Monday, June 17, 2013

2013 Arts Fest... Back by popular demand!

On June 6-9th I drew at my 14th Columbus Arts Festival which was also my 20 year anniversary of my first Arts Fest... and it was good to be back!  Last year I was not "selected" as one of the 3 caricaturists at the event (yes, only three caricaturists for 400,000 people!) but this year I received a lot of great feedback from the new festival director. His leadership showed that he has a good grasp on what makes the Arts Fest great, and I hope to continue working with him for future Arts Fests.  Because of his involvement, I was able to be set up in a high traffic area that provided me with the visibility needed to have nearly non-stop sales over the three day weekend.

In a period of 29 hours I drew over 275 people, with over 135 of those drawn on Saturday. While that's not a record for me, it is in the top 5. (fifth, actually... haha)  I probably could have done a few more had I spent a little less time on each drawing, but I always want to do my best on each and give each customer the max for his/her money. On nearly every drawing, I referenced the Arts Fest in some way, which I believe helps promote the event which I value so much. I also cartoon the people's names on the drawings as well which I know some artists find redundant (it is their face, why do you need their name?), but I feel it adds a bit of a cartoony personal touch to each in addition to the caricature.

It is exhausting, however. My wrist/shoulder were pretty sore and my hand is still recovering (my thumb-tip is still numb... I don't know why that is), and most of that pain comes from the writing part more than the drawing of the faces, but for the cash I earn and the seeds I plant (business cards, caricatures with my website/phone on them) and contacts I make (I've already booked one gig from being there), it is WORTH the pain!

I don't do much retail festival type work.  I have the booth at Huntington Park and do an annual wrestling tournament, and last year did the Greek Festival, but that's about it.  The Arts Fest is by far the most lucrative weekend of the year for me, and it benefits me in so many ways. I also love it because I get to see and meet some great artists and see some friends who drop by and say "hi". This year I didn't have a ton of friends who greeted me, but I did see a few that I hadn't seen in awhile.  That's always nice.

One of those I got to see is a couple that has had a caricature from me at the ballpark every year since year one. They haven't been to the park yet this year, but when they saw me at the Festival, they had to stop by and get drawn.  I did a pretty funny drawing of them this time (I have to keep coming up with new original stuff!), and now that I know their faces, it was pretty easy to capture their likenesses.  If you're reading this by chance Sam and Suze, I hope to draw you again at the ballpark!  At least I know they will stop by and say hi to me when they do come out to a game this year.  Good folks.

I was so busy that I didn't have time to take many pictures, but here are a few photos:

 My set up on the corner of Bicentennial Park. 
Great location with plenty of traffic and access/visibility from all sides.

She had the most beautiful long nose... hard to see in the picture, 
but I loved drawing it. Here's a close up:

Another fun couple. Decent drawing.


  1. Very inspiring! Thanks for the update!

  2. Thanks Dan! I should point out that the set up was what I had on the first day... you can see that my chair and easel are in the street and the models' chairs are up on the sidewalk. I eventually put myself on the same level up on the sidewalk.