Caricature Artists

Merriam-Webster: Caricature

A drawing that makes someone look funny or foolish because some part of the person’s appearance is exaggerated

Caricature artists are an interesting crowd. Many artists work in the world of the caricature to earn extra money to support other forms of art they consider their passion or specialty. Some do focus on developing their skills to become full-time caricature artists.

Like other careers in the arts, it takes time to develop a reputation and clientele. Not all artists have a formal education, many are self-taught. They work at amusement parks, special events, weddings and on the street. According to . The average cartoonist or animator makes $41,388$60,010. However, most caricature artists don’t place themselves in this category. Caricature artists generally charge an hourly rate between $100 – $175 per hour. Some command much higher rates depending on experience and reputation. 

Is there a professional organization for Caricature Artists? Absolutely. International Society of Caricaturist Artists. Is for professionals and enthusiast alike.

The International Society of Caricaturist Artists is an international non-profit trade association. Its purpose is to promote the art of caricature, educate the public and the media about the art of caricature and to provide its members with helpful information about caricature as an as art-form as well as a profession. ISCA currently has over 450 members from around the world, and is growing every month. Members receive our quarterly magazine, exaggerated features, which has articles about caricaturing, featured artists tips and stories as well as other useful information about caricature illustration. ISCA annual convention is held each year in a different location. The convention features a guest speaker, lectures, seminars, competitions, awards and the camaraderie of your peers in the art of caricature drawing.

From The Artists

What’s it like to work as a caricature artist? Here are some statements from current and former artist.

I used to work as a caricature artist. Some people love it when you made fun of them, others get mad. Many people don’t get the concept and expect a true to life portrait. You will get someone angry or sad at some point – that’s life. There was never a time someone was waiting for me in the parking lot. The worst thing about when you’re an artists is knowing you did not do a good job. It can be awkward. Yet, most of the time, you are usually the only one who knows.  – J

I’m a caricature artist. I worked at a local amusement park in while in high school and college, now I’m hired to draw at wedding receptions during the summer. It’s a fun job.

I try to be somewhat kind to obese people, especially kids and women. I still attempt to capture a likeness, but I try to give them proper necks and a singular chin.

Lesson Learned:  Over time I began to draw the women more flatteringly than men. One out of five women who sit in my chair will ask to be drawn skinnier. Guys typically react well to a caricature that pokes fun of their features, women not as much. I’ve had women yell at me in the past. If my subjects are drunk, I go all out with the exaggeration — Drunk people don’t care. – K

I work for a local Zoo as a caricature artist. Here is my experience.

Guests have a vision of what they think they’ll look like before they sit down to be drawn.
Ten reject your drawing or do not like it and ask for a redraw at another booth. This includes whack jobs and people who easily get offended. The other 90% are generally nice about the experience and understand different artist styles etc.

Customer service is important, especially when people pay you to draw. The artist knows to not make completely obvious of their physical flaws and most of the time draws a cartoon version of the person even though that’s not technically a true caricature..

BOTTOM LINE: the draw the guests politely. — MM

Your Business

A creative business is like any other business. It takes work. When you declare yourself a professional, you are in business and must have a plan.

If you want to be the best caricature artist, you must draw every day.

Location, Location, Location plays a big role in the success of an artist. People need to see your work and refer you. Don’t undervalue what you do. Make sure you are charging a professional rate now, so you can charge a professional rate later.

Learn how to market. Take advantage of social media to share your work. Develop relationships with people you can partner. Maybe you can trade referrals.