December 21st, 2009 | Posted in Freelancing

I think I might be getting typecast with this bobblehead thing.

First there was the iPhone App with the virtual caricature bobbleheads I did of all the members of the U.S. Congress. Now I’m starting to do actual bobblehead dolls.

Here is another of those weird little jobs that come along for a freelance illustrator that are pretty cool when they actually are followed through with. I’ve designed some 3D caricatures for merchandise before, but other than a prototype Donovan McNabb/ Philadelphia Eagles mug that didn’t end up much resembling the artwork I did this is the first one that actually got manufactured.

The same guy who I did the Bobble Rep iPhone app for, filmaker Ray Griggs, had me draw a “turnaround” caricature/bobblehead design of Obama as “Uncle Sam”. He had 5,000 of them made to promote his documentary “I Want Your Money”, for which I am also doing a considerable amount of artwork including the movie poster, storyboards and some 3D animated character design.

Unlike that Donovan McNabb disaster, I thought the sculptors did a great job transfering my drawings into three dimensions. Here are the final concept drawings:

I think I can still see a lot of my drawings in the final product:

The doll is about 5 inches tall. It’s pretty nicely made as well. It’s fun to see it all completed.


  1. corbett says:

    Congrats, Tom!
    The sculptor did a great job in my opinion – I’ve seen my share of Art to Sculpt disasters

    I’m not sure why – but it’s weird to see a ‘Richmond’ hand in 3D.

  2. Kuznar says:

    Nice! Where can I get one?

  3. jert says:

    wow that came out great! I want one!!! ( for the art , not the politics 🙂 )

    • Tom says:

      Yeah, I disagree with virtually everything Ray has to say about politics, but when you do satire you have to be able to take shots at both sides of the aisle.

  4. Tom says:

    Ray is giving these out as a promo for his documentary, but I am not sure when or how. Nothing about it on the film’s website: wwww.iwantyourmoney.net

  5. Nice! I just got a shipment from the Ox-Z-Moron people I’ve been doing wraparound drawings for… no political figures, just animals and funny novelty stuff. But I’ve been very impressed with the Chinese sculptors. I opened my prototypes, which resembled the drawings to a tee, and thought “holy cow, it’s like I sculpted the damn thing myself” . . . except they did it for waaaaay less money. Then I felt sad and sat down to cry a little.

  6. Mugshotz says:

    They did a pretty nice job handling your “baby.” Do you like this better than the Sherlock pen?

    • Tom says:

      I forgot about that Sherlock Pen (sad considering I have a link to buy it on the top of my blogroll). This one is a more polished final product, but I thought the Holmes pen also captured my drawing very well.


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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