Monday, December 10, 2012


Cant believe I just found out about the amazingly talented European caricature artist Marcelo Guerra. Not only are his cartoon caricatures a throwback from the 1950s slash 60s retro which I adore, but his personal flair and style of dress make him instantly recognizable and is an excellent form of personal marketing and branding. initially i wrote him to draw MY caricature but couldn't help drawing HIS first!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Hi guys by now everyone has heard ad nauseau about the Hurricane Sandy tradgedy that sweapt through New York city and put us on the ropes so to speak. Far Rockaway, a coastal community took an especially hard hit. Sandy ruined millions of dollars of beach front property, including boardwalks, summer homes, local businesses, and oh yeah, transportation.For me, the devastation is particularly bad because as a self employed artist, I have to live daily with the aura of misery, depression, anger and despair that lingers in the air, and can be seen on the faces of the residents who have no where to go. one of the sadness things for me to face is that THE WAVE NEWSPAPER where I worked as an editorial illustrator,  is GONE. washed away like so much junk down a drain. if by some miracle it survived, I haven't heard anything.

following is the last picture I did for the paper. I dont even know if they got it. its my intention to put this illustration on a series of promo products including shirts in order to raise money for the relief effort, people affected by this tragedy, including myself.

im asking you to please not plagiarize this illustration in the effort to make a buck off of my work, and to take advantage of a situation. Please stay tuned for more details. Thanks so much.

Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling

Friday, October 12, 2012

The "Scribble Scrabble" studio Caricature Drawing technique

Those who CAN teach!

im sure that most people have heard or even used the expression, "Those who can't teach". Inherent in this subtle putdown, is the belief that an instructor is resigned to "just teaching" a given subject because they are unable to perform adequately the thing they are teaching. As a result of this cock eyed mode of reasoning we look at vocal instructors as"failed singers", coaches as"wanna be athletes" and art teachers as"frustrated artists."


Nothing could be farther from the truth. The fact is that teaching is a calling, of sorts. A person who teaches, has such a passion for their subject that it's unbearable to contain it within themselves! They have a need to impart it to others. Why does this need exist? I would say it's out of the sincere, selfless desire to have another experience the same level of joy that the teacher feels themselves when engaged in the activity. Although a "bad analogy" it's kind of like the moron who blasts his music loudly in his car. He's grooving on heavy metal and wants "everyone"to share in the experience right down to the last decibel!


If you dig deep enough, you'll find that that most teachers have achieved a level of notoriety and success in their chosen fields. That broken down, raspy voice, boxing coach with the nasty smelling cigar and beer belly, was regional or state champion in his prime, that piano teacher may have been a concert pianist who traveled Europe in her youth, the list goes on, and on. Sometime in the process of working on their own careers people find that they have a knack for imparting information to others. They find that while pursuing their own careers, they love to see others make it too, and view them as kindred spirits not competitors. Teachers are not wanna bees, on the contrary , because of their love for their topic, they've studied it above and beyond what the casual observer, the hobbyist, or even the so called "natural" has.


 Without teaching knowledge dies. Nothing is more tragic than that. For years I have been the admirer of a particular pastor who serves a congregation in a so called Urban area, that most men in his position, given the same level of education opportunity, and breeding would have abandoned. And yet, he has been a staple in the community fir several generations. His social, administrative and political skills are legendary. He genuinely loved, honored and respected by the people he serves. I've often said to him that I hoe he is training someone to take his place because if he doesn't, what he's built, and the knowledge he posesses will due with him, never to be reproduced in another. Teaching is about reproducing. When I teach someone caricature and cartooning, it's a way if reproducing my knowledge so that it doesn't die with me. If I am successful in imparting to another I have the joy of knowing they will taje what I've given, and add to that what s uniquely their own, and give tray out to another. So the cycle continues. On and on. I guess that's what teaching is all about.

Monday, September 24, 2012


In my early caricature days one exercise that was contributed to helping me learn how to exaggerate was the self imposed 30 day challenge. I literally drew a different caricature of myself for thirty days. since I was working with the same boring face it literally forced me to think up new artistic approaches to the same subject. THE hardest thing to do of course is the retain the likeness of course, but thats the whole point. Just to make it easy on you readers you only have to do this for five days. see what you come up with! I guarantee that it will revolutionize the way you look at caricature and you will discover a new style in the process!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Cartoon Editorial illustration

Been a while since I posted any editorial illustrations for The Wave News. I recently got some Editorial copy  where the Far Rockaway residents are"bugging out" over a series of rumors regarding  housing, shelters being built, criminals running wild in the streets, ETC All of these rumors are unsubstantiated, but more residents in the community are getting worried, and if they get too worried.... well we could have problems in the community as people act on their imagined fears. The article, not shown hear is basically a call to sanity. In this illustration , I decided to do a montage of past caricatures to stand is as"Rockaway  residents". Looking at the drawing now I can appreciate just how varied the faces that Ive drawn over the years are, and how versatile Ive become as far as illustration style is concerned. What a great job!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


okay I KNOW that someone, SOMEWHERE is going to be offended by this picture so let me explain it right now before the fire starts, and even though I give an explaination I realize that sadly, I still wont satisfy some people......sigh.....
First off, Im a caricature artist. As such I make fun of FACES... not RACES, and EVERYONE gets slammed, especially when I see a face that reallllllly deserves it. Im not trying to be mean or make a statement just having fun visually with what I see at the moment. I notice also that some groups of people seem to be highly sensitive to being made fun of to the point of wanting to take serious issue with a drawing that was not meant in spirit to be derogatory. This happened to me once with a certain NYC Queens Congressman... but thats another story....

In learning to exaggerate, I sometimes see people as animals. I figure since there facial structure or vibe reminds me of a particular mammal, fowl, reptile, or fish, ill just draw them along those lines. It makes the caricature more powerful. Below is a picture of a young man I saw a few years back in Starbucks. he looked sooooo ridiculously ape like that I could NOT resist drawing him him full on as a Simeon!

Hope you guys especially my fewllow African Americans can appreciate this for what it is. Humour. If you attach anything else to it, Its YOU. not ME. Im just having fun.

Whether you agree or not, I DO welcome your responses or criticisms though!

The Christ Chronicles Comics Update

For the past couple of weeks I've had some down time which enabled me to work 
on some personal artistic projects, like my " THE CHRIST CHRONICLES COMIC" 
Project. The work is based on the adventures of Jesus depicted in the Biblical 
Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I find the Biblical accounts as 
dividing as any adventure story I've ever read. It's an epic story containing 
heroes and villains, it's loaded with action, intrigue, horror and humor. I've 
taken creative license on character designs, removing them from the traditional 
ancient, biblical, Middle Eastern vibe, and replacing them with a more campy 
contemporary look. (what can I say? I am a cartoonist!) I gotta admit, John The 
Baptist was the most fun to do, and since the Bible does give more of a physical 
description of him, I decided to leave him as is!

The Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducces ,were a challenge to depict, until I heard 
Jesus refer to them as "blind guides" "teachers of the law" which made me decide 
to dress them in formal professor robes I'd recently seen at my sons college 
graduation. The cap covering their eyes, which adds to their inability to see.

This is an open ended project that I will continue to work on as time permits. 
I'm really having a lot of fun with it

Friday, June 29, 2012


When Fame came knocking on the door of  Alabama  resident, Antoine Dodson he 
didn't just answer the knock, he flung the door wide open, and broke off the 
hinges. Huntsville Alabama  native, Antoine Dodson, has become a member of an 
elite group  of unlikely hometown celebrities whose fame and notoriety 
skyrocketed thanks to the phenomenon of YouTube.

Antoine'sqq fame is the result of what could have been a tragic episode for his 
sister, Kelly Dodson, had Antoine not scared off a  rapist who gained access  to 
the 2nd floor bedroom if their  Webster Drive apartment. Kelly's screams alerted 
her brother, Antoine, who managed to chase the intruder off, and had a few 
choice words to say to the intruder once the news reporters arrived on the scene 
with the cameras.

 Antoine's, angry yet animated demeanor caught the attention of a legion of fans 
who after seeing the broadcast on YouTube literally skyrocketed him to Internet 

I personally admire Dodson for coming to his sisters rescue like he did That 
took guts, and he obviously loves her.

 For me, as an artist, I found Antoine to be a perfect animated character. 
Clearly he has the personality! LOL! He's, vivacious, flamboyant, and "in your 
face", even though he was angry, you could still see that sense of humor peeking 
through. The first thing I noticed about Antoine was his eyes and mouth. Both 
very expressive, and very animated. He's a character that definitely calls for a 
lot of dialogue, and it's would be hard to conceive of him NOT getting the last 
word in any conversation he finds himself in. The next thing was his neck, which 
was unusually long.Again, visually, this is  something, once animated than can 
add to his characters "in your face vibe" and make his  dialogues even more 
entertaining. Finally, I love his "costume" if you're doing any type of 
sustained cartoon, whether it be comics, or animation, it helps if your 
character has a " signature look" that doesn't change.   Imagine Charlie Brown 
minus his Yellow shirt  with the jagged stripe.  Antoine's red bandana with the 
pokadots combined with his Afro and black wife beater tee shirt are as 
recognizable as the late Steve Job's black turtleneck was. In an interview on 
the George Lopez show,  I was a little disappointed to find out that he 
had......changed his look considerably, which I feel  was a mistake. In order to 
"milk his celebrity status" Antoine would do better to appear in the attire "we 
first met him". Could you imagine seeing Mr. T in public without his trademark 
Mohawk, gold chains and feathered earrings? It's all about public branding. At 
the very least, he could've sold a line of tank tops or head scarfs! But I'll 
leave the marketing up to his agent.

I hope if he somehow sees these cartoons that they will bring a smile to his 
face and adds another 15 minutes to his fame! 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

my 6th grade drawings

I got a really unexpected email the other day. It was from my 6th grade teacher 
who had found me due to the magic of this great Internet driven, social 
networking , find anyone at the click of a mouse, age we live in! 

I asked her how she remembered me after all these centuries and she recalled 
that I always liked to draw, and that I had an unusual name. I gotta admit, 
there ain't too many kids with the name. "Elgin" running around.

She informed me that she was retiring from teaching, and was cleaning out some 
of her papers from her cases she'd accumulated over the years. She was delighted 
to find some pages from a class magazine I had illustrated, and asked me if I 
wanted them. Before I could the out a es, the pictures were sitting in my email 
box waiting to be downloaded,

You gotta love this electronic age.

The drawings I got were very revealing. It's a weird feeling going back in time 
and seeing yourself, and what impressed me the mst was that I had remained 
consistent to my dream of becoming an illustrator. Looking at this pictures, I 
can tell that objectively I wasn't the greatest artist. The figures are horribly 
dsproportioned, the anatomy isvmisaligned, the line quality is terrible, and the 
perspective is awful.  And yet none of that mattered to e. Judging how I kept up 
with it obviously, it shows thst I had a commitment to improve, and I 
objectively did. I also see that even back in six grade I had a love for comics 
and story telling, and an interest in drawing faces and capturing personality. 
Today I'm still drawing comics and doing caricature.

These drawings are inspiring and demonstrates that even the most talented 
artist, starts from humble beginnings. It's all about practice  and not giving 
up folks.

drawing live on the subway

here i am drawing e live on the train. i look at live drawing as just my way of communicating to the world. it puts people at ease, and makes an otherwise boring ride more exciting. its important not to treat this as anything special or else youll get too self concious and mess everything up.  learn to be in the moment and just draw.

Friday, June 08, 2012



exaggerated couples

There are some couples who stand in front of me that make me tremble with fear because once they mate, they're going to unleash something visually horri8fying !

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

iPad caricature of the lady who looks like Bugs Bunny


Lately I've been looking over some of my favorite black and white exaggerated caricatures I did in the past, and adding color to them to breathe new life into them. This girl with the "Bugs Bunny" mouth is one of my all time faces!(I know, I know, I have soooo many!)

Sunday, April 08, 2012


High upon Golgotha’s Hill A Poem For Easter Sunday

High upon Golgotha’s Hill
Upon an old rugged cross you lay so still
As still as the sea that you calmed
Until it did us no harm.
No, None at all…
So How could you , Lord Jesus of Nazareth, Fall?
Submitting to mere flesh and blood
You, the creator from up above!
Rejected by those you dearly loved.

High upon Golgotha’s Hill
The Lamb Of God was Killed!
A holy sacrifice, whose blood ran down,
From furrowed brow adorned with thorns, in matted hair

The Pharisees, The Sadducees, they did not care.
The Sweet Love of Christ They did not share.

But all I could do was stare
And ask,
WHERE was the Love of God?
Was it somehow hard for God to see
That this innocent man should be set free? Instead of a thief?
My soul cries out in mourning because of grief…..But then, God said
My child, Cease and Desist, from thinking thoughts such as this!

This is no tragedy!
He hangs there in glorious transcendent majesty!

It’s because of my Love, that my son is Dead.
Dry thy tears! let another not be shed.

For He was willingly led right to this cross,
Knowing the cost, that at the end none would be lost
My love is HERE hanging upon this cruel, cursed tree!,
Embodied in Christ on Calvary.

He took on this pain, so you would never know the shame
So that you could have power in his Name!
That’s why he was slain. Upon the cross, and will remain
Till every guilty stain is washed away from you

THAT’S what Christ came to do.

And then, I said,
What a brilliant, yet, unorthodox plan!
Which could only have been conceived by the great I AM!
That A GOD would become a child
That a KING would come become a Servant
That a WARRIOR would surrender
And because he did, this Easter Sunday, we all remember.

By El Prophet The Scribe Elgin Bolling copyright 2011

Friday, April 06, 2012


I decided to go back to my party caricature roots" with this drawing on this bubbly blond. I drew this with a Pitt artist brush pen on slick photo gloss paper. Paper like this is fantastic for speed drawing as your pen literally glides across the slick surface f the glossy paper. There is no chance for reading,so your line must be confident and sure. This particular party style is reminiscent of how I first learned how to draw quick sketch party caricatures mimicking my favorite artists.

Big , Bodacious Brunette Businesswoman in Bright Red Dress

She was walking down the street with all the power and authority her size warranted. Move outta this lady's way, she's packing some power! If you wear a red dress, you definitely want to be seen!

EASTER POEM by Elgin bolling


Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Man on subway with the cool mustache

Struck up a conversation with this man who had a cool mustache while waiting for the train. We spoke fr about forty minutes about the weather, all the real estate going up in The Rocaways, and of course, hs cool mustache, which started the whole conversation to begin with. I drew the understjetch using a red china marker, inked it with a Pitt artist brush pen, threw it in the ole iPad and added the finishing touches in Art studio using the art brush tool.

Long chinned female subway rider.

Saw this feel commuter with a chin sooooo looooooong that she could probably take your eye out if she hit you with it. I've never seen a chin formation quite like that on the female f our species, and it just goes to show you that youllnever know what you'll see in the concrete jungle. Her face was so interesting that I had to draw her face from two angles.

I drew both pictures using a red china marker, inked it wit a black Pitt artists pen, and put the finishing touches with the airbrush tool found in Art Studio for iPad.

Monday, April 02, 2012

iPad caricature of man who resembles a duck

Anybody who thinks God doesn't have a sense of humor, obviously aren't looking at people hard enough. I came across one f the most hilarious faces on the planet recently tat I just HAD to draw.

I call him "DUCK MAN!"

frequently when I'm having trouble getting a likeness I ask myself what particular animal that person resembles, and it usually helps me to get a hilarious likeness, and then there's others where God beat you to the exaggeration. What can I say? The guys lips stuck out like a beak, his eyes were popping outta hs head, he had that angry constipated expression on his face I've seen Donald Duck sporting, and tgat hair looked like a black greased up, frozen title wave!

I drew this initially in my notebook, then colored it in my faithful Art Studio App in the old iPad.

Sunday, April 01, 2012


in the world of freelancing you just never know what type of assignment is going to come your way! When I was given the opportunity to draw an April Fools Day picture for a children's ministry, I immediately thought of the nook of Proverbs found in the Old Testament of The Bible.

Proverbs is a wisdom book filled with many practical user friendly teachings applicable to daily life, as well as numerous observations like the one I'm illustrating.
If you've ever had a dog or studied canine behavior, you already know the truth of this verse! A dog vomits up food that is so bad for his stomach that his body can't even digest it, and yet returns to it like it's gourmet cuisine!

How many of us are like that? The woman who stays in an abusive relationship she knows is bad for her, the guy who constantly goes back to the same bar swearing "it'll be different this time!" and a thousand different scenarios that add up to one thing: insanity.
Doing the same idiotic things and expecting a different result.

Food for thought, no? That is , of course, if you consider

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Indian man on the subway with the rock star hair

The challenge of drawing from life on the trains like I do, is that there's no guarantee how long your subject is going to be there. They can exit the train at the next stop, move to anither seat, start reading a newspaper, or have anther passenger stand in front f them, obstructing your view!(all of which happen to my dismay) it's for this reason that I have to train myself not only to draw fast, but also to "see fast" and to remember what I see. Often, the initial sketch like this one, is so incredibly sloppy that you wonder if it's ever going to become a good drawing. But "good drawing" should ever be the focus wen doing the initial sketch. Most importantly, I try to get the major details (the "headlines") of te face down on paper first, and worry about the smaller stuff Katerina. It's here in this initial stage where I clearly identify the arts of the face I want to maximize and minimize. I love drawing people from India and the mid east mst f all, because I find so much variety, contrast and humor in their faces.
I frequently draw on colored recycled notebook paper because fr subway sketching, I don't want to alert my subject to what I'm doing. If I have a notebook they think I'm just another student or writer.

Once I'm satisfied with the sketch, I take a picture of it ane email it to myself, and then open it up in the iPad app, "Art Studio" since getting the iPad device I've abandoned Photoshop altogether, finding that Art Studio does pretty much the sae thing, and as the added benefit of the touch sensitive screen. I put down the base colors on one ayer then use a separate one to shade the picture using the airbrush tool.

I find that because of my subjects complexion he appears to be blending into the background a bit much, and I want him to pop off the page. After a couple of minutes experimenting I decide to go with this greenish color that does the trick. I also decide that I don't really like the harsh outlines on the inner features of the face and use the smudge to to eliminate tem and to blend so I have a mire realistic look. I also use the smudge tool to get rd if the rash cartoony edges of the hair, deciding on a more feathery look. It works perfectly. Finally I add whisps of white hair to the dark strands which adds to the drama of the face.

Friday, March 30, 2012


It appears tat this lady was a little too angry to sit down in the two available seats. Or maybe she became aware that I was drawing her and didn't want to give e a front view! At any rate, she made for a great caricature regardless f the angle.

Drawing The boy with the stinky drawers....

One of the great things about keeping a sketchbook is occasionally finding artistic ges that you totally missed. Since I'm constantly drawing from life on the streets and trains of NYC, a lot of my stuff gets literally buried between the pages of my sketchbooks. For me, it's like Christmas to find a really great caricature/cartoon like this one, which causes e to literally laugh out loud and say to myself,"did I do that?". I drew this last summer on the train. I'm sitting there in my seat, and along comes this hip hopper in "full swagger" wearing his summer braids, wife beater tee shirt to show off is scrawny yet muscular physique, smoking an illegal cigarette in defiance of the no smoking subway ban, and sporting a youthful urban fashion that I will never understand....the swung low pants. Usually these pants are purchased a size or two, bigger, held loosely with a belt so that the underwear is exposed. Not only is this unsightly looking, not only is it a prison style that indicates you're "one for business" but it's...kinda unsanitary. I decided to draw him in a more urban setting, hence the sidewalk, and also to create more visual balance, have him "smoking"from both ends. The final picture was done in the Art Studio app on the iPad.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Crazy Looney Tunes Caricature

One of the great things and least understood things about caricature is tgat you not only can caricature facial features, but also personality , body language and mannerisms. These are the essential qualities that make personalities recognizable to us. Warner Brothers artists and writers in the fifties did a masterful job demonstrating this in this Bugs Bunny cartoon, co staring the hilarious "Pete Puma"character, who was based on the live action comic character, "Crazy Guggenheim" from the Jackie Gleason Show.

I can't take the credit for finding out this info, the thanks goes to Google! What a great technological age we live in that we can find out even the most obscure bits of information just by typing in a request!

I've said it once, and I'll say it again...when drawing caricature "forget"about drawing the likeness! Draw the PERSONALITY and you'll GET te likeness!

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Contrary to popular belief, the so called "great idea" dent come to us "out of nowhere" in a sudden "AhHa!""Eureka! Moment". According to Steve Johnson. Instead, they're more of a collaborative effort, akin to stew cooking slowly in a crock pot. Listen on to this thought provoking seminar, you WILL learn something, and feel better about the creative process.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Giving Personality to your Cartoons

A good cartoon in my opinion should be able to "be read" by any person regardless of what language they speak. In order to achieve this, in toons involving two or more characters, the personalities of each character should be so distinct that the reader should be able to not only make up their own dialogue that fits the visual situation, but also clearly identify the subtie nuance of personality. Study any Disney film and freeze frame a scene. You will always see the intangible nuance of personality, intention, and character displayed in the body language or facial expression. You develop this ability to capture this by exploring your own emotions, and getting into yourself" without a doubt, all goid animators and character designers are great actors and actresses as well.

REAL life Drawing by subwaysurfer

I've said it once, and I'll say it again, there is no substitute fr REAL life drawing. By this I mean drawing that is taken out of the sanitized environment of the professional classroom or studio, where a nude man or woman contorts themselves in unnatural positions, or poses". The real drawing takes place in the unpredictable real world, on the subways, in the parks, in the coffee shops where people are moving, gesturing and reacting in natural ways. Your ability to do character design or caricature will sharpen to a razors edge if you make this part of your daily practice.


"So,...did you do your tribute to Davy Jones?" blurted out an artist friend of mine over coffee,the other day, reminding me that Davy had recently passed away. As you might expect, that is, if you're as old as I am to even remember Davy Jones, our conversation turned to jokes about the sixties TV show, "The Moneys" starring Jones and tge rest of the band, as well as that famous episode where he made an appearance on the seventies sitcom, "The Brady Bunch", because Marsha Brady (Maureen Mc cormick)was his "number one fan!" Of course I was gonna do a caricature tribute to Davy Jones I responded enthusiastically, thoughts of drawing him with the body of a monkey, using a banana for a microphone dancing in my mad caricaturist brain.... I immediately went to work on the picture then realized that I had completely forgotten what Davy looked like. I kinda remembered the thick busy eyebrows, big teeth and "Prince Valiant-esque bowl the hair doo" he sported back in the day, but wanted to get an accurate picture of him rather than rely on memory.

Thank God for Google Images! How dud we artists ever survive without it?! Within seconds My iPad screen was full of wall to wall pictures of Jones.

Wow... He got old!...

I know aging is a part of life, I mused, stroking my salt and pepper goatee, but it's still amazing how we still expect our adolescent icons to remain exactly the way they were when we stopped watching their tV shows.

I found the sixties Davy Jones picture I'd been imagining. But then became more intrigued with the older, more contemporary pictures if Jones. While it was true that he had gotten older, he nevertheless had aged very well. He didn't look used up and drugged out like so many stars look like these days. His eyes still had that sparkle, he was a little heavier but not what I'd consider obese, and...darn it, he had all his hair! And styled in a way that framed his face beautifully.

I was so impressed by this distinguished look that I decided to honor Davy's memory by drawing mire of a caricature portrait, leaving out the humor altogether.

I chose to use my new toy, a red China Marker to do the job, and absolutely loved the result.

Drawing Davy'sportrait was mire fun than a barrel of moniker, and without the annoying smell!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


With ST Patricks Day fast approaching,(this was posted a couple of days before March 17) I thought I'd share this illustration and poem I submitted to a client recently. The client wanted to make known that ST. Patrick was not just an urban legend", and the original illustration, in black and white, is being used as a coloring page for youngsters. What I loved about this assignment was the research I dd on the man. I gotta admit, I got a kick out of discovering he wasn't Irish! It's enough to make a leprechaun fall off his rainbow and drop his pot-o-Gold!

ST Paddys day is big business in New York where I live. We host the mega ST Patricks day parade, retailers are selling green shirts hats, flags, you name it! Even Mcdonalds has green ketchup that day!

Don't even let e get started on bars, and beer. It's a regular drunken paradise...

Funny how the man who the holiday is supposed to commemorate gets forgotten in all the "celebration"

People really ought to look deeper.maybe this poem will encourage that.

Just for fun, go ask someone on March 17 who ST Patrick is, and ask what he did. the answers or lack of them may surprise you...

ST. Patricks day! It's finally here!
Let's celebrate with lots of beer!
I grab a red headed "Bonny Lass" and yell to her,
"Refill my glass!"

Millions walk the streets in drunken stupor...
That Big Parade! It sure was Super!

"kiss me, I'm Irish! " I hear people say,
Blowing on bagpipes throughout the day!

In all this laughter and gayety,
Do we ever KNOW who St. Patrick be?

He was a missionary, not brash, or "stylish"
Of Roman birth, he's not even Irish!

Kidnapped by Irish raiders was he
Was thrown into cruel slavery!
He was forced to work, and without pay!
After six long years he ran away!

He could have felt bitter, and that's a fact
But God told him, do not attack
Instead he told Patrick to come right back!

To preach the Gospel of love, and peace
And this, he did, and did not cease
He preached to the highest, and to the least
Millions of souls, they were converted
Even though Patrick was the one they hurted

He loved the Irish people, and did not faint
And that is why he is called a Saint.

He used the three leaf clover you see,
To teach the Holy Trinity
The three in one, a mystery!

So on this day when you drink your beer,
You should raise your glasses, and give him a cheer
To a man who sacrificed, who paid a price
So that you might know the sweet love of Christ.

Elgin Bolling



If making comics have fascinated, agitated, frustrated, and mystified you, have no fear, true believers, Subwaysurfer tells you hw to make comics, the easy way! This is part one two or three of a thirteen part series, the rest of which I encourage you to check out on my YouTube channel. In these talks I don't focus on the familiar mechanics of character design, page about and formatting techniques, or penciling and inking as other tutorials commonly cover. Instead, I focus on the intangibles, like getting ideas, and storyline creation, which I feel is even more important than the actual drawing aspect.

My theme throughout these videos, is that we all have compelling, thought provoking stories that we can and should share with the world. Hope you not only tune in, but practice what I'm preaching here!

Monday, February 27, 2012


SUBWAYSURFER’S Refrain To Hurt and Pain
(a protest poem about The Mayor Bloombergs crackdown on artists and other street vendors)

Oh where, where in Union Square
Are those funny caricature artists? 
They made us stare!
They were right there!!
And now they have departed!

We thought they’d stay,
But they’ve gone away! 
Are they ever coming back?
Oh no! They’re gone!
And it’s so wrong

That Mayor Bloomie’s on the attack.
He took their spaces 
Rubbed dirt in their faces,
Used the police to take them away to other places..
And now they’re on longer drawing funny faces of all the races,
On the sidewalks or in the parks,
In Times Square, or Bryant Park..
Uptown, Downtown, 
Where did they go? 
They’re not around…

Bur wait! There’s still one Underground!

My getting busy under the Eartha 
keep ya head up, New York I’ll never ever desert ya!
Caricature cartooning, is in my blood you see,
It’ll take more than a wacky law to ever put a stop to me
My games always been in motion
Continuous and steady, just like the ocean.
BMT, IRT, IND and even on the Number 6 train and even the B
Too many trains to continue my reign, and ever put a stopp to me.
Feel Free 2 join in too start drawing today, c’mon! let’s draw! It’s cool.
Clowin commuters regardless of what they say… 
Now that they think they “leveled” our playing field, 
time to make em pay.
For drawings I did once, 4 free
I’ll gladly do now 4 a fee.
Gotta roll with the punches in Bloombergs new economy..

Since he wants to make it about 
Economics and Finance,
It’s high time we, as artists, rise up in unity and take our chance
To advance, to stop lookin in the mirror no more time to prance.
Let’s arm ourselves with paper pencils and paint, 
Some say, “This is over” but I say it aint

Imagination and contemplation 
Has always been a lethal combination
Let’s use our artistic creative minds
To regroup, re access, reorganize, and take control of our minds.

Continue to draw 
Dontcha dare snore
A world devoid of Art
Is a dreadfully horrible bore
Take time to educate and evaluate, don’t be clueless

You were Born to be an Artist
Be Thankful to GOD
Not Every One can DO THIS.
When you roll back the covers
And turn down the volume of all this 

“Quality of life” Political Hypocrisy
You’ll find it’s fundamentally about jealously.
Jealous of ALL OF US because we’re FREE
It’s exactly how they WISH they COULD be.

Anal Retentive, Money hungry minds 
Use your imagination
Make your OWN money
We did it before
Let’s get Through This.

By Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling Caricature Street Artist

Thursday, February 23, 2012

WIRED MAGAZINE CARICATURE ARTICLE:What Caricatures Can Teach Us About Facial Recognition

What Caricatures Can Teach Us About Facial Recognition

I KNEW this would happen one day, and it's about time! Wired magazine recently ran an article that sums up the geniuses me, and my caricature drawing brothers and sisters always were.
Caricature face recognition Software is currently on the market ad being developed to enable security and law enforcement identify perpetrators. I've llllloooong said that human beings whether artistic or not, think and describe faces in "caricaturistic terms" and can easily use this method for identification.

Don't take my word for it, click on the link to the adio and listen yourself!
If link gives you trouble, just cut and paste it into your browser


Recently on a LINKEDIN forum post, a member posted the eternal question, "WHAT IS TE PURPOSE OF LIFE?" 

As you might expect, the variety of comments touched on the theological, esoteric, philosophical and everything in. Between. This is definitely a question I find myself contemplating on some level, more often as I grow older,and as my vitality begins to dissaate somewhat. Here is one of the answers I came up with. 

The purpose of life is to be ACTIVELY LIVING IT. When we study any other life form we see that there is MOVEMENT, there is PROGRESSION. We see this in plants, we see this in animals and we see this in children especially. Children are anxious for growth to the point of recklessness! They run they jump, they love movement, they are nt hesitant but fearless. There's a deep lesson in that. I don't feel any of us were meant to live a life of hesitantcy or self consciousness always been overly concerned about how we are looking, how we are performing on the worlds stage in front of others. We tie ourselves up in so many knots trying to "please them" when in many cases we don't even. KNOW. Them, so why should we care.

My only regret is not having learned this sooner wen I was younger.

It's true.

Youth really is wasted on the young.

Friday, February 17, 2012


trust me when I tell you-people, that if you are a CREATOR whether you're a visual artist, dancer, poet or a writer(the original audience that's being addressed) what this man Ira Glass, has to say is solid gold. He's saying stuff I've reported on for years, but says it so much better. It's about overcoming inertia in your art, and coming to grips with that period in your journey where you are absolutely terrible doing the thing you so desire to do. Enough talk from me, please watch the broadcast and be inspired.

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

Monday, February 13, 2012

VALENTINES DAY POEM Pretty girls always pass me by.

Pretty Gurls always pass me by
by Elgin Bolling

Pretty Girls! Pretty Girls! They always pass me by!
I’m too shy to look them in the eye…
Each Saturday night, I ask myself,
Why don’t I have someone to love??
A beautiful girl who fits my soul, just like a glove?

I feel like a slug…gotta get out more…

Struck up a conversation with a girl the other day..
She turned and walked away.
Said I was just a terrible bore…
That is, right after she began to snore!
She spun on her heels and walked out the door..

Sigh…What's it all for?

Hey I wanna know, Just WHAT is s my flaw??
It can’t be my looks… Gee whiz… I see girls dating guys who look just like

At least I keep my nose stuck here in a book
So that when the time comes when a pretty girl passes my way,
Then I’ll have something interesting to say!

LOOK! Here’s one right NOW! She's walking my way!!!

…What to say… what to say...what to say.... WHAT TO SAY????!

Er… Hello…Howdy…uh… Hey!
Nice…Day….er…. Are ….You… Feeling… Okay?

You mean… you actually want to STAY??!!
And talk to a guy like ME???


Thank YOU!! …Awww… shucks…. wow… Gee…

That’s so awfully nice… but
I just CAN’T
It just wouldn’t be Right…I mean after all...


Wednesday, February 08, 2012


Every now and then, I say something that sounds so truly profound that I wonder if it really came from me in the first place. I had that experience recently while writing a young artist and was so blown away by this revelation that ace to me that I wanted to share it with you readers here. The young artist in question is a conceptual artist, who also is dabbling in photorealism. Following is my reaction to what he told me about himself.


I believe it's good for artists to have a photorealism base. It's a great place of departure even for conceptual or abstract artists. Artists have to have some type of springboard to jump off of even if they're jumping into the void. That springboard seves as an anchor point for them to refer back to, otherwise IMO, their work becomes a chaotic mess that makes sense to no one but themselves.

No matter how independent an artist believes himself to be, he must realize or at least be honest enough to admit the he is creating art for SOMEONE no matter how narrow the audience.

If an artist s truly doing it just for him or herself, then they would never share their work with anyone.

And that's fine too.

Art is a profoundly human thing. 

Elephants don't ponder what beautiful lines they're going to make with their trunks, nor do rattlesnakes wonder if they're "rattling on beat"  only humans do that. And we do it on a primal level because it's pleasing to us.

Remember to always make art tat pleases you. First. 

Saturday, February 04, 2012


I was in the mood to draw today and thought I'd illustrate this old, tired cliche. It's a Dog Eat Dog World. I thought it would be too much to draw a globe, so I opted to draw the dog in corporate attire. I figured the expression probably originated in the business works anyway.

The illustration was originally drawn in pen and ink, using a Pitt artist brush pen, scanned into the iPad, and airbrushed using using the art studio app.