Caricaturists Convention in Raleigh NC

October 21st, 2008 | Posted in General

Next month several hundred caricaturists from all over the world will descend on the unsuspecting city of Raleigh, North Carolina to attend the 17th annual National Caricaturist Network’s convention. No caricaturist should miss attending at least one of these gatherings in their lifetime. I am not exaggerating (pun intended) when I say it can be a career and life changing event. There is a wide diversity of style, skill level and application within the NCN itself and especially on vivid display at their yearly convention. Attending artists are inspired, creatively energized, humbled and altogether blown away by the experience.

In general the NCN Con is a competition where the participating artists, usually numbering between 100 and 200 artists, draw each other in their various styles for several days and place the best of their work on their designated wall space. By the end of the week thousands of caricatures are screaming at you from all around this giant meeting hall, and members themselves vote on their choices for numerous categories like “Best Exaggeration”, “Most Humorous”, “Best Color Technique”, etc. They also choose the top 10 caricatures of the year as well as an overall “Caricaturist of the Year”, who takes home the coveted “Golden Nosey” trophy. There are many other categories and many artists are recognized.

It’s not just a competition, though. There are also seminars and workshops throughout the week by NCN members and others, as well as a “Guest of Honor” as a main speaker. Past speakers have included Bruce Blitz, Jack Davis, Mort Drucker, Sergio Aragones, Sebastian Kr?¬?ger, John Kascht, C.F. Payne, Roberto Parada, Jan Op De Beeck, David Cowles, David O’Keefe and Steve Brodner. This year’s guest is illustrator Ismael Roldan.

This year I will be one of the seminar speakers, and will do a presentation about caricature and it’s application to freelance illustration. Due to prior commitments I will only be there from Wednesday evening the 5th on.

You do have to be a member of the NCN to attend, but I highly recommend both joining the NCN and going to the big convention if caricature is something you do.

Here’s what the NCN website has to say about this year’s convention:

The 2008 NCN Annual Convention is heading to Raleigh, North Carolina on November 2nd to the 7th! at The Brownstone Holiday Inn. They are very excited about hosting the NCN event and will do everything they can to make members of the NCN welcome.
Roldan has been drawing caricatures since the age of 12, but a big influence in the development of his hand came with the discovery of David Levine at 14. Levine’s work taught Roldan how to exaggerate while keeping the likeness of his subjects. Later, the French caricaturist team of Mulatier, Ricord and Morchoisne opened his mind to using color and volume in his work. After receiving his BFA in Illustration from Parsons School of Design in New York, his interest turned to the draughtsmanship of Ingres, Leighton, Alma-Tadema, Bouguereau and Daumier.

Roldan believes that the eyes and the expression of the mouth are the two most important features in order to capture a likeness. The rest adorns and complements what you already have. Today he is still at it and getting excited with each new face he draws. He has contributed illustrations to many publications including Time, Money, Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal and Forbes, to name a few.

Jan Op de Beeck
“Draw Along with Jan” In this small workshop focusing on basic distortion, everyone will draw along with Jan, while he draws and comments on what he is doing and why. At the end, everyone will share and discuss their work.
Stephen Silver
“Drawing from “LIFE” with Stephen Silver” Stephen will cover the importance of drawing from life and learning how to caricature what you see. Participants will draw from a live model, while covering some basic exercises that will be useful throughout everyone’s drawing career.
Tom Richmond
“Caricatures in Humorous Illustration” In his seminar, Tom will cover how caricature skills can be applied to freelance illustration work.
Court Jones
“Digital Painting Workshop” Court’s smaller workshop will focus on digital painting techniques as applied to caricature. He will show how to customize and set up Adobe Photoshop to produce natural looking paintings and illustrations. Then the group will paint a caricature in a classroom type environment with Court providing individual feedback. Each attendee must have their own laptops with Adobe Photoshop and Wacom tablet.
Jason Seiler
“Caricature 101” Jason will show samples of students’ work from his Schoolism class, share his critiques, and show the progress his students have made. He will also do a caricature demo starting off with thumbnails and the stressing the importance of thumbnail sketching.
Joe Bluhm
“Advanced Caricature for the Live Artist” Joe will demonstrate live caricature techniques and discuss advanced theory. Helpful to both retail and party artists, he will cover everything from the oneminute sketch to a 15 minute caricature. This class is designed for those comfortable with taking their craft to a new tier of personal scrutiny and quality.
Meaghan Kent
“Legal Matters for the Artist” Meaghan Kent, associate attorney at Venable LLP, will lecture on legal issues that affect artists. Topics such as copyright law, trademarks, artist contracts, and issues regarding work for hire, artists’ rights and royalties arrangements will be addressed. She will also discuss the nature and status of the current Orphan Works Bill being considered in the U.S. Congress. The last portion of her seminar will be reserved for Q & A, so come prepared with questions you would like to ask.


Registration is only $225 per member/$150 per guest. Click Here to Sign Up Today!

This is definitely an experience no caricaturist should miss out on. If you can attend I again cannot recommend it more highly.


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New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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