An Interview With Caricaturist Simon
Simon, a caricaturist who has forged a name for himself within the events industry, has also been a professional cartoonist for The Sunday Times and The News of the World, as well as capturing the likeness of a whole host of celebrities. This natural born entertainer is guaranteed to leave guests inspired by his talent, with previous clients that include Apple, the BBC and Comic Relief. Based in London, but available to perform worldwide, we spoke to this artistic talent on a range of topics including the best thing about being a caricaturist…
1) Who inspired you to start caricaturing?
The faces of teachers and fellow pupils at school. I continued drawing people throughout college and created many comic book parodies of their lives.
2) How quickly can you create a caricature?
In the studio from photos, 1hr - 2hrs. Quick ‘entertainment’ caricatures at parties and events: 5 minutes
3) What do you think is the best thing about being a caricaturist?
I’m being paid to amuse myself by drawing people. Also, it brings a lot of fun and laughter to parties and events of all types and across the complete spectrum of types of people.
4) Have you ever done a caricature for a celebrity?
Plenty of times! Memorable events include Comic Relief, in the Green Rooms where celebrities were relaxing in between appearing on camera; Davina McCall’s Charity Dinner and The Conservative Party Summer Ball. I have also drawn a lot of celebs for my video series Chattoon! - the chat show with cartoons.
5) What do you think is harder, drawing on paper or on a digital device and why?
Definitely digital. It’s getting easier the more I get used to it, but being a different thing digital artwork is slightly harder to draw. There’s more of a connection between your mind and pencil/pen/ink and paper. Having said that, the tablet is a self-contained sketchbook, with pencils and pens all in one neat package, making it very convenient for on-the-fly sketching.
6) How many caricatures do you do in a year do you think?
Studio caricatures, from photos as gifts, about fifty. Live caricatures at parties and events - hundreds! Uncountable! The average number per event is around 25 - 30 and I get, on average, about two events a week, so
7) Have you ever come across someone that you couldn't do a caricature of? Why?
I should say ‘No’, shouldn’t I? I’m brilliant! But in general, traditionally good-looking people are the most difficult as they have fewer outstanding features to exaggerate. I tend to go towards ‘comic book superhero’ style for many of these types.
8) Aside from corporate events, what other events would a caricaturist be perfect for?
Weddings, birthday parties, company celebration, Christmas parties, anniversaries - anytime there’s a need for celebration and a bit of light hearted entertainment. The good thing about caricatures is that each set can be printed with details of the event so that people remember where they received it. This is true both of paper and digital caricatures.
Businesses might also appreciate a cartoonist drawing the key points of a group discussion so that they have a visual reminder of the event afterwards.