I get the occasional email from folks wondering if I ever teach caricature classes anywhere. I do not, at least not on an official basis. Every year I work with new artists that come aboard at my various theme park operations, where I demonstrate the live techniques I have been using for 30 plus years… but that is very informal and not really classes or a structured workshop.
I am seriously considering conducting a weekend-long caricature art workshop here in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. I would set up a negotiated rate at a small hotel in my area, and we would use one of their conference rooms as our workshop classroom. Out of town students would have to travel here to Minneapolis/St. Paul, and spend two nights (possibly three) in the hotel, plus pay a $500 fee for the workshop. Locals would just pay the tuition fee. It would be over a weekend (arrive Friday, depart either Sunday night or Monday), and would include the following:
- Welcome party at my house, complete with a tour of my studio and a look at my illustration process
- Lots of Q&A
- Morning workshop session: lecture and live drawing demonstrations
- Lunch included
- Afternoon/evening workshop session: hands on drawing and critiques, begin group project
- Late night drawing jam session
- Morning workshop session: One on one work, finish group project and critiques
- Portfolio review/critique
Also included: A signed copy of my book, your choice of one of my Limited Edition Prints, a guarantee that I draw a caricature of YOU during the weekend, a signed copy of the latest MAD
My main question is, would anyone be interested in this? I’m estimating we would have between 12 and 16 hours of actual workshop time over the weekend, plus the time spent in my studio, Q&A, personal reviews of portfolios and work, etc., so it would not be just a couple of hours of face time. I’d really be spending time with the group and doing some serious teaching and doing a lot of drawing myself. Secondarily I’d want to know what sort of stuff people would want me to teach? Caricature is the obvious answer, but what about techniques? Should I concentrate more on live style work, or include things like inking or my digital coloring style? Too much ground to cover would mean I would shortchange the specifics, so coming up with a curriculum that attendees would find worth their time and money is a key point.
If I do this, I would limit the workshop to 12 students so I know for certain I will have plenty of one-on-one time with people. This would likely take place in September. The hotel I have in mind is nice but should be very reasonable especially at a group rate, has free shuttle service from the airport, and has several restaurants within easy waking distance so transportation once here would be cheap/free. I realize airfare and hotel would be a major cost consideration, so I just don’t know if the cost for something like this makes it unworkable. The tuition pricing is based on some other drawing workshops I’ve seen offered and what it would realistically take to get me away from the drawing board and spending an entire weekend exclusively teaching.
You can make comments/ask questions here or email me privately. I’m just gauging interest at this point.
UPDATE: Well, I’ve gotten many private emails and communications via Facebook and here that seem to indicate considerable interest… certainly enough to fill a 12 person workshop class. I guess this is a go! I’m tentatively looking at the weekend of Sept 23rd-25th. I think we will concentrate on live caricature techniques but there will be some touching on illustration work as well. I will post more details once I have deals in place with the hotel and meeting space.
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