The Art of Caricature



To Caricature is to ridicule by exaggeration, visually or otherwise and the art of caricature in itself is centuries old. Caricatures have been used throughout history to ridicule and undermine politicians and royalty. Caricatures have been published in print ever since print was invented and the market for caricatures has never diminished. From Dore to Spitting Image, caricatures have endured as an artform and indeed an entertainment form. The most remembered caricatures of recent memory would be those of either Spitting Image, Gerald Scarfe or Ralph Steadman. Show anyone a caricature of themselves and most men will remark “Looks like Richard Nixon” referring to the best known male caricature by Ralph Steadman. Most women will remark “Looks like Margaret Thatcher” referring to the best known female caricature by Gerald Scarfe or perhaps Spitting Image… despite neither caricature having any resemblance to these characters, these caricatures are simply embedded in our psyche. The art of caricature translated itseld onto live performance, to the best of my knowledge with Gerald Scarfe and his over-sized ink extravaganzas on stage for the cameras. Caricaturists have since then picked up the mantle and carried it to the smaller audiences, turning caricatures into live entertainment and caricaturists into entertainers. Live caricatures or walkabout caricatures work well as a spectacle, each caricature drawing an audience and generating ripples of laughter with each caricature produced. Never make the mistake of hiring a Caricaturist with the intention of drawing every person in the venue, as this will kill the atmosphere by turning the art of caricature into a mechanised production line… possibly killing the caricaturist also! Caricaturists are on the whole gifted, eccentric individuals, whose gift should be shared and enjoyed, never stifled or demeaned. Enjoy your caricature, treasure your caricature and treasure your caricaturist above all. To book a caricaturist you should search high and low, inspecting their caricature galleries, until you find a style of caricature you like. You must also like the caricaturist, as he or she will be an honoured guest at your wedding or event. Never book a caricaturist simply because they are cheap!!! This simply displays to all your guests how CHEAP you are, as the bumbling amateur caricaturist produces hastily scrawled sketches, each caricature indesypherable from the next, none recognisable in the least. Talented caricaturists are expensive and rare, so look hard and find a good caricaturist, otherwise you may as well give your money to a six year old child, with the same results. The entertainment and wedding industry is plagued with amateur caricaturists, offering low budget entertainment, often with low quality results… If they turn up at all, often having been offered more money to draw caricatures elsewhere instead. Hire a Caricaturist with at least 10 years experience, preferably with published caricatures to show and an extensive client list. Once you’ve been caricatured by the best caricaturist, you won’t regret a single penny, but be drawn by the worst caricaturist and you won’t hire a caricaturist again, so choose wisely. Remember; a caricature is for life, not just for Christmas.


Live Caricaturists are a rare breed, with many forms of artist, the main kinds are ENTERTAINERS, RETAILERS and HOBBYISTS.

  • Caricaturist 3; The Hobbyist will charge mere pennies, then turn up in jeans and scrawl away in a corner, while learning their art at your expense. Quality means nothing to them, they have nothing to lose as they already have a full-time income, so may not turn up at all.
  • Caricaturist 2; The Retailer will also offer a competitive quote or even charge your guests at your event. They will work hard in a corner, head down, producing the same drawing over and over, with sugar sweet features. Their aim is to flatter their client, while producing dozens of drawings, but long queues do not bring laughter or banter.
  • Caricaturist 1; The Entertainer however will charge for their time and pack those few hours with laughter and fun. Their aim is to dazzle your guests, raising a laugh or even applause, using drawing skills, whit and charm. Their drawings may be more exaggerated, but your guests will marvel at the likeness and the atmosphere is usually electric!

Be sure you hire the right artist for your event; do you want low-budget,  large numbers or  lots of laughter?


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