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.

Friday, February 03, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: SUBWAYSURFER Extreme life drawing on da train

Doing a plug here for the book I pulished featuring a collection of subway inspired drawings of mine during the 2006-2008 period. I was really into my extreme exaggeration drawing phase during this time, so the art reflects that. I use the mediums of pen and ink, graphite, colored pencils, and Prismacolor art stixx in the book, and there is some commentary. Hard copies can be obtained through and an EBOOK version is also available on ths site by going to the ebooks and products link on the right side f the blog page.

Fixing it in Photoshop, The Caricaturist's salvation



While looking through some of my old books I found an exaggerated sketch that I think I missed posting. I threw t into the iPad, did a little digital coloring using the ArtStudio App, and came out with this masterpiece. I don't remember tge gentleman that I drew, but I'm sure I saw him on the subway. Undoubtedly this was done during my profile drawing period."

Thursday, February 02, 2012


A friend is one who is always happy to see you come and sad to see you go.

It's been a full week now, and I still find it so hard to let go of my best friend, my Beloved "Staffie" Butchie Dog.

 He was fourteen years old.

"Beloved" is one of those words that you don't hear spoken much. It's most often written and read. It's like a sacred word, reserved only for those souls that touch our lives so deeply that their love for us, and ours for  them transcend words.

Butchie Dog was 14 years old.

That's 14 Christmases , 14 New Years Days, 14 4th of Julys, and 14 years of quiet loving companionship.

As I've  said numerous times in this Blog, being an artist can be a lonely life sometimes. Unlike regular nine  to fivers, there's no daily morning commute, no ganging around the water cooler with your co withers, no confrontations with your boss... It's just you alone in an empty studio, with a sheet of paper, a computer screen, and the radio with the volume turned up for company.

To break up the monotony you can go out on location, see clients, or even have an occasional friend stop by, but the sat majority of time, it's just you a d the sound of silence.

For me, Butchie Dog filled up that silence. As I bent over my computer screen today banging out another late assignment, I found my eyes becoming wet with tears as I started to miss that old familiar sound of him coming down the stairs, and finally aging at my feet like a dog skin rug. I can still feel his cold, wet dog nudging  my my ankle, reminding me that it was time for his morning walk. I would complain to him on cue, about needing to get my work done, but always felt more refreshed having gotten fresh air from our morning romps. I always took special pleasure in feeding him, because he had this curious way of "thanking me"  for his food. He would always tae a few bites, then stop cold, pause ad turn in my direction making eye contact for a couple of seconds before returning to his meal. That's way too much thinking, for a dog"I used to say to myself, but Butchie Dog apparently did a lot of thinking!

I recall  the first couple if months wen we got him, and tried to put him in a cage when we keft home. Wed come back hours later and found him on the coach fast asleep. I was always reprimanded for leaving the latch unlocked, until one day I returned home unexpectedly a few minutes after leaving, to find him slipping out the cage, by squeezing his body through an impossibly narrow opening until the match was released.

After that incident,he was awarded his freedom and had full run of the house!

One time we wished we hadn't done that. As he got older, he began to suffer from serration anxiety, and couldn't be left alone. I left the house one morning and returned to find the plaster near the front doing literally eaten away, exposing wiring and  wood underneath,  a bathroom door knob crushed like aluminum foil, and numerous shredding of door frames.

It officially became my job. To stay with Butchie Dog after that (which I was doing anyway) and the only time I could leave for  appointments,  was by meaning him with  a boarding service at the local pet shop for days ad weekends.

Did I mention how he single handedly escaped not only from his cage one night, and also set free EVERY OTHER DOG IN THE PET SHOP TOO???

The owner found it so hilarious that he never even penalized us.

Lots of good memories...

I'll always miss the fact that he'd  be here to comfort me when I was sick. Especially when i got so sick I'd be in bed for hours and hours, never complaining to go to the barroom, never demanding to be fed.

He'd just wait for me to Be Better  and we both would take it from there.

When i noticed the timings growing on his body i tried to ignore it. When I noticed him becoming winded after our walks, I pretended not to notice. wen I would see him stumble walking down a flight of  stairs, or whimper on the couch in pain, I'd pretend not to hear.

But that day at the vet one week ago, I could no linger deny it.

My friend was dying. Bit by bit. Slowly and painfully.

I had to let him go, and because I knew that this was the last time I would see him, I couldn't bear to even look in those eyes again.

I didn't want that memory.

I wanted the memory of long walks in the summer. Of digging paths for him to walk in the winter snow, of watching him endure having reindeer horns put on him on Christmas Eve, of listening to him snore at my feet while I drew, and  of him slowly, painfully purposefully climbing the stairs that lead to my bedroom just because he couldn't bear not to be near me.

That's love.

And that's what I'm going to miss the most.

Goodbye Butchie Boy.

Thank you.

I love you.

And I'll miss you every day.,

Well maybe it's not going to the "DOGS" but at least ONE dog, anyway. My dog, Butchie. Butchie is my 13 year old American Staffie aka a Pitbull Deluxe. Butchie dog, as I call him, has been my constant companion for years as I sit in this lonely basement studio that is either too hot, too damp, or too cold, as I crank out caricatures, create cartoons, communicate with clients , or cry continuously because of cranky customers! LOL. It occurred to me that Ive never really drawn the one who is truly, "mans best friend" ... shhhh is my wife listening?....One day, after coming home
from a vet visit, he came into the living room, and was so happy to see his dinner waitiong, that he wagged his tail stuck out his tongue and held this pose for a couple of seconds, long enough for me to get just the gesture drawing I needed to make this great Doggie Caricature