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!
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.
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!
Ooooo….. some exciting stuff in the works for December. Been very very busy. I’m a man with a PLAN!
In the meanwhile, once again I am offering greeting card/gift caricatures for a special rate for the holidays. $50 gets you a full color digital drawing of 2 people, head and shoulders, a simple background and a holiday message. Extra people, bits and backgrounds are $25 each. Hit me up if you want one! Here’s ours from a few years ago.
This year you can also get a CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT with your custom artwork on it as well!!
4×4 ornaments made from sandblasted crystal! (other sizes and objects available as well, including wine glasses, bottles, etc… just call and ask!)
Been traveling again already this fall. So far I have been to NY, PA, IL and KY next week I’ll be in VT and NC too. Most of the time I have been too busy to snap a photo but amazingly I had a minute or two during a very busy event in Potsdam, NY (5th year in a row for that event!) to take a couple of pics.
When I got home I drew at a wedding at the Western Reserve History Center, which was a pretty cool venue. The bride wanted the copier and most people obliged and made copies for the bride and groom and left them beside the coper for them after writing a little note on them. I draw at a lot of weddings, which is what I did most of the summer. I can draw around 200 people in 3 hours.
While I was in NY, I went to a school I have worked at about 7 years in a row now. One of my favorites! It’s in a little community by the Canadian border in the Adirondack mountains where there are ponds everywhere and it’s a school for naturalists, lumberjacks and forest rangers. Very cool place and cool students as well. They are very into conservation and their cafeteria program is the most efficient I’ve seen. They recycle, reuse and compost everything. Every time I go there I am always in a hurry to get to the next town (since it’s in the middle of nowwhere). I usually have a little bit of time to take photos and maybe go on a hike but this time I actually had a full day almost to enjoy the scenery. On top of that I was driving from home so I brought along my handy dandy inflatable sit on top kayak with me and finally got to explore the beautiful lake that the college sits on the shore of. (you can just barely make out the school in the distance in the last photo) Here are just a few of my favorite photos from that trip! Enjoy.
So this week I am drawing at 2 all day events that I’m pretty stoked about. The first is the Great Lakes Brewery’s 25th Anniversary party in Ohio City. I will be there drawing all day for free and accepting tips of course. My friends from the Rust Belt Monster Collective will be painting a giant group mural too, which is really neat to watch. Wedding on Saturday and then the Berea Arts Festival has hired me to draw free pictures of the attendees all day again. I think I must have drawn 500 people there last year. It’s going to be a busy weekend no doubt! After that I will be going non stop so this will probably be my last post for a long while in September. Have a great fall!