The Early Incarnations of Caricature
We’re Caricature Art geeks so, of course, the history of the art form intrigues us. Since so many people enjoy getting their caricature drawn, we thought you might find its history interesting, too. While there are pages and pages of historical reference on this art style through the ages, we’re going to give you a brief background of caricature.
What is it?
Encyclopedia Britannica defines caricature as:
“ … the distorted presentation of a person, type, or action. Commonly, a salient feature or characteristic of the subject is seized upon and exaggerated, or features of animals, birds, or vegetables are substituted for parts of the human being, or analogy is made to animal actions. Generally, one thinks of caricature as being a line drawing and meant for publication for the amusement of people to whom the original is known; the personal trait is usually present.”
A great caricature artist knows how to look at an individual, determine what features make them unique—like their larger chin, high forehead or unique eye placement—and exaggerates those features to create a stylized, typically humorous, image of the person.
Where it began
Did you know that caricature art, also known as satirical art, has been around since our earliest history? Examples of this art form show up in cave murals and Egyptian tombs. However, it wasn’t until the sixteenth century that the word caricature evolved from the Annibale Carracci and his brother Agostino. The word Caricature was used to describe the exaggerated portraits they sketched in their art school in Italy in the late 1500s.
The early incarnations of caricature
Throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, caricature style was being used as commentary on public figures and politics. Social satire was popular for centuries in Europe and the U.S. As printing technology began to develop in the 17th century, artists could have their work distributed widely on cards and bulletins, which further elevated the art form.
Royal family members, political figures and wealthy celebrities were the primary targets of the satirical artists, who weren’t the least bit afraid of being biting or even cruel in their art.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, when monthly magazine publications like Vanity Fair were launched, caricature art became even more popular. The artists made statements about cultural and political happenings, gaining huge audiences for their wit and rancor.
Today, with a global political climate that’s as lively as it’s ever been, caricature art is still popular in both printed and online publications.
The Event Caricature Artist
Many caricature artists “perform” live, creating their artwork at events or entertainment venues. From museums and weddings to boardwalks and beach parties, thousands of artists in the United States currently make a living doing live event caricature art. It’s a position that requires training and practice, which all of our Goofy Faces artists get before they join our team.
Throughout human history, caricature art has been a way to communicate and connect with others. Today, you can hire artists to create custom caricature for your guests at your wedding, retirement party, fundraiser, picnic or any other event. We’d love to provide the event caricature artist for your next party. Get in touch or book an artist here: http://bit.ly/GFGetInTouch
Getting Drawn? 5 Things Your Event Caricature Artist Wants You to Know
Caricature art became a form of satirical entertainment in the sixteenth century. Since then, as event caricature artists have become more commonplace, we’re pretty sure people have wondered what things look like from the artist’s point-of-view.
We talked to our team of event caricature artists to find out what they’d like their caricature subjects to know.
You don’t have to smile the whole time we’re drawing you. If you’re a little nervous or just want to talk to the people who’ve attended the event with you, no worries! We’ll ask you to smile when we need a reference for the drawing.
You don’t have to sit still like a statue. If you’re in the chair, it’s okay to fidget, look around and talk. Just be sure to relax. We’ll ask you to move to a specific position or look at us if we need you to.
Caricature art is meant to be FUN. It’s not a portrait. We exaggerate your features on purpose, so please don’t take offense. And, we’re sorry, but admitting your insecurities beforehand will not lead to a better caricature. If your nose or your chin are part of what makes you look like “YOU,” we’ll use it in the drawing. Our lighthearted style is part of the fun and entertainment of caricature art. Seriously? We’re not making fun of you, we’re having fun WITH you.
Every artist has their own style. Subjects should know that every artist has a different style. Some try to make their subjects look cute while others prefer more extreme exaggeration. You’ll get a feel for the event caricature artist’s unique style if you look at their samples BEFORE you sit in their chair. If their style doesn’t appeal to you, it’s probably best to select an artist that better suits your preferences.
We LOVE unique accessories like glasses, patterns and funky earrings. If you have a unique style, we can have even more fun with your caricature. Your signature look—whether it’s your super-stylish glasses, your love of patterns, or your penchant for funky earrings—makes it even easier for us to capture your personality in your caricature.
Is there anything else you’d like to know? Send us an email and we’ll do our best to get you an answer!
Improving Employee Engagement Using Caricature Art
Employee engagement is a hot topic in the workplace. Employers of all sizes are paying increasing attention to keeping their employees happy and how doing so affects their business goals. According to inc.com, improving employee engagement doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. In fact, employee events, recognition for loyalty and accomplishments, and acknowledging employees’ families are all things that can move the needle in a positive direction for employee engagement.
Employee engagement: The extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization and put discretionary effort into their work. (Source: CustomInsight.com)
Here are five ways you can incorporate caricature art into your initiatives to improve employee engagement:
Employee Appreciation Mixers
Employees who have friendships with their coworkers have higher feelings of wellbeing, motivation and job satisfaction, according to an online survey by Paychex. You can encourage those friendships by holding quarterly or bi-annual employee appreciation events at your place of business. Pick a theme and bring in lunch or afternoon snacks. For the finishing touch, hire two or three event caricature artists to create whimsical mementos for your team to take home.
At Goofy Faces, we offer traditional caricatures, eSketchesTM, and caricature coasters. And we can print your custom employee appreciation message and logo in color on the paper, so your team members will think of you every time they see it.
Employee Anniversary Recognition
Do you have employees that have been with you for an extended period of time – like five, ten or even twenty years? Acknowledging those important anniversaries with custom caricature art makes a memorable statement that you appreciate their loyalty.
Team or Departmental Recognition
When a team wins a new piece of business, or works through a crisis to a positive end, consider recognizing those efforts with a team image created using caricature art.
Many companies use charitable fundraising and volunteering to create a more cohesive team environment. From penny drives and potlucks to bake sales and bowling events, employees work together to hit a goal and then relish the feeling of success and team spirit when they hit the target.
To add more oomph to a fundraising event, underwrite the cost of having a caricature artist or two on-site, so that employees can donate $10 to get a drawing, which goes to the chosen charity. And – BONUS! – they can take home a memento of the event.
Family-Friendly Company-Sponsored Events
Don’t forget to acknowledge your employees’ families and the part they play in supporting your team members. One way to recognize them is to hold an annual family-friendly event, like a company picnic or party at a venue that’s family-friendly. Consider hiring a few event caricature artists to be on-site to add to the fun. We promise, they’ll love it!
Explore more ways to use event and studio caricature art services to increase employee engagement at our website at www.goofyfaces.com.
Strengthen Your Customer Relationships with These Unique Client Appreciation Gift Ideas
According to Forbes Magazine, the use of “relationship-based extras,” aka small gifts that convey appreciation to clients, helps businesses create stronger and more loyal customer relationships. In fact, personalized gifts can increase sales to those customers by 24%! For business-to-business companies, you can leverage this information to increase sales by offering unique client appreciation gifts – like custom caricature art.
Everybody loves getting a caricature done. A top-notch caricature artist (like the ones you’ll find at GoofyFaces.com) exaggerates each person’s unique features in a way that allows everyone to recognize who they are in a whimsical manner. To help you take advantage of the power of caricature art, here are a five unique client appreciation gifts that use it:
Thank You Gifts
When a client gives you a large contract that’s going to make a BIG difference for your business, express your appreciation with a piece of caricature art. Consider providing the artist with photos of the members of the customer’s team, to create an image can be framed and displayed in the client’s office or break room. Close the deal with a gift that will last and make a lasting impression!
When you’re pitching a new piece of business, it’s ALWAYS a good idea to demonstrate your team’s creativity. And if your brand identity works with a whimsical approach, caricature art can be a great way to do that. For example, what if you used caricature art as part of your presentation, perhaps replacing your staff headshots with caricatures? Another option? Have an artist create a custom image of your team for your thank you notes.
Do you have customers that have been with you for an extended period of time – like five, ten or even twenty years? Acknowledging those important anniversaries with custom caricature art can make a memorable statement that you appreciate their loyalty.
Throwing a corporate event to celebrate your business’s milestones can pay off – by increasing customer loyalty and helping you gain the interest of new prospects. Consider hosting it at your place of business, bringing in a stellar caterer, and hiring two or three event caricature artists to create whimsical mementos for your guests to take home. At Goofy Faces, we offer traditional caricature, eSketchesTM, and caricature coasters. And we can print your marketing message and logo in color on the paper, so your guests will think of you every time they see it. That’s great marketing.
Birthdays and Babies
Acknowledge important events in a client’s life – like a milestone birthday or the birth of a baby – with custom caricature art. It’s a personal and personalized gift. Ask the artist to include elements that represent your client’s unique interests to create something that they’ll want to frame for display in their office or at home.
Explore more ways to use event and studio caricature art services to amp up your business at our website at www.goofyfaces.com.
Try These Creative Party Ideas
Have you ever been at a party where an event caricature artist was at work? Odds are, there was a crowd gathered around, excited and happy, watching the artist create a fun & fast sketch of their friend or family member. There are so many creative party ideas that include caricature art! And the fact that your guests walk away with a souvenir? Bonus!
If you’re planning an event and looking for creative party ideas, here are five ways you use caricature art to WOW your guests.
1. The Invitation
Add a touch of whimsy to your invitation by using custom caricature art in your invitations. Capture the personality of your guest of honor by asking the artist to include items related to their hobbies and interests.
By exaggerating someone’s unique features, the artist creates an image that allows us all to poke fun at ourselves, which is why so many people enjoy it. It’s even more fun when your guests can gather around and watch as their friend or family member’s “goofy face” is created. Consider hiring one or more traditional caricature artists to entertain your guests during your party and they’ll get a personalized memento to remember it by, too.
3. eSketches™ (Live Digital Caricatures)
At Goofy Faces, we also offer an update to traditional caricature style – live digital caricatures. We call them eSketches™ and our customers have given us great feedback on this high-tech approach. The artist works on a digital tablet and your guests watch them create the image on a big screen nearby. The images are then printed instantly on photo paper and given to your guests. We also offer a link to download all the finished eSketches™ following the event!
4. Caricature Coasters
We promise, your guests will love caricature coasters! They’re small and quick – it only takes the artist about two minutes to draw the image. Plus, the 4” x 4” heavy cardboard drinking coaster can be customized with graphics and text, so people will always remember where they got their mini piece of art.
5. The Gift
Even if you’re throwing the party, you can still bring the most creative and memorable gift. And how better to celebrate the guest of honor than to have an artist capture them in a piece of custom caricature art that you can have framed for their home or office? Many of our loyal customers come to us repeatedly to have us capture images of the people they love, along with their interests, almamater, hobbies and other personal items. It makes a lasting and memorable gift.
Check out the latest episode of Art Detroit where Shiela Grant sits down with me to discuss everything that is the art of caricature!
Introducing Remote eSketches™ from Goofy Faces! If you have internet, you can now book a live artist anywhere on the planet. Book a Remote eSketch Artist for your trade show booth, corporate function, grand opening or any event where you want the impact of live digital caricatures without the high cost of bringing the artist to you. All you need is a laptop, tablet or smartphone with internet access as well as a color printer and you can enjoy having an artist draw your guests and customers live at your next event. Our artist engages and interacts with your guests just like in person while drawing their digital caricature in as little as 6 minutes. After showing your guest their finished caricature, the artist simply uploads the final art to a Dropbox, instantly so you can access it from your device to view and print at your location! So the next time you want to add a unique form of hi-tech entertainment to your event, why not try our Remote eSketches™? Contact us for a quote!
Goofy Faces was recently hired by Lear Corporation to help them celebrate their 100th birthday at their headquarters in Southfield, MI. They requested 2 artists for 4 hours. But they didn’t request traditional caricatures or eSketches™. “We want you to draw on these 4X4 inch cardboard tiles. Our guests love them!” Ok, no problem. Neither of the 2 artists had drawn this way before but they were up to the challenge. The client was right, their guests loved them. They lined up for 4 straight hours. These tiles are basically restaurant coasters; the kind you see when a server places them on the table before setting down your drinks. They respond well to marker and allow you to print a logo or graphic on the opposite side. Not only were these popular but both artists were able to crank out more caricatures per hour than usual. “Because of the reduced size, I was finishing each caricature in about 90 seconds as opposed to 4-5 minutes for traditional caricatures” commented owner and artist, Robert Bauer. “I think we can offer these to all our clients. They are different and definitely fun!”
Perhaps the First Practical Business Application of Live Caricatures
Most people consider caricatures more whimsical than practical. As beloved as the art form is by those who appreciate an exaggerated portrait, it isn’t exactly an integral part of most business plans. Few think a caricature might help land the next big deal, and most business-minded folks consider it a simple amusement that belongs on family trips to the theme park, nowhere near the corporate conference room.
This thinking is rapidly changing, however, as a growing number of businesses are taking advantage of this unique service in a truly practical business application in the corporate world. Live digital caricatures, specifically those performed on-site at trade shows and industry conventions, are becoming increasingly popular as a practical service for generating draw to brand messaging, products, and services displayed in trade show booths and exhibits.
While it may be difficult to see the practical value of this at first glance, it’s difficult to deny once examined. Due to its unique nature, this practical application is also arguably superior to many of the other self-promotional goods and giveaways that corporations and brands routinely spend healthy budgets on when trying to gain attention from prospective customers at B2B events.
According to the 2012 study “The Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy” published by PricewaterhousCoopers LLP, there were 273,700 industry conventions and 10,900 trade shows in the United States alone in 2012. The trade show and convention industry is undoubtedly a necessary part of the fabric of B2B commerce in the world, so it’s no wonder that so much money is spent preparing for these events: $280 billion dollars spent in direct spending related to corporate functions in 2012 alone.
B2B is difficult because unlike direct-to-consumer marketing, businesses are harder to advertise to by traditional means. This is why trade shows are so vital. At trade shows, corporations and brands are able to erect temporary storefronts on the trade show floor allowing them to network with their prospects like traditional face-to-face
Common giveaways are mugs, keychains, t-shirts, USB drives, pens and the like. Occasionally, businesses get a little more creative, offering something more exotic like a free back massage. The challenge is finding something that 1) creates real draw to a trade show booth, 2) advertises for the brand, 3) creates a real opportunity for customer engagement (i.e., time), and 4) is personalized enough to create real impact. Live digital caricatures are one of a few services that actually meet all of these criteria.
12 years ago, I decided to make a full-time business out of drawing caricatures for a living. This was no small task.
Very few people make their entire living based on the art of caricature but I already wasn’t making enough as a freelance artist to support a family and the idea of working a full-time job was too depressing to consider. So, I took a breath and dove right in.
One of the first places I decided to try out was at our local annual art festival in Rochester, MI called Art & Apples. It’s been around for 50 years and was close enough to my home to risk seeing if I could make it work. The first year was in 2004 and I didn’t even own a tent. However, me and fellow artist, Ben Pierrot stayed busy enough over the 3-day weekend to come back the following year. The next year, I had a tent and my business grew. Then I started opening other caricature stands in different locations throughout the U.S. I have had as many as 9 retail stands coast to coast over the past 12 years. And each year, I would return as a sponsor at Art & Apples and each September, another artist and me would draw for 3 straight days.
We became a crowd favorite at the festival. Customers looked forward to seeing us each September and we became a tradition. Heck, 2 years ago, I drew a couple at the festival who decided to hire 3 of us to draw at the wedding. A year later they came back to Art & Apples for another caricature. This time, they wanted one showing that the couple was expecting their first child! They handed me an envelope that showed if it was going to be a boy or a girl. “Whatever you do, don’t tell us! We want it to be a surprise until next week when we use your caricature for the official announcement.” There were many special moments like that one. I always looked forward to drawing friends and family each September. I enjoyed working with several different artists over the years. We always had fun even though we weren’t making a fortune. I was always able to cover all my costs and pay my artists who helped out. That, plus the annual exposure, justified all our efforts.
Unfortunately, all that changed in 2016. Paint Creek Center for the Arts, the organization that runs Art & Apples, decided to raise their sponsorship fee by 120%! I have paid a bit more over the previous 12 years but I had never seen a hike like that. I asked if there was any way we could work out a better rate but they refused so, sad to say, 2016 will be the first time in 12 years that Goofy Faces will not be at Art Apples. It makes me very sad because not only did I always look forward to drawing in my hometown but I liked the spirit of community I felt from my involvement with the local festival. Even though we have caricature stands in Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver and other locations around the country, I considered Art & apples to be the place where it all started. And sadly, 2016 is the year where it ended. It was a great run. If you are a regular customer of ours from Art & Apples, you can order your caricatures online at www.goofyfaces.com/shop. If I find another local festival to set up at, I will keep you posted.