quicksketch characatures before you blow your entertainment budget talk to this caricature artist faqs caricature faqs Marty Macaluso NY nyc long island Caricaturist

Caricature artist for parties

Call (631) 942-5154
martyart@optonline.net

boy scout blue & gold dinner caricature entertainment

   The picture above was a custom "pre-drawn" background that I made up for a Boy Scout Blue and Gold Banquet. It had to be approved and was used as the background for all the scouts that night. They were all drawn in black & white, which is faster than doing them in color. I did about 50 scouts and then some (younger siblings and some adults) in 3 hours.

Here's their thank you letter: (2/10/01)

     Thank you so much for doing such a wonderful job on all of our scouts. Your talent was in high demand, I hope your hand will recover!

MaryClaire, Pack 566


This thank you letter was dated 9/10/01.
(From Brooklyn, NY)

Dear Marty,

     It's been a week since Jonathan's Bar Mitzvah. School has begun, and life has settled back to "normal". David and I wanted to take a moment to thank you again for the wonderful work you did. You were the hit of the party, and we are so glad that we found you on the Web!

Sincerely, David and Fredel F.


Caricature artist from photos

     The above picture was done ahead of time for a T-shirt to be given out at a Bar Mitzvah. The theme was of course "cars".


This was dated 2/20/90

   Marty, I wanted to thank you again for the caricature (did I spell that right?) What an excellent job. People visiting my office comment on it all the time!

Rich H.


This is from a party 1/26/02

Hi Marty,

Just wanted to send you a "GREAT BIG THANK YOU!" Mackenzie's First Birthday Party was a tremendous hit with you around. We could not even begin to tell you how many of our guests came up to us after the party to ask where we found you. Everyone thought your portraits were amazing, the kids (and adults) were very pleased. We only wished that you ate! From the minute you sat down, you started working and didn't stop until almost 4 hours later!

Well, when there is another big occasion, we will definitely give you a call again!

Marina L.


This is from a recent e-mail:

I was a guest of Danny and Annie's at that wedding that you wrote a small article about. It was hectic that week because the 2 of them did not know what to expect in light of all that was happening. Neverless, the wedding went off without a hitch and it was a great time had by all. The reason I am writing this letter is to let you know that you did a fantastic job at their wedding. I did have a drawing done of my wife and myself and everyone that saw it thought it was great. . .

Tommy G.


Also from a recent e-mail:

Thanks Marty for doing such a great job!

Just got this from the customer:>

> > Hi Tad,
> > I just wanted to let you know that Marty was a HUGE success at our party. All the customers loved him. We had a problem with the AC at the restaurant, and this week we have had a heat wave in NYC - but he said he was keeping cool by drinking plenty of soda. I was worried that he would be uncomfortable with the heat, but he was extremely nice and an absolute pleasure to have.
> > I will certainly pass yours and his name on to anyone I know who is having a party! --


Tad Barney (The Nose Caricature Company)


This refers to a series of 5 pictures I did of this girls father for a surprise party, from photographs.

Marty,

I've already misplaced your phone number, Good lord!

I wanted to tell you today how much everyone at the party, ESPECIALLY my Dad, LOVED the drawings! They went so well with the Italian theme, and they looked fabulous on the poster. I'll try to get a digital pic of the poster and email it along to you. The restaurant was done up in red, white & green balloons, red checkered tablecloths, and candles in wax-dripped Chianti bottles everywhere. The food was amazing, and the party went off very well with about 50 people.

Thank you so much, I will definitely keep your card, I passed out a few last night. You did a nice job with a face that is tough to caricaturize.

Sincerely,
Geralyn P.

(Below is one of the five pictures.)

To view other caricatures from photos click here!


Caricature artist for party

These are some recent caricatures

Caricature artist for party

To another new caricature page

Caricature artist for party

I made this animation for my first web page almost 10 years ago.


Below are some paintings I did for a PR Company, they wanted caricatures painted on football helmets that were then sent to a factory where they were coated and had the facemasks put on. The first three were presented to the anchors of "ESPN's Game Day", the bottom one was presented to Tom Arnold on his show "The Best Damn Sports Show Period".



Chris Fowler



Kirk Herbstreit



Lee Corso



Tom Arnold


   MORE NEWS, this is about doing Caricatures from Photos. I've started doing studio caricatures with watercolors over the past few months and posted up a couple. I'm going to redesign that section real soon.

   I have a few other projects in the works, one involves ONLINE LESSONS. I'll have more info on that soon.


Here's an assortment of photos
from 2004

Caricature artist for parties

Caricature artist for weddings

Call (631) 942-5154
martyart@optonline.net

To my latest webpage


rere beatles caricature album

The Rare Beatles Halloween Album Cover.
To see this larger and some on my editorial cartoons,
click Beatles Halloween CD.


That's me as the Grim Reaper, claiming the soul of a Yankee Fan who choked on Red Sox. This is another idea for your next Company Halloween Party or Trade Show, I can do ghostly caricatures like this with white on a black board while I'm dressed as the Grim Reaper.


Here's some of the cutting edge genetics scientists from around the world, unwinding after a few days of courses at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories...

Caricature artist for cold spring harbor lab

Caricature artist for cold spring harbor lab

Caricature artist for cold spring harbor lab

Caricature artist for cold spring harbor lab

Caricature artist for cold spring harbor lab

Caricature artist for cold spring harbor lab

Caricature artist for cold spring harbor lab

Caricature artist for cold spring harbor lab


These are some from a recent company Christmas party.


It seems like I do alot of adult parties but...
Caricature artist for kids party
kids
Caricature artist for kids party
are
Caricature artist for kids party
fun too!

These days I feel funny taking photos of young kids at communions, christenings and first birthday parties, that's why I don't have too many ijctures. But I do alot of parties with young kids and some really get into it, standing next to me watching. Others get shy and need distractions like someone behind me making them laugh.

Caricature artist for kids party

Caricature artist for kids party

Caricature artist for project graduation proj grad caricatures
Here's some older kids done at one of these all night Project Graduation school lock-in parties.

Below are a couple of caricatures done using pre-drawn backgrounds during a "Christmas Carol" Theme Christmas Party
(see 12/15/04).

Caricature artist for Christmas party

Caricature artist for Christmas party

Below is the scene from the Original book. Illustrated by John Leech (who by the way was also a caricature artist).


Call (631) 942-5154
martyart@optonline.net


2005

Oh god, this is what people see...
(That was a very hot day) I work with a very portable drawing board so it's easy to do strolling caricatures or walk over to a disabled person to draw them.


Caricature artist for Christmas party
The night this was done I was working in black & white, sometimes throwing in a little color, like the red in her lips helps.



Here's a new watercolor done from photos. Click here to see more.


Here's a guy I sketched on a platform while waiting for a train in Jamaica, Queens. See 8/30/05 for more on that day.

Here's some close-ups of some of the other people at jury duty, see 8/30/05.


Here's a few photos of caricatures taken
at a sweet 16 costume party. It was really fun and different doing the kids in their costumes instead of asking them
"What do you want to be doing.?"


Call (631) 942-5154
martyart@optonline.net


2006

Marty,
Thank you so much for all the great work you did at my son’s 1st Birthday party
this past Sunday. Everyone loved their caricature! You helped make Alexei’s birthday a memorable event for everyone. Our friends & family are still talking about it. I still want to apologize that everyone kept you too busy to take a few minutes break to eat. We will definitely recommend you to everyone we know for future parties since we were all extremely happy with the work you do and with your professionalism. Best of luck to you, and again thank you so much.
- AK




Here's my latest studio caricature from photos. This is a retirement gift from his company. (It was also a 16" x 20" sign-in board with a few inches of white board all around for people to write things on it.)
This is the sketch with any notes or questions. Once I get the ok, I start the finished art. Below is one of the photos they sent me. (Usually I just get head shots - where say three photos of the same person look like three different people - and written descriptions of the background settings.)


Doing caricatures from photos takes alot longer than doing them in person at a party, where I can crank out about 12 per hour in full color.
From start to finish (getting the photos, doing sketches of head and background, scanning sketch & getting approval, doing finished rendering and shipping out) these usually take at least three hours. So keep that in mind when you want something with multiple people and multiple originals.



Theirs usually one in every crowd.


Me at the Shea Stadium picnic area before a Mets game. That's about the extent of my setup, I can fit in some pretty tight spots.


Here's a new fun scifi website I've been helping out with here and there, actually its fun illustrating stories. It's run by a crazy alien chick, she thinks she's an alien, well maybe she is. It's got ufo & alien stories (from the alien point of view, like the John Lennon ufo sighting story, Hillary Clinton, Elvis and more) flash animations and games (check out the alien abduction room, get advice from the magic black hole answer ball game), cartoons, caricatures, e-cards (on the way), even a blog. Check it out at www.ufonies.com


Another gift caricature from photos.


Here's some photos of wall murals, these are something new and fun for me (see 11/07/06).
Here's a link to some other home murals.


The pictures below were done fast at various places, while the people didn't know I was doing them. I never did these during a full party, (not that I never had anyone ask me to) I just want to practice a bit more, work out the bugs and get more comfortable with this totally new style. So let me know if you think this is something that would go over well at you party.


Call (631) 942-5154
martyart@optonline.net


2007

"Caricature Quotes & Conversations"


"Make him a cop, me his prisoner"
"Are you really a cop?"
"Yes"
"Is this your wife or is she out on a
weekend pass?"
"My prisoners don't look that good."



Speaks for itself, here's a link to a new webpage geared towards weddings.


"Make us like Brad & Angelina"


"Make my head real big." Guess which one.


Met Fans


I just remember this as being a wild 40th birthday party.


"Isn't she your best model tonight?"
"No, actually you are."


Some scenes from the Coney Island boardwalk. One of the places I would never have gone to if not for caricatures.





The "Shoot The Freak" Booth, different, but just what you would expect there.







One of the benefits of getting to a gig early, you get to explore a little. So I got a couple of Nathans hot dogs I headed to my party.



"More Quotes & Photos "


Something a little different, combining two kids into one caricature.


During a recent wedding, while they're sitting off to the side you hear one girl say to another "I know you aren't old enough to get drinks yet, but I'll get you one." Then this woman says"HELLLLOOO, I'm her mother and you will not be getting her any drinks!"


This is from a Sign-in board for a wedding.
Click here for more about caricatures at weddings.


Call (631) 942-5154
martyart@optonline.net


2008

Well I finally got around to doing a decent caricature of myself.

And Guess What...

I can see why people are always asking me to leave out the double chins. I should've had the camera up a little higher.


See the difference one line can make. Oh yeah, more hair is the other big request.

To my latest webpage

Below are some pictures of me doing some strolling or walk around caricatures during a company picnic.

Here's a link to my latest webpage,
it has some new photos and a different design, let me know what you think.

Below is an assortment of pictures
from December 2008 parties.


Party Girl


Another Party Girl


Party Guy


Sitting on Santa's lap


Call (631) 942-5154
martyart@optonline.net


2009

"Quotes Overheard"


"Oh my!"
(Some people you just know
you can fool around with.)


"You do Killer Caricatures man."


"Look at his ice cream tie." "Nice tie."


"Are you an artist?"


"Am I easy? "


Hey Marty
I just wanted to thank you for your wonderful art work, My guests really enjoyed having their caracatures drawn. You did an awesome job and you being there really gave the party a special NY touch! Thank you so much and I will refer you to all of my
family and friends!
- Shawndésse



"Thumbs Up!"


I surprised them with the bunny ears.


2010

Marty
I wanted to thank you once again for a wonderful job at our daughters christening. you made the entire day fantastic and appreciate your flexibility and staying so long. We really appreciate it. We hope to see you again soon.
- Miria


Hi Marty
You were great. Everyone told me how much they liked you. Apparently some of the kids took pictures of their caricatures and posted them as their pictures on Facebook.
- Lorraine E.


Hi Marty
I wanted to thank you again for making Michael's Communion fabulous!
Lorraine G.


Hi Marty:
I wanted to say thank you. You did a wonderful jop with the caricatures. My guests loved them and so did I. Thank you and we will definately call you for our next event. Once again thanks.
- Anna V.


Hi Marty:
I wanted to start off by saying thank you for making Caroline's 1st birthday so special on Saturday, June 12. you were a big hit with our family and friends and we wish you could have stayed longer as we know you had another party.

Now after the thank you... we send our apologies bacause my husband and I did so much running around that we never offered you a drink. So sorry!!!!

We will certainly keep you in mind a for other events and definitely recommend you!

Thank you so much!
Sincerly, Elisa and Doug P.



Hi Marty,

On behalf of every one involved in the planning of this years event we want to thank you for the incredible job you did.So many people have emailed us to let us know it was such a great surprise that you were there and many of them said they always wanted one drawn but had never been to an event where it was offered.You made a lot of people's night on Saturday and again we thank you.

Yvonne & Eric


Hi Marty, just wanted to say thank you so much for making my husband's 50th birthday special. My guests loved their drawings. Please do not hesitate to use me as a reference. Thank you again!

Sandra T.



Hi Marty,

I just wanted to say thank you for your services at Elisa's 1st Birthday Party this past Saturday. You're drawings were a hit. Both the kids and the adults thoroughly enjoyed them. I am still getting compliments on how great it was to have a caricature of themselves to take home.  Thanks to you they will never forget Elisa's Birthday party. I will surely recommend you to all my friends and family.

Thank you,
Sonia


2011


A sign-in board, see it finished here.


Hi Marty,

I'm hosting a surprise 40th birthday party for my husband this coming Saturday night (1/29) and my prior entertainment (a handwriting analyst) just canceled! Naturally, I'm now panicking, but a friend suggested a caricature artist and the samples on your web site look fantastic.

Oh my gosh, you literally just made my month!! Thank you SO MUCH!!!

Cameron


"Wedding Photos "


"Retiring Teachers"
Sign-In Boards




I do these for a school district each June. Click here to see all 16 of them.


"Moving to Seattle "


A cartoon I did for a cartoonist friend of mine, Don Orehek, who's moving to Seattle soon. The Berndt Toast gang decided that instead of a sign-in board, an umbrella seemed more appropriate for Seattle.


It was a pleasure meeting you and having you at the party. you've given us a gift that we'll be talking about for a long time!

Regards,
Jo-Ann



This is a sketch I did one night while watching one of the Smithtown Library Concerts. This was a Rolling Stones cover band called "Street Fighter". It ended early because of lightning getting too close for comfort and no they weren't playing "Sympathy for the Devil" at the time.


"Plein Air Wedding Watercolor "


Talk about diversity, last night I did strolling caricatures at a wedding, But first I did a watercolor of them getting married, this was a first for me. I started early, as the gueats were arriving and getting seated. It was a fun wedding at the Nunley's Carousel behind the Nassau Coliseum. This ferris wheel was set up as a background for the wedding.


This is more commonly known as Live Event Painting, great for weddings and corporate events.


After I finished the watercolor I started doing strolling caricatures using this sepia full body approach. I didn't have the right paper for it. The color was absorbing too quick and wouldn't blend good, so after doing three couples I switched to the regular black marker style. I'll try this again one of these days.


Hi Marty,
We just want to say thank you for making our wedding so special! You were a big hit and our guests had so much fun with their caricatures. We absolutely love our watercolor, it is stunning and we will treasure it forever (we already framed it)!
We have some great pictures of you working so if you'd like to have some just let me know if you want them by mail or email. Hopefully we can have you at more parties in the future!

Thanks again! It was amazing!
Kim and Shaun


"Some Year End Photos "

I Occupied Wall Street, for about fifteen minutes. This was taken one night about a week after they took out the tents (hence the "NOT" above open to public)

Chateau La Mer & POPS.

"Some Year End Testimonials "

Thank you very much. The children and parents loved your pictures. Have a great holiday!

- Maria M.

i just wanted to take time out to thank you, the guest both young and old enjoyed your presence and talent. YOU made the party a hit thanks again.

- Monique E.

Hey, a good name for a caricature artist website (and it's not taken yet) would be; www.lookatthemancaricatures.com
I hear that constantly from the mothers when I'm drawing young kids. :)


2012

From a recent Sweet 16, I made up a Pre-printed background and text for a Mardi-Gras/Masquerade themed party.

Everyone is still talking about your work. I am extremely delighted that you were able to make my event special. Thank you once again.

- Joyce K.


Hey, Marty,
I just wanted to send you a quick thank you for the great job you did at my daughter's First Holy Communion party. Everyone had a great time and you were a great sport in dealing with all of the children and everyone who wanted to get their caricature done. Thanks again. My son and daughter both have their caricature hanging up in their room in a frame. I never knew I could look so good in a Speedo. We have our drawing up too.

- Mike B.


Here's a scene from a very low-keyed backyard wedding I recently did.
Thank u for doing such a good job at our wedding! Elaine and Wayne :)



This was done ahead of time for a 1st birthday party.


This was for a 70th birthday party.


More Cold Spring Harbor Lab Scientists

And from a recent wedding


I happened to catch her on her birthday.


2013
Happy New Year!

Here's a link to some Flash Animatics and other Animations I've done over the years. I started a YouTube Channel which you can subscribe to. I plan on adding some new Caricature videos to it this year.


This is a new pre-drawn background, I used it for the first time during a Bar Mitzvah. During a recent wedding I did, a woman suggested this; having the woman doing all the housework while the guy sits on a couch with the remote in one hand and a beer in the other.


This is from another Blue Moon promotion I did last week.



I finally took the time this morning to look for this little woodpecker he's been trying to get into the street light for a couple of mornings now.


Here's a bunch of "Gift Caricatures" from photos that I've done lately. I either do them in watercolor or with markers and pastels like these below.


Here's a link to a new mobile version
of my wedding caricature page
.


This falls into my Custom Editorial Cartoons section. I surprised her with this on my last day after serving a month on the Grand Jury.


The above and below are almost the same except the top picture was done with markers and pastels, the bottom one was done in watercolor.


Just say:
Siri I'm looking for a caricature artist near

The snow globe is animated, I can make them custom, e-mail me for info. You can see it animate by clicking here.


2014
Happy New Year!


Here's something fun, a collection of Faces in Strange Places check them out.


Taken during a recent Bat Mitzvah in NJ.


One foggy morning on the driving range.


Went to the 50th anniversary of the opening of the NY World's Fair, crowded, but worth a vacation day.


A pre-drawn background I made up for an elementary school carnival, I thought I'd be doing singles, but I did a few with two and even squeezed in one with four kids from one family. This was a lot of fun, I hope more schools call with events similar to this.

Another pre-drawn background, some snowflakes and a custom phrase in the bottom left corner, works well in color or b&w.


From a recent Project Graduation High School Lock-in party.

Here's some more pictures I've done both live at parties and from photos this summer.


Here's a scientist from a Cold Spring Harbor Lab picnic.


The above and next photos are from another night at CSHL, this ones a double...


a triple...


and a foresome...
(Sometimes it gets tough to squeeze everyone in.)


This is what I usually do for a pregnant woman. She couldn't make it that night because she was having her baby, so her friend showed me a photo from a cell phone.


it's usually hard to get little guys to look in my direction while I'm drawing them and not a problem after I'm done.


During a party at the Copacabana in NYC.


I squeezed this one in on the afternoon of New Years Eve before going to do caricatures at a wedding that night.


2015
Happy New Year!

Every now and then while doing parties I'll come across a person who looks like someone famous or infamous, I've mentioned other stories like this earlier in this blog. Well here's a guy from a recent 1st birthday party I did, does he look familiar to you?


All he needs is the cleft in his chin. He said people often think he's in the Travolta family.


This is basically my set-up, I usually have two chairs facing me for if I do couples.



Above and below were done from photos.

Below is from a night when I did a 40th Surprise party, they started taping the pictures to the walls.
Caricature artist for parties

From a Christening party I did on 4/19/15...

Hi Marty!

I just wanted to say thank you for working my son's christening! You did a phenomenal job and I hope you enjoyed yourself. My guests and some of the vendors asked for your information so I passed it along. Hope I get to work with you again at another event.

-Nicole

From a Communion party I did on 5/2/15...

Thank you so much for coming! You we're a hit!! You did such an amazing job. Everyone loved your work. I know my aunt was interested in having you for a party. I wish I would've made an announcement sooner for the adults, also. It was just confusing that place was so unorganized that day. But I appreciate you coming and helping make Riley's communion a success. I will definitely recommend you to friends.

Lisa

From a Volunteer Recognition Day event I did on 6/6/15...
Caricature artist for picnics
Caricature artist for picnics


From a wedding I did caricatures at the year before...
Hello Marty,
Don't know if you remember but you came for the wedding reception at Woodbury Country Club on 8/31/14. Everybody was very pleased with the sketches, however the groom and the bride weren't available. Is it possible to create from pictures. Please advise.
Thank you

Caricature artist for weddings from photos

Caricature artist for weddings from photos


From a recent wedding...
I ended up doing this bride, groom and couple (see below) from photos since I never got to do them during the wedding.

Caricature artist for weddings from photos

Caricature artist for weddings from photos


From a recent Sweet 16 Party...
A sign-in board from a recent Sweet 16 party that I did. It doesn't show, but there is a piece of clear plastic in front of the picture to protect it.

Sweet 16 sign-in board

Below are two more caricatures done from photos (these are done similar to my live party style) for a companies new employees, this company always does a New York City theme.
Caricature artist from photos

Caricature artist from photos


2016
Happy New Year!

These are some pictures from assorted parties...

Found these on some chairs during a wedding.

During a Bat Mitzvah

This was drawn during a holiday party at someone's house, as I was leaving I ran into this couple in the kitchen and got this picture I did of them earlier, they were lots of fun...
Caricature artist for parties

One of my political cartoons...
Donald Trump Political Cartoon
Maybe I'm wrong with this one, but it catches his fiery personality.

Retirement Gift Caricature
A surprise retirement gift caricature from his friends.

caricature during a college graduation party Caricature artist for grad party
Taken during a college graduation party.

caricature artist from photos
These guys were from photos.

Caricature From Photos
These women were from photos, one had it made to give the others as a gift.

Caricature artist drawing board
"Ok, times up, one more and I have to get going... Hey, how did that happen?"

Caricature for NYC travel company employee
Above is another caricature of a new employee for a NYC travel agency.

Caricature of a couple in a car spoof of a always sunny in phonadelphia episode and simpsons dune buggy caricature episode
Above is a Christmas present this guy ordered for his girlfriend, based on caricature from an episode of "Always Sunny in Philadelphia".

Here's what he wrote me when I asked how it went over:
"Hey Marty, it went over amazingly!  I actually left a review on yelp a few days ago for u.  Its now a permanent fixture on our wall of family pics and keepsakes.  Thanks again, I'm keeping u in mind for when we get married!
"

Gift caricature of a Columbia University cava Ambulance driver director
Above was a present from a woman to her grandson, here's what she wrote after she gave it to him:

"Hi Marty. I did not forget about my promise to let you know when I give the caricature to my grandson. Well I gave it to him yesterday and he loved it. He was so excited that you actually drew his ambulance. My daughter and son in law liked it a lot too, it is really very nice. Thank you again and best regards."

Holiday office party people caricatures
Oh no, it happended again during an office holiday party... " But these are the people in my department! "

Birthday present Caricature German heritage guy with beer
This was a birthday present caricature from photos from his wife,

NYC Broadway Travel agent Caricature
Above is another caricature of a new employee for a NYC travel agency, she's into Broadway plays.

Caricature of a hockey coach avalanche hockey coach
This was a gift to a hockey team coach.

caricature of kid flying plane with king kong picnic caricature
Caricature drawn during a corporate carnival, this kid wanted to be flying a plane, he was surprised and loved it when he saw it.

twins first birthday party caricature
Remember this picture, it was done in 2012 from photos for their first birthday party. The picture below was just finished five years later for their 6th birthday party.
Caricatures from photos twin girls 6th birthday

caricaturist for bridal shower entertainment caricature artist
Here's a caricature shown from my point of view, drawn during a bridal shower in Howard Beach, NY.


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here

Welcome to my Quicksketch Caricature Blog
IF YOU WANT TO JUMP DOWN TO THE LATEST,
CLICK HERE!

9/25/01
I've been wanting to put together a page like this for a long time. This page will be fun, informative and ongoing. Giving you some insight into the world of caricatures, or Characatures (from the perspective of a New York area party caricaturist anyway).

As far as the answers to the above - banner - questions:
• Do you give lessons? Lots of people ask, but I haven't yet,
   maybe in the future.
• Doesn't your hand hurt? No, but the lower back sometimes
   does from sitting.
• Is this what you do full time? At the moment no, it's been
   my weekend sideline for more than 30 years. I'm also in the
  
advertising field and do illustration work.

If you have any questions, comments etc. You can e-mail me
with them or call me at (631) 942-5154 .

To My Caricature Home Page: www.quicksketch.com

   One type of party that is becoming more and more fashionable to do caricatures at is Weddings and Rehearsal Dinners. I did one just recently in Brooklyn, which I was a little apprehensive about at first. During the week, a few days before the reception the bride called me to confirm. She seemed a little shaken (this was two days after the World Trade Center terrorist attack on 9/11) she was worried about how many people would be coming and that both her and her fiance were NYC police officers. When the wedding began I started by doing the few children that I could find during the cocktail hour. During this time the video guy came by, took one of my cards, he asked my rates and said "This is a great idea for a Bat Mitzvah, but not at a Wedding". Things were pretty slow during the beginning of the cocktail hour, I went around to the tables to tell people where I was and what I was doing and managed to get a few couples to come over. As usual, once the first few couples went back with their caricatures and showed other people at their tables, I got swamped.
   Once or twice during the night I noticed things around me getting bright, the video guy was taping couples being drawn. I never took the time to turn around and ask him what he thought now. It was good to see that the room was packed, again, this wedding took place the night of Sept. 15, 2001, four days after the attacks! Earlier that day I did caricatures for a 1st birthday party in a neighborhood right near the Verrazano Bridge in Brooklyn, everyone was in shock, but that's another story.(Actually I do alot of 30th, 40th and 50th surprise birthday parties, when you think about it, they are the same age groups as at weddings.) Well I felt that I contributed to the mood of the wedding, which was very up. And as usual the hardest thing for me that night was preparing the guests that I would be leaving. I sat there drawing for six and a half hours that night, doing the bride and groom last.
Here's a little story from a guest that was there that night.

This goes to a Wedding Page featuring an article It wrote.

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Caricature artist for parties

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   I'd also like to mention that caricatures and corporate functions are a great combination. Corporate incentive parties, trade shows, branch openings and anniversaries. The holidays are coming up soon, start thinking about entertainment for your company party. I've also been doing a bunch of corporate holiday cards, most with caricatures of the owners.

   Colleges also have plenty of functions going on throughout the year also where caricatures fit right in (sibling weekends, spring picnics, homecoming events). And for those big parties that might require more than one caricature artist, I have a network of friends that I can call upon.

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10/23/01

   I was pleasantly surprised last Friday afternoon when I received a package, it contained a box of bakery cookies and it was packed! Thanks to Anna Artuso who owns a Artuso's Pastry Shop in Yonkers, NY. She was at a Surprise 40th Birthday Party I did the previous weekend and loved the caricatures I did of her and her husband. This was one of the best non-monetary tips I've ever received.

   I've also been doing some corporate Holiday Cards. Some of them are just cartoons, some have caricatures of the owners. I'll probably put some up after the holidays. There's still time to get yours done too!

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1/25/02

   Well Happy New Year Everybody! One of the funny things about caricatures are that they are like hearing your voice on an answering machine for the first time ("that's me?"). Last Saturday night while doing a 50th birthday I was doing a bunch of couples and having fun. At one point I heard someone over my shoulder say "That's the best one yet", I said "You should've seen the last couple", as I said that I turned around and saw that it was the 'last couple' standing there.

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5/16/02

   Luckily I've been really busy since the beginning of the year with doing parties! Sorry for all the people I had to turn down because I was booked already, but I tried to refer then to other artists. I just got back from doing a retirement party for teachers where a funny situation occurred. I was trying to get a guy to smile and told him "Smile, your starting to look like Saddam Hussan." (He did look like him) I was wondering why I said that (as I said it), his wife seemed a little surprised and he surprisingly said "Yeah, I've heard that one before."

   A few years ago I was doing a party for Phillip Morris, this was at a large hotel in NYC after a dinner and a week of training (brainwashing) for new employees soon to go out into the world to sell cigarettes. The room was very smoky. At one point while I had a crowd around me someone commented on the smell of the markers. I looked up and said something to the effect of "Yeah that second hand marker smell, it's a killer." Believe it or not it got a laugh.

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5/21/02Caricature sketch artist

   I had jury duty today, I had to go into Brooklyn. Actually it was fun, I got to sketch alot of people on the train and in the courthouse.
   As you can see instead of reading like everyone else I spent most of the day sketching. Luckily I never got called for a jury (I still have to call-in for the next two weeks.) If you've ever been to the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse you might recognize this woman on the right. There were about 4-5 people working behind the booth, she was the one that did the orientation. She came across as tough with an "I heard it all before" attitude. But also had a sense of humor.
   Towards the end of the day a woman sitting next to me noticed some of the cartoons I was doing and I showed her some of the caricatures also. When she saw this one she said "Go give it to her". So I made a tracing of it, went over and gave it to her. After looking at it for a while and asking "This supposed to be me?" she started showing her co-workers who loved it. She then turned to me and said "You caught the attitude."
   I signed it of course, let's see if this keeps me from getting called in again.

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5/30/02

   I got called again yesterday for jury duty and luckily never got picked. But I did do some more great faces between the train ride and waiting in the courtroom that I want to use in some new cartoons.

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9/03/02

   I've been doing mostly black & white caricatures since April when the communion season started. (Black & white goes faster than color.) One of the things I sometimes do at a 1st birthday or baptism, is do the kids in color and switch to b&w for the adults. That way I get more done, believe it or not the adults act like bigger kids than the kids do!
   At a recent Bar Mitzvah, early in the reception while I was still doing the kids. A guy, probably in his forties, with his girlfriend came by and asked if I'd be doing adults. I told them yes, but a little later, I want to get a good start on the kids first. He came by a few minutes later, looking at the group of kids waiting and left. Then came back again after another few minutes with his girlfriend this time. They went to the head of the line and offered the first two kids five dollars each if they would let them go next. Of course the kids took the money and came back later.

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11/15/02

   Thanks to my daughters I have a new perspective about doing caricatures at parties. This past year we've gone ("as a family", yes I sometimes manage to get invited to parties as opposed to always working at them.) to a number of Christenings, Communions, Bar Mitzvahs, etc. Although none of these had a caricaturist for entertainment, there were other things that the kids had to wait on line for. It was a very different feeling sitting at a table with my wife, watching he kids come back and showing us their temporary tattoo's or something they won.
   I've been thinking about giving cartooning/caricature lessons (see 8/21/07 for the latest) to kids, people are always asking if I do. So far I just haven't had the time or really thought about it much. I'm thinking of starting group and individual lessons early next year. One mother that had me do her sons 10 year old party offered to get at least ten kids together for lessons - at her home. She said that there are plenty of sports activities available for kids that age but things like this are hard to find. If this is something you might consider, let me know! Figure about an hour long class, price to be determined, the host would of course get a discount. I'm going to do a few practice classes with my kids and their friends, 9 year olds. I want these to be fun, educational and not messy. I want them to use pencils for a while.

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11/20/02

   I just received this thank you letter from a wedding I did a few months ago. She hired two of us, which happens from time to time. I have a network of caricature artists that I sometimes work with. Check out my Wedding Caricatures page.

Caricature artist for wedding

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2/07/03

   I went down to Orlando last week to the NCN (National Caricaturist Network) convention of caricature artists, it was fantastic! There were about 160 caricature artists from across America and about 5 or 6 other countries. It was a week full of competition and fun, we sat around drawing each other and put our best stuff up on our section of wall, below are some of mine. Unfortunately this wasn't the type of style that was winning anything. This was my first convention and it was very intimidating the first few days. The object seemed to be to push the limits of exaggeration. Even the guys that had great ones admitted that they could never use that style in public, they were too exaggerated and insulting. Things finally started to click when I realized that my "party style" is pretty good, they're quick and exaggerated just enough without being insulting. It would be nice to turn on that kind of exaggeration when you want to. It's a whole nother way of thinking, and who would I practice on?

Caricature artist for parties

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4/30/03

   You've heard about the starving artist, well I feel like the very well-fed artist. I did seven hours of caricatures at a kind of a food convention today (don't tell my boss, I took a sick day from my full-time job). Imagine a hockey rink full of rows of food tables, all of it for free and the vendors are trying to get the attention of caterers, and restaurant owners. Throughout the day I made a few trips around, making sure to hit the deserts before I left for the night. My wife threw out our scale a few years ago and I had a follow-up visit with a doctor a few days ago who weighed me and guess what, I now weigh more now than I ever did. I told the doctor it's hard to find time to exercise and lately my only exercise has been pushing my luck.

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5/08/03

   Things are heating up here, it's the middle of the communion season along with everything else. Certain dates keep coming up and a few of us keep calling each other to give away dates we already have booked. The month of May is like a shark feeding frenzy. I recently got booked by a PR company to do a kick-off party in NYC for a new line of clothing, something to do with basketball. They said there will be alot of NBA players there, I guess I'll have to have them sit down while I either stand or find a bar stool to work from.

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6/23/03

   Well the communions are pretty much over now and the calls are coming in for the graduations and company picnics. My wife and I are comparing our calendars to plan a vacation. I'm doing alot more caricatures from photos and starting to put together some caricature and cartooning lessons that will be available online, for a nominal charge. Well anyway, here's one memorable story from the recent slew of parties that happened during a house party. It was during a communion I think, I was drawing the kids and catching bits and pieces of conversations. I was situated in the den and the room was crowded partially with people watching me and the sports fans watching a baseball or hockey game on the TV. This was an Italian crowd and some shady talk could be heard now and then about going to court, who's doing time, etc. After the kids were done I started doing adults, couples. Towards the end one guy came back and asked to be done by himself. He wanted the office scene (I have a pre-drawn one of a messy desk with a full in-box and a nameplate on it.) when it was done he told me to write "Lt. (So & So)". I felt some relief and asked him (with a smile of course) "Is that with the NYPD or the Columbo Crime Family?" This ended up being a family of cops and lawyers. First impressions, it's funny how misleading things can sometimes be.
   It's funny, at work today (my full-time gig) I kept hearing some of the women down the hall mentioning that almost all the guys were wearing blue shirts. I noticed that I was too, the only reason I could think of was that it was the first sunny morning with a blue sky in what seems like weeks.

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9/06/03

   I just got back from doing a party for scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Labs, it's almost midnight. This was a fun night, it was very casual and I didn't use any of my pre-drawn bodies. It was one of those rare nights where I got to make up new backgrounds/bodies from scratch based on talking to the people. Everyone there was a Molecular Biologist, involved in Chromosomal DNA Research, or some other type of biologist. They were also from all over the world and most were very young. (I felt like I was in Dr. Xavier's school for the gifted, like in the X-Men movies.)
   Here are some other memorable moments from parties during the past few months. I almost got to do caricatures at a wedding in Texas. I got a call from a bride to be with a nice southern accent, she asked if I only work in the New York area. I mentioned that I travel within reason, but when she mentioned the date, I told her I already had a wedding booked for the same time. She said that her wedding would be in Dallas and that she would cover the cost of having me fly down to do caricatures at her wedding. I had to turn her down because I didn't feel comfortable telling the one I already had booked (she had seen me at another wedding) that I wouldn't be able to do hers, but I could recommend another artist.
   My family and I went to an annual "cartoonist" party at the home of Bunny Hoest (of the Comic Strip "The Lockhorns"). My niece from Maine was also with us, she's a year older than my ten year old daughters. We've been going to this party since my daughters were babies but this year something was different. She usually has the typical six-foot heros and salads for lunch, only when the food came out this year, it was different. She had used a new caterer and everything was gourmet and different looking. My wife and I were talking to someone and after a while she left to track down the kids. She found them in the kitchen with Bunny making them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Bunny realized that they weren't eating any of this "strange" food and asked of they wanted something else, which they of course jumped at. So the moral of this story is that if Loretta Lockhorn, who can not cook at all, is based on Bunny Hoest, you know that they can at least make pb&j. Mac & cheese is probably a good bet too.
   One party I did over the summer played out like an old Twilight Zone episode. It involved running into an old girlfriend, I think...

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12/21/03

   I finished up with the last of my holiday parties last night, (whew) I did a decent amount this Christmas season, but still had room for more. One strange thing happened on Thursday night, at a corporate Christmas party up in Mamaroneck, NY. I had another artist with me and we were working side by side at the Crowne Plaza. At about 8:30 red lights started flashing and a horn kept sounding off, yes, after about three seconds we all realized it was the fire alarm. Only we also realized that we were on the ground floor, right off the lobby and the entrance was just around the corner. Me and the other artist were each in the middle of drawing someone and glanced over at each other, the people we were drawing just sat there too. After what seemed like too long, the waiters came around telling everyone to please go outside, nobody seemed to want to be bothered and after some coaxing most of us walked over to the lobby just inside the entrance doors. It was a cold night and after a few minutes some hotel employees came around giving out blankets. Here is a photo I took of one of the people I did a caricature of, holding her blanket while we were waiting in the lobby. I soon had a vision of the world trade towers collapsing and stood outside until the fireman came out and they let everyone back in. It was a very weird feeling, how no one wanted to be bothered and go out into the cold while the alarms went off.

   She's pictured with one of two pre-drawn backgrounds I took which incorporated their logo. Basically the guests had a choice of two backgrounds to choose from. This was a construction company, their logo was in the scene and there was plenty of room to put the heads and bodies of the guests, singles and couples.

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3/04/04

   I went to my second NCN convention last week and knew more of what to expect this time. I did watercolors, first time I ever did them live with anyone aside from my wife & kids and got looser as time went on. The first few had too much brushwork and came out similar to the ones I do in markers, the last few were done quicker with lots of sponge work. They say it's a good place to try new things, then you never get to do them (experiment at a paying job) after that. Well I got a call yesterday from the GM of a minor league baseball team near here to "donate" some entertainment time at their season opener parking lot party at the end of the month (for some free tickets and possible radio publicity from the dj.). I told the guy no, then I thought this is a great time to experiment again, in public. So I called him back, explained what I wanted to do, he said ok. Now I just hope the weather holds out.

   I rarely do street fairs/craft fairs, etc. But if you live nearby, like free things and don't mind mobs then drop by and you can possibly get caricature done on March 27th at the Long Island Ducks stadium parking lot, in Islip I'll most likely be there from 9:00am - 1:00pm.

   Below is a photo of my section of wall from the caricature convention this year. I don't know how they'll turn out on the 27th - if I'll do them with bodies or not and the size paper I'll use - but I'll let you know.

watercolor Caricature artist

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4/02/04

   It's been a busy week, I did the watercolors at the LI Ducks last Saturday. It was rainy, so we all got to stay dry on the main level instead of in the parking lot and it was warm enough. I took my new watercolor tools (brushes, new custom table, etc.) and tried different combinations of media, not really getting the effect I wanted. But the people had fun and I learned.

Caricature artist for long island ducks

One of the things I've been doing this week is experimenting with a watercolor style again, only during my lunch hour. I've been eating lunch in my car, in store parking lots and doing quicksketches of people passing by and loading things in their cars. (My wife thinks this is a little strange and says someone will "catch" me one of these days.) Today I even went "into" a MacDonalds and managed to discretely catch a few people. One guy sitting over in another direction noticed me and kept on looking over at me and to the area I was looking at. Other artists I talk to say they do this (draw people) on trains alot. (See the picture under Quackerjack, I've heard this type of caricature referred to as "butt caricatures".) I have to work on this style a little more, I'd like to do these a parties also. I have a college party coming up in a few weeks that might be a good time to try again.

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4/20/04

   Spring is in the air the past few days, suntan lotion, t-shirts and outdoor caricatures! I did a wedding on Friday night on the Jersey shore and an outdoor college party Sunday afternoon. For the college gig I dragged all my new watercolor stuff, along with my regular equipment. This seemed like a good time to try things out for real, at a paying job. Actually it would be trying out two new styles, watercolors and walkaround or strolling caricatures. There were enough other things going on that day so I knew it wouldn't be the type of party where I was expected to do so many per hour and get them all done.So I set up for watercolors and figured I'd switch to the traditional style if things didn't go over very well.

   Things actually went pretty good, I did a whole new style of caricature. I wanted to do pictures similar to the butt caricatures mentioned earlier (where you do the entire body, even from the back or side views) and came close. I wanted to catch the peoples body language, not so much emphasis on their heads but to get their whole body. I went through a few kids that wanted to be mermaids, etc. But overall got close to what I wanted. The watercolors worked pretty good too, I still have to practice more with them to get the loose sloppy look I want and to get the speed up. Right now I can see doing this style at college parties like this, some graduations and doing walkaround at adult parties, like weddings.

   I also figured out how to put together the image below and make it work!

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5/06/04

   A funny thing happened today, for the first time in a long time I ate lunch in my car in a parking lot and did some quick sketches of people coming and going. (Other caricature artist friends of mine like to practice drawing people while riding on trains.) I had my windows open and the radio on. I just took out my stuff and started sketching again trying to catch peoples shapes, no details. I got one heavyset woman as she was walking towards me wearing a tight fitting sweatsuit and another woman wearing a trenchcoat like jacket from the back. I started blending in the last one when all of a sudden I hear "What are you doing?" "I never saw that before. Could I see?" Startled I looked to my left and up and there was this older guy, a little mentally challenged I'd say, looking down into my window at my pad. He was the guy who goes through the parking lot collecting the shopping carts for the supermarket! He noticed the one of the front view of the heavyset woman. Which didn't have much detail, mainly just the shape, no facial features not even hands or feet. He said "Your drawing naked people." bit the knuckle of his index finger, looked up at the sky and spun around laughing. (He reminded me of the scene in Bonnie & Clyde when CW Moss joined the gang.) In my panic I came out with a line like one that Yogi Berra would have loved. I said "She's not naked I just didn't draw any clothes." "I mean it's just the outline!" After realizing what I just said I knew nothing else would matter so I started the car and took off. When I told my wife tonight we had a good laugh, she said "I told you someone would catch you" and that she knew the guy I was talking about. She says he has a way of startling people by being right there to get your cart right when they're done unloading it.

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5/19/04

   It's Spring and the bugs are starting to come out. I did a backyard party last Saturday night and luckily for me, gnats don't bite, they're just annoying. The people that had the party bought out bug spray and it worked great! One of the worst bug stories that happened to me was while doing a street festival one fall. I was set up in the middle of a street in Oyster Bay and reached down for a bottle of Sprite that I was drinking from time to time. Only this time I felt something hard on my tongue and spit out the mouthful of soda with a yellow jacket. I recently heard a story about keeping a sheet or two of "Bounce", the laundry sheet cleaner nearby, that bees won't come near it.

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9/01/04

   Wow another busy Spring & Summer has passed. I'm going to have to try that "Bounce" trick soon since I'm still doing outdoor parties and this is the time of the year that the bees are annoying.

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10/18/04

   A few months ago, over the summer I booked a wedding a few hours upstate in Poughkeepsie, NY. I thought it would be a nice ride with the fall foliage and it was. I gave myself plenty of travel time and got lucky enough to not hit any traffic either going there or getting back.

   This wedding started off differently for me, than anything I can remember.The couple had their marriage ceremony in the hotel while I was set up and waiting in the cocktail hour room across the hall. Usually when people come into the room where I am, I have to go around, tell them what I'm doing there and invite them to come over until I find a couple willing to "break the ice". This time people seemed to know I was there and came right over. After doing the second couple I took a glance over at the next few people on line and followed the line right out the door! The cocktail hour wasn't starting for another forty-five minutes and instead of people mingling around the room they were "all" waiting on line for a caricature! After this hit me I shifted into hi-gear, stopped holding the bags open to help the people put their pictures in and just gave them a bag with their picture. Luckily I was doing black & white caricatures that day, it was non-stop fun. I like parties where people just jump into the chairs. It also turned out to be one where I hardly used any pre-drawn backgrounds, mainly heads, and shoulders holding drinks. Later in the day I spoke to the photographer who asked if I do mainly kids parties (this happens just about every time I do a wedding). She had never seen caricatures done at a wedding. I do all different kinds of parties, most of them these days seem to be adult parties (mainly 30th,40th & 50th surprise parties). When I do communions and Bar/Bat Mitzvahs I'm constantly getting adults asking if I can squeeze them in too.

   At another recent fun party was being paired up with three other caricature artists to do the pre-grand opening party at the new World of Disney Store in NYC. This party was for Disney executives and celebrities. We were surprised when someone came out and gave us these big colorful Disney smocks and a beret to wear. I met and drew the members of a singing group called "Jump5", there was a woman with them that sat down also. I asked her if she was with the band too. She was the mother of two of its members, I said "Oh, I thought maybe it was a group like the Partridge Family". She got a laugh out of that.

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11/29/04

   Little by little I've been developing the new style I've been speaking about since earlier this year (see back in March & April of this year). Last week I was going out to lunch and had my watercolor paper and stuff in the seat next to me. I was wondering where to go to draw people, somewhere where they would be natural and fairly still for a few moments so I could get a quick sketch and they wouldn't even know I was there. I realized I was low on gas and pulled into one of these off name stations with a cheap price. I was third on line and the car in front of me was an old classic from the 50's. In a few minutes it pulled up and the guy got out and leaned against his car while it was getting pumped, this is just what I was looking for! I had my stuff right next to me and started sketching. I got a quick outline and finished coloring it in a little later.

   I've been minimizing my equipment and getting faster at these. I want to start doing these live at certain types of parties.

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12/15/04

  Last night I did a party I've been looking forward to for a while, it was in the New York Public Library. I was never in there before, so it was nice that I arrived about an hour before the party started and got to look around for a while. This was a company Christmas party, with a Charles Dickens "Christmas Carol" Theme. I had made up 5 pre-drawn backgrounds that followed the storyline. They also had a group of actors acting out the story throughout the night and a band.This party took place in a large room, actually the library has its own catering hall which was also beautifully decorated to match the theme of the story. It's hard to see in the photo, but they even had those gold foil chocolate coins scattered throughout the table. Below are the 5 backgrounds I had out on a table for people to choose from. In the left column are a few of the finished caricatures.

Caricature artist for Christmas party

I even got to see 2 original copies of Dickens' book on the third floor of the library.

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3/18/05

   "Top of the evenin to ya!" (St Pattie's Day ended about an hour ago.) So far this year has been busy and full of surprises I can't believe it's mid-March already. The parties have been coming in at a steady pace. I'm booking lots of first holy communion parties that start next month and go through May. One surprise is that I've been getting tipped more than usual lately, especially for the larger catering hall parties. I don't mention them in my contract or anything and it's always a surprise when I get one.

   Another nice surprise is that I've been getting a decent amount of repeat customers calling lately too. One of which is the "food convention" (see 4/30/03), I'll be calling in sick for work again that day. It's one of the few "public" things I do, so if you want to get a free caricature done, it's Wednesday, April 20th, at the Hofstra Sports Arena. This is basically a show for chefs and people in the restaurant business. I think there might be an admission at the door, I'll probably be in the lobby.

   Another cool thing is that I'm getting back into Flash Animatics again. Below is a pencil rough still for a new one I'm working on. These are a step in the process of making a commercial or movie. They're actually animated storyboards, the step between storyboards and filming, to work out some of the bugs before filming. I'm putting sounds into these and got fed up trying to find sounds and voice files on the web. So I recently bought a digital voice recorder. If anybody out there can do voice impersonations of say, President Bush let me know. I used to do Flash websites for an internet startup company right before the bubble burst in early 2000. You can see some of the websites and animatics I did back then by clicking here. When this one is done it'll be up there too.

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3/22/05

   Here's a quote from a guy that I'll be doing a party for soon. I was mentioning about how I'll draw the kids first then him and his wife and any other adults. He tells me "You wont be drawing my wife unless you come with a court order."

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4/22/05

   I'm in the middle of another busy communion season again. I took a sick day and did the food convention yesterday. They had me down on the convention floor this year and it was great. I was busy from the time I set up and met lots of interesting people, from chefs and cooking students to school lunch ladies and the owner of New Yorks' Carnegie Deli and his wife. Before I left I made the rounds and had my own little happy hour trying out some of the great food!

   Here's some other recent interesting stories: I was put into a very uncomfortable position at a recent sweet 16 party. I booked this party a few weeks ago, after the initial conversation with the woman, she called me back the next day and booked me after seeing my website with her daughter. I happened to call her the morning of the party to ask her what time she wanted me there, before or after the cocktail hour. Something sounded different this time, she asked me to come for the cocktail hour only. I reminded her that I have a three hour minimum and she told me that from talking to people (since she booked me) that caricatures didn't seem like a good idea for that age group. So she told me to come anyway.

   I got there early and got set up, feeling a little uncomfortable about meeting her and hoping I could get someone to sit right away. The kids finally started entering the room and forming little groups to talk, then started to get on line for the buffet. After a few minutes I went and introduced myself to some of the groups to let them know what I was doing there. One couple who was sitting at a table eating sounded excited so I showed them where I was set up and that they could beat the crowd if they come over soon. Then I went to hang out by me setup and mentioned to other couples, both adult and teens what I was doing there as they entered the room. One girl (who I quickly realized was the guest of honor) turned around to a woman behind her (who was her mother) and said "I thought you told him not to come."

   As luck would have it just then the (teenage) couple I met that were eating a few minutes ago came over and sat down! (whew) I didn't even worry about the pressure of this pivotal caricature, I was just glad they came over when they did. Well everything worked out amazingly well, other couples came by and watched. Two other 16 year olds sat down next and the birthday girl and her boyfriend were about the forth couple to sit. I ended up staying for the entire party doing most of the adults at the end, even the mother and her boyfriend.

   Remember the "Butt Caricatures" that I've been dabbling with? Well I got a call from a company in NYC that's having a company picnic in a few months and they think the butt caricatures will go over well. We talked about how they would want people drawn "from the back", without the big heads, catch their body language and shapes. Actually a good name for them could be "Candid Caricatures". So I'm trying to make up some samples and guess what, not even my twelve year old daughters will pose. So I'm coming up with some creative ways and places to catch people naturally. I'll be putting up some samples and probably doing these parties soon too.

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5/04/05

   I'll be doing caricatures for free at another public event next week, May 13th in Northport, NY. The Copenhagen Bakery is having a promotion and hiring me from about 4:30 - 8:00. I'll be set up right outside the bakery doing caricatures, there will also be face painters I think. So if you get a chance come on down to 75 Woodbine Avenue at the end of Main Street, make a left, the bakery is on the left side.

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5/05/05

   Here's how some of these caricatures look matted.

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6/21/05

   I'm back! Two weeks ago I noticed that my site was down, to make a long story short, I ended up finding a new hosting company. Since the old one seemed to be going out of business. My website was down for about a week and a half, during that time I watched my listings disappear from Google then eventually bounce back again! I was on the phone and filling out paperwork every night trying to switch hosts, what a nightmare.

   So as far as any new things going on in the world of caricature: I did a bunch of parties at CSHL and with all the talk going on now about cloning, genetics and stem cell research I couldn't resist asking some of the scientists I came across there about cloning human hair. I had all us bald and balding guys in mind (Every now and then I'll tell someone I'm drawing that they look like someone famous. I've had some kids over the years ask me if I'm that guy Colin from that Drew Carey show "Whose Line Is It Anyway") after all, how hard could it be to clone hair if their cloning animals, livers and teeth? And if they could make it affordable, it could be a great way to fund cancer research. Well anyway it seems to be a few years down the road.

   Something I've been noticing lately is this new style of frameless eyeglasses that people are starting to wear. You wouldn't notice it weird except if you had to draw them, especially for the first few attempts. Think about it, all you see is the metal bridge crossing over the nose and the side connections that go back to the ears.

   I did another wedding this past weekend and the caricatures went over really well. At first people were leaving their pictures with me so they can not have to worry about them and pick them up before they leave. About half-way through the wedding I noticed that the pile of pictures I was holding were all gone, those earlier people were taking them back to their tables to compare with other peoples. Once I did the first few couples, I was busy the whole night through.The "communion season" is now over and the graduations, proms, etc. are here now.

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8/17/05

   Guess what I have coming up again, jury duty. I'll be on call starting next Monday and it's in Brooklyn again, lucky me. I had to pass on two company picnics during next week because I couldn't guarantee I'd make them. I'm starting to run short on my sick, vacation and personal days anyway. I like to save some for later in the year. Actually I'm kind of looking forward to having a day to do sketches and work on some cartoon and animation ideas I have, as long as I don't get picked for a jury.

   It's late now and I just finished filling my markers. I have a Bar Mitzvah tomorrow night. It seems funny having it on a Thursday night, but the kids have off from school, works for me. Before I forget, here's two little stories I wanted to mention. About two or three weeks ago I did a company picnic and one of the things I heard some people griping about was the choice of music that was being played. It seems they had a vote within the company as to what CD's would be played at the picnic and their order. So it was Elton Johns's greatest hits (I couldn't wait for Benny & the Jets) then James Taylor ( I tried not to get depressed). Half way through they stopped it for the magician, who had some good music with his act. When he finished up they finished the rest of Taylor, uuuugh. Then it was Neil Young, they only played a few of his earlier songs, since it was getting late. I finished and started packing up to Yes. The following week at work I couldn't get one of those Neil Young songs out of my head, luckily I can't remember which one now. Since then I bought the Eagles farewell DVD from Australia, which I think is great.

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8/30/05

   I got called in last Tuesday (in Brooklyn again), things didn't change much since the last time I was there. The same woman that I sketched last time gave the orientation speech again. Her hair is much shorter now, but she still has the at-it-ude. So as you can see, I sketched some of the people sitting around me. We all got lucky this time, there was only one trial selection for the day. When we got sent up to the courtroom the judge came out and gave us a speech about how important it is to come. She thanked us and told us that she was called to be a juror for a state court the following week. She then told us that a few minutes before we got there the defendant pleaded guilty, so no trial. I was surprised that no one clapped. So we got to go home early that day, only I got lost on the subway for a while and had to wait for connecting trains when I finally made it to the LIRR. I took me almost four hours to get home. (In the column on the left is another watercolor sketch of a guy waiting on the platform.)

   I'm still on call-in for the rest of this week. Actually there is so much going on at work that I hope I do get called in again. I did these new sketches of people sitting around me while in the waiting room. I really should try my hand at being a courtroom sketch artist one of these days.

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9/06/05

   I never did get called in again for jury duty, so that's over for at least the next two years. The Labor Day Weekend was busy but great, even the weather held out. I did a 13th birthday on Friday night, a Sweet-16 on Friday night, a Bar Mitzvah Saturday afternoon and a Cold Spring Harbor Lab party on Saturday night. On Sunday my parents had a big party at their house with all the relatives, (a last big bash before selling the house and moving to a condo) so I did caricatures of all the kids. The CSHL party had a few fun moments. One of the scientists, a woman from Korea told me she works with mice, then went on to mention the particular part of the mice. So I had her holding up a mouse by the tail with one hand and a large pair of scissors in the other. The next tells me she works with "biological clocks", so as I'm drawing her my mind is scrambling, picturing ways to illustrate this without getting too graphic or complicated. Finally when it came time to do the body, I asked her if she had a lobster dinner and wanted to be drawn with that, she said yes.

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10/14/05

   I got my first call today for doing someone's first Holy Communion party next May. That's pretty early, usually people start calling me for those around December and January. So just a reminder call early for those or tell a friend or relative who's having one. That's my busiest time of the year, the "Communion Season" stretches sometimes from late March through June when the graduation parties start.

   I also got a call from someone about giving caricature lessons. I've been working on that too. I just don't have the time right now to do them in person, but I'm putting together lessons with Flash animations, more on that soon.

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10/31/05

  Happy Halloween! It's been a busy few days, weeks. We had a little party at work today I didn't have time to go shopping for a costume, so I painted four monkey masks attached with rubber bands and bought in some goofy ties.



I did two Sweet 16 costume parties on Saturday and at one of them a kid sat down without any costume, when I asked him what he wanted to be he pulled out this cow-face mask and sat there with it (see inset photo) so I drew him with a Trick or
Treat bag. I thought it would be a fun idea to get a few people together and do something like the commercial where the guy works with a bunch of monkeys. It went over pretty good, we made a pass through the audience (the people that didn't get dressed up) and shook some of them up with bananas, picking at their hair, things like that.

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12/24/05

  Happy Holidays! I just finished up with the last of my office holiday parties and did alot of running around to stores this morning, last minute shopping, I love it! It was one of those rare days where my wife and kids had school, but I had off. One of the things I was stressing out over last week was getting into the city with this NYC transit strike, but it all worked out.

  Well I Wish Everyone A Happy & Healthy New Year!

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1/23/06

   This month has been kind of slow as far as parties, but I guess I needed some weekend time to myself, the four or so I did do were fun. They were mostly left-over corporate holiday parties. I didn't take a camera to any but I wish I did. One party had alot of people and I got another guy to help out. We were doing them in b&w and trying to speed it up by not doing much in the way of bodies or backgrounds, mostly people holding drinks, drawn down to the waist. I was getting into some exaggeration and the crowd was really getting into it. One guy had a great face with a goatee. I did him in a 3/4 view, finished it by drawing a string tied to it and some clouds and birds around him (like his head was a balloon). He didn't seem to get it at first, but everyone else did.

   I don't usually do things like that, usually playing it safe by asking "What do you like to do?" One of the other things I've tried only a few times over the years is drawing someone upside-down. Like one kid that liked Spiderman, I did him getting unmasked by Doc Ock (similar to the cover of #12), he was very confused. The same with drawing someone bungee jumping, and sometimes skateboarding or snow boarding they don't seem to like it.

   Last Saturday night I did a bar party, which was great. they wanted their employees and favorite customers done, so they could frame them and put them up on the walls. It was also that first night I tried using a couple of new markers. I always take a bunch of light flesh and dark brown markers for the skin and hair because they tend to run out pretty quick. So I ordered two wide "Copic" markers which just came in that morning so it was my first time using them. The flesh worked great, the dark brown, for the hair, I still have to get used to. I have some sort of a golf function coming up in two weeks. I'd like to try using that new watercolor look I've been working on, the candid look, we'll see.

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2/02/06

   A couple of nights ago I was going through my e-mail, weeding out the junk and really had to hesitate before opening one with the subject "Balloon Head". I wasn't sure if this would be positive or negative, so I took a deep breath and opened it:

Marty,

I was just checking out your website and ran across the post where you talk about the balloon head drawing of me. You were right about one thing... I didn't get it at first. Now it is hanging proudly on my wall at work. People always comment on how you captured my "essence". Whatever that means. Lots of jokes have been floating around (no pun intended) about me being an airhead, or having my head in the clouds. Needless to say its a memento I will cherish, as will all of my co-workers.

Keep up the good work.

   Whew, (LOL) I'm glad he liked it sometimes you never know what people think. Occasionally I get into parties where the crowd tells me what to do with the person who's sitting there, that can get awkward at times, but usually it livens things up. By the way, his title is "Knowledge Manager".

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3/12/06

   Friday night I went back to that bar to do more of their favorite customers and employees. The place is in Ronkonkoma on Hawkins Ave, just north of the LIE, it's called "Shennanigans". They framed the pictures I did in January and put them up along the wall so that when you walk in and look up you see them.

   I have to go back and take some close-ups when they get the new pictures framed and mounted. They let people take them home and get them copied, then bring back the originals for their wall. This is a notable PR investment, great for bars, restaurants, office settings, schools, etc. Plus I'll probably mention it here.

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4/27/06

   I've been doing lots of Sweet-16 parties and Surprise 40th birthdays lately. This is the busiest time of the year coming up with all the communion and graduation parties. There's even a few public events where you can come and get a free drawing, just come early and expect crowds. I'll be back doing caricatures at the Copenhagen Bakery in Northport again on Friday, May 19th starting at 4:00. On Sunday, July 16th I'll be at the Hicksville street fair, probably in the gazebo again. The caricatures will all be in black and white.

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7/25/06

   Hi, it's been a while, luckily most of these gigs are indoors. That party at the bakery in Northport got rained out, right when I got there the wind kicked up, sky got dark and rain came down in buckets. I was soaked from sweat at the Hicksville street fair, even though I was in the shade. The same thing happened in the city one night when I parked between 1st & 2nd Avenue and walked to a place on 5th Ave. The long streets between intersections were deadly hot with no breeze (you pay double for parking in mid-town). Then when I got back to the parking garage the gate was down and locked. I rang the buzzer, yelled into the garage and shook the grille, after more than a half hour later the attendant finally appeared and let me in. He probably fell asleep somewhere in there. I got lucky one night in NYC by finding an outdoor parking garage (I paid abour $45.00) right next to the restaurant I was working at. It was a hot sunny day and three hours later when I walked out it was starting to drizzle, the attendant got my car and by the time I got to the end of the street it poured. I even did a company picnic last Friday where the rain just stopped before I got there and started just as I finished loading stuff back in my car.

   I heard another memorable quote while doing a communion party at a restaurant. A little girl came up to her mother and said "Mom I just wanted to let you know that I'm at the bar with the girls."

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9/10/06

   It's been nearly five years since I started this blog, it's also been just over five years since I finished chemo! I got lucky in October of 2000 when I had a cold that wouldn't go away after weeks. I finally went to the doctor and because he was on vacation they took a small finger prick blood sample from all their patients. A few minutes later the nurse came back and said they got a bad reading so she took a vial this time. A few minutes later a whole bunch of nurses and the substitute doctor came in and asked how I get up out of bed in the morning?

  My red blood count was down to 7, after a few days of tests, it turned out I had colon cancer. After the operation they recommended chemo because it turned up in one lymph node.So I got lucky, it was caught early.

  Up until then I felt fine, but looking back there were times when I would get tired after doing things like riding a bike, playing soccer with the kids, putting in a fence. They said it probably happened so gradually that my body adjusted, but anyway enough of that. I just wanted to mention this little story because this blog is one of the little changes or adjustments that I've made after a life threatening experience like that. Also that chemo is no picnic and finding out you have cancer isn't always the end.

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9/15/06

   I've been doing gigs in the city quite a bit lately. Last Sunday I was doing caricatures at a Bat Mitzvah in Bridgewaters at the South Street Seaport. President Bush was in the city that day for some 911 memorials. We were on the second floor overlooking the West Side Highway which was closed most of the day. Towards evening a large motorcade went by, there must have been about 50 police motorcycles leading the way, then some police cars followed by two presidential limos, more police cars, some big black police truck, an ambulance and more police cars. It was something to see, reminiscent of scenes from countless movies and the Zapruder film. I only wish I had enough time to grab my camera to take a movie of it.

   Another thing I just wanted to mention is that I still have dates available for Halloween Parties. Try to book early for the Company Christmas/Holiday Parties. Also that I already booked one Communion Party for next May.

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11/17/06

   Aside from doing party caricatures and the occasional watercolor gift caricatures, I started doing something new recently, painting "Wall Murals". Here's a small sampling. These are in a three story building, going up two flights of stairs. It features about 41 employees of a company. These would be great for health clubs, restaurants, etc. or in the home. I have other samples of scenes, without caricatures, more fitting for the home.

A few close-ups

View from top of first staiway

Views from top of second stariway

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12/30/06

   Happy NewYear everybody! Here's a little sampling of some things I did this past month. My dad & I finished up with the wall murals, I did some candid caricatures. I also did a holiday party for ABC TV, along with a few other artists. One of the notable people I did was Lee Goldberg the weatherman and his family. When we were done we went up to the studios of Regis & Kelly and Eyewitness News, where we took a few photos on the sets.

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2/17/07

   Hi again, it's been a while but I finally have some time to myself today and wanted to post something up here. As far as caricatures, I've been doing quite a bit of Sweet-16's and some corporate parties on weeknights. The custom backgrounds come in handy when doing the corporate parties. I'm still doing mostly doing parties in b&w. It's funny, for months now I've been dying to just take some time like on a Saturday when I have free and go into the city, to a museum or someplace where I can draw or paint people live and naturally, not in a party situation. But just haven't been able to, you don't realize how budgeted your time is until you want to do something like that, that really has no priority. Between working full time, doing these when I get them, some freelancing, trying to teach myself more complicated Flash actionscripting, family time and doing things around the house, things can get crazy. I usually spend most of my lunch hours going to bookstores, sometimes the watercolor artists mention that they haunt museums, large airports and other public places getting sketches and ideas, that's something I just don't have time for at this point. So caricatures are my social life, I really have fun doing them. I've been writing notes for a book idea I have too, kind of like this blog, but much more in depth. You'd be surprised how many e-mails I get asking if I teach.

  Speaking of how I like doing parties, here's a link to a web page (sorry,that link no longer exists) I found while Googling my name late one night with some friends. It's about a wedding rehearsal dinner I did nine years ago. I remember it was one of the two times I left work early to get to a party on time and when I did get to the place, asked which room the party was in and was told that it wasn't until the following week! Well gotta run, it's off to a surprise 40th birthday party tonight in NJ, I better double check my calendar to make sure it's not next week!

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4/03/07

   Along with all other types of parties I've been doing lately I'm still amazed at how well caricatures go over at weddings. One of the good things is that people usually plan their weddings way in advance, I usually get calls from brides-to-be about a year before the wedding. Most other parties get booked about a month or two or within a week of the party if they're lucky, but when someone books months ahead of time I usually have the date available. Check out my new Wedding page.

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4/04/07

   As luck would have it I launched and mentioned my wedding web page last night, this afternoon I got this e-mail, that starts like this:

Dear Marty,
I am having a party on May 25th to celebrate A New Beginning.  Translation:  I am getting a divorce!

   Talk about irony, it went on to ask about my rates. When I replied I started with "Congratulations!" Actually this is going to be some party, it's at a nice restaurant and she's expecting about 100 people. I'm surprised she didn't ask for a caricature of her husband to put on a dartboard, I could just imagine the type of gifts she'll be getting.

   Actually marriage and divorce do intertwine quite a bit, I pick up on it through bits of conversations at all types of parties. A number of years ago I did a wedding, came early, got set up, hung out with some people in the lobby while the bride & groom were getting pictures taken on the other side of the lobby. When someone pointed out to me that the bride's mother and her father's girlfriend were wearing the same gown.

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6/08/07

   Hi again, it's been very busy these past few months. I have a bunch of photos to go through and I'll probably put some more up in the left column soon. I couldn't resist brightening up this one first, even though it's 1:30 am and I have to get up for work tomorrow morning. It's from the divorce party I mentioned earlier. Actually it was really a nice party which also doubled as her birthday party. No real mention or feeling that it had anything to do with a divorce as far as I could tell, except hearing one group of people talking about the gift table, what kind of gift would you bring to a divorce party? You can see a close-up of the sign-in by clicking here.

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6/30/07

   I just got back from doing a fun 40th birthday party, it's about 11:45 and I'm trying to unwind. I finally broke down and got a little GPS system for my car, it's the same feeling as when I finally got the EZ-Pass a few years ago; "What took so long?" It really is a great little thing to have if you travel around to new places alot, especially places like New Jersey, although it takes some getting used to. It's a Magellan, with a woman's voice, so I call her Maggie.

   The event that finally made me finally get one happened a few weeks ago when I was following directions some guy gave me to his house up in Westchester County. I booked two parties that day both in the same area and left early to go to the first one, then time how long it would be to get to the second one. (Since that was the one I booked first and had to be there at a specific time. This was going to determine the amount of time I could spend at the earlier party.) Well anyway, I made a wrong turn and by the time I realized it time was passing. I ended up trying to make a left turn to head back and found myself sitting there with a speeding car coming at me, wondering when it was going to slow down. It's hood got bigger and bigger and at the very last second turned, just brushing against the side of my car. So no one got hurt and no real damage, but a very close call. Father's day was right around the corner and I was thinking that would be a great present. When I got home late that night there was a message from my brother saying that he just picked up a GPS that was on sale. I got one the next day!

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7/09/07

   Two days ago was 07/07/07, this was expected to be a very lucky day. I luckily had two parties that day. When I got up I wondered if I'd have something lucky happen to me that day, a point when I could say "That was Lucky" and I did!

  My first party was in the Bronx, right over the Throgs Neck Bridge, in a nice neighborhood. The traffic cooperated and I'm getting used to"Maggie". My little Magellan GPS with the female voice. I could swear her voice sounds a little more annoyed every time I miss a turn or ignore her direction and she says ":recalculating route". Well anyway, I got set up in this backyard in a shady spot, at one point I did the mom, dad, baby and their dog (from a photo). It was a big American Boxer, we started talking about dogs, by the way I was at a graduation party a few weeks earlier where the people had two white German Shepards, real friendly and cool looking. About half way through the party the sun came around a tree, right over the heads of the people I was drawing. So I told everyone "I'll be right back, I just have to go to my car on the corner to get my hat and sunglasses." When I got to the front of the house there was a crowd of people hanging out smoking on the driveway along with the woman and her Boxer. I passed by the dog, who was facing the other way and patted him on the head as I passed. It must've smelled me coming or something because it snapped instantly, I felt its lip and the side of a tooth on the back of my hand then started barking with that real urgent type of bark, luckily it was on a short leash. Within seconds I realized that was my lucky moment for that day. I'll think twice about petting any strange dogs in the future.

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8/21/07

   This is a beginning of a work-in-progress, I'm still working full-time in the Ad Game so I don't have much free time. I still get asked if I teach quite a bit, or give lessons and constantly hear people say "All I can draw are stick fugures." and "I can't even draw a straight line." So I started a new webpage that may eventually suck me into the teaching world, or really get me going on writing the book that I've been jotting down notes on for a few years now. Click the graphic below and try my first lesson.

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9/09/07

   It's actually the 9th for about a 45 minutes, I just got home from doing caricatures at a Bar Mitzvah. I started tonight in the main ballroom, after the cocktail hour all the kids came in. I gave them a few minutes then went around trying to explain what I was doing there over the music. After a few minutes I finally got some kids to come over, which led to more kids watching over my shoulders. Then two guys come over (dressed in black t-shirts) and tell me to "Take a break for a half hour after this kid" (The First One of the Night?). The next kid jumps into the seat and begs that I'll do him too, (I had maybe ten kids around me and a few left after the two guys made their announcement.) so I did and continued to the next. All the while wondering who those guys were and why I should stop.

   Probably during that third kid the DJ whispers over my shoulder and says "I thought you were going to stop." I asked "Why?" He starts telling me that they want "all" the kids on the dance floor. (Keep in mind that this is one of those early September Bar Mitzvahs where they tend to invite all their friends from summer camp, etc. They had 90 kids there and I discussed with the parents that I'd do the party in b&w, to do as many as possible in three hours.) So I told him to get Mr. S (the dad) to tell me to take a break. As you could imagine that didn't go over too well. Well the night went along great after that, some of the kids even got into combining two kids, half and half into one caricature (see picture on the left).

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10/17/07

   Here's a little sampling from some of the 1st Birthday's, Bar Mitzvahs, Sweet-16's, Weddings, Surprise Parties and other assorted parties I've been doing lately...

   We actually started planning a large party for my daughters' Quinceañera next spring. Since then my wife has mentioned more than once that caricatures are very reasonably priced compared to most of the other kinds of entertainment out there.

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11/02/07

   Last week I did a surprise 65th birthday party and a 50th anniversary. The daughter who planned the anniversary for her parents was concerned that the guests might not want to come over to me. We discussed me walking around to the tables and sketching people throughout the evening. I occasionally get up and walkaround when I'm asked to go over to an elderly person or while drawing someone real tall or a squirmy little one. I don't use an easel, I use a board that has something like a guitar strap attached to it, so I'm very mobile. Well anyway, this was a small party of about 22 guests and there luckily was an area in one corner of the room for me to set up, just in case. Well after walking around to the tables, telling people who I was, what I was doing there and trying to draw a receptive couple from standing near their table, it didn't take long to figure out it wasn't going to work with this crowd. I felt I was being annoying, they weren't paying attention and you can't blame them. So I quickly set up in the corner and people started coming over right away. I finished everyone except for the few people that didn't want one.

   I was thinking that if I took my other equipment and started doing the candid caricatures this might have worked out better. Actually I found a place where I've been getting some live pratice in without being obtrusive. This could be a great thing for a corporate holiday party, similar to a walkaround magician.

 

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12/28/07

   So it's the end of another year, Sunday night's Sweet 16 party will be my last party of 2007. I did parties that ranged from small house parties to huge office parties, along with the Holiday Parties they included a Wedding, Father/Daughter Dance, Bar Mitzvah, Sweet 16 and a 40th Surprise Party. Last month I went to a company and did their sales people to be used on their business cards. It went over so well that they had me come back and I did everyone in their company.

   No surprises this year like the one a couple of years ago when I got a call to do a Christmas Party at a house. They told me to show up at midnight - this was probably the night before Christmas Eve - I got there a little ahead of time and no one was there yet. Within minutes cars started pulling up, they just got back from dinner, so I walked in with everyone and noticed they were all talking with British accents. I also made up a pre-drawn background with a Castle, Merlin, Sword in the Stone, a Dragon, a Knight and a Princess. The woman who hired me, one of the few Americans told me to set up in the dining room. While I was doing that people were leaving guitar cases and bags of home-made "Mead"on the dining room table. When I was ready there was no one around except for one person in the kitchen who told me to go downstairs to the bar to tell everyone I was ready. So I went downstairs and followed a long dark hallway towards the sounds people talking and noticed framed "gold records" on both sides of the hallway. Wow, who's house am I in? I'll give you some more clues before I tell you. He's a guitarist, now into Rennaisance music and there was a guy they called "Sir Ian". The gold records were for Rainbow & Deep Purple. If you guessed Ritchie Blackmore your right.

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01/02/08

   Happy New Year! 2008 will mark 30 years of me doing caricatures, so I made up a little logo for the occasion. I also dug up this old photo, the earliest one of me doing caricatures taken at a beach one summer day in 1978. That's me behind the girl facing the camera, with the line of kids behind me. I was just getting started then and went to the beach with my friend Fred that day (that's him to my right, behind a girl I'm drawing). Fred was in the Marines and on leave at the time, we went to the beach to pick up girls. I started drawing some as a way to meet them and before I knew it there was a line of kids behind me. One of the parents took a polaroid and later gave it to me. We never did get any phone numbers that day, but probably did a bit of drinking that night.

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03/26/08

   I've been keeping busy lately and will put some new pictures up soon. One project that I'm in the middle of is a CD cover for a new band. I'm doing it in watercolor with caricatures and it should be ready to show in a few weeks I hope. I did get out for a while tonight, I went to a book signing at a local bookstore. May Pang, John Lennon's girlfriend during his "Lost Weekend" period was talking about her new book of photos and stories about that time, then she took a bunch of questions before signing the books. Well it's late and I'm tired, just wanted to check in, it's been a while.

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05/27/08

   Here's a few pictures from some of the parties I've been doing over the past few months. The CD cover art for that band seems to be on hold, I don't want to show it until it's published.

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06/05/08

   I have a busy weekend coming up with four parties, three on Saturday, the first one starts at midnight. It's one of those 12:00 am - 4:00 am after prom school lock-in parties. The toughest part is coming home on the LIE, driving right into the rising sun.

   Last Sunday I did a BBQ Picnic, luckily the weather was perfect. It was different in that I did walk-around caricatures or strolling caricatures! Below and to the left are some photos.

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06/17/08

   Here's something interesting for anyone having a wedding, or any other party for that matter and thinking of having a caricature artist for the entertainment. I got an e-mail from a bride-to-be, here's an excerpt from it: "I recently read a very positive review on your work..." So I asked her where the review was and she sent me (sorry, that link is no longer there - Aug. 2016) Wow, I couldn't have written a better review myself. I don't even know which Bride wrote it.

   I've been doing lots of different types of parties lately, I really had a ball during one in particular this past weekend, surprisingly it was an 80th birthday party. The guests were great, and really got into the caricatures.

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09/05/08

   September's here and the weather is great, I'll miss doing outside parties soon. I've been doing lots of first birthday parties lately. Here's a food tip: Usually at company picnics and BBQ's they have trays of hotdogs, burgers, chicken, ribs and sausage with peppers & onions. If your like me where you don't get a chance to go over until after the initial rush of people, when the line dies down and the burgers are looking a little dried out. Put some sausage, peppers and onions on a burger, or just the peppers and onions, it's a great combo, better than the usual ketchup, pickles & tomato. I guess I've done one too many parties where they had Jimmy Buffett singing his "Cheeseburger in Paradise" song.

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10/22/08

   Here's a sampler of some of the things I've been up to lately aside from doing party caricatures. I combined the election with Halloween and came up with this of Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. McCain & Gov. Palin...

  You can see a larger picture of the Desperate Housewives caricature below by clicking here.

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12/27/08

   Hope everyone had a great holiday! I luckily had a very busy December, with one more party coming up tomorrow. Here are some memorable moments of the past few weeks. I was the "surprise" entertainment at a party of about 15 women teachers, they thought I was a stripper. The hostess asked me to introduce myself and tell what I do. I told them something to the effect of; I'm kind of the opposite of a stripper, I can draw each of them as sexy as they wanted to be.

   Another memorable moment that I can now laugh about was when I gave myself plenty of time to make a 6:00 NYC party, only I had the address, but not the cross street. I was working my way down west side and looking for a street where I can make a right turn to get closer to 33rd street, after passing a bunch of one way left turns I and a bunch of cars turned right. It was near 5:00 and I turned into the entrance to the Lincoln tunnel! No chance to turn around, I zoomed through and came out to mobs of traffic funneling into the other end going to NY. I somehow made it back and started by 6:15.

   Here's a thank you letter from another corporate party I did:
Thank you Marty!  I know we put you through the wringer, we have an
eager bunch here!  LOL You did a great job, and we really appreciated
having you be a part of our celebration :-)

   To the left and below are some parting shots from 2008, Happy New Year!

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04/01/09

   Hi, it's been a while, but I only like to write new and interesting things in this blog. The past few months slowed down a little, but seem to be back to normal now. I haven't really taken the time to take many photos lately, but I've been having fun doing caricatures and the people really enjoy them.

   WOW! I've been contacted by the White House to do caricatures at President Obama's Daughters Birthday Party! They are going to fly me to Washington DC! I told them that my car is getting to the point where I'd have to join the AAA, party caricatures, this business is amazing! I'll definitely be taking plenty of photos at this one, if they let me.

   So until next time, keep your pencils sharp and don't believe everything you read, especially if it was written on April Fools Day!

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04/29/09

   Well the calls are coming in like crazy for First Holy Communion parties in May, May 2nd and 9th are the hot dates this year, I've had them booked solid for a while now and I keep getting calls for them. I still have a bunch of afternoons or nights free and I'm still free on May 23rd, both afternoon and night. If you have a Prom / After Prom, Project Graduation party, Company Picnic or Trade Show coming up in June or July, call me or send me an e-mail about it. martyart@optonline.net

   I got an interesting e-mail last week from a guy that looked me up (after 31 years) to see if I still do pinstriping. I pinstriped his Gran Torino in 1978 and now his daughter has a new Mustang that he wants me to stripe. It's tempting, but I'm so busy now with the caricatures and working full-time, plus I haven't touched or practiced with those brushes in almost 30 years. It might be fun to pick it up again maybe in a year or so when my daughters and their friends start getting cars.

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05/06/09

   It's been a few days but I made it through the first busy weekend in May! I had a bunch of great parties, with an interesting story towards the end of the first one. After finishing about 30 kids at a communion party I had some time to do some adults. The kids and adults mainly picked from the pre-drawn backgrounds that I take with me. One of the last caricatures I did was of two teenage boys who sat down to get a caricature done together. (Sometimes when your drawing someone they remind you of someone famous or infamous and you have to decide whether to mention it to them or not, this is one of those stories.)

   One kid had short blond hair and glasses, the other had longer dark messy hair. The blond kid was to my left, his friend sat to his left, they didn't know what they wanted to do, it was as if their mothers forced them to sit. So as I was drawing their heads I told them "Don't worry, I got it." I dressed the blond kid on the left in a light brown suit with a red tie, hands at his sides and the dark haired kid in a blue sweatshirt t-shirt and jeans, hands in pockets (get where I'm going with this). Towards the top near the dark haired kid I wrote "I'm a Mac" and and a little lower by the blond "I'm a PC". It really went over great, you could hear everyone laughing as they walked it through the house and into the backyard. I'm pretty sure that will be their new nicknames now.

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06/15/09

   I finally started taking photos again and will start putting some up soon. One of the things that always amazes me is when I'm drawing someone, especially a couple and one of them, usually the guy, looks like a celebrity. First off you wonder if you should say anything (depending upon who it is they look like, it could be someone infamous). Well it happened again about a week ago, the guy was a dead ringer for Henry Winkler, the way he looks now. I asked him if anyone ever tells him he looks like anyone famous, he gave a slight smile and said Henry Winkler, his wife looks at him surprised, as if she never saw it. Over the years this has happened with guys that looked like; John Gotti, Ron Howard, Dave Thomas (the owner of Wendy's) and Saddam Hussan, to name a few.

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06/18/09

   I got a nice call last night from a woman with a Carribean accent, she asked if I was free for July 4th and how much I charge and if I have an active passport. As the conversation progressed I realized this wasn't a joke, she liked my style and wanted to fly me down for someones birthday party to St. Kitts! A free flight and hotel room for a few days! I told her I was flattered but had two concerns, I'm booked the next day and how about my family? She said that it was a commercial airline, not a corporate jet. So we left it that I'd call her back the next day (today). Actually my family could have paid for airfare, depending upon how much it was, but I couldn't see going on my own. I came home for lunch and tried calling but got a message from the phone company that it's an international call and it cut off. I finally make it home, went to the website, set up the service and left her a message (I wish I took her e-mail address), so we'll see if she calls back. This could have also been some sort of a scam, but she never got pushy or made any fishy offers.

   This is my second experience with international problems. Last summer I did a caricature from photos for someone in the Cayman Islands and they sent me a check drawn on a Cayman Island bank. The banks here won't accept them and it had to be sent back, they had to send me another one drawn from a US bank and all was fine, only it took a while.

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07/15/09

   I've been finding myself in Brooklyn quite a bit lately. I did a Wedding with another artist at a place called the Union Temple, (on the northwest corner of Prospect Park) and a Surprise 50th Birthday Party in a place called The Bell House, a few blocks west of there. It really seems like a nice place to go bike riding on a Saturday afternoon. One thing about Brooklyn is you have to get there early to find parking.

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10/08/09

   Well let's see things have been busy the past few months, I've been doing some more cartooning and have some showing in two shows now. One is in the Great Neck library, the other is in the Art-trium (off Rt. 110, one block south of the LIE in Melville) Both of which feature the Berndt Toast Gang. I haven't been stopping to take many photos lately, but I will put some up soon.

   I also got a kayak towards the end of the summer and joined a kayak club. I got into a habit of taking a small sketchpad with me and have been doing some quicksketches from it. this one is of an old dilapidated dock just south of Dowling college. I had to paddle back upstream a couple of times to keep the same angle, an anchor would have helped.

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10/12/09

   Something very strange happened right before I did a 50th birthday party last Saturday night. It was in Astoria a catering hall called Riccardo's by the Bridge, I got there about an hour early and drove around for a while and found a good corner spot to park with a great view of the top of the Triborough Bridge lights. I made sure I wasn't going to get a ticket there and went through the names on my cell phone calling a few people. It was about twenty minutes 'till starting time and I started loading all my stuff from my cars trunk.

   While I'm doing that a truck stops next to me and the driver asks if I'm leaving, I told him no and he says he'll pay me twenty bucks for the spot. Turns out he's working there too, with a dj company, the same party as me. He tells me right across the street from the entrance is a valet parking lot, they wouldn't let him park there with the truck, then mentions he'll pay for my parking. So I agree to move, he tells me he'll pay me inside (believe it or not, I still agreed). So I load up my stuff and drive there. While the valet guy is writing me up I start unloading my stuff again. They stop and tell me they can't let me park there if I'm not a guest!

  So I throw it all back into the trunk again and desperately find another place to park (hope it's a legal spot), load up my stuff and run to the catering hall. I made it there on time, found the truck driver with the dj guys, told him what happened (all out of breath). His first words were "You got another spot". A second later he walked back to his jacket and came back with the twenty. So I set up real quick and the party went great!

  The morals of this story: If he can't park, maybe you can't either. Take the money first! Good parking spots near catering halls in Astoria go for an easy $20 from panicking dj's.

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11/28/09

   This year the year end holiday parties are coming in slowly, but the weekends are starting to fill in. I still have most weekdays and weeknights available, so send me an e-mail or call to get good weekday- weeknight pricing!

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12/13/09

   While drawing caricatures during a Bar Mitzvah yesterday I experienced a first. When all the kids were done the adults started coming over, as usual. But while the dinner was out and everyone was eating, I just finished a couple that wanted to get to their dinner and a man comes over holding his dinner - large plate full of food, knife, fork, everything but the drink! His wife came over a few seconds later so I started her first, giving him a little time to eat. One guy there resembled Bernie Madoff a little, which sparked off a bunch Bernie Madoff jokes.

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02/10/10

   Cell phones and teen aged girls, I'm getting more and more girls texting while they're sitting getting their caricature done. I had a woman sit for a caricature during a Sweet 16 last weekend, she said I did her at a party 20 years ago. She was funny telling me to give her cheeks, one chin and all that other stuff. She mentioned that the last time I did her, she was 22 years old and I did her hanging out with one of her friends, sexy body, cut off t-shirt and a martini in her hand. She said to do her with a realistic background this time - reality - twenty years later - cooking, cleaning, etc. So I made her with an ironing board, ironing paints, full laundry basket and washer & drier in the background. I also gave her a martini in her other hand.

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03/02/10

   Every now and then while doing a party someone will ask if I can stop to do a picture from a photo. Sometimes they have an actual photo, usually it's from a small camera, that they have to keep on fixing when the display goes out after a certain amount of time. Recently I had a guy that asked and hung around until I finished with the person I was doing, the party was winding down so I figured ok. While he was waiting I heard him telling someone about how his son had to leave early and something about how they are expecting a baby. While I was drawing the picture of his son, which was a good photo on a good camera with a large screen, I was hoping he wouldn't pull out a sonogram photo of the baby on the way, he didn't ;)

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04/17/10

   It's that time of the year again, the caricature business is picking up. I'm doing communion parties left and right. During the past few weeks I've done some new stuff, I illustrated a book cover and got a commission to do a political editorial cartoon. If I get permission I'll put those up soon. To the right is part on another editorial cartoon I did, you can click on it to go to the page and see the whole thing.

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06/22/10

      I posted up a bunch of recent thank you letters on the left. I'll put up some more pictures soon too, I also just finished up with a bunch of pictures from photos. Last night I saw a documentary film on HBO called "Gasland". Now I feel a new editorial cartoon coming, it would feature the third Anti-Christ and the Halliburton Loophole built into the 2005 Clean Air Clean Energy Act. Guess who that might be, well I guess that's the equivalent of actually doing the cartoon.

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07/10/10

      Here's a couple of caricatures I did of some retiring teachers and school district employees. These were done on 20" x 30" foam core boards so that when they had their year-end dinner people could sign them.

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08/09/10

      I'll be putting up some new party caricature pictures soon, but in between my full-time job and the weekend parties I've been doing some kayaking and sketching, here's a few I did earlier tonight...
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08/19/10

      Here's some quick watercolor plein air
paintings I've been fooling around with...

      It was sunny when I started and cloudy about an hour and a half later when I got the camera out, what a difference.

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10/29/10

      Here's some more quick plein air
paintings I've been getting some time for...

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11/16/10

      As far as doing parties and coming across people that look like other people, I came across a kid that was a dead ringer for Barak Obama during a sweet 16 party in Staten Island. More recently I did a wedding almost two weeks ago also in Staten Island and twice drew people that looke like celebrities. One was the "father of the bride", every time I looked up at this guy, I caught glimpses of Steve Martin. At the same wedding there was another guy with a strong resemblance to Paul McCartney, as he looks now.

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12/09/10

      This is the time of the year I do some studio or gift caricatures from photos. Here's one, you can find more, click here.

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02/01/11     

      Here's a brother & sister boxing of course. I did this during a Bar Mitzvah in Paramus, NJ a few weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon. I got there early, about two hours early as it turned out, there was no traffic that morning. While driving on Route 17 I passed a bunch of stores that would be good to stop at after I found the party place. So I filled up my car with cheap New Jersey gas and soon found out that all the stores were closed, even a mall I found! The only places open were gas stations and food stores, so I spent a while looking around in a Trader Joe's. I though maybe New Jersey closed down on Sundays because of the Jets making the playoffs, but found out later that that town still has the Sunday Blue Laws. I heard part of the third and al of the last quarter of the Bears/Packers game on the radio in the car and saw most of the Jets/Steelers game when I got home.

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02/26/11     

      This was a test shot, the first picture I took with my new camera, a Nikon S8100. I simulated the setting like when I'm doing caricatures at parties in near darkness. I bought this camera mostly because it's advertised as a great low light camera and from what I can see so far it really is. The basement was pretty dark, but this camera takes a quick series of shots; foreground, background and something else, it combines them and whalla I don't get the paper lit up or washed out and everything else behind it in shadows. This means less silhouetting and retouching to get decent photos! (see comparison photos below).
      The Yogi Berra cartoon is an early rough draft of a cartoon I did that's going to appear at the Yogi Berra Museum in NJ starting sometime in April. It's a show that will feature Yogi cartoons by Long Island's Berndt Toast Gang. I'll let you know more about it when I find out.

      These are a few photos I took during some recent weddings. When I was packing up my stuff I dropped my old camera on the marble floor and that was that.

      Actually the bride at this wedding called me on a Sunday afternoon, she just watched a bridal show on tv that had a caricaturist doing caricatures during a wedding. She thought it was a great idea, looked it up on Google, found me, called me and booked it for that following Friday night.

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04/04/11     

      That Yogi Berra picture I did is on display at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Little Falls, NJ. The show is called the "Comical Yogi Show" and it's all this month, through April.

      Here's some photos from a Bar Mitzvah and a fund raiser event that I did this past weekend.




 

 

I'll be doing caricatures at the Hicksville Street Fair on Sunday July 24th from 1:00 - 4:00 in the Town Gazebo. I don't do many public things like this, but the pictures will be free for anyone who's willing to wait. Their will be another artist there also.

 

 

      One more upcoming interesting thing, it looks like I'll be having my longest caricature day ever. I might be doing two six hour gigs for a companies Employee Appreciation Day type of thing. I'll have three hours in between, I usually stay away from caffeine but will probably need it for the second shift.

 

 

      Here's one from a recent Trade Show at the Javitz Center in NYC. The company I was doing them for printed up pads with their info along the bottom of each page. More about Trade Shows & Caricatures here.

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06/18/11     

      I've had a very busy April, May and June, so far. Here are some photos from an assortment of parties and studio pictures (from photos, see "Retiring Teachers" and link) on left. The picture below is a group shot taken of a bunch of dads after I did all the kids at a communion party. Six on a page is usually my limit, on 11 x 14 paper, but I managed to squeeze in seven. It's blue because I put it on a chair under the dj's lights which were constantly changing.

      I've been drawing lots of people talking on phones and texting.


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07/25/11     

      Here's a switch, I did a corporate party last Thursday and they sent me a few photos that people took of me while I was drawing, this is the best one, taken by a guy I was drawing at the time. The past week or so has been very hot and humid, actually it's been that way throughout most of the country, the next day, Friday was the hottest day with temperatures going over 100 degrees. This party was for a financial company it was at Bridgewater's at the South Street Seaport in NYC. I got there early and parked at a nearby lot, I wasn't sure exactly which building it was in so it took a little while to find it. By the time I did find it my shirt was drenched with sweat. Luckily, from experience, I had another shirt hanging in my car that I went back for.

      Here's the e-mail that came along with the photos;
Marty,

Thanks again for joining us last Thursday. Everyone really loved your sketches, and it made the whole experience for everyone very memorable! I’ve included some pictures below from our resident photographers, who took much better shots than I did! Hopefully you can include some of these shots in your portfolio. I think the first one of you turned out (of me) was especially good.

Best,
Katrina

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07/29/11     

      Here's a picture from the Hicksville Street Fair I did last Sunday. I actually do lots of kids parties although I put up more pictures of adults. I like to get the parents ok, so it's just easier to take pictures of adults. This background and similar ones with sharks, octapus tentacles or other fish is becoming my favorite when someone askes for a swimming background. The middle picture of the three above has become another of my favorites, as you can see if you scroll up through the past few months.

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09/06/11     

      I've got some interesting things coming up this weekend and possibly into next week. I'll try to get some good pictures to post up if they come through. One thing I can say is that caricatures are finally catching on at weddings. Wow, this blog is coming up on ten years by the end of the month!

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09/11/11     

      I just put up some photos of a wedding I did last night, an easy date to remember your anniversary, 9/10/11, (see left sidebar - "Plein Air Wedding Watercolor").

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09/25/11     


Wow, that went fast!

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10/22/11     

      When I first started doing caricatures, thirty three years ago, I was doing primarily Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. Over time I started getting calls for more and more types of parties. For the longest time I kept thinking how come people don't think of doing these at First Holy Communion parties? Then at some point I started getting calls for them, for the past few years April and May have become my busiest months.

      Weddings are similar in that over the years I'd get calls to do one maybe two per year, now they are finally catching on. This year I've done about five or six so far, actually I have the first of two "Same Sex Weddings" tonight. I have a feeling that these will be very fun to do.

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11/07/11     


      Not the sharpest picture, but another group caricature during an Indian Wedding. Indian weddings seem to invite lots of guests, keeps me busy, alot of fun and great clothes. This wedding was in northern New Jersey during the afternoon when we had that nor'easter snowstorm. It was bumper to bumper traffic for a while on the Palisades Pkwy afterwards, not alot of fun.

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11/27/11     

      Here's some highlights of Thanksgiving weekend. My daughter and I got to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade early enough this year to take chairs and sit along the curb (5:45). I did caricatures at another wedding this weekend. I find doing caricatures relaxing, even though people are always asking "How can you sit there churning those out hour after hour?" Believe it or not, the most stressful part of the job is trying to leave a party, especially when it's still going on, which has been happening quite a bit lately.

      One of my brothers who's a professional drummer stopped by for a few days, before going back to Europe. Remember "The Three Stooges" it's a good thing my other brother, the electrician wasn't there too. It's amazing what a little Photoshop can do. :)

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12/31/11  

      Here's some sample pictures from the "one that got away" this year. I got an e-mail about doing caricatures during a promotion for a Japanese beer company that would have lasted for 4 days, almost like a trade show. I would've had to take three vacation days from my day job, which I was saving for this past week. They sent me some samples of a little guy called a "Daruma" and wanted to know if I could do personalized Daruma pictures of people at the show, make it look somewhat like them. I asked if I could do a pre-drawn scene or two and work in caricatures of the people interacting with a little Daruma guy. They said that's not what they want, so I worked up some watercolor samples of things I could do live, fast and colorful. The person I was dealing with loved these samples, "It's exactly what they want!" So they had their meeting to decide on who they were going to use, (they of course contacted other artists) and a few days later she contacted me telling me they decided to go with someone "within their budget" (all of a sudden they had a budget). I happened to find out who they went with and saw some samples of what was done there. It was alot like what I had first proposed to her, that she told me not to bother sending in, not even. They went with basic b&w caricatures with their logo pre-printed in the corner of the page, a no brainer, no Daruma's! Sometimes you just can't win. Google: Daruma, to see what they're all about, it's an interesting story. If anyone out there would like an illustration of their own personal Daruma, let me know. Well have a Happy New Year everyone!

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04/17/12     

      I'm coming into the busiest time of the year again, April through June, the past few months weren't bad either. I have a bunch of photos I still have to take out of my camera. One humorous story happened during a Christening Party last Sunday. A father sat down with his infant daughter, she was asleep. I asked if he wanted her to be a princess or something, he said yeah, only give her "Hulk" hands. I had him prop her up so I could get a better look at her (Infants are usually tough, even when they are awake, they're usually crying or looking everywhere but at me.) so I made her very cute, smiling, eyes open and as a princess. A crowd of kids were around me waiting to see the Hulk hands. They laughed as I drew them then colored the picture in nice but made her hands green. Then I told her father that I wanted to add a little surpise for him and told all the kids watching me to be quiet (Shhh) so he'll be surprised. In pink script I wrote "Don't get me MAD Daddy!" They all loved it.

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06/06/12     

      Here's something new...
These make great trophies, look great on a desk for the home, office or as a table centerpiece. These are done from photos and can be framed as an illustration or cut-out and mounted on a base.

Click here to see more samples and to get information on these!


 

 

 

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08/21/12     

      These are from a party I did last month. It was a backyard party with a French theme up in Pound Ridge, NY. The party was to raise money for animals, Harry is Holly's Havanese. I made a pre-drawn background featuring Harry and did walkaround caricatures that evening. The background was also used as a Thank You for the people at the Whitney Shop in CT from Holly.

 

 

 

      Here's some of Holly's comments:
Your presence at Harry's Event was a such a wonderful touch. Thank you for all of your efforts in making his Celebration, such a roaring SUCCESS!

      Thank you, Marty...a Great "TAIL" is wagging, and just so you know, we raised a considerable amount for Animal Rescues not only to Best Friends Society, but for Harry's Friends, who are currently in shelters locally.

      I might even be getting a write up in the Fall Home issue of Westchester Magazine, they had a reporter at the party that interviewed me.

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08/24/12     

      Seems like I'm doing more and more pet pictures, here's a watercolor of a girls three pet ferrets. she sent me a bunch of photos of each and a little something about each one. Here's an e-mail I got a few days after shipping it out: " I received the painting earlier this week. I love it! Thank you for your work. I can't wait to frame it!"

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09/13/12     



     Above is parts of the article where I'm mentioned that appeared in the fall issue of Westchester Home Magazine (see 08/21/12 Holly and Harry story above).

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10/09/12 

     Here's a scene I illustrated for a sci-fi website a while ago, you can probably guess who they are. Click here to read the story that goes along with it.

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11/20/12 

     Here's some people visiting from Italy, I gave them New York scenes the Coney Island Cyclone and being held by King Kong on the Empire State Building. I got a thumbs up from the Romans.

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11/21/12 

     Here's something I like to do whenever I get the time, a quick plein air watercolor from about a month ago. It's at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum. I'd like to get some more practice in on this sort of thing to do more "live event painting" at weddings, etc.

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12/31/12 

     These are a few from a recent corporate Christmas party.

 

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02/19/13 

     This is one of the pre-drawn backgrounds I take with me to parties. Here's an e-mail sent to me by the woman who's son's first birthday party I was drawing at and here's what she wrote in the e-mail: "Hello, Just wanted to drop in and say thank you for your work! I'm sorry I was running around like a crazy person yesterday and didn't get to say thanks. I think you provided much needed entertainment for Musa's birthday!" Usually the people I draw are in the "Hot Seat", but this nights party was in a tent on a freezing cold night and the heater vent was facing me, so I literally had the "Hot Seat".

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02/27/13 

     My latest web page focuses on Sweet 16 parties, it has some new photos and tells some of the things that make Sweet 16's unique, check it out, click here!

 

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03/03/13 

     Last night I did caricatures at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, they are celebrating their 60th anniversary of when "James Watson and Francis Crick ushered in the era of genomics when they unmasked the double helical structure of DNA, a landmark discovery that forever changed how the world understood the very nature of life itself." It was an anniversary for me too, it was my 10th year of doing caricatures there. It was also the first time I met and drew James Watson, a "Rock Star" in the science world. I didn't have my camera with me, but would have felt funny asking him for a photo. After he went back and showed everyone at his table his wife come over and introduced herself, I drew her and a bunch of other notable scientists I'm sure. They first called me in to draw at their 50th anniversary party, after that they started supplying me with their meetings schedules for each year. Every time I go there I feel like I'm in an X-Men movie and last night I met Dr. Xavier :)

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04/02/13

     Here's 2 scientists from a recent trip to Cold Spring Harbor Lab. These are in the clear plastic bags I give them out in.

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04/06/13

     Here's one of my little birthday surprises today, I put the cursor over the Google logo to see who else's birthday they were celebrating and surprise, it's me.

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05/28/13

     Wow, this is the first time in a few years that I made it through the month of May without catching a cold from being around lots of kids during communion parties. I had a really busy May and will post up some photos once I get a chance to go through them. I also did a bunch of gift caricatures from photos, it's a good time of the year to retire, especially for teachers. I had a couple of communion parties that were references from others I've done in past years and a couple of instances where the person I did the party for in the past re-introduced themselves. One guy seemed upset that I didn't remember him from last year. That was one of the days where he caught me as I was leaving the first party of three. Late that night on my way home I thought to myself that I only really try to remember what the person who's paying me is wearing (blond in the blue dress) so I can find them quickly when I'm done, pack all my stuff into my car and it's off to the next party.

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05/30/13

     Jury duty yet again (see last time), this time it's the grand jury and I got picked. The grand jury is different than other juries in that you hear lots of cases and have to serve for a month! Basically it's for hearing cases to see if they have enough evidence to take the case to the next step. These are mainly felony cases involving repeat offenders. They might have anywhere from two to about six cases a day and usually some get cancelled for whatever reason, we've never had to sit for the entire day, except for the first day when we got picked. I've been going back and forth to my full-time job and the jury about twice a day.
     The above picture was done today, we had time between hearing cases so I went into a regular courtroom. (The public is allowed to watch although hardly anybody does if they don't have to.) I did this a few days ago too and did some quick sketches with a pen, but today I took the watercolor paper and a brush pen. I made the mistake of going into a courtroom that was not crowded. These courtrooms have big signs on the back of the seat in front of you saying to turn off cell phones. So as I'm starting to sketch the scene I hear the judge say "No devices in the court." I realized she was talking to me, it must've looked like I was texting. So I said that I don't have a phone, after more questioning I held up the brushpen and said that "Im sketching". She looked over to the guys on her right and after a short discussion and obvious confusion, paranoia set in, she said something I can't recall, I replied "So I'm not allowed to sketch?" she said "Not generally", I repeated "Not generally?" One of the court officers came over to take a look, I showed him as I walked out. So I finished it from the pencil sketches I did in a different courtroom earlier in the week.

     On another note; I'll be doing caricatures this Sunday, June 2, in Smithtown (Smithtown Day) at the Exit Realty booth from 11:00 - 2:00. It's near Rt. 111 and Jericho Tpke. There won't be any charge for them, but once people realize that they are for free, it'll be mobbed, I think they will be doing a sign-up sheet.

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07/22/13

      I'll be doing caricatures this Saturday, July 27, during the Bellport Festival Day in front of the Bellport Arts & Framing Studio. These should also be for free. During May and June I've been busy doing all sorts of parties and pictures from photos (see left column). Below is a large gift caricature for the guy in the center who retired, from his staff.

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09/02/13

      This summer I've done a range of parties including: company picnics, graduation parties, baby showers, weddings, lots of 1st birthday parties, a family reunion, etc. Next weekend I have a 100th birthday party booked, it's Roaring Twenty's theme, and people will be dressing up that way, I'll have to see what I can dig up as far as clothes for that. Sometimes I'll do a Paris themed party and they ask if I can wear a baret, I keep one in the trunk of my car. Here's some from some recent parties.

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09/10/13

      These are a few caricatures I did during the 100th Birthday Party last weekend, that's the birthday girl in the middle. This was a fun party, it had a Roaring Twenty's theme and most people got dressed for it.

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10/26/13

      Every now and then while drawing caricatures at a party people ask if I've ever drawn for the police, like a police sketch artist. Well I got the chance to do something similar to that last week, only with a twist. Mercedes Benz had a large annual conference and needed 4 artists to draw "Super Heroes" that groups of their employees would create. I got three other artists and we each had a table of about 8-10 people that would see a presentation about diversity in the workplace, they would then create a super hero that would solve some sort of problems. These had to be done fast, since each session was an hour long and the presentaton took about 25 minutes, at the end each group had to discuss their super hero while showing what we came up with based on their input. That left us about 20 minutes to draw on the fly as they were developing what their hero would look like, their super powers, etc. The first group I had wanted a half-man, half-woman (ok) as I was starting to draw it, it changed to not a human but a chameleon (ok) and holding a shield (ok) that reflected people doing something...
      It was a fun and creative day. I really like doing these corporate team-building exercises, they are always different and they like to mix in some entertainment.

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12/21/13
      Here's some from a recent 50th birthday and a company Christmas party...

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02/15/14
      Pictures from some recent 1st birthday parties...

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02/19/14
      Last weekend I did caricatures at the Grand Opening for Five Towns Pediatrics in Woodmere, these are two of the doctors, about the only adults I did that busy day. I know one of the doctors names was Doctor Green, I didn't catch the others name, but I wonder if he was Doctor Kent? ;)

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02/25/14
      Last Sunday afternoon I did caricatures in front of (good thing it was a warm day) this Purim Superstore on Ave M in Brooklyn. It was a grand opening sponsored by the nearby Mountain Fruit store. I started during the day and finished when it was dark, everybody had fun, even the Rabbi got into it!

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04/27/14
      Taken during a Bat Mitzvah I did caricatures at in NJ a few weeks ago.

Caricature artist for bar mitzvahs

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05/05/14
      The communion season has begun, they've been keeping me busy on weekends but both tonight and last Friday night I did parties at elementary schools. Friday nights was a school in East Northport, with a carnival theme (see left sidebar). I made up a pre-drawn background, did the kids caricatures in b&w, had some help with crowd control from some parents and everyone had fun. The party tonight was a little different in that it was for kids that participated in a Summer Reader's program in Yonkers. There was a finite number of kids (unlike the one on Friday night) I made up pre-drawn backgrounds that had the Summer Reader's theme and school logo on books.

      One interesting thing that happened was that I finished up about a half hour early because some kids didn't show up, so I did some of the school staff at the end. One guy, possibly the principal, looked like he was keeping a serious face, when I ftinished he told me I glanced up 57 times at him while I did his caricature! I never had anyone count that out before. (That really sounds like too much, since then I've started counting the times I look at someone, find it too distracting and stop at about about 10 times, I would guess the norm is about 20-30 glances.) People usually say that caricatures catch one thing to exaggerate on, but I find it more like putting together a puzzle, focusing on pieces and the overall shape. I wish I'd had some photos of the kids caricatures, they came out great, but I don't usually have the time to ask the parents permission. Well pretty soon, next month, will be graduation party time.

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06/24/14
      Now it's graduation party time, the first ones are usually "Project Graduations", sometimes "After Prom" parties. These are large late-night lock-in parties at high schools, (college gymnasiums, large health clubs, etc.) with plenty of food, and entertainment for the kids all night long, usually in NJ, Westchester or CT. I wish they had these on Long Island, because I generally get home when the birds are waking up. Usually I'll do them with another artist and in b&w to do as many as possible, sometimes in color.

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09/06/14
      Here's a watercolor caricature from photos, for a surprise party for her husband. Aside from the usual things he likes to do, it ended up including, his wife, two kids, car, two dogs, etc. I tried to focus in on him (It's hard enough to get a good picture approved, of the main person while working from photos.) adding things like a particular car, dogs, other people are full caricatures on their own, so adding them brings the price up higher. This was also double-matted and framed with markers on ribbons for people to sign around it.


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09/27/14
     Here's a picture from a Korean first birthday party. I do these from time to time, they are always fun parties.

I know it's from last year, but does the guy in the blue shirt look familiar?

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10/07/14
      Every so often while I'm drawing at a party someone will come up to me and ask if I could do a caricature from a picture on their phone, because the person is sick or something and couldn't make the party. Well I just did a party with a twist on that concept. I made up a pre-drawn background for a 6 year old birthday party that was at a stage in NYC. The kids would be watching the clown show for an hour and then have the birthday party on the stage for the second hour.

      The plan, since there was almost thirty kids and only two hours was to use a pre-drawn background, have someone make a list and take photos of each kid as they arrived. I would work on doing those caricatures (in the lobby) while they were watching the show and finish up with whatever kids arrived late and didn't have their pictures taken, on the stage after the show.

      It worked out great, I zoomed through the twenty kids that had their pictures taken. When I set-up on the stage with the snow cone guy, the hot dog guy, some of the clowns, the candy, cake, almost thirty kids and some adults it was hard to track do the ones that still had to go, but I got a bunch. BTW, iPad photos are much easier to work from than iPhone photos.

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01/17/15
      Hi again, it's been a while since I posted up to this blog mainly because I've had a busy few months. So Happy New Year, from my experience thee economy seems to be picking up, I had a great December with year end holiday parties of all sorts.

      The series of photos below are from a Bar Mitzvah I did last weekend. He's into genealogy, I worked the family names into the trees (along with profiles of faces going up the sides of the trees) and into the book he's holding. The photo to the right shows the full sign-in board, they wanted acetate covering the illustration to protect it from people writing on it (they had a family party and the next day was a kids party). The board started in the cocktail hour room, then was passed around after the dinner. The woman signing it in the bottom photo also has a caricature I did of her and her husband on the table, I did caricatures at this Bar Mitzvah as well as the sign-in board ahead of time. Below the photos is an e-mail from the boys mom after the party...
      " Hi Marty - thank you so much for all you did to make Jack's party great! We all love the sign-in board and we heard from lots of our family and friends that they love the drawings you did of them. I heard you made one of my nephews a mermaid! (He asked for it, there's one joker in every crowd.) Thanks again and you can use me as a reference should you ever need that! I will pass your name along to friends since we are now in the Mitzvah years!"
      Take care, Leslie

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03/29/15
      I've been doing lots of 1st birthday parties lately, last night I did a 10th birthday party. There were about 80 kids and parents, they told me only to do the kids and in b&w to go fast. The theme of the party was Rock and Roll, so I did a pre-drawn background border and drew the kids with guitars. I drew the kids bodies and guitars so they would all be different. I even did a few with two kids on a page where I would put one on drums or something. Below are some photos I managed to squeeze in during the party. Again, it felt weird taking pictures of the little kids holding up their pictures, so I just got the pictures on my drawing board.

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06/25/15
      Here's some photos from the past few months, I've been pretty busy doing Communions, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Birthday Parties from 1st - 50th, Weddings, Project Graduations and some corporate things like Employee Appreciation and Company Picnics. I've been running to New Jersey alot lately too and filling up my car with cheap gas! I finally had some time to take some pictures out of my camera and organize them. Below is one of them from a communion party, I see scenes like this quite a bit while doing kids parties. The adults start jumping in to get their pictures done right after the kids.

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07/15/15
      Things are starting to quiet down a bit after a busy past few months, here's a few more recent pictures...
Caricature artist for picnicsCaricature artist for picnics

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08/08/15Caricature artist for picnics
      Here's from a recent company picnic, I've been drawing lots of dogs lately, sometimes people will give me their cell phones with a picture of their dog or as in this case, have it with them. Dogs are tough to do on the spot, they look all over and you have to call out their names alot, almost like with small children.

      One other thing I'd like to mention is that in my marker box I've been carrying a couple of "Bounce" pads. Putting a few around while I'm drawing in an area that has misquitos really does help to keep them away!

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10/01/15
      Below are two kids from my most recent company picnic, they are in the bags I give the pictures out with.
Caricature artist for picnics      Below is a pre-drawn background I did for a company party, the company sells ads that go on top of taxis. They went fast, the only color was the yellow in two spots. I'll add this background to my collection of NYC scenes.
Caricature artist for office parties NYC Taxi Background

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11/02/15
      I did caricatures at a really fun wedding on Halloween night, walked around during the cocktail hour doing them in black and white. I wore a noose that I made for a necktie. This was at the Riverhead Aquarium, a great place to have a wedding.

Halloween Wedding Caricatures
Caricature artist for weddings halloween party

Then I did color caricatures for the rest of the night after they switched rooms.

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12/20/15
      Here's an assortment from some different types of parties that I've closed the year out with, from caricatures at weddings, 1st birthdays, sweet 16's and bat mitzvahs to company christmas parties.
Assortment of 2015 party caricatures

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01/11/16
      Lately it seems hard to get pictures of people holding up their caricatures for one reason or another, so I started taking some on my drawing board, or wherever. I did a Christmas Party at someone's house and everyone was dressed in Christmas Pajamas, at the end I used someones iPhone to take some group shots of them with their caricatures, but they never sent me one. It just doesn't feel right taking pictures of kids holding up their caricatures unless their parents are around and I ask them, so the picture below is one of those I just put on my drawing board and shot, the girls wanted to be bakers. This was a quicky towards the end of the party when the girls were coming back for seconds and in pairs after getting their individual caricatures earlier. I also put some in the left column, from a wedding and a Bat Mitzvah.
Caricature artist for bat mitzvah

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02/06/16
      The caricature below was a quicky done as a surprise for the couple pictured below at the Playcrafters Theatre Company's Annual meeting and they were honored at the meeting with this presentation. the person who contacted me wanted the caricature in black and white except for the red scarf and sweater, but we ended up throwing in a little more color.

Caricature from photo

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02/29/16
      To borrow a phrase from Mad Magazine - "Scenes We'd Like to See"...
Trump Clinton NY Library Debate Caricature
      I'm sure I'll be doing more of these as the year progresses, stay tuned. The original of this is hanging with The Berndt Toast Gang Show at the Huntington Library until April 24th. #TrumpClinton #TrumpClintonDebate

Hey, not a bad prediction, only 24 miles away from the real first debate at Hofstra University months after I thought of it.

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04/20/16
      Here's a bunch of caricatures I did during a cocktail hour a few nights ago, 20 people in an hour! When I'm doing just heads in b&w, it's manageable. This also works when I'm using the same pre-drawn background for everyone at a party.

cocktail hour caricatures

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05/18/16
      These were taken at an interesting angle, instead of over-my-shoulder, more of a bird's eye view, closer to what I'm seeing. Little kids, especially babies are tough to get good drawings of, I usually need someone they know standing behind me so they look in my direction an I'll add a little smile most of the time. :o/ ;o)

Caricature artist for kids party View from my drawing board

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07/08/16
      Hi, it's been a while since my last time here. My busy season from April-May's communion parties has just been continuing through June and July with Graduations, Engagement Parties, Weddings and a few other things mixed in. I have to go through my camera again soon. Some memorable moments; At a health care party, while looking up in the middle of drawing someone an elderly woman was leaning over in my line of sight, she had a large scar across her face and it looked like half her jaw removed. She asked if I remembered her ("this face") from two years before, she said that I made her look so good that she keeps the picture hanging up to look at when she's feeling down.

     Another story that comes to mind is when I got set-up at a party where my start time was a little after the party started, so I kept a low profile, not sitting near my stuff, but getting a soda at the bar, etc. Later when I drew the woman who hired me she told me that a few of her friends came up to her saying that they "forgot that guys name". She told them they "never knew that guys name".

     And the last one, last Sunday night I did a three hour engegement party at someones house. When I was almost done (after telling people that I was only able to do so many more then I had to leave) the woman came by to ask me to stay another hour, which I did. Then she came by again to ask me to stay another half hour, which I did, this happened two more times, so a three hour party turned into a five and a half hour party and it was still going on. This sometimes happens at house parties, when it seems like new people keep coming to the party. The hard part for me is trying to tell people that I can only do so many more over and over again. It's hard to leave a party while it's still going on.

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09/23/16
      Here's a small collection of caricatures from a corporate anniversary party I did last night. It sometimes doesn't seem right to ask the people to hold up their pictures and photograph them, so these are as they appeared on my drawing board, seconds before they would have seen them.

caricature artist 25th anniversary party caricatures

     In my e-mail this morning was this from the woman who hired me for their party:

Hi Marty –

I just wanted to take the time to thank you for your magnificent work at our corporate Anniversary Party on September 21st.  People are still talking about it.  Your art skills are such a gift and I thank you for sharing them with us.  But, it’s not just that.  Your personality and mannerisms made people gravitate over to you – even just to watch your talents in operation. I saw them coming back with such awe in their eyes.  If you ever need any kind of recommendation, please let me know.  I’ve already spoken to the head of corporate sales at the East Wind.  I told her all about you and asked that you be included on their list of recommended vendors.  I’m hoping that you have so many bookings that you have to start turning them down.  You’re awesome, Marty!  Thanks again.

All the best,
Gail

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01/15/17
      "They didn't well us you were coming!" I just want to comment on something that's come up a few times in the past few weeks. I usually tell people that book me that I'll get there a little earlier to get set-up. Here's two stories you might find interesting.
      The day after Christmas I took a small party at a local restaurant, only because it was so local and would only be for about an hour or so. The place must've just opened for dinner when I got there. I told a waiter what I was there for and he found the manager who had no idea I was coming. I mentined that I passed by earlier that afternoon and was going to stop in to tell them but I'd be coming to get an idea of where to go but the place looked closed except for a car or two in the back. He said he was there and while trying to process the situation asked if I would like to set-up outside on the patio? This was about 5:15 pm, freezing cold outside, I said no. Well he found a small area for me in the bar are, told me to keep a low profile and asked when I'd be leaving. I set-up quickly and ran back to my car for a small light, on my way back in he was standing by the reception desk with the hostess reading outloud; "He will arrive about twenty minutes early to set-up..." I didn't bother to comment but little while later when I started drawing and met the woman who hired me she said that she even called earlier and let them know again that I was coming. I saw him on my way out and again didn't say anything because who knows I might be getting booked there again soon and what am I going to tell the people, I can't do it, I'm banned from there? Next time I get booked there I'll call them to let them know ahead of time, but I didn't tell him that.
      The same thing happened last weekend, we had a big snowstorm last Saturday and I was booked for a Sweet 16 in Brooklyn at night. I was at this catering hall a month or two earlier so I knew where it was and gave myself three hours to get there, but because of the weather made it just in time. Some waiters and the matre'd recognized me, she said nice to see you again but she had no idea I was coming. She walked me around and found a good area to put me. I told her that next time I get booked there I'd call to give her a heads up, she appreciated that. Hopefully they start recommending me for future parties.

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03/5/17multi media caricature seo guy
      Here's a new caricature, this is a studio caricature, done from photos. I've been adding a bunch of these lately, usually in the left hand column. I'm going to make an animated gif of these to promote them better, since I'm starting to get more calls from companies that want them for their employees or customers on an ongoing basis, or from marketing companies that come up with creative things like using them on trading cards, etc. which is a new one for me. I usually get calls for doing them as a gift for someone from a relative or as a retirement gift.

 

 

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04/25/17
      It's that time of the year again, the "Communion Season" is here! I had two this past weekend and four coming up next weekend, three on Saturday alone, plus a wedding and a business cocktail hour/dinner mixed in. Over the years I've told about some of the funny things I've overheard while I'm sitting there drawing at parties. Well here's another one, the people having the party invited their priest who spoke to give thanks before they opened the buffet for everyone started eating. He started by blessing and giving thanks to the people who prepared the food, etc. then got into about how people always remember their communions, but not their confirmations. He was on a roll and going strong when a little boys voice blurted out "Can we eat yet!" The room went wild with laughter, when it finally subsided the priest replied by asking the boy if his father put him up to that, he then gave a quick blessing and said "go eat". These quotes pop up every once in a while, I'll let you know if I hear any others in the next few weeks.

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06/08/17
      One of the questions I'm asked numerous times while drawing at parties is "How long have you been drawing caricatures for?" I feel embarrased to give the real answer and usually say something like "over thirty years", even at that people are pretty surprised. I don't think about it much, but I've recently had a couple of situations where people told me stories of when they first met me years ago. A few weeks ago I did caricatures at a doctors office who I've done a few parties for years ago. In between drawing his guests some of the girls that work in the office would sit to get their drawing done. Towards the end of the party one woman said I drew her at the first party I did for the doctor, over twenty years ago, she remembers it was before she was married and had kids! A similar story happened this past Sunday afternoon while drawing caricatures at a yacht club party. When I got there I met the woman who hired me, I remembered her name from about five years ago when I did the same party. I drew her first and while we were talking she told me that she first hired me to do her son's graduation party and he's 43 now! Wow, time flies. Actually I started drawing caricatures in 1978, so next year will be 40 years, I don't know if I'll ever feel comfortable saying that when people ask how long I've been doing these for.

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08/29/17Beatles caricature from Let It Be Album
      Funny, I just went on facebook and an old friend who was cleaning her house posted up a Beatles caricature she found that I did and gave to her for Christmas back in 1982. This is another story like those I mentioned in my last post in June.
I have a few other Beatles caricatures I've done over the years on my editorial cartooning page, they are a fun group to caricature, I'll have to do another one soon.
Here's a link to my editorial cartoon page.

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10/5/17drawing caricatures from ipad photos
      This was taken during a 12 year old birthday party, there were about 20 girls and it was only a two hour party. The mom had lots of games organized and didn't want the girls to be sitting for their pictures, missing out on the other things going on so she had taken pictures of them ahead of time with each of them holding up a sign saying what hobby/sport they wanted to be doing in their caricature. This was taken during the first caricature I did that day, you can see the iPad on top of my drawing board, shortly after this picture the girls were involved in the first game. As more kids came they took the iPad to take pictures of them. So in the end with a few interruptions, I got 20 done in color with bodies in two hours.

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11/7/17
      When you go to a kids first birthday/Halloween party you should come prepared in case everyone else is in costume!
halloween party caricature collection

 

I'll be adding more soon!

Call (631) 942-5154
martyart@optonline.net

Caricatures are Very Reasonably Priced
as far as Party Entertainment goes!

TIME to START THINKING about ENTERTAINMENT
for your
WEDDINGSANNIVERSARIESBAR MITZVAHS

and book early for those

1st Birthdays Sweet 16's Surprise Parties
Company Picnic Office Holiday Party

To My Caricature Home Page: www.quicksketch.com

 

See more samples and learn more about
my work at Caricatures from Photos!

 

If you have an upcoming corporate event click here.

 

And if your having a wedding take a look at this!

Call (631) 942-5154
martyart@optonline.net

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