Not Your Usual Caricature Artist
Vol. 9, No. 11
A Monthly Compendium of Caricatures and Commentary About Them

Let's start with the premise that all caricatures are cartoons. But not all all cartoons are caricatures. Famed 19th Century artist Toulouse-Lautrec understood the difference when, above left, he drew a cartoon of "the enraged bull" (English translation from the original French title) and, right, drew his own, funky self-portrait caricature.

But what, more precisely, is the difference between the two?

Welcome to the November issue of
Not Your Usual Caricature Artist
from Caricatures by Joel
A cartoon is a visual art form usually hand or computer drawn that renders its subject -- human, animal, vegetable, mineral -- in a whimsical fashion for similarly humorous effect. Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Paw Patrol puppies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, et al., are all samples of cartoon characters -- with no apparent reference to any actual individual.

A caricature is a visual art form as well -- but, specifically, that of another person's likeness in face and/or body through enhanced or exaggerated features (either severe...or mild, as I practice). You'll find caricatures of politicians and civic leaders in political cartoons; the old Mad Magazine movie and TV parodies were almost always enhanced by the caricaturing of famous actors and personalities by such brilliant artists as Mort Drucker and Jack Davis.
The art, above, literally illustrates this point. The cartoon characters at the left were part of a marketing campaign where their "looks" were generic, simply placed in a story-telling tableau to help promote a product for the oil well industry. The young girl at the right is definitely a real individual, and her caricature was drawn to light-hearted effect as I had "interpreted" her.
The cartoon at left depicts a generic dog personified as a firefighter, part of a campaign for an organization that provides dogs as service animals for stress-inducing industries, i.e. firefighters, police, EMT, nurses. The caricature at right shows the late James Brown indicating, what else, "Poppa's got a brand new bag."
The chickens, at left, embody a cartoon illustrated for Scandinavian Airlines company magazine that told the story of how the SAS in-flight head chef "Sven" decided the airline would no longer serve chicken...to the delight of those immediately affected by the decision. The woman at the right works for one of the large business consulting firms in town, whom i caricatured in celebrating her tenth anniversary with the company.
The bedraggled cartoon individual on the left was created for a series depicting various situations confronted by a major audit, tax and consulting services firm. The beaming individual at right was caricatured honoring his retirement from his role as an architect...who also happened to enjoy painting as a hobby.
The lion tamer on the left looks frustrated by the indifference of the lions who have no interest in jumping through a fiery hoop for him -- a client's cartoon metaphor for the plight of sales managers to get their oft-times uninspired sales team to achieve sales goals. The gentleman on the right is a resident at a senior living center, a group I've entertained several times at facilities throughout the area.
That's it for this edition.
Happy Thanksgiving, and see you again the first Tuesday of
next month for more animated commentary
on caricatures and related art via
Not Your Usual Caricature Artist from Caricatures by Joel.
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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.