Art Philosophy – The 4 Types of Artists – Classification and Explanation

Once again, a personal post for friends old and new. Others who’ve reached this blog through searches/recommendations might be more interested in the Caricatures Gallery, the Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival, or the book “How to Draw Caricatures – The Evolution of a Caricaturist.”  You are welcome to click the respective links and explore the site. You are also welcome to read this post, if  you have the patience:)

On December 11 2010, this blog completed its first year, and the funny part of the whole deal was that I forgot, and I didn’t make a post. Now if this isn’t a sure sign of dementia setting in – what is? But seriously, I am bad with remembering dates. I don’t know when but somewhere in my journey of art, I learned to present my forgetfulness as a trait common in artists. I realized that people suddenly became more forgiving when they realized that I could draw and paint too. Guess they thought to themselves – we’ve got to carry those artist types around – because who knows one of them might turn out to be a Da Vinci, a Van Gogh, or a Picasso!

Personally, I’d want to be Da Vinci or die unknown. (If I sound like I am suffering from megalomania, please put it down to my being an artist.)

But…am I really an artist?
I mean what makes you an artist?
And…if you are an artist what kind of artist are you?!

Well. There are the following types of artists (and I speak of artists not artistes!)

  1. The Starving Struggling Artist
  2. The Made-in-his-Lifetime Artist
  3. The Posthumously Great Artist
  4. The Richie Rich Artist

The Starving Struggling Artist or the SS Artist!

This is the most commonly found species of artists in the world. The Starving Struggling Artist is characterized by his impractical dream of making it big without paying attention to the theory of probability (which obviously he can’t as he’s shied away from Mathematics and Logic all his life.)  I ask the left-brained readers, if about 100 artists have made it big from a pool of 500 million (approximately) what is the chance of a random artist making it big? What would your answer be? Come on. Be honest. Tell us.

In my opinion, this kind of artist is worse-off than the unfortunates who walked the streets of London during the time of Jack the Ripper!

The Made-in-his-Lifetime Artist or the ML Artist

This artist is that 1-in-5 Million artist who we talked about earlier. The Made in his Lifetime artist is either smart enough to know what’d really catch the fancy of the buyers or who is lucky enough to display the right thing at the right place at the right time to the right audience. Note that you seldom come across this kind of artist. They are conspicuous by their near-absence.

The Posthumously Great Artist or the PG Artist

You know this kind – don’t you? The best example of course is Van Gogh. Remember that he was once a Starving Struggling Artist who went crazy and chopped off his own ear. Van Gogh created work that Da Vinci wouldn’t have allowed in his studio – yet after his death, he managed to become famous! Now to be a Posthumously Great Artist you need to be able to pull some strings up there. It’s my belief that most of the Starving Struggling Variety of artists have a pure heart and so they end up in heaven – but I also think that up there, they continue being their non-diplomatic selves lost in their own dreams of making it big in their next life – and so they don’t pull the right strings. Hence they don’t become posthumously famous. The point to note it – if the artist has a family and a couple of good-for-nothings, then such posthumous fame can come in handy…otherwise, it’s all wasted effort!

The Richie Rich Artist or the RR Artist

When you are born with either a silver spoon in your mouth or a strong social network through your parents’/spouses’ connections, then you are a Richie Rich artist. Then you don’t really need talent to become famous. Such people become artists because they’ve got to do something with their time – and there’s really nothing that they “need” to do. You can teach your dog to pick up the brush and color the canvas – and you’d have a masterpiece selling for a million dollars! Then of course, you can take the limelight away from your dog and bask in it, as you pose in front of the canvas. This of course is a very common way of achieving some degree of fame, which isn’t all that bad – right?

So am I an artist?
I don’t fit into any of the above – and so I am not an artist. But the good news is, there’s no law against people calling themselves artists, and there’s no law against blowing your own trumpet (whatever that means) – and so…even though I may not be a starving struggler, an unbelievably lucky person, a dead artist with god on her side, or even a well-connected rich kid – I still have the right to say that I am an artist.

And being what I am, one day I might wake up and exercise that right – just like that…and again put my quirkiness down to my being artist!

The Megalomaniac speaks again…
If you can determine where I contradicted myself, you’ve won yourself an opportunity to write a guest post on my blog:-)

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Mariah Carey will be flashing her smile on this Caricature Blog soon!

Next in the queue, waiting for her turn, is the pop and hip-hop singer who is also an actress. Sometime today, Mariah Carey will make an appearance on this caricature blog:-)

Stay awake…

PS: She’ll be followed by an Indian celebrity:-) who looks like Paris Hilton, but has more color in her hair and her eyes – Guess who?

I know it isn’t easy to guess for my non-Indian visitors or for my Indian visitors…Alien Visitors, will you try to find who this Paris Hilton look-alike is?

(Hint: The answer is given in the Indian Celebrities post here.)

And yes…

About the How to Draw Caricatures book – The Evolution of a Caricaturist…

I’ve been seeing searches for “Chapter 10 – Evolution of a Caricaturist” happening on this blog. I am sorry for the delay in adding Chapter 10, but thanks for motivating me. If you want to read the tenth chapter, who am I to stop you from reading it:) “Chapter 10 (Caricaturing the Ears)” will be going up sometime this week. Draw…and SPREAD THE SMILE!

How to Draw the Caricature of Dr. Albert Einstein – the Greatest Scientist of the Twentieth Century

Dr. Albert Einstein’s caricature is among the easiest to draw. He has features that hanker for the caricaturist’s eyeballs. His hair, his nose, and his quirked-up eyebrows that push the skin of his forehead into those innumerable furrows and lines – all demand your attention. They leap out of his face and grab hold of your hand to make you draw them!

Caricature, Cartoon, Portrait, Drawing of Albert Einstein, the greatest mind of the twentieth century, who won a nobel prize for his discovery of the photoelectric effect.

Why? I wonder.

Excellent. So his face isn’t like Jack Nicholson’s (with a signboard that says, “everything you see, you can caricature for 99 cents”,) nor is it like George Clooney’s (a treasure hunt in a Martian desert.) Einstein’s face is somewhere between that of these two. It tempts you to fetch your pencil and your drawing pad as the three prominent features in his face are really, madly prominent!

I discussed the folly of trying to caricature “everything” in the previous tutorial, “How to Draw the Caricature of Jack Nicholson – The Wolf.” Listening to my own advice (yes, unlike many, I trust my own advice,) I decided to exaggerate the following features.

  • The Hair
  • The forehead with one brow quirked-up
  • The Nose

The first step in creating any drawing is to…begin, and so I began. When I draw faces, I draw the eyes first, and those eyes watch me draw. This can be an especially unnerving experience when the person watching you draw is Dr. Albert Einstein! I kept my cool, avoided his assessing glare, and continued to sketch. After drawing in the eyes, I moved to the nose, and then to the lips…his eyes continued to follow my pencil, everywhere.

After a while, I gave up, and looked straight into his eyes, and then I realized that there was more to Einstein than his face. I began to remember what I had read of his life. Einstein was known for his brain. He was thought to have been born with a bigger brain.

Lo and Behold! If the expression sounds archaic, please excuse me – for I am (archaic) too.

So…once again…

Lo and Behold! I decided to exaggerate the size of his forehead!

Here is how the caricature was created.

Caricaturing Einstein’s Eyes and Brows

Check out any picture of Einstein, he’s got a bemused look on his face. He seems to be looking at world and saying, “It can all be explained through the General Principle of Relativity.” So I pushed up his quirky eyebrow a tad more to exaggerate the look.

Caricaturing Einstein’s Nose

Einstein’s nose isn’t one of those razor-sharp, slice-n-dice kind of nose. It’s a soft, round, and bulbous nose – a little longer than the normal. All this makes the nose-bulb(?) look like it’s experiencing the full force of gravity!

(Dear Sir Isaac Newton, I hope that you and Dr. Einstein get along well in heaven, and both of you along with Dr. John Wheeler, use the quantum foam to stay in touch with the scientists of our time. I assure you, they need your help to clean up the BP Oil Spill Mess!)

Oh, the nose! As you can surmise, I wanted the nose to become longer, and its bulb to become more bulbous; so I pulled the lower anchor points out of the feature frame, until the nose overshot the lips. (To understand anchor points and feature frame, read “The Evolution of a Caricaturist“.)

Caricaturing Einstein’s Hair

Einstein’s hair is magnificent. It’s white, long, and fluffy (he used a shampoo that he invented himself – right?) I added the effect of the electric hair blower on the white, long, and fluffy, to make them more prominent.

I also fluffed up Einstein’s mustache and tweaked it a little at the ends:)

Caricaturing Einstein’s Forehead

Inspired by Dr. Einstein’s supervising eyes, I made his forehead and also his head, bigger. Remember that the head is almost hemispherical. I decided to exaggerate not the size of the hemisphere, but its shape! Look at the forehead closely and try to visualize the head – you’ll “see” that the shape tends to be a sphere more than a hemisphere.

Einstein’s forehead has a lot of prominent lines. I exaggerated the lines. Look at the right edge of the forehead – you can even see the folds. When your exaggeration moves out of the facial space (at the edges) it becomes stronger.

That was all I did – and Einstein’s caricature winked at me:) My job was done!

If you are interested in exploring the techniques involved in drawing caricatures further, I recommend the following:

Have fun caricaturing:-) Spread the Smile!

The List of Celebrities whose Caricatures Grace this Blog…so far:-)

As many of my visitors would know, I started this blog sometime in the middle of December 2010. Since then, I’ve added quite a few Celebrity Caricatures to it. The regular visitors have probably seen them all, but I wouldn’t want my new visitors to miss out on the treats:) So here’s a consolidated list for your viewing delight.

  1. Gorgeous George Clooney’s Impeccable Hairstyle
  2. Julia Roberts – The Pretty Woman’s Dazzling Smile helps the Rodent Household!
  3. Pamela Anderson (Lee)…the Fish, and the Missing Fish-bowls
  4. Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft – The Tomb Raider
  5. Brad Pitt and Achilles’ Dilemma in Troy
  6. Avatar – A Visual/Verbal Caricature
  7. Bruce Willis – the Unbreakable, and the Die Hard Woodpecker.
  8. Jack Nicholson and the Two Birds – As Good as it Gets!
  9. Morgan Freeman a.k.a Detective Alex Cross and… The Two Dueling Mosquitoes.
  10. Michelle Obama – The First Lady’s Smile & The Toothpaste Ad!
  11. Barack Obama – What worries him? The Pups Know – Sasha, Malia, and Bo!
  12. Nicole Kidman, Her Nose and the Bloodhounds!
  13. Tiger Woods, Women, Nike, and Devil!
  14. Halle Berry, her Hairstyle, and the Birds!
  15. Johnny Depp – Captain Jack Sparrow – The Pirate!

Another Caricature of a Forever Celebrity graced this blog recently (The Pierced, Tattooed, Dermal-Implanted, and Otherwise Modified Human’s Unique Selling Proposition!)

If you liked my caricatures and if you’d like to make caricatures too…my Book – “How to Draw Caricatures – Evolution of a Caricaturist” , which I am publishing as a collection of knols, should interest you. If you are interested…do visit. You can also read more about this book in “The Book” section of this blog. Your comments shall be appreciated.

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List of Celebrity Caricatures/Cartoons Drawn Last Month!

This is the list of celebrity caricatures that I created in the past month. I thought that creating this list could help the new visitors find their favorite celebrity drawing with ease.

  1. Jack Nicholson and the Two Birds – As Good as it Gets!
  2. Morgan Freeman a.k.a Detective Alex Cross and… The Two Dueling Mosquitoes.
  3. Michelle Obama – The First Lady’s Smile & The Toothpaste Ad!
  4. Barack Obama – What worries him? The Pups Know – Sasha, Malia, and Bo!
  5. Nicole Kidman, Her Nose and the Bloodhounds!
  6. Tiger Woods, Women, Nike, and Devil!
  7. Halle Berry, her Hairstyle, and the Birds!
  8. Johnny Depp – Captain Jack Sparrow – The Pirate!

I am planning to add the caricature/cartoon of Bruce Willis shortly:) So stay tuned. (It’s been added:-) View it here.)

I am also writing an evolving Book – “How to Draw Caricatures – Evolution of a Caricaturist” as a collection of knols. If you are interested…do visit. You can also read more about this book in “The Book” section of this blog. Your comments shall be appreciated.

The Evolution of a Caricaturist – A Book on How to Draw Caricatures (a Google Knols Collection)

Dear Readers,

This post may be of interest to you if you want to learn how to create caricatures:–)

I aim to add at least one chapter a week to this book (more if possible,) and hope that you won’t just find it useful but also interesting to read. Find “The Evolution of a Caricaturist” at Google Knols. This short and sweet book will have about 15 chapters (did I hear you say, “Thank God!”), and I hope that it will help you start you on your way to becoming a Caricaturist Magician!

Your visit will be inspirational:) Feel free to drop me a line or post a comment here.

Smiles,

Shafali