Wednesday, December 31, 2008



Last post of the year.... I want to say something profound, but all I can really say is thank you for tuning in. As I write this, I see that over 26,000 of you have tuned into this blog over the year saying that you like my art, that you are inspired by it, entertained by it, educated and amused by it enough to keep tuning in, and encouraging me to do more. As an artist, no matter how "good" you think you are, you often have doubts. Art is a very solitary activity, and it's easy to get discouraged. When your peers and well wishes tell you that what you are doing is WORTH seeing, it makes you want to do more> I've learned so much about the art of cartooning and caricature by actually DOING it. Experience really is the best teacher, and I've had a lot this year. I've also learned a lot and have been encouraged myself by the many artists who I've featured on this page throughout the year. The list continues to expand, and as I discover more I get better and better.
Thanks to all of you who have supported my book writing effort as well. It's been a labor of love, and I've tried to make it affordable.
Hope that your next year will be full of possibility, and that your dreams will come true. I KNOW a lot of mine did last year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tim the seminarian

My son's roomate, Tim. Pre Seminary student. Just like my boy. Im really having too much fun playing with my new caricature style. I was also in the mood for experimenting in photoshop. It's wonderful what this program can do!> I wanted this to have a "Saturday morning" animated cartoonish feel to it.

Friday, December 26, 2008

and yet ANOTHER self Portrait!!!

Never get tired of drawing myself....I think this is how Chris Chua.Tomo San,Adam or Andy would do it! AAAARRRRGGGHHHH! Im channeling TOO MANY caricature artists!!!


Hey, it COULD happen!

Caricature Family Portrait

Everyone say cheese! As you all know, I've become fascinated lately with the abstract minimilistic caricature styles of Andy, Chris, and Adam lately. Last night, THIS was the result! I'm lovin it! .... the family isnt.
From the left, my wife, Me, my son, and daughter.

sketchbook goodies

found these gems hiding in an old sketchbook. I love to be surprised by my old drawings. I always had difficulty drawing Asians in the past, and would alway result in doing a dumb stereotypical picture, which must have insulted my audiences! I knew I was on the right track when a Chinese man exclaimed, " you make us LOOK Chinese! that's good".

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Vince Guaraldi, It wouldnt be Christmas without you!

Besides celebrating the birth of My Lord, Christmas "just wouldn't be Christmas" without watching my favorite animated classic,"A Charlie Brown Christmas", and that "Charlie Brown MUSIC!"

I'm positive that I'm not the only one who feels that way. just hearing that music brings childhood memories back so thick that you literally have to brush the tears away from your eyes. You simply cannot imagine watching a Peanuts cartoon without hearing that cool hot piano played magnificently by Jazz Pianist, Vince Guaraldi.

Like all things in our culture we've come to love and appreciate it, this music, which has become so ingrained in American pop culture, almost didn't happen.
In 1962, Lee Medelson, a San Francisco based television producer, had was wrapping up the final stages of a TV Documentary on cartoonist, Charles Schultz, whose work was becoming a stable in pop culture. Medelson was contemplating what musician he would choose for the background score of his film, when he heard the song, "Cast :Your Fate To The Wind." by jazz pianist, Vince Guaraldi. The two met, and Vince immediately went to work on the score, composing the first song, "linus and Lucy" (which I have dubbed, "the Charlie Brown theme song"

Medelson's documentary included his interview with Charles Schultz, some rough animation of his Peanuts characters, and of course,Vince's song.

It was a documentary that never saw the light of day.

Three networks rejected the film on the basis that people didn't want to see little kids talking like adults. We take it for granted today just how revolutionary a concept Peanuts was. Schultz maintains that he never intended to have the strip appeal to kids but to adults. The "intelligent people" in Hollywood didn't think people would like that, which just goes to show you once again WHY you SHOULD follow your dream.

But lets continue...

Three years following the rejection of the Documentary, Medelson was contacted by an advertising exec who saw the film, and thought that it would be great if the characters could be used in a Christmas special. Medelson agreed, and immediately knew who the musician would be for the score.

The rest, as they say, is history.
The film broke a lot of new ground to say in the least, but one of things it also did was "introduce Jazz" in a sense to a new audience in prime time. To juxtapose cool jazz into a cartoon just wasnt done, and "would not work" on paper. Just goes to show what can happen when you think outside the box.

I chose to draw this caricature of Vince in a Hirschfeld'esque type of style because I feel it just "fits". I have the CD playing in the background as I write this , and also as I drew the caricature. I feel that "Charlie Brown music" is the perfect backdrop to artistic inspiration. Make sure you buy yourself a copy before they're gone off the shelves until next year!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Nikk and his gurl Gift Caricature.

One of the many gift caricatures Ive done for couples lately. This is the copy I kept for myself. Not a subwaysketch, I know but Im very proud of it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rhino subway pan handler wants a quarter

When a Rhino asks if you can spare a quarter, you definitely give him a dollar. Good thing that they arent allowed on the train. No one in their right mind would sell them a metro card.

Okay, what inspired this? I was on the train drawing one time, and this little boy was so fascinated that he screamed out, "Hey! can you draw a RHIO???" My mind went blank for a couple of seconds and then i produced one and gave it to him. I knew Id return and do another ever since... today was the day....

Giant Butterfly on the A Train

He had these.... ears......

Mr. James Shaw

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. James Shaw on the Manhattan bound A line some weeks back doing my usual subwaysurfing. We started off chatting about the weather, and in no time we became engrossed in conversation where we discussed politics, race relations, community affairs, jazz, and art. Mr. Shaw, 70 plus years old, looked years younger, and in a lot of ways reminded me of myself. He took off his hat at one point and showed off his RED hair which he proudly boased was natural and never went gray. I was delighted and amazed. His daughter, Janathel M. Shaw was a sculpture,whose most famous work, "Dead on Arrival" was featured on pg 163 of author, Judith Schwartz'sbook, "Confrontational Ceramics." I promised James I would mention this on the blog so it's a promise kept.
Mr. Shaw knew a lot about jazz and shared priceless stories about Miles Davis, Dizzy and Duke Ellington, and spoke about the glory days of Harlem. It was almost like being there. I did a couple of different sketches of him while we spoke not really satisfied with any of them, so I decided to post all of them here. I made sure that I gave him one of them as a gift which he folded carefully and put in his pocket. I also promised him that when it got warmeer I would check out one of the many free jazz fastivals that are played in the city. I hope to see him there.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Roxanne of The Marriott Courtyard Hotel

Roxanne is one of those people who make an immmediate impression on you. SHe is professional without being cold and aloof, courteous, and when you're around her you get the impression that"everythings gonna be alright." Roxanne, a manager at the marriott Courtyard Hotel, is the "lady in brown" as I refer to her, and almost always is stylishly dressed in earth tones particularly brown. She also has a fun face to draw and even though Ive drawn her several times before, I really wanted to take my time on this sketch here.

Matt Boismier Caricature sketch

Matt Boismier, is a fellow caricature artist who posted his photo on the NCN's Forum site's "Firing Squad" I decided to take a warning shot at his face before coming back for another pass later. My first comic impression was that his face reminded me of a buzzard, so that's what I went with.

President Bush Iraq Shoe Bomber Attack

Man! how could you NOT draw a cartoon on what happened recently in Iraq? I bet every cartoonist in the nation thanked the cartoon gods for THIS "freebie" If you DIDNT draw a cartoon on this, or at least THINK about one, you should immediately turn in your "artistic lincense" card with your union rep.

Personally, this incident is deplorable and shows the level of respect that people have for the OFFICE of the President of the United States. Forget for a moment how much you "love to hate " the current President and think instead of what an insult this is to the most powerful leader of the free world. The agents who were guarding him should be handing in their resumes to the shopping mall about now, hopefully they're still hiring. It IS the holiday season after all...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Not ANOTHER Obama cartoon!

Looks like Im getting the hang of drawing Obama! and I will have four more years to practice. This Toon is another in the series of Tract illustrations for World Outreach Evangelical Ministries. I really feel bad for Obama in a way. He's got a LOOOOOOT on his back, The war, the economy, and the hopes and dreams of the American people who seem to want to make him the end all and be all, kind of like a Messiah figure. That's a lot of pressure for any flawed human being to handle.

Elton John Lookalike

This is a memory sketch of a person I drew at a recent gig. He reminded me so much of Elton John the only thing missing was a Grand Piano. He was actually an English teacher from Hong Kong as was at the Corporate event with his wife. He got drawn twice.
Of course it's unfinished, raw and unpolished. I will come back later to finish it.

Three dudes on da train

I had a LOT of time riding the train yesterday as i went to two gigs that were miles apart. I decided to use a more modeled approach in the drawing this time using the colored woodless pencils. The First man with the large eyes was desperately trying to stay awake as he was watching me draw him. His stare was SO intense that I had to look away a couple of times. He eventually fell asleep, and then it was easy.The last man in purple had this self satisfied look on his face, as if he was saying , "go ahead, and draw! How could you resist a face as handsome as this!"

"Whateverrrrrrrrrrr...." Teenager on the Q53 Bus

I love to draw teenagers. They all seem to work SOOOOOOOO very hard at being nonchalant and uncaring, meanwhile on the inside they are a bundle of nerves and emotions. I caught this guy walking onto the Q53 Last night on the way home from my gig.I love the animated feel of this sketch! I drew it in 10 seconds.

You want CUTE? I can draw cute!!

I did this gift caricature of Connor, for fellow Caricature artist, Wanye Savage. Cute little monkey, aint he? I remember doing a gig for to promote the animated film, "Space Chimps" last summer, and thought it would be perfect to draw Wanye's kid like this. Dont you wish YOU could swing on a Banana?

Friday, December 12, 2008

AKEELE, here's your pic

This is a memory sketch of the young man who recognized me and stopped me on the street the other day. His name is Akeele I think.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Soooooo Cute, you could just PUKE!!!

Just returned home from a great gig at Toys R Us, in Times Square, with fellow caricature artist, the self proclaimed, caricature king, Dan Springer. (Dan really IS that good and if anyone deserves a crown, HE does, check out his blog listed on this site... but I digress....) We werre invited to draw at this event by an absolutely adorable husband and wife, party team, Jason and Stacey. I'd never met them before, and was blown away when they both arrived in custom made matching white tuxedos covered in hearts. Upon seeing this, I thought to myself, man, I reallllly got work on my party wardrobe more! They both looked like two life sized plush toys that jumped off of a little girl's bed. I gotta admit, they were so cute you could just puke, and i had to restrain myself from saying "AAAAAWWWWWWWW!!!" Each time I looked at them.

Jason did some fantastic baloon twisting and sleight of hand tricks while his wife handled the facepainting It was a fantastic gig which ended with us all partaking of a delicious buffet while overlooking Times Square. I love the Christmas Season!

I between drawing kids i drew their likenesses in a cartoony style that dipicted their vibeand couldnt wait to bring it home to color it and upload here! Enjoy! .... dont forget your barf bag.

Corporate gig sketches

Dragged myself in at 2;30 am last night after doing a fantabulous corporate gig held at the Hudson Hotel in the city. My Hostess, was EXCELLENT, the crowd was enthusiastic, the music was not too loud and my hostess, who was EXCELLENT provided the best lighting and seating that I've ever had at a gig. For those of you who are party artists, you know how RARE it is for clients to really get this right, and my hostess, who was EXCELLENT, hit a home run.

Out of the faces i drew these two were the most memorable, particularly the woman with the big grin. She thought at first that she waouldnt like such an exaggerated picture, but actually cracked a smile bigger than the one I gave her here.

The guy had unbelievable eyebrows, ears , lips, forehead, jawline.... I got so excited I thought I was going to crash and burn on the exaggeration, but I managed to pull it off. This was an absolutely FUN gig!

Surfs up!

Drew this on the number two train today en route to a great gig at Toys R Us.... feels good to be drawing folks again! Havent done it since.... yesterday.
These are two minute sketches done with a brick colored woodless pencil.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

World Outreach Evangelical Ministries Tract Illustrations

I got an opportunity to do a series of tract illustrations for a Dynamic young African pastor in Far Rockaway named James Taiwo of The World Outreach Evangelical Ministries organization.( Pastor Tiwo has been very receptive to my offbeat style of artwork, feeling that eye catching illustration will help be to be more receptive to the content inside, and I must agree. I did tract illustration years ago for several ministries including the American Tract Society, Focus on The Family, and Apple of His Eye Ministries, and always looked forward to doing other assignments like this. How could I resist drawing cartoons??

The Host of Dr. Sketchy's Anti Art Show

My friend,and fellow NYC Caricature artist, Laurie Edmomds, invited me to an onorthodox live drawing extravaganza called, "Dr. Sketchy's Anit Art Show" Held at "The Slipper Room" at 167 Orchard Street last saturday afternoon.Unlike your "traditional" live drawing class, there were no bright lights, clean marble walls, or mis shaped nude models, instead The models are porvocative , irreverant burlesque performers who wear extravagant costumes and are in excellent condition. In this particular session they paired a tall beautiful dancer dressed in letter with goth makeup on, and a male midget wearing similar garb.
As outlandishly as they were dressed, i found one of the hosts, a lantern jawed youngman with heavy five o clock shadow, a shock of black hair that kept getting into one of his eyes, and a black business suit. Between each break, he would get up on stage and banter about with the other host. I had the most fun drawing him, thinking that he would make a perfect character in my ever growing cast, so I spent the majority of time drawing him. this is one of many pictures i made.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Im becoming a celebrity!

Funny thing happened on the way from the art store...
I just finished shopping at my favorite art store, Utretch Art Supply and was heading into the 14th street station, when I almost collided with a man going in the opposite direction. I stopped, apologized and waved him on to continue walking, and he gave me a quizzled look. As I was beginning to walk down the stairs, he said WAIT! I KNOW YOU!! I turned back around, and he exclaimed, " I saw you drawing on the subway yesterday! You're that guy!" I explained to him that he saw me after returning from a gig at Sardi's Restaurant. I told him that since he took out the time to recognize me that I would give him a beautiful rendered pencil caricature once he sent me his email address and pictures. He was Trilled, and so was i that im actually becoming a sort of Urban Celebrity. The guy's name is Akeelah, I think, and i will be posting his memory sketch picture soon.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Star Wars The Adventures of Jedi Nikk Intergalatic Dog sitter of Bark and Play

JEDI NIKK;".....get in the van.... get in the van..... PLLLLLEASE get in the van!!!..."

JABBA DA MUTT; "BAH!, your Jedi Mind Tricks wont work on ME boy!"

This is an almost completed gift caricature that im doing for Nikk, my favorite dog sitter from Bark and Play> Bark and Play picks my dog up from my house, takes him to the headquarters in brooklyn, where he gets to play with other dogs, and then delivers him back to my door! the service is great, my dog is happy, and i wanted to do something special for Nikk.
I recently found out that he was a BIG star wars fan like me, so I have made up a series of strips, (in the pre production stage) featuring him as the main character, "Jedi NIkk" Intergalatic Dog Sitter At Bark and Play. I am toying with the idea of making this a series so Nikk has actually provided me with inspiration for a webcomic. How cool is that?

My dog, Butchie, loves Nikk and his pals at Bark and Play, but usually gives Nikk trouble with getting into the van. I based this joke on what Butchie does. I guess you can say that my dog, Butchie, is Jabba Da Mutt here.

Abstract subway caricatures.

Playing around with different shapes here. This style works best on those days when i really dont feel like doning time consuming modeled type of pencil sketches, and slso is a great "party style".

Friday, December 05, 2008

Unfinished...but ...Finished.

Ive had this picture lying around for a couple of months, always promising myself that i would complete it, but somehow I never get around to it. I looked at it again today and decided that it looks kinda "finished" in its unfinished state. I dunno what it is exactly, but seeing it like this sort of appeals to me more. It will remain "unfinished".

2 myopic subway riding women

They both couldnt see very well! LOL! I wanted to expereiment with extreme light and dark on this pic.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Gee, Thanks Obama!

Now that Obama is President, Editiorial and Caricature artists the world over are rejoicing. NEVER has such a public elected official been so EASY to draw! Steve Brodner remarked that There must be a god of caricature since Obama is so easy to draw, and i must whole heartedly agree. These are two recent toons that ive submitted to my local paper, The Wave, to launch my career as a editorial cartoonist. The paper has been receptive to recieving these toons and Ive been encouraged to do more.
Submitting editorial work to your local paper is sound advice I always give to cartoonists eager to have their work published, increase their confidence, and build up a body of work. Political cartooning also keeps you informed, as you must keep up with recentDomestic, and world events in order to have a point of view to caricature/comment on.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Making her point...

Drew this picture of my wife while she was talking animatedly making one of her many points..... hey, just because she's my spouse dont me she gets any mercy on the caricature!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Loved the Hat...

This guy got on at the Howard Beach Station, and i couldnt put my reading material down fast enough to draw him, his Uni Brow and that ridiculous blue hat with the doggie ears. I gave him the predraw I did of him in full color before I did THIS one. I remember him scratching his head not quite knowing whether he should be excited, insulted, pay me, or punch me. I just smiled and drew my SECOND drawing which was more exaggerated. I recall him asking the lady next to him "does THIS look like ME?"

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Black Elton John

he had this really small baseball cap with the bill of the hat facing the sky, a massive concrete smashing forehead... make that a FIVE head it was so big, and HUGE white Elton John like glasses, and he was actually staring and me, staring at him with this look on his face that said, "WHY ARE YOU STARING AT ME???" Some peoples faces and attitudes beg to be drawn and he was definitely one of em. I didnt even CARE that he was watching. I originally wanted to erase the pink pencil lines and do it up all nice and professional in photoshop, but thought it looked good enough on its own unfinished. Here are both versions.

MORE Andy Urzua inspired caricatures!

my partner in crime, Alison Gelbman(see her link on the right side of my blog) came by the studio the other day all excited about Andy Urzua. Unlike me, Alison had the opportunity to see Andy and pick his artistic brain at the recent NCN Convention held in Raleigh, NC this year. As is our habit when we get together, we tried to crack the code of our favorite artist, (this week its Andy) and drew a ton of pictures trying to imitate his style. I came up with my version of an Andy-esque caricature of me and Alison that I really love.

One of the greatest things about the NCN is coming in contact with a diverse group of artists from around the world whose approaches to caricature are totally unlike your own. It's fun to experiment with different styles and add them to your own as well. Andy won an award for best party style and i can see why because drawing like this is just plain FUN to do!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Aussie was glad to be in New Yawk!

He got on with his wife and kid at Howard Beach Station on November 21st. the day that I wuz subwaysurfing with my pals from the NCN. We had just said goodbye to Paul Moyse as we dropped him off at The JFK Airtrain at Howard Beach, when I saw this guy get on. At first i wanted to draw his wife, but she immediately diverted my attention to him, and I was glad she did because he was sooooo interesting to draw! He was an Aussie who by his own admition was glad to be in New Yawk. I gave him the first two caricatures I did of him and kept the best one for myself. You can see the pre draw of this in a previous post on the 21 of November.

He had a reaaaaaallly rough face with a LOTTTTAAAA Razor stubble! his face was so rough you could easily strike a match on it!

Gym teacher needs a whistle

He looked like a Junior High School gym teacher without a whistle. Any minute I was expecting him to yell out, "DROP AND GIVE ME TWENTY!!" He was ticked off about sumthin. maybe someone put ben gay in his jockstrap...