As the year draws to a close, I take a look back at the last 12 months and reflect on the ups and downs. 2012 has been a very busy year for me and I have a lot to be grateful for!
I have caricatured people at 56 events this year and have clocked up a fair few miles travelling about to them in the process! As well as drawing in places all over Scotland, I also headed south to England in the spring to draw at the Commercial Vehicle Show at Birmingham's NEC, then in May I was back down to Peterborough to draw at 'Truckfest' (ten four, good buddies!). Pleased to report my caricatures were very well received by the 'Englanders' and all the gigs I have attended this year have been a lot of fun.
Other events I have drawn at have included: birthday parties, corporate events, a charity 'Come Dine With Me' do, golfing events, kids fun days, fresher's fayres, an RAF do and one Barmitzvah!
I've also attended 26 weddings this year which are always a joy to work at. I find guests are always up for caricatures at weddings and for me, it's great to be part of the celebrations.
As well as 'putting the skills on show' at events, I have been kept busy at home producing wedding stationery and commissioned gift caricatures drawn from photographs. Caricatures make ideal, fun, unique, memorable gifts for people for any special occasion or event. I began doing gift caricatures drawn in my simple 'live style' which have also proved to be very popular with people who need a gift caricature, but don't want to spend a fortune!
Other highlights this year have included my caricature of Ricky Tomlinson being used to promote his cheeky festive single, 'Christmas My Arse!' I was delighted to be involved in the project despite the limited success of the single! Ricky rules in my book...but he was beaten to the Christmas number 1 spot by a worthy winner - The Hillsborough Justice record - I'm sure you'll agree! A good one for my CV anyway...!
Another celebrity caricature of mine was used on a TV programme this year without my permission or consent. I challenged the programme makers about it as this was clearly copyright infringement. Without going into too much detail, I was awarded a 4 figure sum as a compensation settlement from the TV company along with their sincere apologies. The moral of the story? Always copyright EVERYTHING that you put on't t'internet.....take note all you artists / photographers out there...!
And talking of artists, another highlight for me this year was to become friends with Mike Giblin - caricaturist from Newcastle in England, and, without any hyperbole, one of the very best in the business. We've exchanged emails and the odd commissioned job which has been nice. I have admired Mike's work for years, but I was stunned when we first communicated when he told me he was a "big fan" of my stuff! High praise indeed...that was a huge compliment for me!
I was also delighted to receive some 'endorsements' for my artwork via the Linkedin network from Rodney Pike...one of Americas finest digital caricaturists this year. Again, my 'flabber' was 'gasted' to receive praise from another artist whose work I really admire. I must be doing something right then...! If you love caricatures then I would urge you to check out Mike and Rodney's work. Awesome stuff, folks!
Nearer to home, this year I have also had the pleasure of teaming up with 'hardy perennial Glasgow caricaturists' Derek Gray and Tony Docherty to draw at a few events with. Always fun to catch up with them. We all share a similar background and have some interesting stories to tell!
This year I also started my Blog and Facebook page which I continue to enjoy posting content on and receiving feedback about. Thanks to everyone for the 'likes' and support and kind words. I look forward to sharing more new work with you in the New Year!
On a personal note, 2012 also saw my gorgeous wife Irene and I celebrate 20 years together (I asked her to be my girlfriend back in 1992 and we later got married in 2003)! I know, I know....you get less time for murder these days, but it is quite a milestone. She deserves a medal ( and to be Sectioned under the Mental Health Act) for puting up with me! Our 2 beautiful Kids, Tommy and Evie are happy and healthy and Maisie the dog turned 10 this year, but is still going strong!
I wish you and yours a happy and healthy and prosperous New Year! Thanks for checking in
I wonder what 2013 will bring us? Onward....!.