Spot on caricatures

THIS BLOG IS A PROFESSIONAL’S EYE VIEW OF THE WORLD OF CARICATURING.  IF YOU’RE SIMPLY LOOKING TO HIRE A CARICATURIST, PLEASE CLICK THE LINK ABOVE.

Robbie Savage caricature

cheap caricaturists

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I love my job; the laughter, the people, the travel, the entertaining, the artwork and wanted to share my passion with you, by relaying my experiences and opinions from a 20+ year life as an artist/entertainer.  I hope this Blog enlightens you, while displaying my Passion,  Honesty and Integrity.

I am above-all honest, some would say too honest, which can raise some eyebrows, but I stand by my honesty and am not in the habit of writing lies. Perhaps some would rather I simply did not write…

I believe in standing up for my beliefs and my passions. In the Caricature industry in particular, where (in the UK) there is no regulation, I am proud to take a stance against charlatans and monopolies who would damage my industry. I alone have stood up against the three largest online Agencies in the UK, who dominate my industry and control our prices, only I have spoken out against them. I no longer patronise them or support their undercutting businesses in any way, how many other caricaturists can say the same?

I am a perfectionist, which leads me to be a critic, which in turn makes me few friends, but I will not suffer fools gladly and certainly will not pretend to respect them just to maintain the status quo. A talentless singer gains no respect from the music/entertainment industry, so why should a talentless caricaturist be given any?

I do not tolerate racists, sexists, bigots, blaggers, back-stabbers, undercutters, amateurs or charlatans. I may not be allowed to name them, but I will not befriend or condone them. 

This is my public stance.

………………………………………………..

To all cheap caricaturists:

While discussing fees with colleagues recently we found ourselves divided into two camps; those who knew their value as artists and entertainers and those who didn’t care and were grateful not to be jobless! Unfortunately the latter camp are driving our prices down as they battle to get paid less and less!!  One northern caricaturist publicly boasted (to paraphrase) “I charge low fees because I’d rather be working every night than charge silly fees and be sat at home!”  Great business plan brainiac! So what is the net result of your pricing structure? You work more frequently because you win jobs from other artists by undercutting them, you do not create more work by under-pricing, no-one ever said “Wow I found a cheap caricaturist (he’s shit but cheap) so lets put on an extra party every night just to hire him!” No! There are a finite number of gigs available in any area on any date, no matter what you charge. You simply now have to work three times as hard to earn what you should be earning in one night, while other full time artists go hungry, unable to drop their prices lower than you. Well done – great ethic.

Know your value and stop undervaluing your colleagues by association and if you are grateful not to be stacking shelves, then maybe its because that’s closer to your true vocation, but I trained all my life to do the creative job at which I excel and will not be comparing my talent to that of a shelf stacker or fairground busker anytime soon!

Do some basic research, find out what your competitors are charging and value your skill by comparison, then endeavour to raise your prices and standards, instead of lowering theirs to meet yours. If you still find yourself at the lower end of the price scale, then maybe its down to the quality of your work and you should consider retraining?….

Caricature is the art of seeing clearly points of recognition and their differences, then relaying them visually in exaggerrated form, to illustrate those points clearly to the untrained eye.
If you do not have a trained eye and cannot see those points, then you cannot create caricatures. Seeing skills are far more important than drawing skills in my opinion!
Any fool can draw, but the gift of mindfulness and observation is much more rare.
“They just pick on your worst bits and exaggerrate them!” is hardly a fair synopsis of our skill….

Be Professional…

Posted: November 17, 2015 in caricatures-and-cartoons

This November I enjoy celebrating my 24th year as a professional caricaturist and entertainer. I still take pride in my work and treat every client like a star, with equal professionalism and respect. I am glad to say that recent years have seen my reputation flourish and my professional dimena is clearly paying off.

Unfortunately there are some clients who still wish to treat me like a rank amateur or part timer.

I have supplied illustrations and commissions to thousands of clients over the years, many of which are displayed on my website and my Terms are clearly transparent for all to see. Thankfully I am proud to say that 99.5% of those were overwhelmingly happy with my service and results. But this week I was accused of being a ‘diva’ when I asked for payment upfront for a commission from a fellow artist/designer, who wished to negotiate his own terms and refused mine. His words were “I need to be sure you are GENUINE and CAPABLE …. and actually going to DELIVER”! Every client needs to feel secure when buying online, but for a minor commission, I didn’t see the need for personal judgements on my abilities, when my world is online for all to see.

Then more recently a client booked me several months ago for a wedding, which they later ammended, therebye halving my fee. Just weeks before the wedding they then chose to cancel their booking, demanding a refund of their deposit paid. When I refused they threatened legal action, siting my service as “terrible” simply because I had not contacted them in the months since booking. When dealing with 60+ brides each year, plus another 50+ for future years, not to mention the hundreds of enquiries which do not come to fruition, it can be difficult to give individuals the attention they may crave. This is no reason to break with my terms and protocols though.

I shall stick to my business methods and remain professional, while others may want to transfer their negativity onto me, I shall remain balanced (on the whole) and confine my rants to the occasonal one on here…

 

Recently I have picked up more corporate event bookings and larger events, where I am expected to tow-the-line and work more like a production line than an entertainer, often in unsuitable circumstances. I was beginning to question what I do and if I enjoy it anymore, but last night’s booking has restored my joy in what I do. I walked into a swanky VIP event, smelling of garlic with stains down my suit (after an earlier food accident), full of self doubt and apprehension and the first hour dragged as the VIP clients avoided the smelly weirdo with tattoos, but by the second hour I had won them over and people were clamouring to be drawn. The poshest, prettiest, potentially vainest people were complimenting me on my drawings and so a rapport was struck and I was free to put on a little act and show off to the audience. I had 100% positive feedback and left the event feeling a million dollars.
Such a contrast to other less successful gigs where I am touting for business in a loud, crowded, dark bar or dining room, to be ignored or told “Looks nuffink like me!” or even better “Draw a dick on his head!” and then threatened if I don’t draw all his 6 kids before I go. I’d rather look for more job satisfaction.
I do so enjoy performing as opposed to working like a kitchen porter or production line! So much more liberating that sitting at an easel behind a huge queue of demanding punters, but my hat is off to those Carix who manage that format.

After 24 years as a professional caricaturist and entertainer, I still find myself battling against the same deadly foe; The Amateur Artist!  Despite my excellent reputation for quality service and product, I am constantly compared to ‘the local bloke, who draws for half the price’!

Today I demonstrated my skills as an artist and entertainer at a local Wedding Exhibition, after which I was approached by two venues, both of whom used the same local caricaturist at their weddings. Their main complaint was that he sat in a corner, head down and took 10-15 minutes to draw each individual, which did not impress the Brides or other guests, waiting to be drawn. They could not believe how fast and entertaining I was and both venues offered me a space at their next exhibition, on the strength of what they’d witnessed.

Now I’m no exceptional caricaturist, just a professional, much like dozens of other professional caricaturists, all having to fight against the infux of untutored, unskilled amateurs, who are collectively killing our industry! It should not be my place to constantly educate the public to the standard of artists and entertainers available, it should be the place of those selling us and those competing with us to step up to the mark, as opposed to us lowering our standards and fees. Unless these Artists and agencies peddling our trade get their act together and start selling quality entertainment, then our industry will be reduced to a novelty much like a chocolate fountain or crappy photo booth!!

I’m just saying!

Following the decline of the corporate Christmas party in recent years, which was lead by the crash of 2008 and helped along by the change in UK tax laws, which excluded entertainment as a ligitimate expense, are we now seeing at long last a resurgance in corporate entertainment? Judging by the proliferation of Xmas party enquiries which are doing the rounds this season, I would say the market indicators look hopeful!  It seems that the Bankers who pushed us into the 6 year abiss are showing their heads above the parapits once again and tentitively making entertainment enquiries. Lets hope this is a trend which spreads outside of London, so we can all enjoy the ‘green shoots’ of economic recovery at last!

Merry Christmas to you all and lets hope its a fruitful one for those of us who will be working hardest to raise smiles this year 🙂

…And if you’re looking to join the trend and celebrate Christmas in company with a caricaturist this year, visit my website and hire the best London caricaturist!  www.caricatures-uk.com 

So finally, after weeks of tinkering and developing and fixing glitches, my newly rebuilt website is ready to take over the web-waves! Though similar in theme to the last site, with it’s pulp fiction feel, torn paper and bulletholes, this new site is far more structured and hopefully user friendly, with an eye to future browsers and a simple booking procedure.

Please take a look and feel free to leave me some feedback, all (positive)  suggestions welcome ! CARICATURES-UK.COM

spot on caricatures