I am very happy and relieved to report an update to my previous post about my close friend and great artist, Glenn Ferguson. As many of you already know, Glenn was viciously attacked by another artist at Universal Studios on New Year’s Day. Glenn was stabbed in the side of his head with a pair of scissors near the caricature stand that he has been drawing at for over 20 years. It took over 5 hours of surgery to remove the blades from his brain.
All of us in the caricature artist community were horrified when we learned of Glenn’s situation. Glenn is highly respected and greatly loved by many of us who share his trade of drawing caricatures for a living. A few of us organized a GoFundMe campaign to help offset all the costs and lack of income that Glenn was enduring while he is recovering. People from around the world have reached out with support and donations. So far, we have successfully raised over $67,000!
Miraculously, Glenn regained conscious a couple weeks later. However, that was only the first step. He has had a tough road since then. The injury affected his vision, speech and the vital functions that most of us take for granted daily. He was unable to understand what people were saying to him. He couldn’t walk. He didn’t know how to speak. Imagine waking up and not even knowing who you are. That’s exactly what Glenn experienced.
Fortunately, the wonderful therapists worked with Glenn in the hospital for weeks and were surprised at how quickly he responded to treatment. They had never met nor worked with someone like him before. Being an artist meant that his brain is wired a little differently than most people. And the therapists were learning a lot from Glenn while helping him recover. Glenn progressed well enough that the hospital discharged him ahead of schedule and sent him home. Now Glenn is working with his therapists from home several times a week. He is learning to read again. He still gets tired easily and he has no peripheral vision in his right eye. But the Glenn we all know and love is alive and hasn’t changed regarding his personality. That is a huge victory!
It’s incredible to think that only 45 days ago, Glenn was clinging to life by the smallest of odds. I am as blown away with his progress since then. Glenn has been overwhelmed regarding your compassion and support. As I mentioned before, Glenn is really one of the good ones and apparently greater forces than ours appear to agree. Keep up the great recovery, Glenn!
I consider myself to be extremely fortunate. I make a comfortable living doing something I really enjoy doing on a daily basis. I get to create. I bring smiles to thousands of people every year. And aside from the occasional unsatisfied customer or perhaps an extra long gig that is too close to a DJ speaker, my profession is very low-risk, high-reward. As many of you know I am also a member of the International Society of Caricature Artists. It’s a trade association of caricature artists from around the world. It’s membership is around 500-600 artists and many of us have been involved for years. We are an extended family to one-another.
One of my closest friends that I met through ISCA is Glenn Ferguson. We both served as board members for 6 years. When I became president, Glenn was my vice president. We got along so well over that time that we became best buds. Even after we finished serving on the board, we keep in touch. He’s been to Michigan several times and has drawn with me at the Art & Apples Festival near my home. My family has visited with him and his wife, JoAnn near his home in Orlando. Glenn is an extremely talented artist who manages the caricature concession for Fasan Arts at Universal Studios, Orlando. He’s been there bringing smiles to visitors for decades now. Not only is he a very popular artist with guests but he is greatly admired among the artist community as well. In addition to serving on the board, Glenn has won more awards at the annual convention, ISCACON, than any other artist in history, including the top award of Master of the Year. Besides being an outstanding artist, Glenn has got to be one of the nicest guys I have ever had the pleasure to know. He encourages other artists, he is mean to no one and he has the patience of a saint. He also has a great sense of humor. In short, Glenn is one of the good ones.
On the morning of New Year’s Day 2016, Glenn Ferguson was attacked at Universal Studios, where he has drawn thousands upon thousands of caricatures over the years for tourists. He was viciously stabbed in the side of his head by a disgruntled co-worker and had to undergo a lengthy emergency surgery that lasted more than 5 hours. Glenn’s prognosis remains unclear–what has immediately become clear is how many people are pulling for him, a testament to how many lives Glenn has touched.
Right after celebrating their first wedding anniversary, his wife JoAnn is now facing the fallout from this attack–it will no doubt contain many bills from doctors and hospitals (even with insurance, copays and deductibles add up) and a long road ahead involving rehabilitation and recovery time. We all hope and pray that Glenn can make a full recovery, but there will no doubt be many hurdles to overcome since Glenn has suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Several of us who have known Glenn through the caricature community have set up a fund to help, which JoAnn will be able to access as bills mount. If you already know Glenn, I am certain that you have already donated or you are about to soon. If you do not know Glenn, please watch the video I included to get a sense of the kind of guy Glenn is. The world is a much better place with him in it and with your help, hopefully he can recover so that he can get back to his drawing table and delighting people once again.
It’s that time of year once again. Each year around November, the International Society of Caricature Artists holds its annual caricature convention. This is the 24th year that it has taken place. This year’s con is at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, OH. The convention lasts all week long with seminars, competitions, networking and lots of catching up with fellow artists from around the world. This is my 11th convention. Last year was the first time that I missed it in 10 years. As a former board member and president, I have invested a lot of time to help this organization grow and succeed. I am happy to see how well it continues to improve over the years. This year, I am one of the guest speakers. I am looking forward to spending the week catching up with old friends and making new ones. If you care to check out the activities on Facebook or Twitter, look for the hashtag #iscacon24.
This week, Lego™ announced its latest video game mash-up called dimensions and Goofy Faces was there to help celebrate. Yesterday, Goofy Faces artist Jason had the pleasure of drawing Legocatures for several hours at The Garage in New York City. Visitors to the event enjoyed having their likenesses turned into actual Lego characters along side Batman, Gandalf and Wyld Style right before their eyes. Below are some awesome samples from the event!
Beginning tomorrow at 4PM, Goofy Faces will be drawing caricatures for its 11th straight year at the Art & Apples Festival located in Rochester Park in downtown Rochester, MI. This is the only festival we do each year because it is in our home town and it gives us a great chance to be part of the local community as well as spread the word about what we do. Many attendees stop by each year for an annual caricature of their family. We have some customers who have had their caricatures drawn at 5 or more festivals in a row! In those 11 years, Robert has drawn with 5 different artists. This year, Robert will be drawing caricatures with Shawn from Ohio. Michelle will also be on hand to paint faces as she did last fall. The festival lasts for 3 days starting tomorrow from 4PM-7:30PM. It will be open all day Saturday from 9AM-7:30PM and on Sunday from 9AM to 4PM. Our tent is located near the middle footbridge near the central food court. You can download a map right here. Make sure to stop by early because our booth gets super-busy by the afternoon and usually stays busy until close. Check out some photos from Goofy Faces at previous Art & Apples festivals over the past 11 years. See you at Art & Apples!
For 50 years, the Art & Apples Festival® has transformed the 30-acre downtown park in Rochester into one of the nation’s top fine art fairs with over 290 exhibiting artists from across the country. The festival is a program of Paint Creek Center for the Arts, a regional, nonprofit art center located in downtown Rochester.
Recently Fox Broadcasting hired Goofy Faces to provide artists to help promote their new TV Show, The Grinder, which premiers September 29th on Fox. The show’s setting involves the courtroom, so what better way to promote that fact than to feature courtroom sketches during a recent press event in Beverly Hills, CA? The show stars Rob Lowe and Fred Savage so each star was featured in the sketch along with attendees to the event. Goofy Faces provided 2 talented artists who had to adapt their digital art style to match the existing courtroom sketch. They both drew over 90 eSketches™ in 6 hours each at this unique event which included courtroom props like a witness box for the attendees to sit in while they were being drawn. The entire sketching concept went from idea to execution in under 24 hours! Did Goofy Faces deliver for Fox? Without a doubt, case closed! Thanks to artists Greg & Court for their hard work and talent. More Fox events coming soon!
I recently had the good fortune to be interviewed for the International Society of Caricature Artists’ Podcast, ISCAST by ISCA president, Nolan Harris! Have a listen!
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/214629697″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]
I have lived in metro Detroit for over 45 years and in those years, I make my way into the city quite frequently. Goofy Faces does quite a few gigs in the city of Detroit from drawing for the Detroit Tigers to the Red Wings and other events held at venues like Cobo Center. In those 45 years, I have heard or read about Detroit’s comeback at least a dozen times in my life. I remember how Detroit was going to emerge from its woes with the building of the Renaissance Center, a vast complex of office buildings and a hotel on the Riverfront. It represented the dawn of a new renaissance in Detroit. However, that was 1976. So much for a come back in those days. Since then, many things have happened in Motown. Detroit has endured the loss of its population, corruption and most recently a bankruptcy. Detroit is the largest municipality on record to have declared bankruptcy in the US. So in most people’s eyes, Detroit has always been the butt of the joke on late-night talk shows or in the news about what went wrong with a once-great American City. With the bankruptcy, it was at its lowest point just a few years ago.
However, you wouldn’t know it if you talk to the people who live here. For the first time in what seems like forever, people are moving back into the city. And these people are young, creative types who see such opportunity in the Motor City. New restaurants have opened around the city. It’s getting a reputation as a “foodie paradise“. Many new start-ups have opened for business in Detroit. I can honestly say that in all my years of drawing and visiting Detroit, it feels very different now. People are really calling Detroit “hip” and “cool” now. Just in the past week, I was hired to draw eSketches™ for Virgin Atlantic Airlines at The Fillmore on Woodward, downtown. They were celebrating their newest route that flies daily from London to Detroit. Even Sir Richard Branson, CEO of the airline and well-known philanthropist, was on board the maiden flight to Detroit. He had great things to say about the city. This event featured Motown music, local food and of course eSketches™ from Goofy Faces. I had the pleasure of drawing many visitors from the UK as well as other parts of the country to celebrate the new Virgin Atlantic Route. Everyone I spoke to was very impressed with the way Detroit has changed. They loved spending time there. I can honestly say it felt cool hanging out in Detroit again. I can’t wait to see what happens next! Rockin’ it in the Motor City!
Folks living near Columbia, South Carolina can finally enjoy Goofy Faces art at their convenience! Whether they seek a face painting for their children or a unique, whimsical caricature of their family, they can now obtain either simply by visiting the Riverbanks Zoo. Goofy Faces has artists working every weekend until school ends. Then they will be open daily, weather-permitting. Each artist has been reviewed and specially trained to provide happy memories with fun art from Goofy Faces. Make sure to check them out the next you visit the zoo!