Q: It is often said that not only pupils learn from the teacher but also the teacher learns from the pupils. What did you learn in your caricature workshops?
A: I absolutely learn and grow as an artist doing these workshops. I see things through fresh eyes looking at how the students interpret the subjects we draw, and find myself noticing things in new faces I am drawing later on that relate to what I saw in a workshop. I’ve also found that act of teaching forces the teacher to analyze what they do in order to explain it to others… doing this has caused me to realize why I do some of things I do. Understanding a concrete reason why this or that works makes duplicating that success much easier and more effective. I know a lot of brilliant artists who don’t really understand how they do what they do… it just comes out of the end of their pencil, brush or stylus. That’s great but it really keeps you at the whim of your muse and creative ebbs and flows. Taking a more analytical approach, something which teaching forces you to figure out, helps with not only being more consistent but overcoming creative down times when you can’t afford to have them. Teaching rookie live caricaturists started that process for me, writing the book really solidified it for me and teaching these workshops keeps it going.
Thanks to Dominick Zeillinger for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar, e-mail me and I’ll try and answer it here!
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