Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The Hugo Movie Companion

A couple of days until the uk release of Hugo so I thought I'd briefly mention The Hugo Movie Companion by Brian Selznick, author of the original Hugo Cabret novel.
Having worked as an extra on Hugo I eagerly picked up a copy of this book in order to look through photos of this movie's lavish set and I have to say I wasn't disappointed.
Aimed at a young audience, this book will still appeal to all ages as the cast and crew of the movie discuss their love of movies and the effect movies had on them as children. This, combined with Brian's own take on how his popular novel has been transformed into a movie makes this a small treasure of a book. I can only imagine as an artist how wonderful it must have been to see his own creation being brought to life by the master that is Martin Scorsese.
An added bonus for me was when I flicked through the book I noticed a certain caricaturist peering pack at me.. I'm in print at last!! hehe

Whist on set I did work on a cartoon journal of my time there.. I will finish it next week when I have finally seen the movie. For copyright reasons it may never see the light of day but copies of the first half of it are out there, in the hands of my fellow extras and I do believe, Mr Scorsese himself.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Detling Wedding Show

Well, it's the early hours of Wednesday morning and I've only just recovered enough to blog about Sunday's wedding fair.
It will be brief but that was what I call a Wedding show! We set up behind our good friend Phil from and pretty much as soon as I'd drawn one caricature many more followed. Mai handled most of the talking for me as it can get a bit crazy so apologies to anyone who thought I was a mute.
Many thanks to all of you that booked me for your weddings.. my informal paperwork will be in the post to you this week. We truly had a great day as I hope you all did too.
Tina Green, organiser of the Kent based Wedding Experience truly knows how to put on a show. If you are having a wedding soon and want to see a good show you would really benefit from visiting her latest, of which there are many.. Check them out at

Monday, 17 October 2011

Leeds Castle Wedding Show

At the weekend The Artful Doodler attended a new wedding event at Leeds Castle.
It was an interesting weekend where I met a great deal of lovely people, had a few laughs and drew countless caricatures all of which seemed to go down well.
We turned up on the Saturday to find ourself located in a nice little booth with a decent size table to display our bits n pieces on. Stupidly I had failed to look thoroughly at the paperwork and hadn't realised that we weren't supplied with a tablecloth.. whoops! Luckily the lovely lady on the stall for Demelza House next to us loaned us a cloth which was red with white spots, it actually went very well with our crazy display so I very much appreciated this.
And so the drawing began.. there was a steady stream of people wanting their faces doodled and we were entertained by our magician friends Spencer Wood and Adam Smith as they popped by with tricks in the quiet patches.
As the first day came to a close we had received a lot of interest but no actual bookings, which, as I insist on honesty in my blogs, is something of a rarity at a wedding show. I have been luckily enough in the past to always get a booking, even at the quietest of shows, but we put this down to the size of the venue and the fact that partitions make people feel they are missing things elsewhere. Possibly my highlight on the Saturday was staring goggle eyed at the Delorean from Back to the Future on display. I told Mai that as much as I loved it, we cant afford it for our wedding, one bit of craziness too far I'm afraid.
On the Sunday we returned to find our banner evicted from our pitch. Another stand that had nowhere to go had been placed in our area. This had meant we had to find another spot and so we pitched up next to the fire exit opposite (see Mai in her sales pose above). I was still busy with drawings on the Sunday, although I admit we did feel as though we had been treated a little unfairly, especially as the booth opposite still displayed the name The Artful Doodler on one corner.
I must have drawn between 40 to 80 caricatures each day of the show and my arms and legs were a bit creaky by the end. From this show I have no confirmed bookings as yet but time will tell. I think the problem with shows of this size is that it makes the bride and grooms look completely daunted by it all with so much to take in. Some shows I guess just aren't right for certain exhibitors and so sadly with the lack of bookings and pitch confusion I doubt I will return next year. Thanks to all who did have a picture drawn and if you are thinking of booking call me asap, as despite the lack of bookings this weekend, dates for next year are filling up fast!
For my next public appearance I will be returning to The Wedding Experience show at Detling next week which is always a good one for us and so I'm really looking forward to it. Pop along and say hello!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


As being a caricaturist involves drawing faces, it's always nice to meet those with the most famous faces, i.e. celebrities.
I'm not normally nervous around celebs but for some reason when waiting to meet Leigh Francis' creation Keith Lemon in Bluewater last week, I suddenly became a little worried. Not only is Mr Lemon a wild tv personality but my other concern was that I had a caricature to pass onto him and I suddenly realised while flicking through his new book, The Rules, that he was something of a caricaturist himself. Was I about to be laughed out of Waterstones?
The queue was long but the book served as good entertainment and I sniggered to myself while reading that Owen Wilson has "a nose like a tallywacker" and other such gems.
And then I met the man himself. Following a large group of people laughing and joking with the star, I simply mumbled that I was a caricaturist while he signed the book, handed the caricature over for a quick photo and made a fast getaway.
Oh dear, you'd think after 15 years doing this I would be more assertive.
I have other celebrities I hope to meet soon and with any luck I can fake confidence in myself!

Will keep you posted..

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Singing Horses

Courtesy of my good friend Sue, here's a fun little link that is both amusing and so SO addictive...

Who knew horses could sing?

Friday, 23 September 2011

Come Dine with Me

Good God! When you watch Come Dine with Me on tv doesn't it make you sick when someone serves up a lovely looking dinner to some snotty nosed old fart only for them to say something like,
"Did you make your own gravy?" with a sneer.
Who cares?! Does it taste good? and what I mean by that is, Does it taste good? not, Can you enjoy this meal without making an analysis of every single item on the plate?
I was discussing this during a family meal and came up with the following menu for if I ever felt insane enough to go on the show...
I would endeavor to be the last person to host a dinner party on the show and would sit with a smug look on my face. Of course I wouldn't be winning the £1000 prize but I would have had four nights of lovely meals at the others expense. Ah lovely!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

The Wedding Diaries: Cake

I've attended more weddings as a caricaturist than I can possibly remember, lately it has reached into the region of three or four a week. You would think that this would mean I have a complete and calm understanding of what goes into planning a wedding, but if you were to think that you'd be wrong.
As many of you may know I am getting married myself next July and the prospect and complication of it all makes my head spin.
In order to track our progress or lack of progress in our wedding plans I thought I would post a blog or two in the months leading up to it, with regards to the different bits and bobs involved.
Today, I thought I would blog about cake. Yesterday Mai and I took a trip to collect a box of sample cakes from, a company which started out just a few months back. The selection and quality of the cakes on offer however would make you think they had been in business for years.
We took the cakes to a family meal and they were thoroughly enjoyed by all. I don't tend to eat a lot of sugary goodies so the chocolate mint cupcake I had for dessert last night was something of a treat.
I think it's pretty safe to say we will be using this company for our wedding, not just for the great cakes or for the competitive prices but also for the love they put in to what they do.
If you like cakes for any occasion their website is well worth a butchers (or should that be bakers?).

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Caricaturing at Kent Life

On Monday I had the pleasure of entertaining at a new venue.. that being Kent Life in Maidstone.
It was a fun day as I pitched up at a village hall on the green that I had all to myself, first basking in the sunlight then as clouds formed I moved into the hall's interior to carry on doodling.
It had been a busy weekend of weddings and it made a nice come-down to sit at this great venue and draw the different families that popped by.. many thanks to all of you that let me go to town on their faces!
I did get photographed drawing by the local press so keep an eye out for that.. I may miss it myself as not based in Maidstone.
Kent Life will certainly be becoming a regular haunt of the Artful Doodler.. I shall keep you posted.
Right, sleep beckons.. two days of filming await at Chatham Docks.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Packet of three

Chaotic Summer.. I really wasn't prepared for this, but I'm not complaining.. it's been great. Every booking this summer has been a beauty.
It is due to this chaos that I finally rushed through and produced three Celebrity of the Month pics at once, hope you like!

I already have my celebrity for August set in my sights, hopefully get it posted up before Christmas!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Time lapse video of me at work

Just back from a busy day drawing at The Mall in Maidstone, followed by a wedding at The Turkey Mill. One of the guests by the name of Dave Scates kindly filmed me at work.. thanks Dave!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Hugo Trailer

Swamped with caricature commissions and attending lots of parties means my blogs are being short and sweet I'm afraid but following my blog a few days back regarding the upcoming 'Hugo' movie, I thought I would add a link to the first trailer.

I think it is set to be a stunning movie and I eagerly anticipate it's release. More on this as it develops.
Speak soon peeps.. back on with the drawing...

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Hugo teaser poster

I have to admit, I'm more than a little excited about this movie for many reasons, so thought I'd add a quick link to the new poster for Martin Scorsese's Hugo, a film about an orphan boy living in the walls of a parisian train station. (to be released later in the year)
More on this as the film approaches but for now, here's a link to check out:

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Bender Crack Corn & the Rocky Horror

On Thursday evening my friends and I took a trip down to Canterbury to watch a crazy costumed skiffle group rock out hits from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
I had met the band, Bender Crack Corn at a wedding a few months back (see previous blog) and following drawing their caricature they kindly gave me one of their cds, which has been playing endlessly in my car on long journeys.
The Beer Cart Arms was reasonably quiet when we arrived for a drink at 7pm but by the time the band came on for their headlining gig the place was heaving with roaring fans, some costumed themselves.
It was great to see The Monster Mash, Sweet Transvestite and a whole load of Rocky Horror hits given the skiffle twist. Great night had by all.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Loving it all

I used to find there were good jobs and bad jobs, some bookings would be really into what I do, others would be unresponsive.

You wouldn't believe how much this helps. A caricaturist feeds off that vibe and it helps add a confidence to the drawings.

This weekend was a beauty. Despite the fact that I've been having trouble with my shoulder over the last couple of weeks (no doubt a form of RSI) I had the great pleasure of not only drawing my victorian caricatures at the Rochester Dickens Festival, but I had three weddings to attend, all of which were stunning events with great people.

It is indeed a strange thing to leave the hustle and bustle of a festival to arrive at a peaceful wedding setting. 

Thursday I was up to Surrey for a wedding at Oaks Farm Barn, a great location that I had never been to. Friday took me to The Mountains Country House, a regular venue of mine that is always a pleasure, and on Saturday I attended a wedding in Yalding which was something of a novelty. I used to go to Yalding for days out with my parents when I was a child. It is an amazing little village just outside of Maidstone with an impressive river running through it.. well worth a visit on a warm day. So nice for a venue to give me a sense of nostalgia.

Right then, I'd better make preparations.. tonight I have a last minute booking in Bedfordshire and I have no idea what to expect. 

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Psychic Sally

After a busy weekend of commissions and a great wedding at the Mountains Country House, I had the opportunity last night to see Psychic Sally live on stage with friends.
I went with some trepidation as I am what I would describe as a hopeful skeptic. I simply love the idea that ghosts wander among us and that we could communicate with them but I really want something solid before I can trust what a medium tells me. I had never seen Sally on tv but I am told she is a very highly respected medium.
I will say this for Sally Morgan.. she seems to be a lovely person. Very friendly and open, and surprisingly thoughtful with regards to people's feelings. She did surprise me when she came up with the names of people she was speaking to and I found myself suitably intrigued with her show.
My biggest problem however comes with people wanting so hard to believe that their loved ones are trying to contact them and I found so many that stood up were giving away information that Sally hadn't asked for. I felt very strongly for a girl that responded to a supposed visitation from a child that had died in a car crash. The girl in question admitted that she had been driving the car that had killed the child and I thought it was very brave to stand up and admit to this, and it was very nice to see  Sally say so.
If a medium brings people hope and warmth when they have lost those close to them then I think that is a good thing. After all, isn't this the good side of religion? I only hope that mediums, whether true or false, truly believe what they are telling people.
Maybe my mistrust comes from my concern that mediums may be into what they do for financial gain.
A few years back, during the height of Most Haunted's popularity, I went to see Derek Acorah perform his show on two seperate occasions. The first time I was shocked with the accuracy of his predictions, the second time I was shocked with the inaccuracy. To be honest, I don't know what to think.
Ghosts, pop by and say hello to me.. I truly want to believe.
I thank you though Sally, for an enjoyable show.. certainly given me food for thought.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Return of the Nairn

 I feel as though I am only just returning to the norm after just over a week's holiday in some of my favourite UK destinations.
A few weekends back I was booked to work for a society called MACS, a wonderful organisation that helps children born with no eyes and partially developed eyes. It is a very rewarding booking and the families are a joy to work with.
As the booking was in Lancashire I took the opportunity to stay in Blackpool for a few days with friends where we visited Blackpool Pleasure Beach, one of my favourite theme parks. The towering Pepsi Max roller coaster had a bit of a queue but it was well worth the effort. Then there was also Valhalla, an utterly soaking experience.. how I laughed as Jon, my fellow sufferer shuddered as water poured of the end of his nose. As well as these thrill-seekers rides there were rides for the whole group (the girls being terrified) such as the famous ghost train and the mine cart ride.

This amazing weekend was followed by a trip down to Somerset to stay at Longleat's Center Parcs where some of my family joined us. Great food, lots of drinking, swimming and laughs followed. The true beauty of Center Parcs shows when the cars leave site and you can really get in touch with nature (see left). You are simply surrounded by pine forests and wildlife as we experienced on a few nights when a badger made a visit just a foot away from our patio window. We also had the pleasure of indulging in more of nature's wonders when we visited Longleat Safari Park where we hand fed deer and seals... I really am a big kid aren't I?!

Honestly though, if you want a great UK break, Center Parcs can't be beat.

Back to normality now.. albeit with a slightly more zen-like approach...

Monday, 18 April 2011

Knowle Country House

Just a few snaps from a wedding the wedding of Kathryn & Lincoln that I attended at The Knowle in Higham. A truly stunning venue that I hadn't been to before.. always a nice suprise, and the guests were just brilliant, up for a laugh and very appreciative.

It was a truly enjoyable evening and I thank Kathryn & Lincoln for having me there.
Excuse the quality of some of the snaps, holding a clipboard while taking a photo can make your hand shake!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Like a bad penny...

 The slacker returns once more to his blog...
It's been a weird couple of weeks to be honest.

Almost two weeks ago I had an audition for a popular game show. It was kind of a bizarre experience, lots of hopefuls turning up hoping to open boxes on the telly, not the most normal of days I'm sure. It was nice to see most of the people there were normal though, and I sat it the waiting area occupying myself by doodling pictures of them.
As it happens I didn't get through, and I suspect it had something to do with my disastrous video interview in which I was asked about the celebrities I have drawn.. when I reeled off the list I must have come off as a little ambitious.

The next day I returned to my 'normal' life and went back to Dickens World for a few days. Thanks to this hot weather it was a little quiet but I got the chance to draw a few people.

The following Saturday I attended the wedding of Kelly and Giles at the stunning location of the Oatlands Park Hotel in Surrey. It was something of a novelty as they had a burlesque theme to the event, meaning I had lots to exaggerate with regards to corsets, top hats and all manner of stylish quirks. It was such a busy event too that although I was doing wandering caricatures, I found myself fixed to one spot as the queue became larger by the second.

I've also attended a few wedding fairs over the last couple of weeks that have proved interesting, particularly so the one I attended last Sunday with my friends at AkEntertainments.. for some reason we had a fit of the giggles which provided my customers with very concerned looks, I can only imagine what they thought I had drawn.

Anyway, much more is in the pipeline.. tomorrow I should be attending a wedding fair at The Mountains Country House in Hildenborough, Kent. I say should as I received a slightly impromptu invite so I'm yet to find out all the details... eek!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Hadlow Manor Hotel

On Sunday I attended a great wedding fair at Hadlow Manor Hotel with the Wedding Experience.

It was great meeting a whole new group of brides and grooms to be, along with a few others who have already booked me for later in the year.

Hope all who attended had as much fun as I did!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Time Travelling Cartoonist

 Situated in the heart of the english countryside is a little known venue called the Lost Village of Dode. What remains of this historic village is a quaint little church that hosts all manner of parties, and this evening was a fun evening of medieval craziness.
I attended the 40th Birthday of Barbara and what a different party it was.. medieval music played to a scene of kings, queens knights and damsels all drinking wine and eating hog roast (of which I had a little.. yum yum) while a crazy jester played pranks a plenty...
oh and some bloke wandered around drawing medieval caricatures.
Here's a couple of pics that I took, hope you like!

Huge thanks to Barbara for having me there and the personalised embroidered napkin I received serves as a lovely memento of a great evening.. loved every minute. Thank you!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

A entertaining gig

Last night I attended the wedding of Gareth and Louisa in Sandwich, and it was a really entertaining night.
It was another great crowd and everyone was up for a laugh, always nice to see people enjoying a wedding for what it should be.. a fun night with family and friends.
Pictured left is a caricature I drew of an amazing punk/skiffle band that played on the night.. truly funny guys. They kindly gave me a cd of their music in return for their caricature.. thanks guys, I love it!
Their website can be found at
Check them out, but expect craziness!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Celebrity of the Month: February 2011

February's celebrity of the month just had to be Christopher Lee, who received a lifetime achievement award at this year's BAFTAs.
I've always been a huge fan of Christopher, watching him in various roles in the Hammer Horror pictures, right up to his recent roles in the Star Wars movies and Lord of the Rings. You even see him popping up in small bit parts in films such as Burke & Hare and Season of the Witch.
I even had the pleasure of working on the set of a movie last year that featured the man himself. Such an honour to be in the presence of a real cinema legend.
Keep your eyes peeled as he's bound to be in many more roles to come!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Steve Lebowski

Just thought I'd add a quickie caricature I drew of my good friend and fellow caricaturist Steve Hearn.

Hope you like, and more importantly.. I hope he does!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Herald of Spring 2011

I was booked in the lovely town of Epsom once more for the annual Herald of Spring Medieval Fair.. and what a great weekend it was. 
Many people popped by to be drawn as Knights, Damsels in distress, Kings and Queens including these lovely people who saved me having to use my imagination by dressing in amazing costumes.
It made my own costume pale into insignificance in comparison.. I must up my game and get a big crazy hat in case I'm asked back next year!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

 It's the early hours of Saturday morning and I'm not long back from an incredibly enjoyable booking at Cooling Castle Barn.
Sadly, I didn't get a photo of the bride and groom with their caricature but here's some pics of their guests with caricatures.

Thank you all for being drawn, you were a lovely crowd.

Most importantly, Big Congrats to Kate & Stevie, a really nice couple.. I wish you all the very best for the future.

Thanks to the handy little Lumix camera Mai bought me for my birthday, more pics like these will follow from different events I attend.

Speaking of which, I'd best be off to bed.. up in 5 hours for a weekend of drawing medieval caricatures in Epsom!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

I got to see Paul!!!

Finally last night we got to see the new film 'Paul' starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost
and I loved loved loved it!
Simon and Nick star as Graham and Clive, two nerds who out from a visit to the San Diego Comicon decide to make a road trip across America visiting famous UFO sites.
On their trip they encounter an eccentric roadside cafe owner, some demented thugs, a devout christian father, a team of determined FBI agents and of course the star of the show, Paul, an alien with a chilled outlook at life.
This film plays against all the cliche assumptions that are associated with aliens and ufos, with gags relating to alien lauguage, anal probes and alien diet.
It also appeals to your inner geek with references to a whole collection of classic movies such as Aliens, Back to the Future, Jaws and a whole pile of others that I can't even remember at the moment
(I'll never be a reporter).
Joining our geeks and crazy alien is the great Kristen Wiig as Ruth Buggs, a girl with a strict religious upbringing who meets Paul and her life is turned upside down. She suddenly discovers that she can indulge in fornication and bad language so every sentence contains a strategically placed snippet of foul language.
Probably more than anything else it is just an absolute pleasure to watch Simon Pegg and Nick frost working together again. Whether it's battling zombies, criminals or the FBI these two are probably the UK's finest duo of our time, I only hope they continue to bring us little gems like 'Paul'.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Blissful Booking

Just back from a busy day and laying like roadkill on my bed, laptop at hand.. so a brief blog.
Attended a wedding fair at Hamletts Hotel in Larkfield during the day. It was a nice easy paced one. I was surprised at how many people approached my pitch claiming how much they loved caricatures, only to run terrified when I asked if they'd like a free one drawn. Maybe it's my face, I don't know.
Mai accompanied me there which is always a great help, she's quite a people person and so responds well to meeting new people, particularly other stall holders who have goodies to offer her for our own wedding in 2012. It's a strange thing when your brain is in business mode and your partner's brain is in the land of Bride-to-be.
Once the fair was over, I dropped Mai off and went on to my evening booking in Snodland, an eighteenth birthday party. This booking was a house party with a great group of people who were up for a laugh. It's always an honour when a family invite you into their home as it's a much more personal experience. You get to mingle more and feel a real part of the fun.
I even drew a hamster and a tortoise, that's gotta be a first at a party.
Now a few days at home working on commissions before next weekend's craziness, a wedding and a two day stint dressed in medieval costume.. where did I put that codpiece?

Friday, 25 February 2011

The Kings Speech

Last night I had my head in a giggling mood as I went to the cinema with Mai. We were intending to see the new Simon Pegg film 'Paul' until we stood in the queue and spotted the hordes of teenagers queueing, burping and using the word "bruv" in every sentence. God I'm getting old.
That was when we decided 'The King's Speech' was a safer choice.
You've probably heard all the hype. This film has wowed audiences across the world and received awards-a-plenty, and I can't say I'm surprised. It positively oozed acting creme de la creme to the point where you could expect nothing less.
Most of all it was a pleasure to watch Colin Firth stammering along in his role as George VI, accompanied by the charmingly suave Geoffrey Rush as speech therapist Lionel Logue. Great duos work in many films and this ranks up with the best of them. The movie also featured among others, the talents of Helena Bonham Carter as a young Queen Mum, the great Michael Gambon as an imposing George V and Derek Jacobi as a suprisingly intrusive Archbishop.
It's easy as a mere commoner to dismiss royalty as cold, self-righteous people but films such as this show you the sensitive side of how they live their lives. This film had the same effect on me as Stephen Frears 'The Queen' from a few years back, in that it somewhat softened my attitude. It's easy to assume the stories you hear in newspapers about the royal family to be true, but so much more gratifying to discover that they suffer the same basic human fears as the rest of us.
I found the 'The Kings Speech' to be a thoroughly enjoyable film with a powerful score. It's not for everybody but if you think you may like it or are just intrigued then why not.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

The Adventures of Harvey the Head

Ok here's another little animation test.
I was originally going to make this a comic that had a jazzy cover and just repeated panels inside but I think it works better as a cartoon. Obviously I will tweak, play with and possibly make more
Harvey adventures over time.
Hope you have as much fun watching it as I did making it!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Experiments in animation

After a conversation with a friend of mine yesterday about the prospects of using my artwork in animation, I went home and had a little experiment to see if the programs on my computer would be capable of producing anything.
What I came up with was very simple and basic but it has given me food for thought with regards to future projects. So please bear with me with the above clip, it is just a test which I never intended for public viewing but I will hopefully be building on this to make clips which will give you all a giggle in the near future.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Celebrity of the Month: January 2011

As a fun feature this year I thought I would start to add a
celebrity of the month caricature.
I'm not hugely taken with the gossip columns and such that surround celebrity, but I think we all from time to time find something in the land of the famous that give us a good chuckle. If I do get stuck for a celebrity I may be trawling through Mai's National Enquirer in desperation..
hopefully for my sanity it won't come to that!!
I also doubt that any politicians will end up as one of my monthly celebs, they really shouldn't be regarded as celebrity anyway and to be honest, that whole world, though necessary, is incredibly dull.
So January's celeb is Ricky Gervais, he may have offended some at the Golden Globes but really what else did they expect? Ricky is known for his controversial and outspoken comedy and to give him a huge platform for it is only asking for trouble.
Possibly the one thing that amused me more than Ricky's comments was Robert de Niro laughing at them.
I salute you Mr. Gervais, may your comedy stay on the razor sharp edge of what is acceptable.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Doodling at Detling

Wedding fairs are such an enjoyable part of the job. I get to draw free caricatures and there's no pressure. Don't get me wrong, it's busy.. but it's still a kind of relaxed atmosphere.
Sadly I am booked in Lancashire during Detling's big wedding fair in May so I took the opportunity to have a pitch at the (slightly) smaller fair they were holding today.
What a great crowd! Lots of people were up for being drawn and I had a really good time. Also received a good few bookings which is I suppose the point. I do tend to just get wrapped up in the drawing so it's lucky Mai attends with me so she can chat to people.
This evening I went on to a 9th birthday party which made a nice change.. it's not often I get booked for kids parties as there's not enough kids attending to make the price worth paying, but this was one BIG party! the kids were incredibly friendly and I had a great time, finishing up with drawing a few of the parents.
So now after a short drive back I'm resting my aching bones. What a wimp!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Tired typing

Just back from a great booking in Dover, an eighteenth birthday party to be precise. Lovely crowd all thoroughly enjoying themselves in a club, alcohol and happy people make for a good caricaturing gig (the other extreme being an office full of people busily working and not at all interested in being drawn.. oh yes, I had that gig a few years back!).
Pretty much every gig goes well and people respond well to the pictures, but in my 15(ish) years working as a caricaturist I am yet to get used to one thing... and that would be the phrase,
"Can you come over to my table next?"
Keeping a mental note of the five tables you have to go to next can be a bit of a juggling trick while drawing and every now and again you upset people without trying to. One lady this evening got a little irritable and told me she'd asked me an hour ago. I don't think she realised she was one of about 50 people who had asked me to come to them next this evening. But I think I managed to draw most of the people that wanted one, including the irritable lady who soon became a jolly lady.
Lovely drive back with that little buzz a good caricature gig brings me, but boy do I ache!
Hope I stop aching for Sunday.. drawing caricatures at a wedding fair in Detling before driving off to another birthday party as soon as it's finished.
Every ache is worth it though, this is definately the life for me. Excuse the rambling nonsense of this blog, my brain is as worn out as my drawing arm.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Derren Brown: Behind the Mischief

At the risk of sounding like all I ever do is collapse like a beached whale in front of the telly, I thought I'd add another telly related blog. For the record I don't always sit in front of the telly, sometimes I get up for a cuppa.

I'd missed the Derren Brown documentary that aired a few weeks back and although I use the different iplayers on the net it's just not the same on a laptop. So I was very pleased when I saw that they were repeating it last night.
Let me start by saying that I didn't paint the above caricature, indeed I truly wish I had. That incredible piece of work was created by the man himself, a master caricaturist in his own right. You can see more of his work at It should be illegal to be that talented!
Behind the Mischief was a very revealing documentary, following Derren in his daily life in his work and with his family and friends. I've always found that magicians and illusionists carry with them a pretentious air (particularly so in the case of David Blaine) but Derren doesn't seem to have this, being quite frank and humorous in the approach to his illusions. But there were still things I found myself wondering about him.. what was his his house like? How do those that are close to him feel about what he does for a living? This documentary had some of the answers.
Derren's house was much as I expected, taxidermy adorning the walls and shelves, pickled creatures and props a-plenty. It still had a slightly modern look here and there which surprised me, I kind of expected dark gloomy corridors of the like you would see in a Tim Burton film.
We then were treated to excerpts from the shows, following Derren talking about his feelings and thoughts to the risks involved. I did wonder years back how his parents would have felt watching him during the live Russian Roulette routine and this too was revealed. Derren's mum explained how she was unable to eat before it aired, fearful for her son's life.
The show also revealed how one of his writing team was selected from the Seance show, an audience member who had some scares during a curtained trick. Maybe Derren selects his staff by scaring the hell out of them first? I would assume that working with him would be as frightening at times as it would be fun. I had the opportunity last year of seeing Derren Brown's Enigma show when it played in Chatham, and at times I thought I may be called up on stage. Part of me was glad I wasn't, I may have passed out from the fear of what he might do!
All in all Behind the Mischief was a fascinating look at an equally fascinating man's life.
Glad I finally caught it.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Dexter series 5

Well I thought I should christen the new blog with something at least and so am starting with something non-caricature related.
Dexter. without a doubt my favourite tv series. It is simply an amazing feat how this series is created, not only do you find yourself loving the characters (none more so than the serial killer himself) but each series has new shocks to offer.
Series four simply had the most mind-blowing ending ever (I wont specify, for the sake of those who haven't seen it) and so when I sat down to watch series five I really didn't expect much, just a few satisfying chills and thrills would be enough to suffice.
But the 5th series has a new outlook, with Dexter's lifestyle taking a big overhaul the storyline had to go off at a new angle.. and that it did.
This series sees Dexter protecting a would be serial killer victim by the name of Lumen while dealing with the antics of those around him.. probably the most difficult of all being his step-daughter Astor, now becoming an awkward teenager.
The true beauty of the series shows in these set-ups; one side an action packed horror/thriller, the other a family based drama. You would never have seen Hannibal Lecter changing a nappy, for instance.
Series 5 has several moments that have you almost leaping from your seat.. the risks Dexter takes becoming ever more alarming, the moments he almost gets caught becoming ever more frequent.
This series may not end with quite as much shock as it's predecessor but it still stands alone with it's thrills.
If you haven't watched Dexter before, I would give it a go.. tv doesn't get much better than this.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Up and Running!

Brilliant, with my genius nephew last night we finally managed to get Blogger installed on my webpage, so my blog posts will be moving over to here.
Look forward to writing complete gibberish for you to read!