"Any similarity between you and the person I'm drawing is purely coincidental."
- the artist
That's a pretty good drawing of somebody else!

It hasn't been too often that someone has convinced me into doing one of those "live" caricature gigs - but I've done a few. A disclaimer, pasted on the back of my easel in view of my subject, read "any similarity between you and the person I'm drawing is purely coincidental." (Heh-heh, That would always get a worried smile!)

Fortunately for all of us, those drawings are not in my possession to include here... instead, here's a collage of some people who've worked at the same place I've worked at - all drawn from photographs smuggled to me by their giggling co-workers. Usually these drawings were given as parting gifts to someone who was either retiring, moving on, or somehow commemorated for doing something special.

With all of the faces presented on this page, the names have been left off to protect the innocent! (Namely ME!)

To boldly go...
I never realized just how many of these people exist in todays society. They live amongst us, work with us, some of the deepest closeted ones even turn out to be outstanding citizens and successful business entrepreneurs... Yes, I'm talking about TREKKIES!!! Turned out all the fellas who worked in Gas Operations were all die-hard original series Star Trek fans - so you can imagine the mutual thrill it was for them and I when I was asked to draw the group for one of their Year In Review book covers!

Below: Some additional Year In Review covers and other assorted pieces featuring likenesses of fellow workers.

Stop the world.
I want to get off.

Perhaps more a curse than a blessing is my tendency to look at things in a very visual way. On any given day a walk around the block from where I used to work in Brooklyn - one could find themselves besieged with endless sketchbook fodder. People were not merely ordinary people, but living and breathing caricatures.

The woman hobbling out of Duane Reade, the guy sitting outside of Macy's without teeth yelling to himself, the kid wearing the FUBU sweatshirt with his pants hanging off his ass, the woman with the gold hoop earrings mercilessly squeezed into size 6 spandex. Add a hot blazing sun on a summer day and a good dose of Carbon Monoxide from the buses, and it was all the more surreal...

I tend to draw in various "degrees" of caricature - depending on what the particular project calls for - from the almost portrait like to the very cartoony. But the range I'm most comfortable within is a style I like to refer to as drawing "impressions". When drawing impressions you're not committed to a photographic reference or a complying sitting subject - in fact, the best impressions come out of just that - a quick first impression.

I've always been intrigued by artists who could draw this way - seemingly effortless like Bill Davis*, an animator I used to assist. The types that toss inhibitions and think nothing of doodling at coffee shops and subway cars - producing spontaneous kamikaze style caricatures from their mostly unsuspecting subjects. Risking life and limb I took to the streets of downtown Brooklyn.

The drawings here and directly above are the loosey goosey flying by the seat of my pants results of a few of these brave excursions.

*More Bill Davis caricatures of me here & here.

A very schticky situation
There are three types of people you should never mess with in life... hair dressers, waiters, and cartoonists! Hair dressers will cut your hair funny, waiters will spit in your soup, and cartoonists... well... let's just say you don't want to be on the receiving end of a cartoonist's mighty pen! Here's a co-worker that learned this life lesson the hard way - all in good fun of course. It was printed out banner-sized and hung on the wall like a mural. The sheer magnificence of it was breath taking. Unless you know the guy you probably won't get all the in-jokes but somehow I feel you'll still think it pretty amusing!
Mug shots

My brother, who was once an elevator mechanic, approached me with a request to draw him and his work partner as "The Untouchables" - seemingly for the sole purpose of pissing off someone who was after them (and thus far unable to bust them) on some alleged work related dispute - which was never made clear to me.

To instigate things further he and his friend had printed the cartoon onto t-shirts - pushing his nemesis even closer to near melt down. I wonder if participating in his shenanigans makes me an accomplice?

Click on those wise-guy smirks for the bigger picture.

Sometime's you don't draw a sketch - sometimes it sort of draws you... to a place where you had no idea it was going. As I often do I was staring at a blank sketchbook page - and without thinking about what I was doing I sort of starting drawing on automatic pilot. Months later my wife noticed me looking at this drawing again and she just said something like "Harold? Looks a little like Brad Garrett." So there you have it. It was Harold, whoever he was - but now it's forever Brad Garrett. Don't ask me - I have no idea. I really don't.....

I was pulled out of the moth balls once again to do a cartoon of my mother in law for her 80th birthday! All I had in mind, really, was to keep it as bright, colorful and loose looking as possible. I wanted it to sort of have that quick, boardwalk caricaturist look I'm sure she's seen at one time or another while visiting, what is to her, the happiest place on Earth! No, not Disney World... The Borgata in Atlantic City!


Not exactly a caricature of anyone I've seen, but you watch Tod Browning's Freaks (1932) enough times you can draw these pinheads in your sleep!

Below: I know I've seen someone who looked just like this somewhere... just not sure where. Kind of looked like an old thespian... probably some sad old guy working in the drapes department of Fortunoff's.