Sunday, June 9, 2013

Not to be discouraged..

I have many rebellious bones in my body. It runs in my family. My brother claims John
Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, is our cousin. My aunt says it's John Lennon. My mother says Paul McCartney. I have no idea. Possibly. The Irish are quite prolific. And we're all related to someone famous. The point is, I don't like being told what to do. Ever, really, unless I'm learning something new. But whenever I'm in my sister's car, I ask her to shut down her talking GPS. It bugs the hell out of me not only to be interrupted, but then told what to do, repeatedly.  As if I didn't hear it's commands the first time. Once in a while, this natural inclination gets in my way. The caricature project became something I wanted to rebel against, especially after the contest failures.

So, I've finally fallen far enough behind with the caricature project that I have to figure out a way to catch up without sacrificing quality. Then again, sometimes I fuss too much on a piece and the life is rubbed right out of the image. I will admit that the contests had some effect. On me, my work, and my attitude toward caricatures.

Live caricatures are altogether a unique experience. Every person, every event is different. One thing that is consistent is the character of the atmosphere where they are the most successful. My best time caricaturing has been at places where people are having an escapist sort of experience. Renaissance faires, local, themed festivals, or vacation spots.The caricatures are quick, usually less than five minutes per person. And whether they're successful, or not, I will probably never see them again.

Studio caricatures are another story. If I had weeks to put into one image, I could. Early on, I thought using the 'Trending Now' section on the Yahoo home page would help me decide who to draw for that day's piece. Unfortunately, the same people trend quite often. Why people are so obsessed with the Kardashians, and Angelina and Brad, is lost on me. And most politicians aren't worth the lead in my pencil. That brings me back to choosing actors or characters out of the movies or shows I'm watching on Hulu or Netflix. Or simply people that I like. For example, Larry David.
This caricature is small, only 5" x 7". And I gave myself a time limit of 15 minutes. I think it took me longer than that to gather the reference photos. But I like the result so much that I did more quick ones using the same materials. Here's Robert Downey Jr.

Not that I'm even close to being caught up. We are 160 days deep into this year already, and Mr. Downey Jr. is number 72. Not that 72 new caricatures this year is a fail, but I'm failing to keep up with a daily commitment right now. But I've always been a bit of an idealist, and still think I can do it. I knew I'd fall behind when the gardens woke up until most of my planting is done. In just over a week, I have some down time planned, and I'm hoping I can have a bit of a marathon session. Maybe I'll get an egg timer and see how I do with 15 minute blocks. Either way, it's not over and I'm not giving up. And if the end result is that I get better, it's a win win.

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