Archive for the ‘entertainers’ Category

For decades I have been active within my industry, trying to improve standards and galvanise artists to co-operate and help us all thrive. This has earned me the reputation of being a ‘Rabble Rouser’ and a pariah among the entertainment agents, which has taken its toll.

I have warned against the practice of under pricing and the threat of a flooded market for years, but my warnings were seen as the rantings of a malcontent and largely ignored. Now, after 27 years in my industry I see that my competition has more than trebled and many are under-pricing, helping the larger agencies to thrive and continue the gravy train. So my efforts have largely been wasted, at the expense of my own dwindling business.

I have tried to forge links and inroads within the thriving London market, but it seems I will never be seen as a viable London artist and so shall look at other less parochial markets for the future.

I am therefore taking a step back and halving my efforts to improve my industry, instead focusing on keeping my own business alive. I have abstained from many Facebook groups and let many industry memberships lapse, in an effort to concentrate my efforts on self preservation.

This may mean a depletion in social rants from me, for which I apologise, as I do enjoy a good rant, but I find it draining.

Twenty Seven years ago I stepped into a market which was largely seen as a novelty or joke, fit only to line the pockets of unscrupulous agencies. I tried my hardest to change the public perception and make it a profitable career choice for artists. In many respects I have become a victim of my own success, as the new generation flock into the market and deplete my only source of income.

That’ll teach me for sticking my head above the parapet!

 

Other caricature resources:  https://www.caricatures-uk.com – https://www.wedding-caricatures.co.uk – http://www.caricatures.live – https://www.itoons.uk/ 

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sub 5 club crop

Just created a Facebook group for live caricature artists who can produce lightning drawings in five minutes or less  “Sub-5 Club”.

In the UK especially, we have an established tradition of quick draw caricaturists, trained to draw in a hurry, while standing up, at busy live events and they are truly talented eccentrics on the whole. But these social butterflies are often over shadowed by the thriving American booth (retail) caricature market, setting trends for protracted full colour artwork, a trend which is creeping over to the UK.

I am a member of and even moderate several international Facebook groups and pages, dedicated to caricatures, but most seem to concentrate on hyper realism and highly finished studio or US booth style caricatures. I found this unfair when posting spot on caricatures, drawn live in under 4 minutes, which seemed to go un-noticed, in favour of other full colour, more time consuming caricatures. There simply should be no comparison. Therefore a dedicated group seemed the obvious solution.

The group has been widely welcomed and we already have 150+ members, many of whom are posting daily photos of their fast work. That said, I have already had to deal with the odd digital artist or booth artist, bent on posting glossy full colour creations and hoping to slip under my radar! Much as I admire the full colour work, there are already dedicated group pages where these can be displayed and full colour caricatures rarely take less than five minutes!!

Please check out the group page and support it, to help keep this tradition and skill alive.

SUB-5 CLUB

Other caricature resources:  https://www.caricatures-uk.com – https://www.wedding-caricatures.co.uk – http://www.caricatures.live – https://www.itoons.uk/ 

Always amazed at the different expectations from different venues and event organisers:  I attend some of the largest UK Tattoo Cons, free of charge, but the one largest in London wants £500 for a hall space! I attend many local wedding shows free of charge, also three very large wedding exhibitions in the Midlands only one of which offers me a discount, the other two demand £175-300!! The Alternative wedding show in Birmingham won’t even put me on their list while the biggest Alternative Fetish show at Olympia have just offered me a free pitch!! I could understand if I was a trader, selling goods, its a business afterall, but I work all day at my stand, entertaining visitors, which is a service they would usually pay me highly for. I offer the same excellent service and entertainment to all, but some are determined to squeeze the last penny out of the people who make their shows a better place! Have they never even considered a contra-deal?

Other caricature resources:  https://www.caricatures-uk.com – https://www.wedding-caricatures.co.uk – http://www.caricatures.live – https://www.itoons.uk/ 

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?!

Other caricature resources:  https://www.caricatures-uk.com – https://www.wedding-caricatures.co.uk – http://www.caricatures.live – https://www.itoons.uk/ 

 

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.

Other caricature resources:  https://www.caricatures-uk.com – https://www.wedding-caricatures.co.uk – http://www.caricatures.live – https://www.itoons.uk/ 

production line

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.