In the danger of sounding like I don’t enjoy my job (which would be truly ridiculous) let me start by saying how amazing the people I meet are.. to the most part.
Most people are fun to doodle and gracious and polite with the results, laughing at their pic and laughing with me. I stay friends with a lot of my customers and it’s nice to feel a community building around me.
But problems can arise from being a caricaturist. In a job where you draw funny pictures of people, you do get those poor souls (and these are vastly in the minority) that are uneducated in what a caricature really is. A caricature is an exaggeration of a person, sometimes cartoon sometimes more serious, but for the most part they are in good taste and humour. Occasionally, people will take offence at a caricature and these are the sort of people that should never approach a caricaturist in the first place. They aren’t for everybody, but I always feel like these are the people that miss the joke and it’s truly a shame. These are also the same people that say,
“Look, he’s doin’ characteristics!”
“That bloke’s a caricature!”
On quiet days like today I set up pitch at the Dockside Outlet and have fun drawing those willing to come by and get doodled. I had lots of fun drawing people and a lot of happy customers.. with one exception, a group of kids who I just knew wouldn’t be easy when the mum said,
“If it’s not good I’ll ask for the money back” before I’d started.
She didn’t ask for the money back so it must have been adequate. However, she complained the kids looked too old (I drew them very cute not adult) the kids kept getting up and saying,
“It’s not very good, why do we look weird?” Influenced no doubt by the mother’s negativity at he start.
I explained it was a cartoon picture of them and they said,
“Don’t you dare put us in a cartoon!” Sigh.
With this and the kids grabbing the paper and shouting at me I’m gonna go out on a limb and say this was the most difficult live pic I’ve drawn in 20 years as a caricaturist.
At the risk of sounding like the Basil Fawlty of caricaturists I type this, but I like my blog to be fair and honest. Therefore in my eyes it’s good to mention a side of being a caricaturist that isn’t so fun.
On the plus side I also drew a couple of brothers keen on drawing who laughed and joked all the way through, a lady who had a kinky naked ‘over the shoulder’ doodle for her partner, lots of people with quirky thick framed glasses (love those) and a whole bunch of fun and well behaved little kids. Thanks to all who got one drawn.
Having a public pitch is very different to party bookings. Parties are all about the laughs and doodles, everyone having fun.
Public pitches are a little more of a gamble. Catch me when you can on a public pitch, as they may soon become a thing of the past.