Check out the latest episode of Art Detroit where Shiela Grant sits down with me to discuss everything that is the art of caricature!
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.
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.
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!
For 49 years, the Art & Apples Festival® has transformed the 30-acre Rochester Park in Rochester, MI into one of the nation’s top fine art fairs with over 290 exhibiting artists from across the country. Goofy Faces has been a proud sponsor of this event for the past 10 years. Each year I enjoy drawing close to home for 3 days and seeing so many of our customers and clients drop by to say hello or get their caricature drawn by me or the other artists I ask to work with me at the festival. This year’s festival was our busiest one to date! We added a face painter for the first time this year and Michelle was busy all day long.