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.

………………………………………………..

I was entertaining a client (with 40 guests) last night, when a young chef ask me to draw all 4 chefs and when I refused* he went to his boss (venue landlady), who then went to my client and caused an awkward scene! By insisting I draw the staff, the client was put in a position which was both unprofessional and unfair. The client politely agreed to my drawing them, even though I pointed out it was at her cost and that 4 of her guests would therefore miss out. Later that evening I approached the first chef, who disappeared and was replaced by a burlier chef (presumably more threatening) who squared up and told me to shove my drawings “I won’t waste your time, you don’t waste ours!” was his response. This created an even more awkward scene as I was clearly now the villain of the venue! I thought it wisest not to be fed, even though I was promised a meal.

So the Landlady tries to scam my client out of £50 worth of drawings and because I disagree, I am the villain here? I had to wonder if the band had been asked to stop playing and instead entertain in the kitchen, would they have been chastised and unfed or would the client have simply not allowed it? Is my artform and time worth less than theirs and therefore free to all?? Quite the contrary!!!

*Basic professional etiquette says that if you’re being paid to do a job, you do not expect freebees from other staff unless offered and you do not stop working to enjoy the perks intended for guests!

Why do people, especially staff expect me to give them free artwork, with nothing in return?!

 

For those of you still unclear as to the difference between a cartoon and a caricature, below are two clear examples. One illustrates a simple amusing gag and the other captures its subject’s soul! See if you can guess which is which?

Image result for simple gag cartoon

Image result for jan op de beeck

Cartoons are merely a vehicle to put across a message or gag, with no skill needed. Caricatures however exhibit a rare talent to capture a likeness and hopefully some personality, so the gag is in the rendering, not the punchline. Are we clear now?

 

*Credits: Mark Ewbie and Jan Op De Beeck

Always amazed at the difference an audience can make… worked a posh wedding at an upper class venue (black tie) where the guests thrust their kids at me and demanded to know why I was avoiding the creche. Indeed at the end I was intimidated by a burly father who demanded his ‘child in tears’ was drawn before I left! With 80 grown up guests to please, I hardly had time to manage the toddlers too. People ignored me, indeed even the bride wasn’t interested, so I left the wedding, having been threatened, not having drawn the bride and groom, feeling rather abused!
Next gig was a 2 hour drive away, so I was tight for time. It was a 50th house party in a very swanky residence. The birthday lady was happy and easy going, so I ploughed into the room demanding ‘ugly volunteers!’ which worked a treat!! People were amazed at my speed (fuelled by my drive) and I had no shortage of happy volunteers, who told me I was the hi-light of the evening. My drawings reflected their happiness and I stayed an extra half hour to keep them happy.
So why did one crowd find me brilliant, while another found me an annoyance?! I can only put it down to audience expectations. The bride it seems (or her guests) expected a kids’ entertainer, while the birthday girl expected a star attraction! I can happily do one but not the other.

production line

Image  —  Posted: July 2, 2018 in Caricatures, caricatures at parties, caricatures-and-cartoons, Christmas Parties, Digital caricatures, entertainers, entertainment, events, self employment, street entertainers, wedding entertainment
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Getting worse as predicted

Carix Eye View

Following the publication of my advice regarding underpricing and lowering the market value of Caricatures, I felt the need to point out the dangers of flooding the market with cheap artists.

New caricaturists are currently quoting clients ridiculously low fees for their services (and even charging ‘per person’), the net result of which is to lower the market value of all caricaturists in the eyes of the customer. The long-term result is far worse; Lower fees lead to more clients being able to afford to hire caricaturists, in turn the caricaturist will need to work twice as hard, just to earn a decent weekly wage. Pretty soon, every event will see cheap, crap caricaturists, scrawling their trade and becoming common-place. The end result being that no-one wants or respects caricaturists anymore, having grown tired of consistently crap, cliche’d renditions of caricatures being pedaled for pennies… Indeed hiring a caricaturist…

View original post 1,359 more words

i do this for a living

I do this for a living – so trust me, I know what I’m doing.

I do this for a living – so I will give you the best service your money can buy.

I do this for a living – so I’m guaranteed to turn up to your event, unlike other part timers.

I do this for a living – so please don’t ask me for help or advice to get you started as my competition.

I do this for a living – so please don’t ask me why I charge so much. Its my weekly wage!

I do this for a living – so please don’t ask me to draw at your community event ‘because it will be good exposure’ without offering me a weekly wage.

I do this for a living – so please don’t email me random selfies, saying ‘I wonder what you’d do to my face?’ without paying me first.

I do this for a living – so please don’t ask me to donate a week’s wages for a charitable cause, by attending your charity event without pay.

I do this for a living – so don’t compare me to some random part time hobby artist you met in the pub, who busks for spare change or draws for pin money.

I do this for a living – so please let me go home when I’ve finished, without threatening violence because I won’t draw you for free.

I do this for a living – so have the decency to let me know if you have cancelled your booking, before I lose a week’s wages.

I do this for a living – that’s why I sit here writing these notes, to educate the public, so one day they may think twice before treating me like an amateur.

 

Aside  —  Posted: June 16, 2018 in caricatures at parties, caricatures-and-cartoons, Christmas Parties, employment law, entertainers, events, online marketing, pricing, self employment, street entertainers, underpricing, wedding entertainment
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At the end of 2016 I decided to create a group and a website to promote full time professional caricaturists in the UK and I called the project ‘Pro-Carix’. A Facebook group was formed and later a website launched, in an effort to galvanize the most experienced artists in the UK, but it was met with mixed reactions. Basically it was hard to classify some as professionals worth membership and others as amateurs not worthy. I invited everyone I knew and let them sort themselves out. Some thought themselves ‘too good’ for the group and others proved themselves ‘not good enough’ and left. One scribbler in particular, notorious for bargain basement prices and low ethics, made a habit of letting clients down due to ‘family bereavement’, which came in to question only after he lost two fathers! I sent my condolences on FB and sure enough he left the group! Natural selection I guess. Another scribbler made a very public attack on me and told me to mind my own business how he traded. Fair point, but I will be sure to advise clients to steer clear of these charlatans.

The group is still running and we try our best to promote professional behaviour in the industry, with or without those who don’t want to play ball. Take a look at the website www.pro-carix.uk  and maybe search the FB group if you’re a pro and interested in joining and using the group resources?