Not Your Usual Caricature Artist
Vol. 9, No. 9
A monthly compendium of caricatures and commentary about them
Every now and then, I get a request for caricature work that is not necessarily of the "conventional" variety. Here are eight cases that, ahem, illustrate that point.

Welcome to the August issue of
Not Your Usual Caricature Artist from Caricatures by Joel
The photos at the top, under the banner, depict a marriage proposal that took place just a few weeks ago, at First Ward Park in Uptown Charlotte.

I was contacted by "Dan," the fiance-to-be, who asked me to meet him in the park, where he and his girlfriend would be strolling after lunch Uptown. He introduced me to her as a caricature artist who was previously arranged by him to show up and draw their pictures; she had apparently always wanted one but the opportunity never arose.

What she didn't know, however, was that -- secretively -- I had pre-drawn the two of their bodies (but not their faces since I had not yet actually met them) in a tableau pose of him down on one knee, presenting an engagement ring to her.

As soon as I finished their faces, "live" so to speak, I showed them both the art at which point, Dan immediately dropped to one knee and took out a small red box with the accompanying question of her, "Will you marry me?"

She was stunned, loved the drawing...but, appropriately, loved him more, and after a moment of gathering her composure said "Yes."
Now, I imagine there are those of us who, at one time or another, have been called a horse's derriere. But a pharmaceutical company contacted me about drawing one of their executives as pretty much the full embodiment of "Equus." This time, however, meaning a bold, strong "maverick" of the industry.
"Derrick" is a rap and R&B recording artist, aka "Cameyed" -- already charted on Spotify -- who initially decided to cut his own vanity album and produce a cover for the CD when he circulated it among record producers.

I don't recall the reason for the concept -- he as a scarecrow along a spooky road on the way to a (hip?) hoppin' party at an otherwise isolated house up ahead. Regardless, he seems to be making a mark for himself.
During the height of the first Covid go-around, pre-presidential election, I was contacted by a gentleman of a certain Republican, conservative, Trump administration-supporting bent who wanted the means to express his political views. He thought political cartoons were the way to go. I would draw his vision and he would distribute the final art as printed or e-file copies among like-thinking friends and colleagues.

While I don't personally subscribe to his views, I do believe in free speech and expression (as long as it's not inflammatory involving race, religion or ethnicity). Hence, the sample of his philosophy you see here. His idea, his conceptual approach, his text...and my execution.
When you shop for lettuce at your local grocery store, you know that twisty-type tape that holds the leaves in place? Chances are that tape was produced in a production plant near Monroe, NC. And yours truly was commissioned to come up with a logo character -- "Cool Tape" to represent them.
Paws 4 People is a North Carolina-based organization devoted to connecting professionals -- primarily firefighters, police and the military -- who have suffered emotional distress in the line of duty, with comfort-providing dogs. I was tasked with coming up with the designs for a "firefighter" dog,"police" dog and "attorney" dog. All of which were used to support marketing and promotional efforts.
The young Mom on the left had contacted me about drawing the newest member of her family, "Pumpkin," as a Christmas-time celebration of her birth. The only problem was...she hadn't been born yet. She asked me to please draw the three "current" members of the family...and then add the fourth -- by a few weeks -- in advance of her birth. (Let's hope she came out all right...)
And then we go from the sublime to the you-know-what. A fellow contacted me to ask if I would draw his the a swimming pool. It wouldn't be "live," however -- it would be from photos. The catch, though, is that the photos were of her fully dressed! So he instructed me to visualize how she would look, undressed. Which, somehow, I did...with the results here. (The tape, in strategic areas, was for public viewing...)

That's it for this edition, but see you again the first Tuesday of next month
with, perhaps, some more head-scratching commentary on caricatures via
Not Your Usual Caricature Artist from Caricatures by Joel.
In the meantime, wishing us all good health,
peace of mind and the wisdom and fortitude to,
as best as can be expected,
stay above the fray.

Joel Kweskin