“SO HOW LONG HAVE YA BEEN DOING THIS, ANYHOW??”
Caricature artists get that question more than any other…
I started out in this business — drawing live caricatures — thanks to my ex-wife, Janie, who worked in a nightclub in Piqua, Ohio. Before that I had done sketches of politicians, mainly, in my editorial cartoons for newspapers back in the 1970s. No great success there. Ah well…
The club wanted to have caricatures of their regular customers and she introduced me — after a bit of negotiation, the club and I worked out a deal. For about the next year I went there on Wednesday evenings — and drew one person. One! Yes!
A bit slower then, took about two hours… Those were full body drawings, with interests shown, done in pencil, then permanent ink, erase pencil. Then I would get an Okay from the subject and take the sketch home. I added color back at my little home art studio, then delivered the next week. The club framed and hung the sketches on their walls until the club closed some years later — then there was a mad rush to come and steal your drawing off the wall — I heard that from Janie, who still has hers.
I have tried in vain to BUY it from her so I can BURN it — no luck! Those early sketches surface now and then, every few years I see another one, and BOY are they embarrassing. Ha!
That was all around 1980, about 250,000 drawings ago. Thanks to my ex, I have had a really fun career… Thanks again, Janie!