it’s very important that I love my job. The love I have for this strange little profession is the social aspect it brings.
Over the years I like to think I’ve gained a keen eye for the sort of person that loves a caricature and when I arrive at an event I seek these little gems out. Occasionally I get it wrong and that’s ok. At a recent event I approached a table of twenty-somethings and they all said no thanks to a caricature. I moved on and quickly found another willing couple that set the ball rolling.. pretty soon, just as I suspected, the group from the table came over to tell me they’d changed their mind. It often happens that way, the first caricature grabs the attention of other guests and pretty soon they all want one.
Queues still occasionally form at an event but usually people realise I will be circling the room and will get to them soon. This is great for the elderly or those in wheelchairs as they don’t have to come to the “caricature area”
What’s really nice for me is that I get to mingle and feel like one of the guests. This also tends to put people at ease as they’re not sat in a chair with spectators and in truth this helps me work. As they stand with friends and chat their heads turn giving me a nice full perspective of those wonderful features.
Once in a while wandering can be problematic. Children will often run and need chasing, or as I had from a drunken girl at a wedding this Christmas, she kept running to the dance floor as her “favourite” song was on. The adults that tend to wander off always seem to be the same people that complain about the way I’ve drawn them, funny that.
As I get older I do find the wander more of a strain on me ol’ back but that is to be expected. A recent chat with a fellow caricaturist had me learning tricks to moving your feet while working. This helps with the back strain so if you see me doing a very slow riverdance at events this will be why.
So for now I’m a wanderer.. when the day comes that you see me with a caricature pitch at a party you know I’m now officially an old fart.