Leslie Agan and her assistant Gwenzy…

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BlogPost 007: How to Tell a Story with a Caricature (When You Don’t Have a Lot to Go With)

Posted: Sunday, December 20, 2015

Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins

  • Creating a likeness in a caricature is baseline. Telling a story is what will set you apart as a caricature artist.
  • Dig deep when creating a caricature. Find out all you can about the subject to derive something that will highlight who they are to someone who doesn’t know them personally at all.
  • Find an element, feature, or accoutrement on the person/people and highlight it. 
  • Make your caricature whimsical or playful. Don’t make something mean-spirited; there’s a difference at having fun and making fun.
  • Simplicity is the key. Your caricature should have only what’s necessary to communicate the point; don’t bog it down with extraneous details.

Caricatures are not just a way to create and exaggerated likeness or cartoon of a person, they are a great opportunity to tell a story. Not to say that creating a likeness that is accurate, whimsical, and stylized is an easy task — it takes tons of hard work and practice.

However, what is going to set you apart as a memorable caricature artist is the ability to tell a story. Someone should be able to look at your caricature and immediately recognize who the person is, not just by the likeness, but how you are depicting them by the action they are portraying. If your viewer doesn’t know who the subject is or if the subject is not a famous person or celebrity they should at least be able to see what the subject is all about or what they’re like.

What do you do when you don’t have a lot to go off of to tell a story?

Read how you can tell a simple and memorable story when you don’t have a lot of information, here.