Been a while!

image image image image image image image imageThings are going well for Something Fun and Different. I’ve reached out to and have begun working with 2 other people who are able to meet the demands of Speed Sketching- even if they’re not comfortable enough to sketch in bars for tips. Been working with a silhouette artist as well who is also a caricature artist among many other talents. I’ve sketched with a band of circusy vaudeville theater people also which was fun. I got to debut the Sketch Monkey act at that event! (Dressed in a gorilla suit with a coller, tie and a derby hat). I’ve also started drawing in night clubs, bars and restaurants on a semi regular basis and it’s been fun. There is a promotional company that has started to hire me to sketch at bars for their promotions, which of course has been going very well indeed.

Right now I am traveling a lot and haven’t had much time to sleep because my schedule is so hectic, but I have had a chance to take a few live photos and videos.  I’m going to  attach them here. These were all done in the past week, at live events and they all too around a minute per person.

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Drawing at NASA!

So, my buddy Sage calls me up and asks if I’ll come to where he works to draw at his company picnic. They can’t pay me but it’ll be cool to hang out and I can bring the family. There were only about 50 people expected so it would be pretty laid back. Ordinarily I’d probably say no (It’s an hour away and I do have a lot of office work to catch up on and have gotten virtually nothing accomplished this week) but I haven’t seen Sage in a while and in fact might actually be a pretty cool gig. See, Sage works for NASA.

I didn’t know it but he invited his wife and some other cool people we hadn’t seen in awhile too. It was great seeing everybody again and catching up. Another big surprise was that Sage led us on a tour of the facilities!

He told me once he was in maintenance and HVAC systems. So naturally my dumb ass imagines him pushing a broom and fixing air conditioners… Not so much… Uh, Sage maintains the vacuum and exhaust systems for where they test rocket propulsion systems and payload deployment systems for rockets!

We started out by watching some hobby rockets go off in a field on base, which was some 1600 acres in Lorain with a really cool history of a weapons manufacturing facility in WWI. Then we saw the vacuum chamber which has 2 5′ thick concrete doors and a suspension system under the floor to keep it from imploding! After lunch, (which went fast and I only got to draw about 25 people) Sage showed us the rocket testing facility which was a giant sheltered hole in the ground that the rocket is bolted onto and the exhaust is expressed underneath the floor into a 250′ deep chasm, cooled, analyzed and sucked out. It was pretty amazing.

Thank you so much, Sage, for asking us to join you and giving us the tour!

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Graduation coloring project

One of the new services I’ll be offering through the new agency is coloring projects. I’ve done color by numbers, which are very labor intensive and oftentimes, people don’t pay any attention to what’s going on and color whatever, outside the lines, any color they want to… With good, bad and ugly results. Taking this in stride, I decided to see how it goes as just a free for all and bumped up the color profiles in the key. There were 50 guests expected and quite a few little kids, and it was a family event,
so it was the perfect situation to experiment. It got cray cray but it didn’t turn out half bad today! Here’s the finished coloring:

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Something Fun and Different Entertainment

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So I’ve been hinting around at a big project that has been taking up a lot of my time. Well, I started an entertainment agency. It’s called Something Fun and Different. The agency specializes in unique interactive art novelties and unique variety acts. If you’re looking for entertainment and want something you’ve never seen before that is artistic and probably a little bit silly- please give us a holler!

Speed Sketchers Caricatures is a group of specialized speed artists that I have put together and am training to do exactly what I do at gigs, nationwide. This is kind of a big deal for me because I am the only one who does what I do. I have (thankfully) been in demand and have one dedicated back up artist, but sometimes my schedule is just too much for me. I have chosen artists regionally so that everyones time gets used efficiently. (and nobody spends 3 full days traveling to and from a single gig because it’s so far out of the way) We can draw together at some gigs and cover for each other. Also important to note is that the more people that can do speed sketches, the higher the demand for them will be!

Apart from Speed Sketchers, I am also representing digital caricature artists as well as traditional caricature artists. Other artistic novelties of note are silhouette cutout artists, henna, face painting, balloon sculptors, an origami artist, live scene painters, portrait artists, giant mural painters and customized color by number projects! I am also pleased to represent an amazing journalistic photographer, a variety of original singer/songwriter KICK ASS musical acts, a speaker/artist presenter and a world famous magician who holds several world records.

The website is here: http://www.somethingfunanddifferent.com if you are interested in checking it out…. Facebook page is here: http://www.facebook.com/somethingfunanddifferent. New website is already in the works now that I have some additional promotional materials from some of the performers.

It’s going to be a big year! Wish me luck!!

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Interesting NY Times article interviewing one of the Chinese caricature ‘bosses’ in Times Square.

Times Square Artists

My thoughts: Retail caricatures may be free speech but should not be exempt from vendor licensing or paying local sales taxes. Let alone by undocumented immigrants. Reading between the lines of this article, seeing them first hand and knowing how things work for NYC artists who have tried to set up in Times Square, I can tell you – something fishy is going on…

If you try to set up and are NOT Chinese the cops will actually chase you away. The artwork in their displays are snagged from the internet and are done by caricature illustrator friends of mine who are fellow ISCA members (yes, we have a large group and it’s fun sometimes when the someone from our group snaps a photo of their signs and we all know who’s work is on the sign. One of the artists even cheekily confronted one of the Chinese artists when they saw their own illustration on a sign. …no speaka engrish! Lol)

I hear about these artists almost everywhere I’ve been. They sell a caricature for $5-$10 or more, (some good some bad. Honestly some do good work) but then a lady comes over and tries to sell you a matte, plastic sleeve or frame for $20 or something. She’s pretty aggressive! Again, I have seen her in action.

My advise if you are in NYC and want to get some artwork done? Go to Central Park and get one from one of the artists there. They are as good or better artists than the Chinese artists, probably American, probably from NYC and you will probably have a much better experience. I know some of those artists and if they have signs depicting caricatures, they use their own work. They probably have a sketchbook, some business cards, a website and some fine art they can show you as well, and they might even be able to draw your guests at your nieces birthday party!

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Kamal Dollah talking about his experiences busking

Check out my good friend Kamal’s little video about busking. Pretty cool. He is from Singapore and has taught a variety of artistic talents to his community and has a caricature business of his own. He is a classically trained batik master and his wife is a dancer in the opera. Very cool people!! I met him at an International Society of Caricature Artists Convention several years ago. If you don’t know what that is, you’re missing out. Go to http://www.Caricature.org for more information. If you are interested in the art of caricature- YOU MUST GO CHECK IT OUT! 😉