This week, from Sunday to Wednesday night I was in St. Louis for a min-convention hosted by the St.Louis chapter of the National Caricaturist Network. This was the first such gathering I have attended after years of trying (things kept interfering and I would have to cancel) and I was surprised at how much fun I had and how educational and inspiring it was. I had read all the glowing reports from previous cons but I had to experience it myself to really believe it. The guest of honor was Tom Richmond, one of Mad Magazine’s “Usual Gang of Idiots.” Tom was under a deadline to finish a MAD TV parody so he set up his equipment in the main function room and worked while the attendees gathered around and peppered him with questions.
Tom was a theme park caricaturist for years so working in the public is second nature to him as it is to all of us who were there.
One of the mainstays of these conventions is drawing and being drawn by as many of the other artists as possible. Many of the folks there have been attending conventions for years so any fresh face is immediately pounced upon. That would be me, this time. Every time I sat down for one artist I would look around and see that I was being drawn from every possible angle by other artists.
These shots are by me from my viewpoint as I sat for another artist.
A couple of the results;
After awhile I settled down and started drawing others;
This artist came from Israel!
The Dad of one of the St. Louis artists.
There were presentations for artists by artists. Tips and techniques on how they approach certain aspects of our business. This one was “How to Work the Crowd” but at this point Jerry Dowling, a well-known Cincinnati artist, is detailing his appraoch to dissecting a face for exaggeration.
There are competitions. This one was for party artist, the judging revolved around how entertaining the artists are when interacting with the subject, how they deal with hecklers and uncooperative subjects.
I didn’t enter that one, it was more fun to be among the subjects and inflict on them all the things I have experienced.
The walls of the function room are divided up into equal sections and the artists are encourage to put up the drawings done of the others as well as an studio work they brought along. For this min-con it was mainly drawings done while there.