Sunday, June 04, 2006

A Bit Of News and A Couple Caricatures To Boot...

As I'd mentioned in my last post (which had to have been at least two weeks ago), based off the strength of my previous work for Interlude Magazine, the editor in chief recently gave me a new assignment, which was a lot of fun and somewhat challenging: drawing caricatures of Michigan Governor candidates Jennifer Granholm and Dick DeVos. After much research and trial and error, I felt that I created the best political caricatures of my career. I walked the razor's edge between accuracy and cruelty and ultimately came up with drawings that I felt were worthy of "big time" magazines (I'm still waiting for your call, Rolling Stone). And though the focus of my assignment was to remain entertaining yet unbiased in my representation of the candidates and their platforms, I couldn't help letting a little bias drip into the caricature of whom I considered the opposition. All I'll say here is that Granholm has a couple tiny moles, but DeVos looks like the illegitimate love child of Jimmy Durante and Bert. I've included the dominant caricature so you can judge for yourself. The issue featuring my art should be available to purchase in late July/early August.

I would also like to take this time to pay tribute to one of my creative partners and best friends of the past six years, Pat Dooley. Pat is heading out to Florida (or, as Homer puts it, "America's wang") at the end of June in pursuit of a career at Disney World. He takes with him half of the magic that brought to life my homegrown movie epic, "Son of Scurvy," and more than half of the fun and humor that our rapidly shrinking gang of friends has possessed all these years. Pat and I have shared many adventures and been a part of many ridiculous creative endeavors, and my imagination is going to be a little lost without him. Hell, I'LL be a little lost without him. So here's to the best of experiences waiting for him at the Magic Kingdom, and to the hopes that he returns home from time to time to help conjur a little of that old magic that we all were once a part of.

And lastly, I've recently been awoken to the obvious notion that actress Julia Stiles is hot and more than caricature-worthy. I found her appealling back when she did "Ten Things I Hate About You," but then lost touch with my infatuation when other sources of drooling overtook my senses (Salma, Halle, you know what I'm talking about). But with her role in the remake of "The Omen" and her face popping up everywhere, I was once again made aware of her "hottitude". With her caricature, I chose to focus on 1. her smile: It's almost like a frown, but with the corners of her mouth just slightly upturned. And her teeth are like big white stalagtites (or is it stalagmites?) that jut out of her mouth, yet somehow manage to look more attractive than awkward. And 2. Her eyes: Julia has natural "puffs" (the less considerate term is "bags") under her eyes, and when she smiles, her eyes form the same shape as her mouth. So all this, coupled with proper hairstyle and such, is what my caricature is comprised of. It should be noted that this finished piece was actually a second draft, the first being much more exaggerated and, dare I say, unnecessarily harsh. She does have a very strong jaw which COULD have been taken further than I took it, and I could have really gone nuts with those teeth. But that just didn't work for me, so I gave it another shot and was far happier with the results. I guess abbrasive exaggeration just isn't my style. I tend to go with more subtle representations I think, at least with women. I take the features that stand out, but I don't overdo them any more than necessary, resulting in a cariture that looks like the subject but is still plenty flattering (I hope). I've drawn the ire of some national (and international) caricaturists because my style tends to heavily deviate from the accepted style that so many others use, but I think what I'm doing is good. I'm more confident and content with my caricatiring than EVER before, and I'm too far along to accept unsolicited criticism from those who opt for cliche over creativity. So at any rate, hope YOU enjoy this caricature of Stiles, at least.


Pat said...

That's a nice pair of...caricatures. Thought I was going to make a comment on Julia's...facial features, didn't you?

And you'd better believe that this isn't the end of our cinematic endeavors. We've only just begun our work at making the most independent independent movies in the history of independent movies.

Just think, with the separation, we'll have to put that much more work into planning stuff out, so that when we do see each other and do get to shoot, it won't be quite as "shoot-from-the-hip" as most of our recent work. And you remember what happened the last time we (well, you and Justin for the most part at that point) had months of preparation time.

Ben Fritz said...

Jay, although you may not remember me I just wanted to let you know I think your work is better than ever, in my rather humble opinion.
I met you at CMU, I was in the art department all the time. Occasionally hanging out in printmaking with sarah wiseman and others. well, see ya later.