Thursday, February 02, 2006

Natalie's Friend?

Caricature of Natalie's friend. I think she's her friend but not sure. Perhaps not after she shows her this sketch I made.One of the first jobs I interviewed for when I moved to the Twin Cities was as a caricature artist at the Mall of Amercia. I remember thinking I'd have to bust my rear end just to make a decent wage. The owner took a piece of everything each artist made. The drawing, if it was in color, the frame, if there were two people in the picture.

The person who interviewed me began sounding like an AmWay person. "The more features you sell, the more you'll make per drawing." I forget the exact breakdown but I think it was something like 40% off the top went to the owner. Some might argue that isn't all bad.

After all the owner needed to pay for the cart next to the food court. He also had to pay for the expensive supplies of paper and pens. Each artist was an independant contractor so the owner wouldn't have to pay any benefits. All in all, for a $30 caricature, the owner pocketed $12. And the artist got $18. Not quite right.

As a contractor, the artists were responsible for taxes, FICA, and whatnot. It works out to be roughly 40% of what they take in gross. The net after all the extras for Uncle Sam is $10.80.

No way did any artist complete a drawing in under a half-hour. As a begining artist it would have taken me about an hour and a half. That's for something a person would be willing to pay $30 hard earned American dollars for.

I've been to friend's houses and have seen their caricatures proudly displayed on desks, walls, or refidgerators and I've gotta tell ya, not many of them looked like my friends. Sure there were charactersitics that were similar like two eyes, a nose, a mouth but if I were given the comical sketch and asked to pick the person out of a line-up, no dice.

There's a thought. Instead of police photos or line-ups, victims could be asked to identify their assailant from a stack of caricatures.

the tiny, teeny, itty, bitty picture I had to work withThe artists at the Mall would most often have the benefit of drawing the person, in person. Ocassionally a child would bring in a picture of their mommy or daddy and want a drawing as a surprise gift. Since sketch-it is an online establishment, this is the way we do things. The image to the left is what Natalie sent me when she requested a caricature of the picture. It's 70x93 pixels. That's pretty small.

I requested a larger picture from Natalie. Tonight I decided to perform the sketch-it service with what I had. I think it's pretty good. I don't know Natalie's friend. At least I assume this is Natalie's friend. It could be Natalie. No name or relation was given to me. It could be the image of a person Natalie pulled off of a Google image search. Natalie may like the hair cut, Natalie's stylist refuses to start a new direction in hair style based on such a tiny image, and a fresh sketch-it interpretation scanned in at 150 dpi is just the ticket.

If this is in fact a friend of Natalie's and she is reading this post, she may not wish to remain Natalie's friend. I hope I haven't offended you, mystery person with some connection to Natalie. I'm just doing my job.

You have to agree with me that it's the best anonymous caricature based on a teensy image for a single buck you've ever paid for.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is TOTAL crap!You are exploiting artists,and the art you have posted sucks.As a professional caricaturist,I am offended,and ask that you stop this enterprise out of common decency.