How to hire a caricaturist…
Q: How long does each drawing take?
A: Each B&W party caricature takes 4-5 minutes, any quicker would be a scribble!
Q: How many can you draw in 2 hours?
A: On average 12-15 per hour, but that depends on the punters and unpredictable working environment.
Q: Will you draw everyone at the event?
A: Its a spectacle for onlookers, so I needn’t draw everyone to entertain everyone. Remember; only around 50% of guests will want to be drawn, the rest just enjoy watching!
Q: Do you entertain children?
A: Children don’t often want to stand and be drawn, only the parents want them to. I’d rather draw the parents than risk making their children cry!
Q: Do you draw digitally, on tablets?
A: I work regularly on my iPad Pro, digital caricatures or ‘itoons‘ are an excellent attraction at exhibition stands.
Q: Do you draw couples or groups?
A: I prefer to draw singles, as couples take twice as long and require an easel, which turns the fun event into a fairground queue .
Q: What’s your average performance time?
A: The usual is 2 hours, 3 hours for longer parties or 5 hours maximum for exhibitions.
Q: Where are you based?
A: I’m based in both London and Leicester (UK) which means Brighton, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Bristol and Norwich are all within my reach. I now also have a base in Blackpool. I always recommend you book the BEST not just the NEAREST!
Q: Are you willing to travel to a booking?
A: Of course. I drive around 30000 miles per year, working all over the UK and Europe, from Cowes to Cumbria, Holyhead to Hove and recently I drew in Berlin, Barcelona, Bahrain and Zurich.
Q: Have you ever offended anyone?
A: Only the Frail, Vain or Ugly, so be warned.
Q: Are the drawings free or do you charge per person?
A: All drawings come free of charge in a plastic sleeve. You simply pay for my time. Guests should NEVER PAY for live entertainment!
Q: Do you draw caricatures for a living?
A: Yes, I’ve been a professional since graduating in 1991 and a full time caricaturist and entertainer since 1997.
Q: Do you have qualifications or did you teach yourself?
A: I have a Degree in Graphic Design followed by a 27 year apprenticeship, together with a naturally sarcastic eye!
Q: Have you ever drawn anyone famous in person?
A: Yes, recently drew Brad Pitt and before that Amanda Holden, Tony Blair, Robbie Savage, Stephen Norris MP, Des O’Connor & Mel Sykes, Joe Pasquale, Pat Cash, Jerry Hall, Terry Jones, Griff Rhys Jones, Paul O’Grady, Delia Smith, Ainsley Harriet, McKenzie Crook, Alistair McGowan, Keith Chegwin to name but a few.
Q: Have you ever worked on the streets or on a beach?
A: No, I began as a studio-based illustrator and a corporate entertainer and worked my way up.
Q: Have you ever been published?
A: Yes, I currently draw for GQ magazine and before that TV Times from 1999 to 2003, I was also published in The First Post every week online, as well as regularly in the Financial News, plus occasional spot illustrations for numerous other UK and European publications.
Q: Do you attend Fetes, fun-days or children’s parties?
A: Sorry, I find working outside difficult and I’m not a children’s entertainer.
Q: Do you draw ‘proper art’?
A: I can paint the Mona-Lisa if offered enough incentive, but I choose to specialise in caricatures. How many sun-flowers and hay-waynes do you want to see anyhow? Caricatures have toppled governments, sparked riots and fuelled debates for centuries… that’s what I call ‘proper art’!
Q: What Areas Do You Cover?
A: “Have pens will travel” is my motto, I offer nationwide coverage, including caricatures in Leicester, Nottingham, Newark, London, Birmingham, Bedford, Blackpool, Derby, Burton, Stafford, Stoke, Oxford, Northampton, Peterborough, Sheffield, Cambridge, Norwich, Luton, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Bristol, Stroud, Lincoln, Grantham, Manchester, Liverpool, Brighton, Kent, Dartford, Ipswich, Edinburgh, York, Bournemouth, Chelmsford, Guildford, as well as many other counties and cities. I even offer international coverage in Dubai, Kuwait, Bahrain, Paris, Berlin and all over Europe. So why book a local caricaturist when you can book a Spot On Caricaturist?
Q: What does ‘CARICATURE’ mean, what is a caricature?
A: To Caricature is to ridicule by exaggeration, visually or otherwise and the art of caricature in itself is centuries old. Indeed caricatures from 300BC are on display in the Vatican!
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 caricaturists or walkabout caricaturists create 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.