Live Drawings in March

I decided to 'start trying' again. Let me explain:

It's VERY easy to get caught up in making money, when working in a competitive market of retail caricature. Though I am down to a minimal work schedule (2-3 days per week), there are still the full-timers that are scraping to make as much as possible with our commission-based job. This doesn't just mean that everyone merely tries, it means that the ones that somehow have an inexplicably attractive sketch or demeanor, are also the greedy ones, who will do anything and draw boring, stamp-like (all the same) sketches, putting little effort or 'art' into their work. When working beside one or more of these artists, one must learn how to adapt in order to make it worth one's time, monetarily. After drawing for years in the same environment, an artist learns what can be done to cut some corners, get some tips, and sell frames and merchandise, to maximize each sale and each day (to make any money, speed is a MUST)- These methods RARELY... dare I say NEVER involve art or skill. There are some artists that can blur the lines, Dino Casterline, my boss and friend, being one, however 99% of the time, when working where I work, drawing good only slows an artist down and costs money.

I have been contemplating my exaggeration ability and have been pretty disappointed, so I decided to start posting naked pictures of my art... no nudity, just raw shots of nearly every drawing I do (not the boring ones, but the ones that I put some effort into, and only with guests that seem okay with me taking their picture)... these pictures will end up as benchmarks and criticism for me. I am sometimes fairly happy with the results, but moreso very disappointed, seeing only my flaws, tendencies and weaknesses. This is my effort to cut out my shortcuts, eliminate my weak crutches, and improve my vision and ability. There are many artists that inspire me, but few that REALLY drive me, those being S. Krueger, S. Silver, J. OpDeBeeck, and Dan Hay (a co-worker). I guess this is an effort to show my underbelly and open up to criticism, in the constant effort to improve. So if you see live, theme-park style caricatures pop up here from time-to time, give me your thoughts, harsh as you can... here goes...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


It still amazes me every time I see your work. I have added you to my myspace, bought both your rejects book and your sketch infectious book. Anytime I am feeling like I'm having a crappy drawing day, or that my marker is just not cooperating with what I see in my mind, I pull out your rejects books. Since I started as a caricature artist (just last year in April 08) I can't believe how far I've come, and yet at the same time I wish I could hurry-up-and-get-better and as great as you are!

But now, I'm even more amazed that you criticize yourself and your artwork as much as I do my own. We are our own worse critics. And it's funny isn't it...that you have artists that inspire and amaze you, and yet there are so many that feel the same way about you!

Since doing Caricatures, I have become more humbled as a person, a woman, and of course as an artist. I almost get embarrassed when people say I'm amazing, or so talented, etc. Why is that? Do you ever feel that?

Anyhoo, I just wanted to say Thank you for all that YOU have helped me with in my growth as a caricature artist. And I would looove to see a book in the future by you on How To Draw Exaggerated Caricatures a la' Joe Bluhm Style. I would love to see a more in depth view of your approach to people. I have trouble sometimes knowing what to exaggerate, and what to minimize. And sometimes my brain overrides my hand with the marker, and then I end up not being happy with the pic, because I thought too much. lol. I would be very interested to see your step by step approach to eyes, lips, hair, teeth and more.

So yeah...thank you for being such a huge inspiration! If you ever come to las Vegas, NV, come up to the top of the Stratosphere. Maybe you could teach me a thing or two! Good luck! Peace Love and Paintbrushes!

Amanda Nikki