NCN & 1 Friend

For anyone not in 'the know', the NCN is a non-profit organization that's been around for over 15 years. It's a network of arists who appreciate and participate in the art of caricature (be it cartooning, portraiture, animation, or any other form of art that utilizes likeness, exaggeration, drawing, etc). Members receive access to an online forum, a website listing, 4 issues of the magazine-style newsletter, Exaggerated Features and more.

There is also a convention held every year, and 2 weeks ago in Orlando, FL we held
the 15th Annual Convention. It's unlike anything you've ever seen - Convention? - that may be an inaccurate term. It's more of a nerd-fest art orgy. 200 artists from all over the world, staying up nearly 24 hrs/day for 4 days, attending a half-dozen seminar-style classes ranging from the very basic theory of caricature to advanced illustration and character design, competing for bragging rights with likeness and speed, admiring and voting for your favorite portfolios and studio pieces, mingling with world-renowned artists (OpDeBeeck, Silver, O'Keefe, Richmond...) and drawing any and every person around you, to hang up on (covering) the walls in a 7,000 sq ft convention ballroom before a final banquet with a formal (well.. for some) awards ceremony. I can't compare it to anything. It is enough inspiration to last a year, and can be compared to even the best art schools. Unfortunately, I could only do two drawings this year. I was running around, taping walls, organizing events, setting up the live gallery, selling merchandise, and doing what a board-member does. Next year, I will make sure I am drawing most of the time... it makes me happy.

NCN Convention regular Greg Dohlen hosts lots of pictures each year on his website, and you can see lots of great stuff here, here and here - but give yourself a solid hour to take it in.
If you have any questions about the NCN, email me - I'm one of the Vice Presidents and will be happy to answer them. I've known of the NCN for 4 years, attended 4 conventions and it's the cheapest special-interest group you can be a part of, while getting something from it.
- - - - - -

Attending the convention was my friend Aaron Philby, for the first time. I met Aaron a year ago when he came down to Orlando to work at Sea World. He draws some amazing caricatures in many different styles and though he'd say I inspire him, it works equally the other way around. He often uses materials in unexpected ways to get a new and bold effect from them, and also uses them sparingly enough that it's a 'cartoon' or 'sketch' even though you feel guilty calling it that. Aaron also brought in some sketchbooks for me to see at work, filled with hillarious cartoons, strips and one-panel gags. His sense of humor is dry and ironic, and I dig it. I just found that he had a website up, so check it out if you get a second. I keep telling him to send his cartoons to MAD!

Lastly, here's a sketch that goes with the group below - it was the last one and a rush-job. It has qualities that I was excited about, but far too many problems to be too proud of. Completed in under 2 hrs (with one boring photo reference). This was done for the Santa Barbara Independent. I'm finding that there are many different approaches to something even as specific as pencil rendering in a realistic manner. At times, I will drift a bit and realize my pencil is still going, and when I snap out of the funk I'm in, I realize I had a different touch to it. This makes me want to explore technique quite a bit more - something I was not very interested in before, with something as seemingly simple as pencil.


Unknown said...

AARON IS F!@#N' AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unknown said...

yo joe! check to see if your pics loaded - i cant see them!!!