Thursday, December 18, 2008

2008 NCN Convention

As I mentioned in an earlier post:
"I'm a proud member of the International Society of Caricature Artists formerly known as the National Caricaturists Network. They still haven't changed their website to reflect the new name yet, but they recently changed it at the Annual NCN convention which took place this year in Raleigh, NC from November 2nd - Nov 8th. I've wanted to attend one of these things for years but one thing or the other always got in the way. This year I was able to attend only part of the con, but got an amazing experience for the few days I was there. I learned a ton from the old pros and the new, about technique as well as business ideas. Most importantly I made a lot of great new friends and connections. I love doing caricature and its important to me to stay in tune with that wonderful segment of the art world. More on this (with photos and art) later."
Every year hundreds of professional caricature artists from all over the free world descend on a hotel somewhere in the US for fun, friendly competition, networking, and seminars. For years I've been told again and again by fellow caricature artists how amazing the convention experience is. This year I promised myself that I would be there no matter what else was going on, so on November 2nd this year Renee and I took the 6 hour drive to Raleigh, NC. This first photo is of us in the hotel bar on the first night of the con.

Later that night we attended the Ice Breaker where they made announcements, had entertainment, and served a really nice buffet dinner. I was happy to run into a few old coworkers there, and then both happy and fascinated to meet several people face to face for the first time whom I had previously known only on internet message boards and such. Talk about "small world"! I was, however, sad to find out that quite a few of the folks that I was hoping to meet didn't make it this year. To them I say, "Hope to see you next year".

I've been drawing caricature professionally since 1999, and I knew what to expect from this gang of misfits. But Renee had a lot of reservations. Neither one of us really drew the first day. We were too busy soaking in all the amazing art that was being done in the convention hall. I'm pretty confident about my work, but this was a little daunting to say the least. Here are a few shots of the crowd at work on the second or third day of the con.

It was amazing to walk around this hall and witness all the different media being used.

Good old fashioned graphite:

Ink and Prisma Color ArtStix:

Oil Painting by Jason Seiler:

And even clay sculpture:

There were also artists doing paper sculpture, acrylic painting, digital art using a laptop and a wacom tablet, airbrush, pastels, woodcuts if you can believe it, and and and... you get the idea. Pretty much anything you can imagine.

By midday on the second day Renee and I finally got the courage and inspiration to get to work ourselves. Renee had never done caricature before and was a little nervous, but she dived right in.

I decided to try my hand with Faber-Castell's color brush pens and PrismaColor ArtStix, something I've wanted to try for a while.

Here's Renee's version of that last one in pastel, something that she hasn't done much of prior to now but seems to handle like an old pro.

The following images were all done live with markers on paper... something else I'm pretty new at. I really enjoy working this way, but I'm way to slow with it yet to use it for gigs. Each of these took me at least 10 minutes each and as much as 15 minutes.

This one is Renee's first live caricature EVER! I wish I had a photo of this guy, but I can tell you that it looks just like him. She's a natural.

There were several workshops offered on digital caricature painting, caricature 101, and advanced caricature. Here's a couple of shots from Joe Bluhm's Advanced Live Caricature:
Here's Joe doing what he does best... talk! :) He actually does caricature best.

Here's Renee and I up front. I've been a fan of Joe's work for a long time, so I was really excited to see him draw live. I wasn't disappointed.

And neither was the rest of the massive crowd that showed up for the seminar.

Renee and I had to leave the convention early, because we needed to get back to class. But the time I was able to spend was well worth the trip. I learned a lot, and met a ton of great artists. The best part of the the convention is something that I actually can't show you here. It's all the amazing art from the hundreds of professional artsts who attended this event. I took a ton of images for my own viewing, but I wont post other artist's work.

Instead, here are lots of links to other artist's blogs from the convention. If you like the art of caricature and/or art in general take the time to check out some of these great artist's work:

Sean Gardner
Tom Richmond
Jason Seiler
Stephen Silver
Joe Bluhm

A Video
Another Video

I'll be posting more here in the next few days as I find them. In the meantime, if you are interested just click around on these blogs and you'll probably find lots of links to other amazing caricature artist's blogs and sites too.


ChrisNeuenschwander said...

Nice convention sketches Pat! My favorites are the Faber-Castell's color brush pens and PrismaColor ArtStix drawings. Nice!

Shawn Crystal said...

Awesome stuff Pat!

DougDabbs said...

Holy crap Pat, those are really good! I can't believe the convention is that big as well. Great stuff. The blog is alive!!!

Olumuyiwa Ajagbe said...

impressive caricatures, Pat. I love mine by the way. You are a great holiday motivator for me and my art. Keep'm comin'.