East York caricature artists are drawing a crowd at parties and other events

These two artists love what they do

A caricature on display at Cesar Caricaturist Artist located at 80 Gowan Ave. (Natalie Budhu/ Toronto Observer) 

For big events and special occasions, people often hire DJs or live bands for entertainment. However, hiring a caricaturist is becoming more common.

“Guests enjoy the service I provide because It’s different and unique. I think that’s why I get so many commissions,” said Cesar Vargas, a caricaturist and the owner of Cesar Caricaturist Artist, located at 80 Gowan Ave.

Caricatures are hand drawn portraits in a cartoonish style. Caricaturists enhance the basic essence of a person, animal or situation by creating a drawing of the subject in an interesting and humorous way.

A caricature of Nolan, a Springer Spaniel drawn by Cesar Vargas. (Natalie Budhu/ Toronto Observer)

Caricatures used to be mementos or souvenirs people got on boardwalks or in amusement parks, however, caricatures are now a way to help a business stand out at a trade show or industry convention. Pictures speak a thousand words but caricatures say more due their surprising humorous elements that leave customers with smiles on their faces.

Vargas has been a caricaturist for 15 years. He is available to create caricatures for guests at weddings, birthdays, bar mitzvahs and sweet sixteens. He also does custom work from photos provided to him.

Allowing his drawings to be humorous is part of the reason Vargas loves his job. 

“Obviously the pay day is a big reason why I do what I do, but the smiles I get at the end of a commission makes it worthwhile.”

On average, he said he does 240 events in a year.

Small talk helps inspire caricatures of subjects

Dani Woods is another local caricaturist based in East York though she doesn’t have a physical building to showcase her work. She says, “I love what I do. I’ve wanted to be a caricaturist since I was in high school and I think that’s because of all the artistic expression I’m allowed to use in my drawings.” 

Woods mainly draws her caricatures for weddings and birthdays. Dani will create small talk with her subject, if they’re a person, to flesh out their personality, making sure that it’s included in her caricature. She encourages her subjects to move around rather than sit still.

Although caricatures are pretty simplistic illustrations, according to Woods, that’s what makes them ideal gifts.

“They can be used for wedding invitations, birthday cards, anniversary presents and birthday presents. They’re nothing extravagant but they’re unique and in some cases sentimental.” 

Although caricatures can be drawn from photographs and then be digitized, Vargas prefers to draw what his eyes see first hand and with a pencil and paper. 

“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with drawing from a photograph, I do it occasionally but for the most part it feels impersonal. I like talking to clients as I draw them. I get a good sense of who they are that way and maybe I’m old fashioned but I will always prefer working with a pencil and paper.” 

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Posted: Apr 23 2024 9:00 am
Filed under: Arts & Life Entertainment Lifestyle Unique Business