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Everything you need to know about Caricatures

Everything you need to know about Caricatures

Most Indians will relate to the cartoons of the common man by RK Laxman published in the Times of India, and the political cartoons that adorn the cover page to engage the readers, and present them with “News of the Day”. 

If we look carefully, it is easy to notice that the increasing popularity of caricatures stems from our ability to relate to them at a subconscious level.

As kids, it used to be fascinating to see large-headed, tiny body versions of so many renowned people from politicians to movie stars and recognize them despite their weird shapes. Most of us found out only much later, that this particular format and style is known as Caricature. In this article, I attempt to answer some of the questions you might have about caricatures. Let’s start with the basics.

Concept Digital Caricature for a client where the client wanted us to portray them as Shiva, and Parvati. 

 

Shiva parvathi  digital caricature - gifts for couples

What is a caricature?

A caricature is a picture, description, or imitation of a person in which certain striking characteristics are exaggerated in order to create a comic or grotesque effect.

If you too skipped through the dictionary definition, let us understand it in simpler words.

A caricature is a drawing of a real person with features dramatized absurdly to entertain or make fun of (all in good humor) of the person so drawn. Some ways for dramatization are an oversized nose, squinted eyes, really large or too small lips, etc.

In the words of caricaturist Greg Bigoni, “A caricature gets to the essence of who someone is and not just what they look like, but what their personality is”.

Concept caricature we made for a client who wanted a unique Mother’s day gift. 

Customised Caricatures - Unique gifts for friends

How are caricatures made?

If you look at any caricature you’ll notice a pattern. In every caricature pretty much all of the features of a person’s face or body are artistically modified, yet one can still recognize that person, and this is something that makes the art of drawing a caricature so unique. 

One key element of drawing a good caricature is the ability to truly observe the key characteristics that define someone’s face. This is what is referred to as likeness. In other words, when we see a person, we see them just as we know them but a caricature artist can notice highlighting features of a person.

When caricature artists draw a person, they exaggerate the most prominent features and reduce the size of other features, bringing, even more, focus on the features they want to highlight. These along with a fine knowledge of how to balance overall distance, angle and proportions are few secrets of drawing caricatures.

Along with facial features, caricature artists also make use of how a person is shaped or holds them if they have any distinct props from tattoos to anything they carry with them in making the caricature really identifiable. Think of Abraham Lincoln’s Stovepipe hat, Mahatma Gandhi’s round spectacles, or Charlie Chaplin’s mustache. Staple associations like these, act as great props for fun caricatures.

Concept digital caricature we made for a client whose friend is an entrepreneur, and he wanted to surprise him with something really unique. 

Forbes Magazine themed Caricature - Personalized Caricature

What are the various types of caricatures?

While caricature as an art form is centuries old, there isn’t a standard form of classification of different types of caricatures. Here we will talk about two methods of classifying caricatures; based on style and based on the method of execution:

Classification based on style:

Portrait or definition This type of caricature relies on knowledge of sophistication of making a portrait and combining it with the knowledge of creating comical effect through inflation and deflation of features.

Satire This form is most commonly used in political cartoons. It makes use of not just physical or personality traits but also draws attention to statements by such politicians. The purpose of such caricatures is more often than not to bring attention to political issues of the time.

Grotesque – As the name suggests, in this style, the face of a person is unnaturally distorted to make it look ugly. Grotesque art was the earliest form of distorted drawings which evolved later into caricatures.

Classification based on the execution method:

Traditional Caricatures This is how caricatures started and charcoal, pencil, pen, and ink drawings were the methods that were used. These are the tools that are used by street artists across the world for an instant sketch. So next time, when you visit Paris, remember to ask the artist if he is going to draw a portrait or a caricature of you 😉

Digital Caricatures– Graphics programs like adobe illustrator are numerous drawing tablets are becoming more and more popular these days. Digital caricature comes with the advantage of offering richness in color and feel of caricature making them an excellent option for gifting your friends or as digital wedding caricature invitations.

How much time does it take to make a caricature?

The old idiom, “The devil is in the details”, does not have a better suitor than this question. A professional caricaturist can make a sketched caricature of a person’s face in even under 5 minutes. However, the more details you add like body structure, surroundings, colors, etc., the longer it can take. 

A hand-painted caricature with portrait-like details can take as much as two days. In short, it boils down to the intricacies of each piece that is being made.

What is the process of getting a caricature made?

There are two ways in which an artist makes a caricature –

1. Live Caricatures – Live caricatures are drawn for a live audience in real time. Live caricatures are less common and you’ll see street artists only in very few cities and tourist spots. Live caricatures are a hit or miss experience for most people because you can not check the artist’s previous work.

Working on Live caricatures is very challenging for the artist, and usually, live caricature artists are hired for corporate events and weddings.

2. Drawing a caricature from a picture, and presenting a custom theme – Most caricature artists these days practice creating caricatures in their free time where they are free to think and act creatively on a project without the constraint of time, and expectations.
For example – When you select an artist from us at Stoned Santa there is a certain process the artist will follow to bring life to the ideas as specified by our clients –

  • Our caricature artist requests reference pictures of the subject, ideally clear front-facing pictures with a clearly visible face, and other facial features

  • Based on the picture received, and the desired theme in which the caricature is to be made, the artist recommends suitable styles, and color combinations best suited for the provided story, and reference pictures.

  • Once the artist starts working, they share the work in progress with our clients, and we seek feedback to further improve the caricature.

  • Post completion, the work is shared with the clients, and upon approval, the digital files are shared with the clients. 

How to hire a Caricature artist?

If you are thinking of getting a birthday caricature to poke your frenemy at work or a digital wedding caricature for your special day, you can find a caricature artist that suits your requirements and pocket at Stoned Santa.
There are many independent artists who can draw one for you as per your specification, but Stoned Santa makes it very easy to find a reliable and experienced caricature artist for you no matter which part of the world you need your caricature to be delivered.

If you want to hire a caricature artist from Stoned Santa, all you need to do is fill up this form, and our gifting experts will reach out to you.

how to order couple caricature

What is the cost of a caricature?

Art is subjective and so are the prices for any art piece. As vague as it may sound the prices of a digital caricature are dependent on factors like – 

1. The number of people or characters to be drawn – This includes humans, pets, and any other objects such as monuments, and buildings that are to be drawn with precision, and care.

2. Experience & Work Portfolio – Senior artists with years of experience, and expertise may charge 10 times than that of a beginner who’s just begun their journey as an artist. There are many caricature artists in India, and the costs vary dynamically from artist to artist.

3. The style to be chosen – Physically made caricatures cost more than digitally made caricatures. Often, the artists offer varying levels of detailing in their caricatures, which is a big factor in determining the costs.

4. Time Required – If clients have an urgent requirement, in such cases the artists usually charge a higher price, but if the timeline isn’t a problem in such cases it’s easier for the artists to accommodate their requests, and the artists usually offer discounts. 

couple caricature frames

Usage of caricatures

A caricature is a historical form of art. Caricaturists have been using this form to draw attention to political issues through political satires and to show their admiration of people they admire across fields. 

From being used as a medium by artists, and poets to voice people’s opinions on newspapers, and magazines to being used as digital wedding invites, and gift for bosses, Caricatures as an art form has evolved to cater to the gifting requirements of individuals, and companies. 

At Stoned Santa, we help you create unique caricatures that are designed as per your choices, in the timeframe that you desire.

Book your personalized caricature only at Stoned Santa.

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Interview with Rohit Chari, Red Canvas Studios

Interview with Rohit Chari, Red Canvas Studios

Born and brought up in Goa, Rohit Chari is an illustrator, artist, and artpreneur who runs Red Canvas Studios, a venture he started in 2016. In this creative studio, ideas come to life in art on different canvases such as walls, frames, and memories. 

Rohit started playing around with sketches early in his school days where he’d draw, doodle, and soon enrolled into a full-time fine arts course where he learned traditional art forms and techniques in a formal setup. Today Rohit caters to special art commissions where he draws beautiful caricatures, paints on walls, has his line of merchandise; in short, he’s found his passion and made a living out of it. 

In this interviews, Parth interviewed Rohit, where they talk and explore the world of being an artist, an entrepreneur, and suggestions for the fellow community of artists and creators.

Rohit Chari Skateboarding Caricature artist

Story of your first customer? 

Well, the first few projects were majorly for friends, and I did them for free. But the first paid project came to me instead as a surprise. I had made a digital caricature for a photographer friend, and I think after minutes of it posting, it went viral in our little friend circle. 

Everyone wanted to know who made this caricature, and there I was flooded with requests, most of them free, but some of them translated into orders, and that’s how I kickstarted my Freelance career as a Digital Caricature artist. 

Freelancing and the early challenges 

Underpricing and not being able to strike that early balance where I get quality clients who pay decently. I think the first few paid projects, I was underpaid, but then I guess that’s all a learning process. 

When I realized I was charging lesser, I decided to increase my prices, but then the clients stopped coming in. With time, I reached a sweet spot where the clients are comfortable, which allows me to be satisfied. I think the sweet spot of pricing your art “just right” can be determined only by talking to customers, and this process takes time. 

How do you explain Digital Art to your customers?

I was introduced to digital art years after graduating with a degree in Art, so I am very empathetic to my customers when I explain to them about Digital Art or Digital caricatures to help them understand and appreciate the process of creation. 

Many people think making caricatures digitally is when the artist uses some apps or simply traces it, but that’s not how it works. Usually, when I encounter clients who do not know much about Digital Art, or the creation process, I educate them first about this art form because this helps set the expectations right and makes the process of creation and approval smoother. 

I walk my customers through the process, share the work in progress pictures with them, answer their queries before starting work; I think this has many advantages, and the client’s chances of negotiating to go down significantly.

 

Boy Caricature by Red Canvas Studio

How do you price your digital caricatures? 

I decide the cost of my caricatures based on the combination of the following factors, and a lot of times, if the order is to required urgently, there’s an added cost. 

    1. The number of characters – A lot of my customers think that the price of caricature quoted can include as many human figures, but that’s not how it works. Therefore one of the criteria for deciding the price is the number of people/characters drawn.

       

    2. The caricature style – Is it the Realistic Caricature or Flat(2D) Caricature? It takes me more time to work on the realistic caricature. Therefore this one is charged higher.

       

    3. Background – Clients often demand unique backgrounds, such as the Eiffel tower, or the Taj Mahal, or other requests, and to accommodate such requests, I charge extra.

      In India, it’s a little tough to find clients who will not negotiate and respect the price you quote, but it’s so much easier with foreign clients, and I can charge them higher too. 

Drawing a celebrity caricature vs. Drawing for customers 

With celebrities, I have the freedom to experiment, exaggerate, and let my creative juices flow, but I have to be very careful with client projects. People want to look cute but not funny. 

I think there’s a nice balance, where I get paid for the commissioned work I do and the time I have left after such projects; I experiment, play around with colors, strokes, and let my ideas flow without being constricted by the client’s expectations. 

(Rohit has created fan art versions of famous Netflix TV shows like – Money Heist, Scared Games, etc.)

 

Wall Murals vs. Digital Caricatures 

I like both forms of art – Making digital caricatures and murals, both of their unique charm, and I thoroughly enjoy working on both mediums. 

Still, the outcome of completing a mural is much more gratifying than a caricature, primarily because of the heavy hard work required to create a mural. 

First, we prepare a design based on the input given by the client and then get the digital design approved; post this, the digital design is transposed to the wall. This process from idea to execution takes 3-4 days, or more, depending on the size of the wall. But I love working on murals. I usually start early and work in sprints to finish it as per the agreed timelines. 

When the project is big, I collaborate with other artists, and it’s fun working on such projects.

Wall mural by RedCanvas Studio

How do you feel when people compare your work with other artists? 

I’ll be honest, early in my career, I’d get offended easily and react, saying, “if you like their work, go buy from them,” but now I try to explain to them the reason for the difference and explain to them my art process. 

Other Hobbies? Skateboarding? 

Well, I love to skateboard, and I represented my state in Skateboarding back in the days, and I think I found a lot of artists from the skateboarding community. Skateboards are usually hand-painted, uniquely communicating what the owner wishes to with colors and visuals. 

 

I’ve got many gigs because of the community, and I think having a hobby is an excellent release to your creative juices, but in a different environment.

 

ayushman khurana caricature

Future Aspirations

I aspire to work with more prominent brands where my skills are tested. I meet fellow creators, and I learn and grow while doing so. I have worked with some very famous brands in the past, and I look forward to working with more brands as I grow as an artist. 

Advice to fellow artists in the community 

Digital art is comparatively easy when you are tracing it, but I would strongly recommend against it. Try to draw it manually instead of tracing, and it’ll help you in the longer run. 

If you want to draw caricatures, don’t immediately jump into drawing caricatures. Start by drawing portraits; it’ll help you understand the human face anatomy better. Once you’ve mastered that part, it’s easier to play around with human facial features to make fun caricatures. 

Closing Notes

Rohit concludes the interview by saying, “I would just say, support all the artists, because this is a small business we are into, but when the audience supports us, we can prosper. And I would request you to respect the artists, try to understand them, and value their efforts.”

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Interview with Anumeha, creator of comically sane.

Interview with Anumeha, creator of comically sane.

Interview with Anumeha

An all in one package of Designer, Illustrator and Storyteller,  Anumeha, the creator of Comically Sane has touched the hearts of many through her art.

With over 20K followers on social media, she is successfully using her talent to create hilarious and  relatable comics. Let us delve deeper into her unique world of colors and quirkiness.

 

Everyone has their own definition of Art. What is yours?

Art to me is a source of happiness and something that helps one relax. It is like meditation, you meditate to keep your sanity intact and art does the same thing.

What are your earliest memories of drawing as a child?

Diwali was usually the time when I could put my fascination with colors and obsession with art to use. I remember asking permission from my mother and then drawing rangoli in those very corners of the house which she allowed.

Are you self-taught?

Yes, I didn’t take any professional training and all that I am today is a result of practice and self-learning.

Are you a full-time illustrator? How has your journey of choosing an off-beat career been?

I am not a full-time illustrator, with a big ‘yet’ in between, for I would love to turn this into my full-time profession. Currently, I am a UX Designer by day and illustrator by night. As for the journey of choosing an off-beat career, I must say that it had its ups and downs but has been a fantastic one nonetheless.

When did you start making comics, and how do you think your comics have evolved over time?

I used to subconsciously draw at the back of almost all my notebooks since school-days. At that time, it was not a comic, but random thoughts stitched together to tell a story. It was from 2017 that my somewhat irregular journey of drawing structured (theme-based) comics began.

Towards the end of March 2019, I created my Instagram and Facebook page, Comicallysane. The idea behind creating the page was to share my work continuously which in turn would help me become regular.

My comics are still evolving as it is an on-going process, but so far I have seen my progress, both in terms of character refinement and content clarity.

What is your favorite part about creating comics?
This is the part of the day I look forward to the most. It doesn’t seem like a task to me, for I love creating comics, and feel like I can keep doing this without getting bored or tired.

As an artist, you must have worked on several interesting projects. Could you talk about projects that deserve a special mention?

With every project I have done so far, there has been a special personal connect. One of them is the workshop I did with kids for Google, India. I could see myself in those kids and it brought back beautiful memories from my childhood.

Then there are these personalized e-invitations that I do, they too hold a special place. Trying to understand the clients, their journeys and then expressing their story in a single frame, nothing can be compared to the amount of satisfaction and relief that one feels on seeing the final piece of work.

What would be your advice for the budding webcomics?

Just start with whatever you have in mind. There is no right or wrong time, all one has is

How do you think technology has changed the dynamics of art?

It has made it more accessible to both – the creators and the consumers. It’s not restricted to either museums, physical books or newspapers.

Now you don’t necessarily need 100s or 1000s of sheets of paper to create something, as long as you have a digital drawing pad and a stylus/pencil. (But again, I will mention for the budding artists, that not having these digital pads and pencils should not be an excuse for you to not start.)

On a different note, I also think it is eco-friendly for it saves a lot of paper and clutter.

What do you wish to convey through your comics/ cartoons?

Through my art, I want to make people realize that everyone is going through something similar and nobody is alone in it.

Who are some comic creators that you admire?
I like Brownpaperbag Comics, NehaDoodles, Alicia Souza etc. to name a few. And my all-time favorite is Diamond comics.

If you could learn another form of art, what would it be?
It definitely would be pottery.

If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be?
I would like to say – Think less do more.

What are your thoughts about Stoned Santa?
It’s a good medium to know about the community of artists and connect and explore all that’s new in the world of art.

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Interview with Rajat Prajapati

Interview with Rajat Prajapati

Interview of Rajat Prajapati

Rajat Prajapati

Rajat Prajapati is an architecture student from Hyderabad. He prefers to keep his art minimal as he believes that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. He manages to capture the person’s identity through his simple strokes and designs.

Exposure to architecture helped him  figure out his style. Read on more to find out about this young and talented artist’s journey.

Tell us a little about your childhood. What inspired you to start art?

I will not want any kid to have a childhood like mine. Due to a major downfall in my dad’s business, we became financially unstable. I used to help my mom make Papads and sell them to earn some extra dimes.

Eventually, things became better and we shifted to Hyderabad. My neighbour, Priya Didi helped me to deal with the unfamiliarity of the place, language and culture. She is the person who instilled passion for art, in me.

How do you perceive “Art”? 

I view art as a medium for self expression. Having faced difficulties in my childhood, art helped me cope with stress. I started expressing my thoughts through art and channelizing all my energy towards it.

After 12th grade, I took up architecture which helped me to understand the meaning, concept, need and importance of art and experimentation.

Are you a self-taught artist? How has the journey been?

Yes, I’m a self taught artist. The journey has been very exciting, and I’m bound by nothing. I’m free to experiment and explore new art styles. Curiosity and zeal have taken me a long way. As they say, the journey is more beautiful than the destination.

How do you think technology has impacted art?

I have mixed feelings about advanced technology. I agree that it has introduced us to infinite possibilities; reduced the cost of stationary and it’s a one place destination for all tools, but nothing can beat the beauty of traditional handmade art form.

Many of your artworks are on famous music artists and bands. Which is your most favourite band?

There are so many artists whose music caries me away, like The strumbellas, Kodaline, The paper kites, The lumineers, Bon iver and Coldplay.

What inspired you to keep your art minimal?

I’ve read and researched about various philosophies and design theories. Of all the art styles, I like minimalism the best. I believe that simplicity is the best sophistication.

 

As an Artist, what’s your biggest pet peeve?

I do not like customers who don’t understand art and have unrealistic expectations.

Any dream project that you’d like to work on?

I would like to work on a space-themed project. Eg- Mars Colonization

If you could go back in time and change one decision that you took, what would it be?

There are so many decisions I wish I could change. But, I wouldn’t as all those wrong decisions have played a crucial part in becoming what I’m today. I might be disappointed with the decisions, but I do not regret anything.

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Interview with Shailly Gajjar | Caricature artist

Interview with Shailly Gajjar | Caricature artist

Interview of Shailly Gajjar

Shailly Gajjar, Illustrator.

Shailly Gajjar, is an illustrator and a comic creator. Be it illustrations, wedding invitations or comics, they definitely will put a smile on your face. 

What started as a desire to design her own wedding card, has now become her full-time career. Despite the ups-and-downs, she chose to do what her heart wanted to. Now, she is one among the loved artists who delights her clients through her striking style of art.

Read on more to find out about her journey.

 

Everyone has a story which has brought them to the career path they’re pursuing. It may be good, bad, simple or challenging. What has your experience been like in choosing art as your profession? Were there any challenges or confusions? 

I hail from a very small city of Bhuj, Kutch in Gujarat, where awareness regarding diverse career options is scarce. I ended up doing my bachelors in IT engineering.

During my second year of my college, a realisation struck me that I am not very keen on coding. I felt the  need to follow my passion, which was drawing and doodling.

I looked up about different colleges which provide courses related to my passion, such as NID. Unfortunately, I was a year late to apply for the Masters degree.

After completing my engineering I decided to appear for the entrance exam hosted by NID. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it after the second round. That’s when I met the love of my life, who’s my husband now. He encouraged me and believed in me even when I myself didn’t.

Soon after that, I started interning as a Graphic designer, and got a job in the same field which I had to leave after y marriage as I had to move to Dubai.

My initial days in Dubai was very hard, as getting a job without a relevant degree or work experience seemed impossible. That’s when I decided to devote my time for freelancing seriously. Along with the freelance projects, I took drawing classes for kids at my place.

After a couple of years, my husband and I moved back to India, and my freelance career started to see a lot of growth.

Many years have passed by and I do not regret anything. Thanks to my supporting family and my loving husband my freelance career is going well after all the hardships. Currently, I am focusing on wedding invitations and other illustration projects.

 

Anything you would like to say to your fellow artists?

Keep following your passion no matter what. Your dreams will come true eventually and on that day, all the hardwork, confusions and frustrations will be worth it!

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Interview with Jay Sanchaniya | Charcoal Artist

Interview with Jay Sanchaniya | Charcoal Artist

Interview of Jay Sanchaniya

Jay Sanchaniya, Sketch Artist

An engineer by profession, Jay Sanchaniya carries the heart of an artist. His drawings are not just sketches on paper, but artworks which speak to us as if they’re alive.

Let us give you an insight of Jay’s life and his amazing works through the wonderful tete-a-tete that we had with him.

Tell us about your childhood. What inspired you to start drawing caricatures?

In my school days, I enjoyed drawing for science projects. Being quite eclectic in nature, I seek inspiration from everything around me. Majorly, Comic books and Superhero movies led me to develop an interest in drawing.

In between my college breaks I started drawing portraits. As time passed, I wanted to try new things and explore and experiment with portraits, that’s when I took a route to the world of Caricatures. I must say, what a wonderful route it has been!

Art can be perceived differently by everyone. What is “Art” to you?

I am an engineer by profession and I developed my love for Sketching/Art as a hobby. Art is my escape from the pressures of professional life.

As Thanos said “Perfectly balanced, as all things should be”, it balances my professional life as well as helps me pursue my passion.

I would like to call myself an engineer by day and an artist by night.

Are you self-taught? If yes, how has the journey been? What keeps you going?

Yes, I am a self taught artist. I have no parameters on what is right or wrong. What I started as a hobby, has now changed my whole life. Not only did it save me from work stress, but I can now connect with so many souls all through the medium of a paper and a pencil. 

Although my journey as a freelancer has just begun, I have been applauded by many celebrities on Instagram. Netflix’s TV Series NARCOS: Season 3 actor Matias Varela & Amazon Prime’s BREATHE reposted my work.

Basically, reading comic books; watching movies and TV shows is where I derive most of my inspiration from and the energy to do this every single day comes from the love and appreciation that my work receives.

How do you think technology has changed the dynamics of art?

Although the beauty of traditional art cannot be compared with that of digital art, technology has certainly helped me to gain more insights about the dynamics of art. Software & tools help to explore an artist’s skill as well as make their artwork more impressive.

How do you manage to get the balance between realism and exaggeration?

For me realism and exaggeration take almost the same effort. Various standard proportions and distances between features is one of the most important factors to be taken care of.

What’s the first feature you observe in people?

Eyes grab my attention. As the saying goes, “Eyes are the gateways to the soul”, and I too believe that they clearly demonstrate a person’s feelings and expressions.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Oh! There are so many. I do not like it when clients request me not to sign on the sketches or stare at my artwork while I’m working on it.

Any dream project that you can’t wait to work on?

I have worked with Comedy Cafes and Merchandising companies. I really want to create something on the lines of a promotional poster for TV and Comedy shows, preferably for platforms like Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon Prime. 

If you could go back in time and change one decision that you took, what would it be?

I would’ve graduated in fine-arts, but I do not really regret being an Engineer. Both the things have worked quite fine as I have learned to balance my work life and my passion.

 To check out more of his sketches, click here.

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