Last November I attended ISCACON24 which is the annual convention for the International Society of Caricature Artists. I have been going for over 10 years. One of the highlights is a VIP reception for members to mingle with the guest of honor. This time, the guest speaker was Jason Seiler who is a phenomenal painter and artist from Chicago. He decided to do a digital painting demonstration during the reception. Projected up large on a screen was the caricature he was painting while members socialized and drank over the 3 hour reception. Jason interacted with members as he painted. They asked questions and the artist would respond, all while painting a guest who was ecstatic about being painted by him. The atmosphere was very unique and enjoyable. It was from this experience that I came up with the idea to offer a similar service for cocktail receptions, corporate events, fundraisers and other related functions in which an award-winning artist could paint a guest or host while engaging with attendees during the event. Think of it; as an added feature to your hi-end event, an award-winning artist sets up and does a live painting of the host, guest-of-honor or a winner’s favorite celebrity which can then be used for a charity auction once it is finished! 7 months later, we have put the finishing touches on our brand new service with our new web page featuring 6 incredible artists who you can now book for your function anywhere in the U.S. or abroad. I am very excited about this new service and I am looking forward to seeing what these artists can do for our clients. Check out the page and Let me know your thoughts!
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.
Recently Goofy Faces ventured across the border into Windsor, Canada to help out at Windsor Regional Hospital’s annual fund-raiser called Hats on for Healthcare. This event raises money for different local, healthcare-related needs in the Windsor-Essex region of Ontario, Canada. This was the second time that Goofy Faces was hired to draw caricatures at this event on February 11th.