Posts Tagged ‘entertainment’

Quality Costs2

It seems today that I am dealing regularly with people who tell me “We found someone half your price and he/she promises to draw everyone!” and I am at a loss to explain why they should not book them. People just don’t seem to care what they are paying for, so long as its cheap! Alan Sugar has a lot to answer for and society is suffering a deluge of cheap quality items as a result! “CHEAP IS BEST” has never been my mantra.

A Colleague – Just quoted someone on the phone who said I was double the other quotes she had. When I asked her had she looked at my work she said no, I then asked had she looked at anyone’s work, she said no!

Would you buy a new car without looking at it, just because it was cheap? Why do the public expect the same quality for less money?? Its insanity!

Quite simply look around and you will find many cheaper caricature artists than me to hire for your wedding, but that’s because I am good, at the top of my class in fact and never let you down. Buy cheap and expect disappointment!

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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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/ 

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/ 

 

Came across a new group of young caricaturists yesterday, all advertising their services online, as a collective. They took the unusual step of advertising prices for various counties, on their site and the fees were roughly half the industry standard! They clearly do not have a long term business plan!

I am self employed. I am trained and qualified as an artist. As such, my business mentality has always valued my services and artistic talent, while realising that I would never be given a wage rise, unless I made myself worth it.

These new artists clearly do not value their services or their place within the industry and by pricing themselves so low, they will only make themselves the poorer and less popular! They exhibit a ‘short term gains’ mentality and encourage existing artists to compete by lowering our prices in turn. Be aware that lower prices do not encourage new jobs, it just means you work harder for less money at the same job! The logical conclusion being that we will all have to offer more hours for less money, in order to win the same jobs; pretty soon we will all be working a 40 hour week, while earning a little above the minimum wage! Is that all we caricaturists are worth??

Get a business plan guys! If you want to stay in business, then find your worth, find your place in the market and charge accordingly. The only way you will get a pay rise in the next 25 years is if you make it your self and that will never happen if idiots like you keep lowering our market value!!!! WISE UP SUCKERS!

 

 

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

I recently drew at a wedding which turned out to be the most unpleasant reception I’d endured in years. I say endured because it left a bad taste in my mouth but I was forced to smile tight lipped, for fear of my own safety if I should speak out.  Asides the usual unacceptable racist taunts of “draw him as a Golly Wog… you only need black paper” to the few black guests, I also had to endure two drunks at my shoulder discussing ‘the best fights they’d started’ and telling a girl how they beat up a ‘Fat git eating a kebab’ (unprovoked) the previous weekend and a cyclist for jumping a red light before that – apparently proud that they had broken his hand!  But smile and sparkle I did, though my skin was crawling.

I was forced to move spots several times when the loud mouthed racist behind me kept farting – with devastating  effect! The final straw came when I was drawing a Mike Tyson lookalike and another drunk blurted “May as well draw a lump of coal!” I stopped drawing and glared at him to a loud gasp and “Wooooo daggers!” from the audience. I think he got the message, but what on earth made him think I would agree with his twisted humour in the first place? What makes this still acceptable in modern society??

I felt like I was swimming in a shark tank, with a bloody lip and couldn’t wait to escape the heavy atmosphere. The icing on my cake came when an orange leather faced woman asked me “Do you do proper art, ya know painting and stuff… or just charactertures?!”   I didn’t realise it was a multiple choice question, one or the other but not possibly both?!  I encountered pretty much every  kind of ignorance at the event and was very happy to slip away while the bulk of guests were on the dancefloor.

As a professional artist and entertainer it is my job to be charming and entertaining, but this is hard to maintain when I am insulted, badgered, bullied and made complicit to down right racist ignorance. I just wish racist idiots would leave me alone and not assume that my shaved head and tattoos gave them license to include me in their targeted bullying!!!