Q: Tom, what factors do you take into account on who (or what) to draw for “The Sketch O’ The Week”. I’ve noticed that you’ll draw someone who’s in a popular movie, or a person that’s currently on the news. What dictates your choice for the SoTW? Is it favoritism towards a celebrity you like? Or maybe someone who you enjoyed sketching out? Insight on this topic would be nice as I’m always entertained by the spontaneous decisions you make every week for the SoTW!
A: When I sit down to do the SotW, I usually just grab a current magazine and start paging through looking for an interesting face. There’s not much more to it than that, but because my source of reference is usually a current magazine, the subject ends up being someone who is currently in the news or in some recent, popular film, TV show or musical act. On occasion I will seek out a subject because they are particularly “hot” at the time due to whatever reason. My only real criteria is that I find the face interesting to draw, and they are a subject matter most people will recognize.
That said, there is a certain type of “celebrity” I flat out refuse to draw . . . reality TV “stars”. Not all of them, some actually are entertaining and I find interesting (I did the “Pawn Star” guys a while ago), but for most I would rather have my fingernails pulled out by a pair of pliers than contribute one iota to their undeserved fame. For example, you’ll never see a caricature of anyone from “Jersey Shore” on this website. Ditto any of the “Real Housewives” or “Teen Moms” shows . . . and I’ll hang up my pen forever before I draw Honey Boo Boo or any of her clan. The Lovely Anna is addicted to Pawn Stars and Storage Wars, both of which I think are engaging shows just because they are believable and show enough actual life oddness coupled with the interesting artifacts and stuff they find and look into that they keep my attention. More importantly, the people on these shows seems to be more interested in doing what they do than in being TV stars (unlike the other 99% of reality TV) and that makes them far more interesting to me.
One thing I don’t do for the Sketch o’the Week is take requests. If someone wants to make a suggestion, I would consider it if I am searching for a subject, but I won’t start a list of requests to fulfill . . . that would take the fun out of it for me.
Coincidentally, all this next week I am going to do a daily installment of “Sketch o’the Week”, something I have not done for a long time now. Just for fun!
Thanks to Cameron Briones for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar,¬¨‚Ä†e-mail me¬¨‚Ä†and I’ll try and answer it here!
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925 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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