I recently had the amazing opportunity to speak with acclaimed UK illustrator and caricature artist Paul Moyse.
I asked him some questions about his caricature art, and his Kickstarter project to help fund his new caricature book, Heads and Shoulders – A Book of Caricature.
The book will include some of Paul’s best caricature art, and many new artworks.
You can read all about Paul Moyse’s Kickstarter project here: Paul Moyse Caricature Artist.
Can you give some background on yourself as an artist?
When I was between 2-3 years old I drew a picture in crayon of my foot. According to my father it was the most anatomically correct foot he’d ever seen a 2-3 year old draw. He’s talked about it ever since. So I guess I learned from a very early age that art was a great way of getting a reaction from someone and also a tool for communication.
What do you like about caricature art?
I think all art is about rebelling, even in a small way. I think caricature does that very well. I have always been fascinated with the human condition and what makes us tick. Caricature explores that like no other art form I know of. If a portrait gently whispers the truth about its subject, a caricature- one that is done well that is- can shout it from the rooftops.
Can you say something about your process in creating caricatures?
Before I even pick up a pencil I will research my subject. How do they think? How do I feel about them? How do I want to portray them? If they are famous I will look them up on Wikipedia, find quotes, trivia about their lives, then start looking for photo reference. I use all sources possible, but mostly I find Google and Youtube are the best. I will look for the reference that is shouting to me ‘this is him/her’. Some reference can be of that person but still manage to look nothing like them. Then I start my sketch, in pencil mostly, but sometimes I sketch straight onto canvas or computer. The pencil is best for learning. To sketch is to adjust.
Do you have any favorite caricatures?
It’s hard to choose. There are so many fantastic artists that have done so many works of genius that to pick one would be too difficult. Thierry Coquelet drew an amazing caricature of James Brown recently that particularly stands out for me. Apart from that, I’m inspired by anything from the great masters of caricature, Jan Op De Beeck, Sebastian Kruger, Jason Seiler, to name just a few. Derren Brown is also a terrific caricature artist, his talent knows no bounds.
Can you explain your Kickstarter project?
It’s to create a collection of mostly new paintings and sketches that I aim to do within 6-10 months. The initial goal is to raise £10,000. Much of the artwork created for the book is on offer as a reward for pledging to the project. There are lots of rewards to be had in return for pledging money, including copies of the book, an online video ‘Painting Derren’, and a chance to have a caricature of yourself on one of the pages. Derren Brown is writing the foreword and several celebrities have already donated their quotes for the book.
Why are you doing this Kickstarter project and what would you hope to accomplish?
I’m doing this so I can paint caricatures. Also it will mean there is an end product that I can be proud of. I chose Kickstarter because I liked the communal approach it has to getting projects off the ground. It’s a very positive way to look at the creative process. I like the way backers get a sense of ownership over the project’s future and really care about whether it gets funded or not. It puts the focus more on the project and less on the money; the product is always the end goal.
Any advice you can share for other artists who want to do Kickstarter projects?
Do your research. Make sure you are aware of how much time and money you will need to complete the project. Factor in shipping, production time, delays and printing costs. Most importantly of all, get feedback from someone who has already had a project funded. Check out other projects doing a similar thing to you. And don’t be in a hurry to launch. Take your time to make sure it is as good as it can be, then get more feedback, make more changes, then launch.
You can help Paul Moyse fund his dream caricature book by visiting here: Paul Moyse Caricature Artist.