Every year in November a few hundred caricature artists from around the world gather to participate and compete at the ISCA (International Society of Caricature Artists) Convention. The main event of the convention is a 4 day competition in a large ballroom where the artists draw, paint and sculpt caricatures of the other convention attendees. Every artist has their own section of wall to display their creations and at the end of the 4 days all the participants vote on the artwork.
Now, most people think they have a pretty good idea of what a caricature is: “they make you into a funny cartoon”, “They find your most important feature and make it really big”. It would be useful however to have a more concrete definition to really appreciate the convention.
Caricature is the abstraction of likeness.
Those are fancy words for: caricature finds the aspects of likeness, the qualities by which things differ and our brains use to identify the subject, and brings it forward, creating a piece of art that ideally looks more like the subject then the subject itself.
Imagine a few hundred artists doing that in a room for 4 days. The real gems are the caricatures that capture more then appearance; they capture personality, attitude, the way they act, the things they do, the sounds they make, the way they move, and more. To really make a good caricature the artist needs to be exceptionally observant.
After several days of essentially stalking each other to make the best caricatures they can; everyone attending the convention gets to know each other pretty well. Everyone working in the same room, learning form each other, inspiring each other, pushing each other breeds a sort of family. Some pretty famous caricature artists attend, and even if you aren't as famous as them they will be pretty friendly, accept your facebook friend request, and even recognize and talk to you like you are their buddy if you visit their table at comic con.
I'd like to share with you my small section of wall from the 2012 ISCA Convention. I did my best to capture observations I made of the people I decided to draw and paint.
I won some awards which is really cool, thanks everyone! :)