Saturday, October 30, 2010

My First Ipad caricature commission BY SUBWAYSURFER

Paster James Taiwo Of World Outreach Evangelical Ministeries commissioned me to do my first exclusive IPAD Caricature . Pastor Taiwo needed an illustration for his Holloween Online Newsletter as well as his Printed Tract Materials, and I created this exclusively with the IPAD. Since I've been suing the device dillgently for the last few weeks, if felt very natural drawing and painting this with the device and the apple software, and the job was completed in record time, comparitively speaking using my old methods. Being the caricature artist I am i couldnt help having that aspect creep into the work. Like most things Im not TOTALLY satisfied, but Its a good start.


Well it finally happened, folks. I did my first satisfying Subway Caricature today. The train was jammed MORE than usual with a variety of faces and I filled my sketchbook with lots of drawings that I will upload later. THIS particular guy here, reminded me of one of those rockers from the eighties. I sketched him origially in my notebook, later transfering him over to my ipad where I quickly made this masterpiece. The only drawback with the ipad is the amount of attention it gets! It was hard enough hiding my drawing while in a drawing pad! My work had gotten easier and harder at the same time now.... sigh....


In this Podcast feature, I explain why I created the SUBWAYSURFER Persona, and How It enables me to do Life drawing without fear in public places, like a New York City Subway train. Enjoy.



Im a master of observation
A facial news caster who draws even faster than
Eyewitness News
Zero time to snooze
Before they report what's happened,
I've already started to move
Right onto the next face in line
I'm finished in 60 seconds
I do it all the time.

I'm a facial assassinator
Never a procrastinator
When it comes to drawing party favors,
I'm one of New York City's BEST!
I drew at Bloomberg's party,and satisfied his guests.

Dont let me get started on the rest
Corporate parties are " The Bomb!"

So are those
Bat Mitzvahs where I draw your baby sisters,
And your soccer cheering mom!

When I step into a room
Lesser caricature artists
Hearts fill with gloom
Because they're lines start getting shorter...
Now that SUBWAYSURFER'S drawing, they know that they're goners

I can literally sketch all night
No need for a break, I guess some artists NEED IT
After a few lousy sketches,
Their energy's depleted!
No wonder they're defeated by the " energizer bunny!"
I think it's madd funny
How I take all their money!

I leave 'em all gagging
I cant help it if their skills are lagging behind mine!
I've paid my dues in the caricature skool
Always paid attention,never acted a fool.
Learned from the best,never failed to ace my drawing tests
This skill dont come easy,
Many nights I was queasy
Drawing my fingers to the bone
Now thanks to work and persistance, my unique style, i OWN

So let the haters moan, and groan
They need to complain
In a caricature drawing contest
Im a Jumbo Jet
They're paper airplanes
Trying to fly high in my sky
Which is totally insane
What's that on the ground?
I think it's their brain!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


This is an old illustration I rediscovered on my sequential drawing site that i drew a couple of years back for a great client called ROCKETSHARK RINGTONES. I drew close to one hundred character designs for the company before the decided, unfortunately to go in another direction. This particular toon was part of a series they were developing called, "WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?" and  their setups were pretty hilarious/ They were one of the few companies I worked with who actually "got it" as far as zany sense of humour was concerned, and we had the wildest brainstorming sessions. I originallky did this in Black and White and recolored it in ART STUDIO in   You guessed it, The IPAD. LOVE the way those colored POP which makes, the toon even more hilarious.Of course you KNOW what happens next, dont you??

subwaysurfer podcast The Starbucks Phenomenon

Friday, October 22, 2010


These wordless single panel comics were drawn to enhance an article I'd written for Exaggerated Features magazine, entitled, Gig Do's and Dont's. These were my set of rules for party caricature success and were geared towards beginning artists entering the live party drawing field.

Rule One DONT BE LATE It Looks bad embarasses your host/hostess and guarantees you will not get a referral, a tip, and even a cut in pay. Nothing spells unprofessional more than lateness. It shows that you are a rookie, and people dont hire rookies, they hire professionals.

Rule Two Seperate Couples: I seperate couples because they have a tendency to "love all over each other" too much and spoil the drawing angle. While I am still able to get a decent likeness if a couple moves, for a beginning caricature artist, it's best if the subject remains relatively still until he/she gains experience and confidence.

Rule Three Show the Paper whose Boss , In other words dont be afraid or hesitant about putting your mark on paper. It cuts down on speed, and causes you to second guess yourself too much.

Rule Four: Have FUN! you're a party artist! you CAN enjoy yourself! If you think of it too much as "a job" that stiffness will show up in your work.

CBC News - Books - Archie comic to introduce gay character

CBC News - Books - Archie comic to introduce gay characterI guess Riverdale's getting more interesting. It will be interesting to see who else in Riverdale comes out of the closet...Jughead perhaps?

ipad caricature of MISS GRUNDY from the RIVERDALE project

I remember reading the comic,"little Archie" as a kid, and remember that all the gang were taught, as younger, by Miss Grundy. She was OLD THEN...
Fast forward to the teenage years at Riverdale, and the gang is STILL being taught by Old Miss Grundy.
How IS That?.
Maybe a better name for her should be Miss Gang green. We know NOTHING about this character other tha her designation is "teacher" and it's all she gets to be.
I remember when I was a kid in elementary school how I thought on some level, that teachers weren't "really real." They were that special class of Beings who remained frozen in their designated area until the next day when you would see them again, trying to teach the same thing. It's funny how we assign categories to people forgetting that there's a real man behind that police badge, or girl behind that cash register, or woman who holds chalk in front of a blackboard.
Grundy is a mystery. Who is her family? Where does she live? What does she do on the weekend? What is up with that polka dot dress she is always in?
I see Grundy as a sad character locked into a profession she's poured her life into...unappreciated, un noticed, and now too old to do anything else but wait for death...that doesn't seem to come

ipad cartoon of BIG ETHEL from The Riverdale project

Big Ethel is yet another one of the disposable characters that populate the Archie comics Universe.She exists, simply as "comedy relief", the "tall, doody girl with the buck teeth, and bad hair who chases after Jughead Jones.
Like all the other disposable characters, there is no backstory on her to make her an interesting character, so for the purpose of creating this illustration, I decided to create one.
Just like "Big Moose" knows that he's a big lummox, Big Ethel knows she's a big tall doofus. Like Moose,she uses her physical attributes to her advantage. Ethel, in MY Archie Universe excels in womens sports,particularly basketball where she is captain and center of the Riverdale team.
I've always been struck how in the comics she was so determined to get Jughead, never getting discouraged. I attribute that attitude to her warrior spirit as an athlete.
Athletes, on and off the field, are competitors possessing an indomitable spirit to win and excel, Ethel is no different, and carries that same attitude into the greatest game of all, the game of love. Jughead being the prize.
I feel Ethel, in spite of her lack of physical beauty, would ultimately win her man.
As a competitor accustomed to analyzing an opponents strengths and weaknesses,
It's relatively easy to know what Jughead's is.


In order to win the heart of the man she loves Ethel would simply become Riverdales premiere chef par excellence, cooking up cuisines that would keep the love of her life forever eating at her table.
Like I said, athletes like to win.


Hope you guys have been enjoying the Riverdale series that I've been posting. There's still lots to upload, and I've recently completed "Miss Grundy," and "Big Ethel". I would love to show them to you but can't.

There's been a death in the family.

My computer started acting buggy last week, opening up windows, error messages popping up, and shutting programs unexpectedly. I'm fairly anal when it comes to maintaining my system, since it's my chief form of finance, so I ran all kinds of tests, to fix the problem,without my usual success. Finally I installed a killer anti virus program that I hoped would kill the nasty little virus so I could continue with my happy computing.
It installed correctlY, and I looked forward to being up and running again in minutes.

That's when the war started.

I'm no computer expert, but it was like there was this mini war that was activated in my system, judging from the noises I could hear coming from the processor. It was like a combination of the Jedi knights vs the mongul hordes vs The United states Calvary,vs yo' angry mama!
When the shaking ceased and the smoke cleared, I peeked at my monitor only to be confronted by a sight no user wants to see...


It was like looking into the abyss...

I'm in the process of replacing my system, and also recovering from bookmarks on my backside placed by me for not having the foresight of backing up my system enough. I have an expert looking into whether I can recover some of my files, hopefully I will have good news at the end of the day.
As I type this post on my little iPad It occurs to me how funny things "just seem to work out" If not for me winning this iPad weeks ago, I would literally be cut off temporarily from the online world where a lot of my living is done.

I'd like to say it's God's Providence.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ipad cartoon of BETTY COOPER from "THE RIVERDALE HIGH" project by Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling

BETTY COOPER is the "Sweetheart of RIVERDALE" in the ARCHIE COMICS Universe. She is the "All American Girl Next Door " stereotype of the 1940's 50's. Pretty without being glamorous, unpretentious, caring , giving and sweet. Betty is the girl who remembers your birthday, brings post roast to the new neighbors ,or bakes you an apple pie "just because."
I gotta admit, as a character, it's pretty hard to dislike Betty. Even though she a fabrication, there's something in her that makes you wish, on some level she was your girl. Betty is the kind of girl you marry, and rightfully so. Not only is she attractive,and a good cook, but she's also smart, and agreeable. Betty is the shoulder you can cry on and she'd never tell your secret. She's honest and forthright, which is why I didn't caricature her TOO much....
But Betty has this flaw, which says a lot about her as a person, and it's called,
Given her character Betty is the "natural" match for Archie, just as Reggie is the "natural" match for Veronica. Betty loses her composure frequently around Archie who clearly treats Betty like the "throw away second string girl".
Betty is the girl ARCHIE comes running to when VERONICA gets angry with him, or when MR. LODGE throws him out. Not wanting to be "dateless" for the evening , ARCHIE knows that he can count on ole' Betty to welcome him with open arms and apple pies.
BETTY has so much going for her and yet has no self esteem, in my opinion.Smart, pretty, athletic, but a warped sense of self. Clearly, Betty by her behavior, doesn't recognize the "catch" that she is, and continues to ward off all suitors so that she might make herself available for the one guy who doesn't see her as his first choice. As Ive already stated, ARCHIE is kind of a dunce, by any casual observation, and if ANYTHING he NEEDS Betty more than she needs him, but I guess its part of the crazy love game to always want someone who doesn't really want you.

I gave BETTY this earnest, "LIKE ME, LIKE ME, LIKE ME!" expression, and persona because in the comic that is whom she seems to be. She seeks to BUY her way into ARCHIES heart and he's just not THAT much into her.

Whats ironic about Betty is that her main rival for ARCHIE'S affection, recognizes her for the threat that she is. Veronica, with all her beauty and finance knows she cant compete with Betty on a human level.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

JANIS IAN At Seventeen...

Got unexpectedly sentimental here when I ran across this song I used to listen to when I was a teenager. If you've ever been a shy, awkward, introspective teenager, this song, "At Seventeen" Will resonate with you. And while it's true that it's targeted at women, I'm sure a lot of guys turned their radios up and shut they're doors to cry a tear or two, when it played. I found two great versions, the original, when she was a young woman, and another, as an older woman. The later version resonates much more given the introspective nostalgic nature of the lyrics.

ipad CARICATURE of App Store Employee RYAN WEISHEIT by Subwaysurfer

Lately Ive been devoting a lot of time to the characters in my RIVERDALE HIGH series, and WE ARE NOT DONE YET!!! I will be posting another surprise character very soon, but for this post, I would like to present my very first, "real" ipad caricature of a real person. Actually my first.
Approx two weeks ago, I entered the APPLE STORE on 14th Street in the village,ipad in hand , to get some first hand instruction by one of the capable Apple staff members. One thing I LOVE about the Apple store is the hours, and also the friendly, knowledgeable staff. Whenever you step into an Apple store you KNOW you AREN'T going to get any "attitude" and that the staff members are going to be more than helpful.
One such member, is Ryan. I approached Ryan initially because he reminded me of the late graffiti artist, Keith Haring. He didnt LOOK like him exactly, just reminded me of him.... I had to laugh as I explained the Ryan WHO Keith Haring was, and he promised me he would check him out. I went on to ask Ryan questions about how to do various things in my ipad without crashing it, and was excited to demonstrate to him what I could do with my new app, Art Studio, that I had downloaded a day earlier. Ryan posed for a quick sketch and requested an email right away which I did. I promised him that as i got better I would email him a more finished copy, and today I completed this one.

I am not entirely pleased with my likeness, but the painting itself is a good first attempt at something I know Im going to get better at. Im already moving a lot easier through the program, using the brushes and adjusting the settings are beginning to become second nature. I await the day when I perfect my process and take my show on the road, which will be SOON.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Digital Caricature artist Pioneer Rhoda Grossman By Elgin Bolling

Im having a ball doing this digital Ipad drawing! and in all my excitement, I called to mind a true inspiration, and a pioneer of this whole digital cariacature movement, that may have been previously "unsung"

That person is Rhoda Grossman

Rhoda is one of if not THE "MOTHER" of the digital caricature movement, who had the foresight/insight to jump headlong into digital caricature at a time when most of her peers, myself included, were busy sharpening our pencils and buying paper. Rhoda is being "academic" on this vid for educational purposes obviously and doesn't come CLOSE to exhibiting her engaging humorous personal that makes her a joy to be around .

You don't just "meet" Rhoda, you ENCOUNTER her! Rhoda is a pint sized force of nature with a large personality that dwarfs the size of her physical frame.

I encounter her at my very first NCN Caricature Convention in Las Vegas. I was relatively new to the industry, v4ry green, and Rhoda, a respected professional in the industry, made me feel welcome and part of the group.
Even after all these years, I still tear up, recalling the words, she said to me, "you're home. You've finally connected with a group of people who are just as wacky as you are!" And it was true/ Sometimes as an artist in the "real world' "regular people" just dont "get you". Her words gave me a lot of encouragement that day and carried me throughout the week.
Many times she would "check on me" during the week long event, to see how I was doing, and was always encouraging, with both words and advice. She was the first person who advised me on how to draw in the Speed Competition, and although I didn't win, I made it the last heat of the finals.

Some of the best times I had that week was sharing lunch with her and her crew, where we talked for hours.

Rhoda was the first one I ever got a digital caricature from , and its one of my prized possessions. I marveled at the ease with she drew on this thing and more than once I was scratching my head, wondering how she was even doing this!

Whats even more remarkable about Rhoda is that she was doing this as an "older artist". Most of us "old folk" resist change, and like doing the same old things the same old way. Now, the rest of the world is catching up with HER!

All I've got to say to her is, "THANKS MOM!" you lit the match up under me, now stand back and watch me burn!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

ipad cartoon of DILTON DOILEY from "THE RIVERDALE HIGH" project by Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling

DILTON DOILEY is RIVERDALES resident Nerd slash boy Super Genius. Personally, I don't even know why he exists in the ARCHIE COMICS universe. He doesn't DO anything, he's hardly featured, and what's the use of a Nerd character anyway if he's NOT going to be occasionally the butt of a cruel joke? Even the infamous REGGIE MANTLE gives DILTON a "pass".

IMO the original creators of the character didn't go far enough, visually. If you're going to HAVE the character anyway, you may as well make him more odd than all the rest. The only thing they succeeded in doing is making him short and giving him glasses...whoopie.... funny.

If your going to give him glasses, give him coke bottle one so think they are embedded in his skull. Give him a uni-brow while you're at it and let's not forget the customary bucked teeth, and we are now talking total GEEK!

For a Nerdy character, DILTON surprisingly has a great head of hair. A little large in fact, like a big pompadour. I started to give him a muti colored Mohawk, but felt that would make the character too unrecognizable to fans who may be upset with my butchering anyway.

Not much more to say about the character psychologically speaking, as in my other posts. He's just NOT that interesting.
The Only unique thing about DILTON is that he is MOOSE'S BEST FRIEND, who refers to him in some of the comics as "little buddy". He's also never had the privilege of a legendary MOOSE beat-down for daring to look at his gurl, MIDGE. Perhaps that is why MOOSE is so comfortable with DILTON. He sees him as no threat, and maybe as someone who he aspires to be, in terms of intelligence.

Friday, October 15, 2010

ipad cartoon of JUGHEAD JONES from "THE RIVERDALE HIGH" project by Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling

Jughead is my favorite character. Out of all the characters in the ARCHIE COMICS universe, JUGHEAD is the most "self actualized" . Jug is in total control of his emotions. He Never gets upset, and has almost a spiritual air about him.  As the Drummer for the band, he's literally the one who "keeps the beat" that others follow to. Although known most for his voracious appetite, he is also very artistic, having done in the comics, performance art, and painting. In his interactions with the other characters,Jug  is always unruffled, and not in a hurry. Even Reggie when he tries to harass him with his trademark cruel  practical jokes, they all somehow end  up backfiring. Jug just has a cool vibe.
As with all of my Riverdale make overs, on the ipad, as Im painting/drawing I make up little "back stories" to get into the character, so here's JUGS Backstory...

If you've ever read the  Little Archie series where the Riverdale gang are depicted as children, you'll notice that JUGHEAD has this enormous size HEAD and the ever present crown.  Reggie Mantle, being the pain in the butt that he is one day Young Forsythe (Jughead's Real name) and says, "Look at the size of your WATER HEAD!! It's like a JUG!" Reggie laughs at his own joke, and proceeds to tease him all day with the new insult, "JUGHEAD" Now Jughead, being the cool character that he is, turns insult into victory by NOT reacting negatively to the name, but by not only answering to it unemotionally, but also introducing himself to others as JUGHEAD JONES.  Reggie  storms off angry that he did not succeed in ruffling Jughead's feathers, and the nickname sticks.
JUGHEAD also can stand for the ever present hat that he wears. In my "RIVERDALE UNIVERSE" Jughead is NEVER with out a hat, or a "JUG" on his head, and in additions to the crown, which is his favorite wears several others.

once again, this seems like a LOT of excessive thinking, to "just draw a picture" but as creators, we have to "breathe life" into our creations, and one way to do that is through the use of "back story" as talked about here. This is just another of my winning methods to help bring my cartoons to life.

Dont worry, Im saving the gurls for LAST! there's still Veronica, Betty, Miss Grundy, Midge, and my favorite, BIG ETHEL to do!   For my next project, I think I'll draw DILTON DOILEY, Riverdales official "Nerd"

Glad you folks are enjoying this series, I initially thought it up as a way to practice my digital Ipad Painting, but like most art it has taken on a life of its own!

ipad cartoon of REGGIE MANTLE from "THE RIVERDALE HIGH" project by Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling

The way I see it, in the ARCHIE COMICS universe, REGGIE MANTLE is the coolest character. Reggie stands out from the rest of The Riverdale cast of characters because we know so little about him. I'm not a "die hard" ARCHIE COMICS historian, but I've read the series enough to never recall EVER seeing Reggie's parents or any other family member for that matter. Why is that? I think because the original writers of the ARCHIE COMICS series wanted to pen him as the "villain" Archie's nemesis, and as such, we couldn't make him as "human" as Archie. To give Reggie brothers and sisters, not to mention loving mom and dad, would definitely turn the barometer down on the Reggie Mantle "hate " factor. But we DONT hate Reggie, do we? Reggie is a kind of lovable rouge. He's not rich, but always seems to have money. He drives a fancy car, has no problem with the ladies, and gives Archie a run for his money with Veronica, who I feel , is Reggies natural "soul mate". She knows it too, which is why she cant stop dating him occasionally.

In my depiction of Reggie, I chose to give him "devilishly good looks" Reggie doesn't have a big ego for no reason. He KNOWS he's Hot! The Reggie In my cartoon universe, also has shorted his name to REG after all, he was called "REGGIE" when he was a kid, but now that he's a suave hunk of riverdale beefcake , he needs a name to fit his suave persona.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

ipad cartoon BIG MOOSE From The Riverdale High Project Subwaysurfer

 Riverdales High School Jock, BIG MOOSE, is one interesting character in the Archie Comics Universe. Moose is always drawn as this hulking dumb but lovable character, when if you really read the comic, he's anything BUT that. First off, He's at one time or another beaten up EVERY major Male Character in the Archie Comics universe, including  some "red shirts" to use the star trek term, who appear every now and then, whose sole purpose is to be pounded by MOOSE. The cause of Moose's rage is his terrible temper as he calls it... we call it ANGER MANAGEMENT ISSUES... which is always ignited because he catches someone "lookin at Muh Gurl!" That "gurl" would be Midge, who seems nice enough, but suspiciously NEVER hangs out with Betty and Veronica... WHY is THAT??  I say it's because she's scared of MOOSE like everyone else is!! I mean if he's willing to pound someone who poses a threat to the object of his affection, what's he likely to do with the woman who breaks his heart? Midge isnt even THAT devoted to MOOSE. We see this as upon occasion sh has dated ARCHIE when He has successfully outsmarted MOOSE, and also doesnt mind talking to REGGIE... who is my next ipad target.
This is WAYYYY Too much thinking for one cartoon, but that tends to happen when I really get into a drawing.
This is why I drew MOOSE like the savage beast that I know that he IS!! The only think keeping the hapless males of RIVERDALE from sudden death is MIDGE! LOL!

ipad cartoon of ARCHIE ANDREWS from "THE RIVERDALE HIGH" project by Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling

Been playing with this idea for a long time, and finally decided it would be fun to do with the ipad since it has all these crazy fun brushes. I always felt comic book icon, Archie Andrews of Riverdale needed a visual makeover, and while the whole gang has gotten an update lately in their comics. (yeah, I ADMIT IT! I STILL read ARCHIE COMICS!) although a little more realistic looking, they kinda look the same. I wanted to go with the "ARCHIE VIBE" but play with the proportions a little bit, and came up with this pic about 45 minutes later. This was a fun exercise which released my creativity, and gave me an opportunity to explore the Art Studio app further. I happen to like Art Studio a little more than the much applauded Sketchbook Pro App. Art Studio seems more intuitive for me in some way.
I plan on drawing the whole gang in The Riverdale High Series so stay tuned.

ARCHIE ANDREWS mystifies me. For all intensive purposes he should be the town nerd.Physically, His appearance is rather odd. Busy red hair , a big nose, an overbite, and freckles that decided to stay over on his face past childhood. Not to mention those thick black busy eyebrows of his. Yep, Archie SHOULD be the town Nerd, alright... But he isnt...He is a lovable Dunce who can afford a great car, is a klutz who cant to anything right, is constantly in trouble with his teachers and school principal for one mishap or another, and yet at the end of the day he has two of the most sought after girls in town competing for HIS attention, and if you read the comic like I do, he never seems to have trouble attracting female attention. He's even the rival of REGGIE MANTLE, Who is not only one of the COOLEST guys in the Archie Universe, but In my view, the PROPER match for Veronica. And Yet, Archie, in all his "dopiness" gets the girl.....
I get the old saying is true.
Some guys got "IT" and some guys Dont,
and in spite of his obvious shortcomings ARCHIE ANDREWS and Got PLENTY of that elusive "IT" that Most of us Males wish we had in High School.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More NEw York subway caricatures

He Had GREAT Hair But Did NOT want to be Caricatured!!! LOL! He kept turning his head, changing his position and GLARING at me! LOL! He kinda reminded me of 1950's strongman, Steve Reeves, From those Hercules Flicks waaaaay Back in the day..
This Guy was from out of town, on his way to JFK at Howard Beach, heading back home to parts unknown. He had this look on his face that said, "HI, ENGLISH IS NOT MY FIRST LANGUAGE"

Wow, In all this digital caricature excitement, I totally forgot that I've been riding the subway and coming up with this great stuff here! LOL!  Enjoy!

Digital Caricature Of Subwaysurfer By ANGIE JORDAN

Some days I just sit back and smile thinking to myself how GOOD it is to be ME!  Not only have I been inspired by the best,  taught by the best, but also DRAWN by the BEST! Since I'm featuring so many of Angie Jordan's Vids here, I thought it only right to Show off My personal Digital Caricature Done by Angie herself! I've have some great artists draw me before, but Angie captured that "something" in my expression that makes this picture instantly recognizable. What an inspiration! As far as my digital caricatures go, folks, THIS is what I'm shooting for.

Angie Jordan: iPad Caricatures with iFaraday stylus and ArtStudio update

RASTA MAN ipad Caricature by Subwaysurfer

HEY! I think Im getting to LIKE this Digital Drawing thing! LOL! Sketchbook pro has got the COOLEST painting tools that makes painting hair a pure joy! I cant WAIT to show you what Im coming up with tomorrow! Practice makes perfect and this pic only took me 30 minutes... not perfect, STILL a LOT of work to go on my painting technique, but Im coming along... step by step... pixel by pixel...BIG SHOUT OUT TO KENLY DILLARD, who gave me some much needed instruction on painting...

I'm beginning to get a feel for the Pogo stick...ugh... The trick seems to be to NOT STOP when you're doing the serious part of the drawing. I also see that I probably WILL be going the "cartoony route" when I do this live. I saw an excellent vid by Angie Jordan where she demonstrates this,and MAN does that Lady know her stuff!

In search of the right Ipad Stylus...

It didnt take me very long to discover that the POGO STYLUS is NOT the best tool for drawing. It starts OUT well enough, fresh out of the box, and is good for about an hour of drawing, but its all downhill from there, IMO. The point of it literally drags across the screen, and is reminiscent of a giant cue tip. It just doesnt FEEL like a pen in your hand , and when I would hold my stylus at certain angles It had difficulty making a mark.

Needless to say, I am in search, like so many digital artists, who have come before, of the PERFECT  STYLUS! at least for ME.  I'm currently viewing as much material as I can on the subject, and of course I want the cost to be as minimal as possible, BUT am willing to "spend the money" just to find something that works.
For those of you who are ALSO looking, Maybe you may find the info below useful.
Gee... is it just ME, or did I actually make myself look like a Baby Gorilla in the caricature I drew of myself???

Ipad Caricature Cartoons by Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling

At the urging of Angie Jordan, The Worlds First ipad caricaturists, I purchased sketchbook Pro, the digital program of choice among caricature artists, and went to work on my first.SERIOUS color caricature using the software and this device. Right now I'm getting over the learning curve of adjusting to the slight time delay of the Pogo Stylus as it draws on the pad, the location and choice of different brushes and settings, as well as the art of painting itself, which until now, I all but ignored. I started the above sketch at 9pm last night working slowly in layers first laying down the initial blue line sketch in one layer, then gradually building up the color on subsequent layers. For an artist like me, who prides himself on his speed and accuracy, the slowing down process took a LOT of gettig used to, but was very satisfying as I explored new ways to color and shape my drawing like some digital sculpture. I looked up and it was 11PM. Where did the time go? I wasn't tired, and determined to COMPLETE this drawing, I put my head down, grasped a cup of lipton and continued. The next time I looked up it was 5 in the MORNING!! I had literally been at this for 8 hours!  This fact alone is phenomenal , as i am a BIG fan of getting a good nights rest, but like many people around the world, I am caught up in the ipads spell. It's not perfect, but Im very satisfied with the results of my second picture. It's GOT to get easier from here! I cant imagine going to a party and spending 8 hours on one face... unless its a very GOOD caricature!

WIth renewed confidence from the previous all nighter, I attacked this self portrait with gusto. As a result of my 8 hour ordeal, this painting came a lot easier, although it still wasnt QUICK. It took approx three hours to do. I wanted it to look kinda sorta realistic. Closer at least to how I actually draw caricatures. I can see by the way the materials perform, or at least the way I interact with them , that when I start using the ipad for party caricature I will probably lean more in the direction of cartoony caricatures, rather than the cartoon portraits  that I normally do. On another note, I can see the ipad is excellent for making quick wireframe sketches and later printing out the result to go over in marker like I have done for years.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Keep drawing... you really WILL Improve. Lessons from DJ DAZE By Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling

The old adage, "Practice makes perfect" is a timeless truth that applies to any endevour, especially the art of caricature. Make no mistake about it, CARICATURE DRAWING IS NOT EASY. I meet folk all the time, most of them artists, who think that it is. Being able "to draw" doesnt always translate into being able to draw exaggerated, AND be able to get a dead on likeness. Add the additional element of a live screaming crowd, blaring music, and a time constraint of a live party event, and most of your artistic skills get left in the studio.
Ive seen it happen. It aint pretty.

Reflecting back on when I was a young caricature artist just starting out, I wanted to draw exaggerated right away, and in my arrogance, thought that just because "I could draw",that exaggeration would be another artistic skill I'd pick up easily, and add to my toolbox.

I struggled though, for many YEARS in fact.

I'm Really just beginning to understand how to do this.
A little.
But Ive also learned that we should despise our small beginnings, nor our baby steps. I found an old caricature recently in a sketchbook of DJ DAZE, who according to my blog stats, is a very popular picture that people come to check out.

DJ DAZE, is a Bodybuilder also, who I met several years ago while my son was in Hiah School. We were both attending a school play, and he was sitting next to me and I struck up a conversation which turned to caricature. I drew him that evening and gave him a copy of the picture after drawing one for myself. DAZE was a bodybuilder back then, as he is now , just a little smaller. As time went on, and as I went to several plays, Daze got bigger and bigger and my talent improved as well. I recall asking him and the picture you see posted is the result.

Daze's condition was remarkable, and was a perfect mirror image of how my own skill at drawing evolved over time also. While I was not lifting barbells, I was working out at the drawing board learning anatomy, exaggeration, and shading and the results were night and day. To me They appear to be drawn by different artists.

Im taking a long time to say that you really CAN improve IF YOU KEEP AT IT. Keep plugging away and keep continuing to push and challenge yourself as an aritst and you WILL improve if you don't quit.

Just ask DJ DAZE, he'll tell ya!

Ronald Mc Donaldhouse Fundraiser Caricature By Elgin SUBWAYSURFER Bolling

The Weather That day was GORGEOUS!!! Considering that the day before was raining cats and dogs in my neck of the woods, The Fact that it was a beautiful sunny , 68 degree day was a gift from God.  I was hired by my agent, to draw caricatures two Saturdays ago for a fundraiser  at Ronald Mc Donald house on The Fashionable East Side. I drew a lot of kids that day, but this particular couple stands out, being the only couple who stopped to be drawn. It was there first time drawing a caricature together and they were very much in love and it was apparent. I sang impromptu to the couple , and they both enjoyed it! For the lady, I sang Bobby Darin's hit, "Beyond the Sea" and finished off "my set" with Frank Sinatra's "I've got the world on a string" When I finished my serenade, I happily handed them the caricature and exclaimed, "Not only did I draw an excellent picture, but also created a memory for you two every time you hear that song! " That's why I DO with my art folks, I help to "DRAW PEOPLE CLOSER TOGEHTER" Pun intended!

FIRST IPAD CARICATURE by Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling

Now that the excitement has worn off with my recent winning of the iPAD from, I felt it was time to start learning how to use this thing to draw caricatures. I went to the APP Store on 14th Street and 9th ave in NYC , purchased a POGO STYLUS, downloaded Sketchbook Pro (At the urging of Angie Jordan) and started sketching.   I looked around for a suitable , interesting subject and stopped at Apple worker, RYAN WEISMEIT. Ryan reminded me of grafetti legend, KEITH HARING, and I immediately approached him and commented on the resembulance. 
Ryan, didnt know who Keith was, surprisingly, but was delighted that he looked like a famous person, and gladly posed for a picture. THIS was the end result of my FIRST iPAD Sketch, and I could tell that Im going to have a LOT of fun with this program.  I I eventually went on to clean up my lines, and colored the picture in, but sadly I accidentally ERASED the finished illustration.

Apparently I need to practice a LITTLE more with my ipad to get acquainted! 

Im still a little shaky on using the POGO on the iPad screen. Thee's a learning curve that I have to overcome before I'm at the point where I feel satisfied with my drawing style, but I wanted to share with you my progress as I continue to explore and improve. Stay tuned for some video Im putting togehter!

Monday, October 11, 2010

HOW TO DRAW HAIR step by step By Elgin SUBWAYSURFER Bolling

Hair can be a challenge to draw at live events especially if you're drawing AFRICAN AMERICAN HAIR Particularly on women and girls. Let me tell you folks, African Americans are world renknown for their creativity, the hair and the scalp is just another canvas! Drawing the confusingly intesne configuration of braids, curls and twists can frustrate even the most experienced artist. But if you have a PLAN it gets a whole lot easier. This is Legend, a beautiful young lady I drew recently at her birthday party, follow along with me step by step.

I start off by making a "wire frame" sketch of the face and the hair. I'm pretty loose at this stage and draw very quickly trying to get in as much "personality " into the pic as possible. I find that if I draw slower I lose some of that excitement. Even though I'm doing a "studio piece" of sorts, I still use a looser form of this initial "wireframe" sketch when I draw Live at events, using a light gray marker, or if Im drawing in color, a flesh colored art stixx.

Once Im satisfied with the wireframe, I begin to ink the drawing, making adjustments, if necessary, as I go. If Im drawing live, this is the stage where I give the person a second look, to see what I've missed. Im drawing here with a good ole' Black SUPER SHARPIE. I 've grown to like the consistent line it gives me, and unlike my favorite Tombo Brush pens, or Pitt Markers, SHARPIE has NEVER failed me, so I tend to stick with him these days. I give the face a LOT of attention at this stage, saving the hair for last, as I know it's the most challenging. At this stage, Im very careful to get the expression right in the eyes, and since this is a child I especially try to avoid drawing the chin too long , which "ages" a child with a single incorrect stroke of the pen.

STEP 3 and 4
In this close up Notice How I draw "THROUGH " the body. I know that Im going to fill in that area with black cater, so I dont worry about it at all. This young lady has dreads, and twists, which are rather large. in the old days I drew EACH INDIVIDUAL ONE complete with inking and it took a LONG time. It's a lot easier to relate to the hair NOT as "hair" but as a SHAPE. I look at the individual locks/strands/twists. like they are a type of container. Doing this helps me to become very loose with my drawing of the hair, and takes away that "stiff" look. Notice also how I've sketched the braids on the side of the head to follow the contour of the head shape. This is very important to get a more realistic effect.Ive also drawn each individual braid as an "X" which forms another "container" This process can be drawn surprisingly quickly. and takes the worry out of the inking stage to follow.


Inking is the fun part! For this job, the SUPER SHARPIE Marker is much too slow. For drawing hair I ALWAYS use Tombo Brush pens. The Brush allows me to use light quick, bold strokes, that add a sense of LIFE to the hair. Notice how I leave just enough white space to give off the illustion of light as it "shines" on the hair. Adding this illusion is very important, and a skill that you just must practice over and over again to get the right "feel"

I've found that if you dont include that "shimmering" quality to hair, your model will appear to be wearing a "plastic cap" that is "supposed to be their hair" Ive seen so many good caricature artists not give the hair the concentration and attention it deserves and ti weakens the drawing. When When doing the hair, try to have your strokes going in the same direction. This is one of the subtle ways you help to "lead the eye" of the viewer, and not create confusion. If you dont do this consistently, your viewer will think something is "wrong" with the picture but wont be quite able to put their finger on it.

The smallest braids on the side of the head can be inking with the Tombo as well, but a better choice is the smaller Pitt Pen. It's especially important when doing the braids to allow that "white space' arear in the middle to show, otherwise your braids will lose that 3D quality and will be a black mess... To make the hair even more realistic I take a fine point pen and draw "loose strands," of hair on each dread to make it appear more lively.

PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE! Hair is difficult to draw AT FIRST, but once you get the hang of it,You'll [ut any hair designer to shame!

Friday, October 08, 2010


Okay Folks, I'm about to give away another of my caricaturing secrets so listen up, get your notebook out and start writing....
Make no mistake about it, CARICATURE DRAWING IS HARD WORK. Unlike most forms of art where you have the TIME to assess, re interpret , and re adjust your work until it's Juuuuuuust right, Caricature drawing, especially LIVE party caricature drawing happens right in front of you, LIVE with "No net" what you see is what you get, and your LAST drawing has no bearing whatsoever on what you will be able to do next, because its a different face.
In caricature you have to have the skill of a portrait artist, a cartoonist, and a little bit of a lunatic to do it right. There IS "no real school " for this, and yet, in order to LEARN you have to have SOME sort of method, so here's one of mine.


When you first start you will probably do something that looks like a portraitm maybe a cartoon or two. But THAT will get old fast, remember, you have 30 days to do this. What you will find that you MUST do is FIND different ways to exaggerate yourself, and STILL make it look like you. Going through this process will FORCE you to think creatively, and think of NEW approaches to caricature your facial features. Even though YOU are the subject, the lessons you will learn in the next 30 days will carry over to how you caricature other people.
I guarantee it.
Just look at the video to see a few of my approaches.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Why I'm a Cartoonist Part 1 of 4 Check Out JEFF TAYLOR by Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling

Ran Across Jeff Taylor while surfing aimlessly on Youtube and was intrigued by the title, WHY I'M A CARTOONIST. I was initially prepared to hear some big shot, or big shot wanna be cartoonist pontificating on how he's great, blah blah blah....instead, what I heard was a very very initiate, highly personal account of one man's journey to define himself as a person and as an artist. His account was riveting and compelling in it's honesty and transparency. Jeff "lays it out there on the line" and holds nothing back in the interview. It's so honest and personal you want to turn away. It's like you're in a confessional booth taking on the role of priest, or sitting across the table with a good friend who sharing with you his life and his dreams. I found a lot of parallels in Jeffs journey as an artist and a person with my own life and it caused me to reminisce and be glad and sad at the same time. In the end, I ended up becoming a subscriber to his channel, and even uploaded a view vids to his channel, not so much as a marketing ploy. but as a form of sharing and appreciation. I hope he shares and posts them.

This is part one of a series of four vids that I HIGHLY encourage you to check out on youtube back to back when you get a chance so that you will get the full emotional impact of who Jeff Taylor is. Believe me, he wants you to know, and you'll be glad you did.

Cartooning With Blitz - Full Program

BRUCE BLITZ INTERVIEW!! By Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling

Hi! As Promised, I caught up with Bruce Blitz, who was gracious enough to grant me a short interview. Bruce, I realize Im asking you questions that may give others the secret of your success, so feel free to be as vague as you want! LOL :

There is/was no secret to my success. I just worked hard. I will say though... that I changed the way that I approached things like organization, diligence and a different way of dealing with things like rejection and bumps in the business road. I didn't used to be that way but knew that I had to learn those things if I wanted to get ahead. I read a lot of success type books around that time.

It must have been challenging at the time as a relative unknown artist to get his own TV SHOW that showcased his art HOW did you do this?

It was hard, but as I said, I learned to not let rejection get me down. I just kept trying. Before I knew it I wasn't as unknown anymore and things got easier! It's a momentum thing.

You’re obviously a marketing genius by evidence of the fact that your products have remained in the marketplace for so long. What do you attribute to that success?

I was not a marketing genius. Quite the opposite. People only see the results of what DID work, so quite naturally they think that it was easy for me. I made many mistakes and learned on the fly. I didn't give up. Sometimes we, as people, like to think that someone who succeeded at something (it could be anything) had some extra special super let's all of us off the hook for ever trying. Like "Oh, I could never do that...blah blah"

Did you come up with these lessons on your own?:

Yes, I created the material for my books, kits, videos and Television series based on how I thought as a kid about cartooning. I aways try to remember to include the basics in my lessons. It's easy for someone who knows how to do something well... to forget how at one time they didn't know where to begin. I tried never to lose that way of thinking.

Who were/are YOUR artistic inspirations?:

I grew up on MAD magazine and DC comics and Marvel and anything with cartoons on or in it!! I really like Jack Davis, Drucker and the list would be too long, but you get the idea.

A lot of people don’t know this about you, but you’re a concert pianist, and a GOOD one. I’ve heard you play. With the way technology combines, visual images, and sound and movies, are their any plans to do anything that integrates your music with your cartooning?:

Thanks but I am not concert level at all. I can't read music. I played in rock bands since the 1060s. I wrote and performed all the music for my videos and my TV series "Cartooning with Blitz". My music was nominated for an Emmy...(which I didn't win @#$%^&!)

A lot of people don’t realize that you are also a caricature artist. I know these a section in one of your books that showcase your work, and Ive seen it personally at NCN Conventions. Are you Still doing that?:

;I own and operate 2 caricature concessions at Citizens Bank Park, the home of the Phillies! This is our 7th year. I drew there for the first 3 years but not so much now. I love drawing caricatures!!

Any current projects or recent successes that you’d care to share with us?:

I am working on many new projects that will be out soon!!

What’s the single most important thing a professional artist needs to do to be successful?:

To remember that even Jack Davis started at the beginning once! Every professional was once an amature. I could go on spouting motivational sayings here but will spare you. Let me just say practice is the key!!

Bruce I’ve already informed my readers, about how you were impressed with my work after viewing it some years ago, so…. If you want to give a review of My work, and your impressions , feel free to do so now…. Basically I’m asking for a shameless plug, here, GO!! :

I am a huge fan of Elgin's work! I remember when I first saw his drawings. The bold line and direct approach to what/who he was drawing caught my eye immediately. It's real cartooning. He is a great "cross hatcher" too. His work stands out because it doesn't look like anyone elses and is funny. His sense of humor together with his drawing style is what cartooning is all about...a funny drawing expressing a funny idea!!! Keep on cartoonin' Elgin!!
Your friend Bruce Blitz

Thank You Bruce, for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview! there was certainly a LOT to learn! First off, Bruce's success did NOT come overnight, he did not "get a lucky break" but created his OWN luck by showing up, trying new things, failing, and then trying again. As he pointed out we only SEE the RESULTS of his SUCCESSFUL efforts, not his failures that led up to that success and made him wiser. 
Whats also important to point out is the value of using ALL of your skills in order to promote your product. I'm sure that if Bruce would have had to hire a "professional musician" to do his music ,the cost would have been considerable, and someone ELSE  could have bragged that they helped to "make the show successful". It Pays to be a do it yourself-er, and although Bruce ISN'T by his own admission a Concert Level Pianist, HIS ORIGINAL MUSIC was good enough to get an EMMY NOMINATION!   You Go! BRUCE!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Lessons Learned at a BAR MITZVAH by Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling

"That doesn't look like me!"

I cannot tell you how many times that I've heard THAT line, and it always comes from a person that I drew a "dead on" Likeness of. The fact is, that MOST people do NOT have a realistic objective, visually assessment of how they look,mostly because of a inflated ego or because they're not used to seeing their face at a three quarter angle.

Whatever their reason, I usually just ignore remarks like these, smile, and happily hand the person their "drawing that doesn't look like them".
This time, however, it was different.
This particular young man at the Bar Mitzvah looked at my drawing and pointed out things that didnt match up with his face. He did this so honestly and respectfully, that I was compelled to listen, and did. Apparently, this youngster had the presence of mind to know EXACTLY what he looked like, and what's more, he ACCEPTED himself, for who he was and how he looked.

I drew him over.

The results were fantastic.
He was very pleased with the corrected drawing, and once I had something to compared it with, I saw IMMEDIATELY everything I had missed.

How could I have been so Blind?


Sometimes we caricature artists get so caught up in "doing our art" that we can get into a mode where we just "give people a picture" not CARING if it LOOKS like them as long as it's "in the neighborhood".
I dint know I had been guilty of that, in THIS picture(Let's not get it twisted folks, the Subwaysurfer RARELY makes drawing mistakes at parties)

This Young man because of his honesty, taught me a valuable drawing lesson. Dont take your subject for granted. The most important person to draw is the one that is in front of you at the moment. Concentrate, REALLY SEE them, and then draw them like they're the only person in the room. If you do that, I learned, the results can be very satisfying. After all, that "bad " caricature you draw is going to have YOUR name on it. Your name is worth protecting.

So The NEXT time I hear,

"It doesn't LOOK like me"

I'll STOP and CONSIDER it!

Unless of course, you're in complete denial!


Bruce Blitz is one of my heroes. First off, the man is a marketing genius. Bruce's popular How to draw Cartoons books, videos, have been staples in Art Stores for years, and can even be found at major retail stores around the country and especially in the NYC area. He is also an Emmy award winning TV Personality and his show has captivated youngsters for years, and now that he's online , his work will live on forever.
What I personally find most remarkable about Bruce is that he started his media campaigning, his personal "Branding" of himself and his work, at a time when these concepts, although common place today, were relatively unknown, and under used by individual professional artists. Bruce, IMO is the undisputed heavyweight champ of how to promote yourself as a professional cartoonist. I certainly have learned a lot from him.

Most artists may "pass off" Bruce's style as being "too retro" "not contemporary enough" for today's generation who likes their artwork, especially caricature and cartoons, "more extreme". It would be a mistake, to "sleep " on Bruce's ability, as he is able to draw caricatures with the best of them. I KNOW, because I've seen it.

I Met Bruce Blitz years ago at a Las Vegas Convention held by the NCN The National Caricaturist Network , Now known as the ISCA The International Society of Caricature Artists. I was very excited to meet one of the "ICONS" of the profession, and found him surprisingly, for a celeb of his stature, approachable. Bruce wrote me a few weeks later following that Convention, telling me how much he enjoyed my work. Although he loved my caricature work, he assessed me as being what he called "a cartoonist FIRST" which was something I hadn't at the time, discovered, but once he SAID it, I understood immediately. He further went on to say how much he liked my cartooning and how he was routinely checking out my blog, even at one point, offering me caricature work in his neck of the woods. I was trilled that a "little nobody" like me, .....heh... at the time......had made such an impression on a guy with the stature of Blitz. It gave me the confidence to push ahead through many nights of disappointment, and frustrations, to become the artist that I am today. Bruce Blitz, is truly one of my caricature cartooning mentors, and I owe him a lot.

Im hoping in a future blog post to have a s short interview with Bruce if his schedule permits. Stay tuned. this will definitely be worth checking out!

In the meantime, be sure to check out the youtube link of Bruce's cartooning series, and look at his other work as well. You will be inspired too, just like the SUBWAYSURFER Was!


Imagine the SUBWAYSURFER'S Surprise when he turned on his computer and read this story on Yahoo News by Staff Writer, Pete DONOHUE. (see story below) The Subways where Yours truly does all his Extreme Life Drawing is FINALLY getting Wired and coming into the future that we all always envisioned in those JETSONS cartoons!! 

I wont talk about the potential dangers of having us wired in the subways... for now.... instead, lets focus on the possibilities....

 Drawing/Caricaturing Possibilities... to be exact.... heh, heh..

It's hard enough drawing commuters when they're tired , stressed bored and agitated because they have nothing to do while underground, with the introduction of wireless acess, they all will now be so happily occupied that they will be to busy talking, texting, and "inter-netting" ....gee, is that a word???... to even notice The Subwaysurfer Drawing their happy occupied faces!!! whats MORE is that I TOO can bring my digital devices on the train and happily  bring digital pictures straight to YOU AS THEY HAPPEN!!! according to the article  excerpt below,  My main line, THE A  is definitely getting it... Im waiting with baited breath....

Pete Donohue, Daily News Staff Writer
Six subway stations should be wired for cell phone service by the end of next year - with the rest of the underground system not far behind, authorities said.
Transit Wireless has until the middle of 2012 to provide service in the stations, but CEO Chris Jaeger said yesterday he expects the work will be done six months earlier.
Jaeger said he also expects all 277 underground stations to be wired before the 2016 contract deadline.
The first to get cell service include five stations beneath W. 14th St. on the A, C, E, L, 1, 2, 3, V and F lines.
The sixth station is W. 23 St./8th Ave., which serves the C and E lines.
Trains are not expected to have service between stations.

Transit Wireless, meanwhile, has just inked agreements with AT&T and T-Mobile to carry their signals on the communications system being built at no cost to the MTA. The company is still negotiating with other carriers.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Little Girl with GREAT HAIR by Elgin Bolling

Another person from the Party Art Productions Party!
This is Okemas Daughter, Legend. Love her name and her hair. This is a photo I took, but I loved her "look" so much that I did another from memory.

Man With DREADLOCKED MOHAWK by Elgin SubwaySurfer Bolling

The women weren't the only ones who had great hair at Okema Diiaz's party,for Party Art Productions. The MEN were equally bold with their hairstyles, like this young barber who had this dread locked Mohawk that he cut himself! AWESOME!

Party caricature of hair designer, MINISTA JAZZ by subwaysurfer

"Minister Jazz" was one of the fascinating guests I met/drew at a Party by my agent at Party Art Productions "Minister Jazz" had Fabulous hair and as she sat down I could not wait to draw her. When she turned to the side, Ito my amazement, it was partially bald, except for the word, "BOLD" that was shaved, on the side. I put down my drawing for a moment and quizzed her about the hair.  She explained to me that the word was NOT shaved but written into her scalp with a marker. She explained that everyday she gave her self "an intention:" or word of intent or affirmation which she wanted to embody that day, and also to communicate to others what she was feeling/intending. I found that to be fascinating  that a person would have that much commitment to their art using themselves as the ultimate art object.

Caricature as SACRED ART by Elgin Bolling

I Had this Fantastic Party For Party Art Productions ,That was held for a lovely lady named OKEMA DIAZ for her daughter, LEGEND. EVERYONE at this party had the most fantastic hair!
 The party was held in Okema's home, and I was so flattered that immediately after it was drawn she placed it prominently on what appeared to be an ALTAR, thus treating it as a Sacred Object WHAT A COMPLIMENT!
I was soon to learn that there were some hairstylists, fashion models, and makeup artists present at the party which was no surprize since everyone was BEAUTIFUL! It was a complete contrast to a Bar Mitzvah I attended the day before.

Monday, October 04, 2010

iPad Caricature Demonstration with Art Studio and Pogo Sketch (with Digi...

Angie Jordan is an amazingly talented caricature cartoonist, who I met years ago at an NCN (National Caricaturist Network) I was attracted immediately to her animated cartoony style, and she was one of first caricature artists, who was bravely using the new digital technology available YEARS ago.It comes as no surprise, to me at least that she is the worlds first Ipad caricaturist. Now that I own one of these things Im seeking out the best to learn how to use it, so who else would I turn to? Enjoy the vid. I know I will!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Drawing on the right side of the brain chap 1

Drawing on the right side of the brain is one of the subwaysurfer's "secrets", Folks. That's right. I learned some of my skill from BOOKS , and THIS is by far the one I HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
This book is Easily one of the best, if not THE best "idiot proof" HOW TO DRAW BOOKS on the subject. Ive told my students about this book for YEARS. This book is a gem that truly teaches you everything you need to know about the subject in an easy to understand way.
This book should be required reading for anyone who is serious about improving their drawing skills, regardless of their level, but especially for beginners. It helped me in my pro caricature work for sure.
Unlike most art instruction books nowadays, the author is not interested in just "showing off their skills" and stroking their own ego, but giving to the reader a well thought out, systematic road map which will give them NOTICEABLE improvement in a matter of weeks. There is a great BEFORE and AFTER section that showcases work of students MS. Edwards, each possessing a different level of skill. The results are truly inspirational and astonishing. If you're a "bad" artist, this book will make you a GOOD artist. If you're a Good artist, it will make you an exceptional one.


Friday, October 01, 2010

VS Live #3 - BAttle for the Mark Event

Top 10 Tips you need to know when choosing a Party Artist by Elgin Bolling

Folks, I aint gonna lie, at the end of reading this post, I hope and pray that you CHOOSE ME each and every time you need an artist to draw for your party. But ... I cant be selfish. I mean I CAN be selfish, but I WONT. There are many great artists in the NYC area and all over the United States and Europe. I KNOW. I've met them. Here is a guide Ive put together that may be of use to you in choosing an artist no matter who he/she is.

But I hope you choose me. Okay... here we go...


1 Do you like his style?

2 Does he have pictures of his LIVE work?

3 How FAST can he draw?

4 How Personable is He/she?

5 What VIBE do you get from him/her?

6 How much experience does he/she have?

7 Is he/she affiliated with other companies?

8 Are his/her prices reasonable?

9 Is he/she willing to travel?

10 Has he/she worked your type of venue before?

Ive been a Professional party caricature artist for over ten years, folks, worked every conceivable venue from Anniversaries, To Zoo openings, and Ive seen this ONE thing happen over and over.

After spending time to get just the right decorations, table settings, DJ's< Party Place, etc. When it comes to hiring the best ARTIST they just get "anybody" Ive actually heard people complain: "He didnt draw me right" , "he was rude" , He was slow" etc. etc. Believe me folks having a Poor caricature artist at your party ruins the event! WHY? well because unlike Cake that is EATEN, Wine that is DRUNK Music that is DANCED to, the CARICATURE DRAWING is a KEEPSAKE. It's a memento that is "frozen in time" pointing to that event. It's not "just a picture" it's a MEMORY. BUT HOW DO YOU CHOOSE A GOOD ARTIST OUT OF THE HUNDREDS? Let me go through EACH STEP"

1 Do you like his style?

As the consumer you have the right to choose an artist whose style appeals to you. If you are comparison shopping, and Im not against it, you SHOULD Do this, look for an artist whose style of work you would like to have on your wall. FEW artsits are able to deviate from their "HOME" style (I happen to be one, of course who is at home drawing highly exaggerated or more subdued...just had to tell ya that..heh, heh. ). If they draw wild and exaggerated, chances are they will draw YOU wild and exaggerated, and MAYBE you dont WANT that. Since you're BUYING the service you deserve to get what you want, no?

2 Does he have pictures of his LIVE work?

ANY artist worth his salt can draw an excellent picture WHEN HE HAS TIME. look on their site to see if they 're live work actually LOOKS like the person they're drawing. Ask them HOW LONG IT TAKES for them to draw. Remember you are PAYING them by the hour. If you have 20 or more guests and you get an artist who draws one picture every ten or twenty minutes then you're in for empty pockets, unsatisfied guests and a long night.

3 How FAST can he draw?

If he cant draw with a Three to Five Minute time frame he is SLOW.Nothing is more frustrating to a party guest than to have to wait on a lllllooooooonnnnggggg line by a slow drawing artist, and STILL not get drawn! I've seen it happen, It aint pretty, and whats worse, is that your guests have sacrificed their precious party time in the hopes of getting drawn by this slow poke artist.  If possible have your artist meet you personally. Take out your watch, ask them to draw you on the SPOT. If he/she can draw you quickly, that's a great indicator on how fast they will be able to draw your guests.

4 How Personable is He/she?

The artist, unlike the hot dog vendor at the food court is an LIVE ENTERTAINER. You WANT someone who is going to be able to entertain your guests and be personable. He should be "part of the event" This is one reason I go out of my way to interact with people Im drawing. I LOVE to engage them. It makes the whole party experience a night to remember. Being personable is very important when it comes to children's parties especially. Does the artist even LIKE kids?  Interview your potential artist and ask them questions. It will become pretty apparent to you how personable they are in a few moments.

5 What VIBE do you get from him/her?

Does the artist REFUSE to meet with you prior to the event,; do they rush you off the phone, or are they "all business?" Sometimes this is an indication that they are "all about the money" and while it's TRUE they are working professionals, you want someone who you can work with. Ive heard accounts of people who have been insulted by artists, ignored by them, and even ridiculed all in the name of "fun" Trust your instincts if you get a weird vibe dont hire them.

6 How much experience does he/she have?

How long has the artist been doing his job? While we all must begin SOMEWHERE do you really want a novice to try their skills at YOUR event? While there are some novices who are very talented, the dynamic of a live event makes some of them fold. Ive SEEN it happen! You want your event to be a success, not some "NEW JACKS" experiment.

7 Is he/she affiliated with other companies?

While it's true most caricature artists work as independents I find that it's good to find out who they are or have been affiliated with in terms of other company's. For example I have worked with numerous event planners in NYC and across the United States for many years. Having worked with these individuals has helped me establish a track record with them for being dependable, professional, one time, courteous and fun. ANY artist off the street can tell you "they're good" how would YOU know? Professional affiliations help you to ask artist employers how good they are. Testimonials from reputable clients also fall into this category. Keep in mind that if you go through an Event Planner to book your caricature artist, you will be paying a higher fee than if you approach the artist directly.

8 Are his/her prices reasonable?

As fun as it is, Party Caricature is a business , and yes I want to get paid. After all Ive developed some annoying habits over the years like eating, wearing clothes and having a roof to keep the rain off me. Having said that are the artists rates REASONABLE for YOU? that's the key question. Is the artist willing to negotiate? granted, some things cannot be negotiated , but find out how your artist feels about their price. You might be pleasantly surprised. Ive actually come up with many ways my clients can save money by booking me for different types of events and have even thrown in free additional specials at no cost whatsoever. Keep in mind also that your artist is a professional  who uses a highly developed skill that few people appreciate or even realize. Price is always a "touchy" issue... realize that you probably CAN get an artist for "cheap" but you will definitely sacrifice skill level and professionalism if you are TOO much of a cheapskate!

9 Is he/she willing to travel?

This is self explanatory. Be up front with the artist and tell him/her where the venue will be. Some area are either remote, hard to access or, from the artists position, dangerous!(come on , we live in NYC, we KNOW where those places ARE) Nevertheless, your location IS your location so find out if the artist is WILLING to go there and if there is additional travel costs involved.

10 Has he/she worked your type of venue before?

Every event has it's own dynamic. Ive seen artists show up at formal events wearing jeans and a tee shirt and utterly ruining the "vibe" of the event just because they aren't accustomed to working in that venue. Some artists DON'T work well with children, some do. Ive even met one artist who "didn't like" to draw the elderly! You would be surprise how many artists "cant draw Black people" It doesn't hurt to ASK the artist the truth, and to ASK FOR SAMPLES .

I hope these tips help you in choosing your artist... which of course I hope is ME..hint, hint! ... feel free to email or phone me at 347 424 5349 if you have any questions!