I learned a lot of stuff about Australia while visiting Sydney and the Hunter Valley this past week for the 25th annual ACA Stanley Awards. Here are some highlights:
- Koalas may look cuddly but they have big F%$#% claws and will scalp you if you bother them.
- What in the U.S. is the turn signal lever in the steering column of cars is instead the windshield wiper control in Australia.
- Cars driving down the road on a dry, sunny day with their windshield wipers going are being driven by American/European tourists.
- Australia is brimming with fantastic caricature artists.
I was honored to be the presenter of the 2009 Stan Cross award for “Best Caricaturist” at the Stanleys. I can tell you in must have been a tough choice for the members, because every one of the nominees was outstanding and I saw many other terrific caricaturists that didn’t even get nominated.
Many cartoonists here that do publication work also do live caricatures, so there was plenty of live drawing going on. In fact, they had a little contest during the Stanley Award dinner for “Best Caricature of the Night” where yours truly was the subject, and the winner was the 2009 ACA Cartoonist of the Year Peter Broelman. Sadly I only got a handful of the drawings of me done for that to bring home. Here are two I managed to grab:
Me by Luke Watson
Me by Paul “Harv” Harvey
Here are just a few of the tremendous caricature artist talents I saw and met here in Oz:
- Peter Broelman– Gold Stanley winner and one of those guys who can do it all.
- Grant Brown– Fellow ISCA member
- Jason Chatfield– Another super talent who can do seemingly everything.
- Steve (Zeg) Gunnell– Editorial cartoonist and caricaturist
- Paul Harvey– Terrific watercolorist, book illustrator, live caricaturist
- Judy Nadin– Incredibly talented painter and a lovely person as well!
- Steve Panozzo– Live and publication in equal measures
- David Rowe– Multi-award winning illustrator of the Stanley Cover above. No website 🙁
- Luke Watson– Amazing caricature illustrator.
- Brad Wightman– Another fellow ISCA member
Many other terrific artists either didn’t have websites to link to or I didn’t really get to meet them or see much work outside the ones in the “yearbook”, so this list is VERY incomplete.
I also got the opportunity to meet a true legend in the caricature world: Tony Rafty.
Me and the legendary Tony Rafty
Tony started drawing caricatures while working as a caddy during the Great Depression. In World War II he was a war artist/journalist for the Australian Army. He became known for his sports caricatures (although he does politicians, celebrities, etc. as well) , having drawn virtually every major pro athlete (especially golfers) in the 20th century and working at every Olympic games from 1948 in London to 1996 in Atlanta (where I coincidentally was doing live caricatures at my booth at Underground Atlanta at the same time). His work has been exhibited worldwide and he has had over 15,000 caricatures published in newspapers and magazines. It was a true honor to get to meet him.
The most impressive thing about Tony? After my little caricature workshop we walked out on to Darling Harbor and drew in the hot sun, and this 94 year old man stood there IN A SUIT AND TIE and drew one after the other.
Unbelievable. What a treasure he is.
Here’s the quick one he did of me in Darling Harbour:
If I can draw half that well standing out in the summer sun holding a pad of paper and a pen in under 10 minutes at age 94 then that would be saying something. Go read this great article on this caricature legend.
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