Monday, November 16, 2009

The ISCA con! (Part 1)

The ISCA convention was incredible! I met so many talented people, had a fantastic time, and learned a ton. I feel like this week alone has taught me more than I learned in a semester of art school! The talent in the air at that convention was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Being around so many great artists and being able to see both their artwork and creation process was at once very inspiring and (extremely!) humbling.

ISCA (the International Society of Caricature Artists, formerly the NCN) holds an annual convention somewhere in the world at which caricature artists of all stripes gather to participate in competitions, attend seminars by master caricaturists, watch presentations by guest artists (this year's convention brought Tom Richmond, Sam Viviano, Mark Fredrickson, and Hermann Mejia, all of whom have worked / do work for Mad magazine in some capacity), and generally just have a great time and meet people. This year's convention was in Sandusky, Ohio at the Kalahari resort, and Bil and I decided that we wouldn't be able to forgive ourselves if we missed the last time the convention would happen in our backyard.

Most of the convention took place in a large ballroom area where a few hundred people sat around drawing one another. Each participating artist was assigned a number and a section of wallspace in which to hand their work. This video by Brain Vasilik will allow you to live vicariously through the experiences of both him and myself, as you no doubt richly desire. Notice the handsome chap at 4:45.

At the end of the week, the room is emptied of clutter and people can circle the room to view all of the finished work and vote by ballot for the artists / pieces that will receive a variety of awards, including "most humorous," "best black and white technique," "best abstract / design piece," "best retail party style," and so forth. Following this, an awards banquet is held to present the victorious artists with their prizes, and to award the coveted "Nosey" awards (bronze, silver, and golden) which are given to the artists deemed the three best caricaturists of the year.

In addition to this general competition, there are also a likeness and speed competition that are held separately. The speed competition was a great time and I'm really glad that Natalie and Kayla convinced me to partipate, despite my protestations that I draw like a slug in winter in a pool of molasses. That hack Joe Bluhm somehow managed to sneak away with first place in this year's speed competition; he must have bribed the judges again or something. Here's a video by Emi Sato so you can laugh at his embarrassingly sorry artwork.

Pictures on the way!

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