Saturday, August 13, 2011

Charactertures, episode 2: Goofy

Hey, Esly, here ya go! Ya know, I've never had a great desire to draw Mickey's Pal, Goofy. Except for his incarnation as "Super Goof". I did love those old Gold Key Comics of him. But when fellow cartoonist, good friend, and SORELY MISSED Disney caricaturist Esly Carrero-Stampek suggested in my comments section that I try my hand at the Goofster, I decided to give it a shot. I wanted to do a retro version of him, and I really didn't change that much, I guess. Except for adding the tail. Come on... he's a dog, isn't he? I mean, I THINK he's a dog. In my version he IS, anyway. So he needed the tail. 

 I really liked the black and white version, so that's how I left it. I may color it at a later date. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Art comes first at The First Academy....

Okay, look, the Parhams are artists. We don't even really tolerate Sports in my house, as strange as that may seem to most people on planet Earth. So when my daughters' school, The First Academy, sends out booster fund letters, and try out schedules for the various sports teams, I just groan. TFA happens to be really good at sports in it's division, and I'm proud of the student athletes I know, but still... it's sports. Ugh. However, an interesting thing has been happening at TFA the last couple of years... more and more graduating seniors are going on to further education in... wait for it.. the ARTS. Woo hoo! Something like 28% of them last year! NOW we're talking! So, last year I decided to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, and start helping out in the Arts a bit at TFA. I became a substitute art teacher.

Yep, that's my "self toon" on the big 'ol white board in the HS art room, introducing myself to my students for the day. Now I HAVE taught before; I did private cartooning lessons for kids for a few years, and taught a few after school cartooning courses at some local Catholic schools. But it's been awhile. As in probably ten years or more. So, yeah, that makes most of my former students in their mid to late twenties. Some in their thirties. Dear Lord. That just made me feel really old. 

Okay... moving on...

Growing up in South Carolina back in the 70s and 80s, I would've given ANYTHING to even know, much less MEET and be TAUGHT BY a professional cartoonist. So, that's why I decided to do this at TFA at this point in my life. I do it when I can fit it in my schedule, in hopes I can inspire some future artists, by showing them that art can be a very real and viable profession for them. You CAN make a living doing art. You don't have to be a starving artist, if you just work at it.

I've taught now at TFA just two or three times, as I didn't get started in it until after Christmas this past year, and my schedule as usual was crazy busy. But each time I did, I was impressed. By the school, by the kids, and by the fellow teachers. 
 Hey, I'm a likeness based cartoonist ( aka caricaturist), so OF COURSE I had to draw some of my students!

All types here, just like "The Breakfast Club", but all great young people.

And we'll end on this guy... I grabbed a large pad of paper and sketched Kyle my first day subbing. I had noticed he was a talented cartoonist in his own right, so I felt I just had to draw him. Little did I know that a few months later he and another TFAer would start working with my company, drawing caricatures at Disney.

The school year at TFA is just beginning again, and I look forward to teaching and inspiring there some more this year...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Recent Work: Jeff Bigby

Big B

Awhile back, I posted a caricature of a friend of mine, Jeff Bigby,  drawn him in my new, more illustrative  caricature style. I just came across one of my reference photos for the drawing, and thought I'd share it here with the finished piece as well.

It was one of many I used for the drawing, but I think this one was my main reference. 

Monday, August 08, 2011

Charactertures, episode 1: Sponge Bob

"Charactertures". LOL. As a professional caricature artist and a pretty good speller,  I find it funny that the actual spelling of "Caricatures" is a challenge for so many people.  I can't even begin to tell you how many bad attempts I've seen at spelling, and SAYING this word. For this new feature of my blog, I decided to borrow one of my "favorite" versions: "Charactertures". This version is close to the word "Character", and I think it's what people mean. They think I'm going to make them into a "character" when I draw their "Caricature". Actually, they're kind of right, since I do lean toward a more cartoony representation of people in my work, and not gross exaggeration. Anyway, I am  going to be using "Charactertures" to term my drawings of other companies'/artists' "characters" on this blog.

See, I had this thought the other day... my life has been so busy for the last fifteen years with just caricatures, and providing for my family through caricaturing, that there are hundreds...probably thousands.... of characters I'll never have the chance to draw "professionally". Like Superman and Spiderman... I always wanted to draw for the "big two" comic companies. But now, I don't know that I'll ever get that chance. And to be truthful, I don't even have the desire to do it as much as I once did. But I do still like to sketch characters like them when I have a chance.  So, I thought I'd just MAKE myself have the chance. I'm going to set out to draw a "Characterture" of each and every character I can think of ( with my own twist on them of course ), and share them here on my blog. If there's one you'd like to see me draw, let me know, by the way.  Some of these may be just sketches, some more finished. Either way, I'm gonna have fun drawing them and hopefully someone out there will like them.

For this first "Charactertures", I actually chose a character that's not even a particular favorite of mine: Sponge Bob Square Pants! Truthfully, I don't know why I drew him... he just came out of my pen the other day as I was working on another job. LOL  For the record, the art on SB has always bothered me a bit, but I do like the voices and the writing. Anyway, this is my quick take on the famous water retaining character.

Stay tuned for more...