Posted: Sunday, July 26, 2015
“So if you make it to 500 caricatures, who cares?”
The question was asked of me when I announced my goal of drawing 500 caricatures in 500 days. I felt this was an important question that needed some answering, because there are a lot of why’s to the announcement of 500 caricatures. First and foremost, why 500?
The number 500 is arbitrary. It’s not about the number. Getting to 500 is about the journey, it’s about the growth that happens trying to get to 500. Drawing 500 caricatures isn’t the end-all-be-all. In fact, I am very intentional about not making the number the goal.
When I graduated art college I created a resume that had an objective statement that said something along the lines of:
Have you ever heard of Will Eisner? He created the graphic novel. It was such a simple idea of taking a comic and making it into a complete book; a complete narrative. It was so simple, but it didn’t exist before he did it and after he did it changed the entire industry. That’s what I want to do; create something that hasn’t existed before.
That was a pretty lofty goal to have, let alone announce when you’re interviewing with a prospective employer. The problem was that when I got hired by my first professional employer I did just that. On one of my first projects I designed something brand new, something that didn’t exist until I created it, and something that added a new facet to the *specific industry I was in (*what that thing was is a story for another time). I took a simple idea and made a new product. I got regional and even international recognition for it. It was great!
Until it was over.
The problem was I never thought past the idea of making something brand new; it was all about that main goal. When it happened I didn’t know what to do next or where to go. To me, I felt like I peaked on my first big idea and nothing could ever measure up.
My countenance, and to a degree, my professional work kinda suffered for a while. I felt aimless in the career I just started in.
It took a long time to get out of that rut and focus on a direction. I’m not going to let that happen again, because I know the purpose of drawing these 500 caricatures, the focus, and the goal.
Drawing 500 caricatures is a lot of work, but on the scale of work produced in a lifetime it is a very small number. For example, Lenn Redman, an extremely prolific caricature artist, produced 200,000 caricatures in his lifetime. If we turn the number of 500 in terms of social media, 500 posts is barely getting people’s attention and even in that it is only if the content is quality and consistent.
As I mentioned in the initial 500 Challenge post, I am resetting the counter and going back to zero. Drawing 500 caricatures is only the beginning. I’m thinking past 500 to the next 500, 1,000, 10,000; that’s where I want to be!
Continue to follow me on this journey to get to this first 500 and look to beyond!
Every face has a story to tell and I want to teach you how to tell it.