From Nice Mr. Anonymous

Every so often I get an anonymous comment on this blog. It is rare, but it happens. The funny thing about it is that the comments from the anonymous posters are usually statements in line with something you'd read on eBaumsWorld or YouTube, commenting in a snarky manner after a sincere video. This is the most recent one:

"dude, I just found your stuff. It's hilarious. But, you're still an ass-hole. Your funny, but I can't believe someone would have the gall to do this shit."

Now before I give a serious response, let me tell you... I'm flattered. There are many times when people will say, "Oh, you're so mean!" after seeing a drawing or caricature, both live and in print. This is just as much a rush as skydiving, for an artist, but not an accurate critique of the scene.

First off, I realize that this comment isn't as cutting as some of my blog replies, but it still shows a lack of understanding and eloquence. This individual can feel free to email me if they'd like, if they'd prefer to understand the art of caricature a bit more. I'd love to let them in on it, and explain why I'm not an "ass-hole", but rather an advocate of original caricature and artwork. It's clear that they aren't all bad, as they say my work is hilarious and funny. It's not like it was that controversial either... the reader commented on THIS update!

I care a lot about "this shit", but so long as people hide behind "anonymous", individuals like this will never have the chance to communicate with real humans. I invite this reader and others to drop an email to me (blog AT joebluhm DOT com) and be as sincere and open as they are quick and crass. I'm not angry or upset at all; I'm fairly non-plussed (as Larry David would say), especially in the neglect to credit one's own words.

I have to reiterate- I'm not accusing this individual of being a jerk or anything; quite the contrary. From knowing people's reactions, this person undoubtedly likes what they see and is a decent human. I am just amused.


Jon said...

Isn't the whole point of what you do, to kinda poke fun at a person? Not in a bad way, but to exaggerate ones self into a comical display? Sure people may not like it in the end, get insulted because they don't think they look that way. That's what a caricature is... cartoon portrait... but it's a style of cartoon perse from the artist, not the client. I mean, I could be wrong here, but if you don't like it, don't look, ya know? I enjoy looking at your work. I walked by you at Chi town, but you looked busy with your computer, so I didn't want to bother ya. But it's rather fun to look at.

Melton Art Sketchpad said...

I agree that if the guy has something to say he should say it to you instead of hiding behind "anonymous".
However, one point my wife has brought up about your extreme style is that kids probably don't get it and do think your just being mean or as asshole as your anon. friend so eloquently put it.
I understand what your doing for the art form and I believe a lot of us applaud you for it but in order for it to be successful step forward do you have to be just as brutal on the kids as you are on the adults?
I'm one of those artists who will tone it down for the sake of the kids feelings and then do another one and rip them apart after they've left.
I just don't think a 6 to 15 year old can comprehend why you would do that to them other than to be mean or cruel.
Your Fan,
Eric Melton

Michael Brito said...

well, i think your shits awesome, your art i mean, not your...well you get it. PEACE.

Tom said...

It's amazing how "courageous" people are in making rude and critical statements when they can hide behind the anonymity of their computer screen.

One of my favorite comedy movie scenes of all time is in "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back", when they obtain a list of the address of these internet geeks who told them they suck online, ring their doorbells and read back their statements to them, and then proceed to beat the shit out of them.

Just trust in karma.

Joe Bluhm said...

Eric, you make a good point, but working for nearly 5 years in theme parks all over the world, I've found that the insecurity in the children lie in their parents. A 13 or 14 year old girl? Yes, maybe she's a bit insecure, but all other ages can usually take it.

I've seen kids love the drawing, then see the parent's reaction or expression. It changes the tone entirely, because they're still impressionable, but the initial reaction is honesty. It's humanity. It's raw.

And on top of it all, you're right... it's what we do... caricature.

AndrewM said...

Dude I just picked up a copy of your Rejects book on a whim and I gotta say it was AMAZING! Why did i only hear about you now? I've always wanted to learn how to do really exaggerated caricatures like you do. This book will really help me alot in terms of learning how to pick noticeable facial features/"imperfections" and knowing when to and when not to exaggerate them. Kudos to you my man! You've made a fan out of me!

Tim Bye said...

Hey Joe. I think caricatures can actually seem to look more like the person than the person, and though often done tongue in cheek - this is what caricaturists strive for - to catch the essence of the person. You are passionate about what you do and it shows in your work

Linda Coogan said...

Hey Joe, as you said you are an advocate of original caricature and artwork, and its your job to sometimes extract the humour from the obvious, i love your work and i am currently trying to crossover to caricature myself. Its hard and I totally respect you as an artist and i think your work is amazing, any pointers throw them rigt back at me, thanks for the inpsiration and keep it up!
great work

Lin Coogan x

Sam Nielson said...

I like to think of it this way. The reason why I'm such a confident, independent person now is because my self-esteem took such an insane beating in junior high school. I had to learn to live and look past that stuff and just not care what other people thought or said. Once I did, I could enjoy the world like people should.
So in my mind, giving a 12-year-old an exaggerated caricature isn't really going to hurt her, and maybe you're even doing her a favor. :)

Matt said...

Hey Joe,
Let me first off tell you that you are probably one of the top two caricature artists whos work I've ever come across. And I'm just curious, who would you site as one of your influences? and is there a really good book out there that teaches how to draw caricatures?--aside from yours
which I am going to buy. Help a brotha out man, I'm the same age as you..and ..shall I say..I got some catching up to do ;) alright later. Matt

hanzz said...

I think you are an awesome artist.I have the same anonimus-reactions.....

KeelanParham said...

Posting "anonymously" is for wimps.

Anonymous said...

I agree keelanparham, posting anonymously IS for wimps. ;)

rock995 said...

I think you're a fuckin genius.