Saturday, March 30, 2013

"Vook into My Eyes" - The Art of Caricaturing.

So being a "Doodler Extraordinaire", I've done a variety of "doodlin' gigs" - one of them being caricatures.

I've been caricaturing now for a good 5.5 years now and I can say both my confidence and ability have grown quite much since my start.

One of the things that has been a constant since the very beginning has been "the staring".
"The Staring" is when the person you're drawing decides to stare intently into your pupils while you are drawing them.

This kind of staring can be distracting- instead of studying the distance between this person's ears to eyes to nose, or getting the proportions of the forehead, your gaze is drawn into their eyes- and it just makes the process longer, and you (or at least I) more anxious.

-One way I've gotten around this is giving an initial explanation of what I'll be doing and instructing the client to focus on any point behind my head- and just to be comfortable.

Doing so has helped me out GREATLY, and 9 times out of 10, there's no other problems that arise from this.

Now, there are those special people and/or gigs where no matter what I say- these people are set on making me look at them...or want to look deep enough into my eyes they see the essence of my soul- whatever the case, in those situations you just have to go with it and get the job done as quickly as possible.

I find I run into this situation more when I'm doing group caricatures (anywhere from 2 to 5 people)- its like, collectively, people decide not to follow the instructions and just stare at any caricaturist starting out, my advice is just to be confident and have fun with your work- there's only so much you can control.

--One other skill that I'd say is pretty essential to being a caricaturist is the ability to socialize. Generally, caricaturists are pretty fast drawers- but no matter how fast you are, sitting still for one minute can feel like an eternity if the person is not engaged in conversation or actively doing anything.

Think about when you get your haircut. Your barber/hair stylist, 4 times outta 5, will at least attempt to engage you in conversation. Not to say you're not an interesting person, but the actual conversing takes your mind off of your hair cut....making it easier for your hair cutter to get his/her job done, as time seemingly goes faster- provided you are having fun conversing.

                                                            [pic of me caricaturing]

-This theory/social diversion is used in a variety of jobs - one of them being caricaturing. I've even discovered that those people who refuse to look at anything but me will finally relax their eyes and turn away once I get them engaged in a conversation- because now they are focusing on the conversation vs the drawing, I can then myself concentrate moreso on my work and relax.

Yes, drawing someone while determining what features to emphasize while simultaneously engaging in a conversation can be quite the multi-tasking job, especially if you are caricaturing a group of people- but take it from someone who had anxiety attacks before getting to a gig: have confidence in what you are doing, practice a lot, and you'll get there before you know it.



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Jeremy The Stalker/Shapes

Finally starting to get some energy back- feels GRRREEAT (like tony the tiger there) after a MONTH of ridiculous bed-ridden-ness. Still a lil' bit of a cough and cold but c'est la vie, the show must go on.

Anywhere I go, especially within the last couple years, I always bring a pen on me: a regular BIC blue pen, a sharpie, a Micron, a brush pen, whatever I can find before I leave the house. Most of the time there's a sketchpad involved, but not exactly necessary.

More recently, I've started a people sketchbook. Now, yes, I've drawn people for a lil' whiles now- probably 5-6 years now of drawing people- but I'll let you in on something: I haven't been comfortable drawing people until about a year ago.

Why then, have I been drawing people so long? Because as a freelance illustrator, it is important, ESSENTIAL, to be able to draw as much around you as possible...and those things/objects/animals/beings that you are most uncomfortable with...those are the ones that ironically people may request from you and you don't want to lose out on a commission because of inability to draw...right?

REALLY, asides that big business factor, it is of my own personal philosophy the more you understand of the world around you- true understanding of proportions: of relationships between this shape and that shape- the patterns of life collective- the stronger you'll become as an artist....and the better your art will improve.

Any pro will tell you, its all about the studies.

Back to  me and my uncomfortableness with drawing people- carrying my drawing weapons with me has been part of the practice of honing my skills- any chance I get at drawing people- I draw them: whether at a cafe, at a restaurant, at a bookstore, sitting in a park, etc...NOTHING is better than live practice- especially when drawing people- to understand the different characteristics of a face- to render "personality"- nothing is better than watching and studying the real thing.

I've gotten pretty good at finding good seats wherever I go and "stalk draw" people- below is a video of my latest endeavors- eating lunch at Whole Foods I drew a guy near me drinking a beer (you'll see him briefly in the red shirt with blonde hair) and a cashier to my left side (you won't see him in the vid)

These are quick renderings- and what you don't see (and won't be able to unless we put a camera in my glasses or on my forehead...i'm totally up for it if anyone can do it!) is me taking quick references of these guys - quick glances to gauge what I will emphasize and what I will simplify

I believe there's good in both quick drawings of people and SLOW drawings of people- both have benefits in defining technique and understanding of the shapes that make up a person's face

As a good friend of mine was quoted saying by his lovely wife, "It's all about the shapes".  Simplifying the complex structure of any object and building it back "from the ground up" in your style is one of the essential skills of an illustrator- of an artist!

THIS is why I love drawing people so much now- before I didn't see the fun in drawing people and only considered drawing people as an exercise that I needed to do.

Once I truly realized the potential creativity that lies in the redefining/"re-designing" of a person via cartooning or caricaturing, it opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me.

Below is a sketch study I did of a model and an actress who I found well, pretty damn attractive. They are drawn in a new cartoon style I'm using- one of a few I've been studying through an influence of a variety of other artists' works and redefining and adding to my own techniques. You'll see that the live drawing style I used is very different from the very fluid drawings below- the sketch study below was done with more time and precision - both the quick style of the video and the style of the drawing below are ones I value equally.

With all that said, I think its time to wrap it up for today, so I'll leave you with this- there's NO other way to kept better at something than to practice, practice...aaand practice.

....or sell your soul to the devil, but I think you'll have a better time with the aforementioned.

Okey dokey, til next time, take it easy!


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Race Car Riding on a Spare.

So for the past month I've been sick pretty consistently. I started with a touch of double pink eye and sinus infection, which led to me losing my voice- this was followed by stuffed up ears and general drowziness which then led to a hacking cough and my current condition of destroyed voice and congestion.

All in all, this has been one of the shittiest periods of times I can remember- asides the actual not feeling good part- the missing/near missing of project deadlines. Anyone that knows me knows that I'm as a friend once put, "A workhorse that no one has ever seen", a title I proudly carry. Trying to relax and postpone my projects while recovering has been very frustrating, especially with the time frame of my sickness- if I only had to rest a few days, this would be a different story...but a month? Phf.

With Staple! and SXSW happening during this recovery, it's been quite the month- good times interrupted by the occasional nose blowings and coughs.

Starting today I'm trying to pick up the slack the last month has given me and hoping that whatever has infected me goes away soon.

I have a new series of cyborg posters that I'll be premiering in the next monthish- here's a draft of one of the new characters!

I'll also be appearing with some of my awesome comic friends in the "Austin Nerdcave Showcase" coming up in the next couple weeks (more details provided via here VERY soon!)

Last but not least, here's another video from Staple! where me and a few other artists were interviewed by the beautifully awesome Danni Danger!

My Talking Head ( will also be seeing new comics and such VERY SOON- all announcements to be made in the next couple weeks...just lemme blow my nose and we'll be back in business!

Til next time folks, cheers


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Monster That Is SXSW/Zombie Caricaturing

Heya Ladies & Gents

It's that time of the year again: the epic beast that is known as South By South West is here- and thousands THOUSANDS of people have entered our fair city of Austin....and currently littering it with beer bottles, blunts and dirty dirty drunk people.

Music is one of the things that brought me here- I LOVE Austin for its music scene- SXSW 5 years ago and ACLs 07 and 08 were the festivals that showed me the wonder that Austin can bring to the table- of course, its a VERY different exp taking a road trip to austin and going to all the festivities vs LIVING here and trying to drive to work. oy vey!

Nevertheless, last year I caricatured every day of the music part of the fest, this year I only booked myself for one gig which I did this past sunday and will enjoy the rest of the week, drawing random SXSWers while I enjoy some music.

This past Sunday brought me to "Howlin'" Drew Edwards "Punk Rock Vs Rockabilly 3" - held at the Flamingo Cantina on 6th St, it was a night of punk rock and rockabilly music while I and a couple other vendors sold our goods and I doodled.

I was a vendor last year at this event and enjoyed it thoroughly- this year did not disappoint at all!

With a slew of great bands and meeting some great people and fans of my work- it was def the kick off I needed for SXSW2013.

NOTE: I am finding out I draw somewhat faster when buzzed. Nickname currently under review, "Jeremy The Drunken Artist", "drunken drawing" style.....

on that note, I'm out, take it easy now!


A couple vids of me drawing the bands!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Man, that was hell- I'll take another serving!

So far, my life in the past 2.5 years has been as such:

1.) Jeremy has a cool idea 2.) Jeremy starts drafting idea way in advance of set deadline (personal or for an art show, etc) 3.) Something happens to Jeremy where Jeremy has to postpone working on draft of project 4.) There is 1-2 weeks left til set deadline and Jeremy has to rush like a motherf**ker.

Well- to segue into my point- I recently finished my newest comic, Security! which is based on the shenanigans and people I have met during my present stint as a security guard.

I'm pretty content with this book, its the first in a series I plan to do- completely done and sent off to the printers 3 days before Staple!, my favorite con of the year held here in Austin, TX here's a nice interview done by my friends at Kung Fu Jack Knife, an awesome podcast which can be found here:

KFJK interviews Jeremy the Artist from tim harrison on Vimeo.

Cons, though I'm pretty new to them, always get me all anxy and nervous-like, and i'll stress for about a month or two before the actual thing- and then its over with, and i'm chill...til the next one, haha

I've been to Staple! twice now and its my favorite con- and I think it will stay as such b/c of how it serves particularly to the "small guy" the indie comic artist.

I'm very excited that I'm finally breaking into the con game, er "Con Game" - that still sounds bad, haha, but just excited to be out there selling my own stuff. its been quite an adventure getting to this point and i have plenty of stuff i still wanna do before my story is written...though writing a story on myself will be part of it (hint hint)

It's still an odd thing when people call me "Jeremy The Artist" vs Jeremy _______, but its quite a nice alias that started out of humor is now a name that my art will forever be identified with. Oh sweet irony of life....f*ck you, f*ck you kindly.

well that does it for now ladies and gents, blog ya soon again!