Charlie's Cartoons   bespoke cartoons - modern gifts with a humorous twist  

November 9, 2011

Caricatures on the web

Filed under: caricatures — Tags: , , , — Charlie Anson @ 2:47 pm

Most of our caricatures from photo collections end up as treasured possessions, decorating a home or an office, but some are intended for other purposes. Like many excellent artists in this area Charlie does provide cartoons for newspapers – after all, most of the history of caricature as an art form does revolve around the printing press. But that’s not all.

More recently, caricatures have moved from print media to the web. There are many reasons a person or a company might choose to illustrate their website with cartoons rather than photos. First and foremost, it makes the site stand out from the competition (something that is never easy to do) and helps people remember it. There might be hundreds of well-designed websites all offering the same thing but very few will have funny, personalised, and eye-catching cartoons.

We can create caricatures from photos of your employees, photos of your wares, or even of your building or office. They can be used on business cards, on the staff pages of your website, and on internal documents and reports. Presentations with personal, specially created cartoon graphics really have what it takes to get people’s attention and hold it.

If you’d like to see some of Charlie’s work being used on the web, take a look at the portfolio pages. A selection of works is listed there, with links to real web pages used by real businesses. You never know, there might be some ideas in there that will help you spice up your corporate image!

November 1, 2011

6 uses for a caricature cartoon

Filed under: caricatures — Tags: , , , — Charlie Anson @ 2:47 pm

A caricature cartoon can be so many different things. Each one captures something different and makes a unique statement- and that can be anything you want it to be. Here are just a few ways people have used Charlie’s art:

1. Wedding anniversary gifts. We can make a single caricature from photos taken over the course of a whole year, recording and celebrating all the great things that have happened to a couple.

2. Retirement presents. What better way to applaud years of service than with an affectionate, cheerful cartoon? A photo of a person sitting at a desk can’t show just how much they meant to the company but a hand-drawn, lovingly crafted picture can.

3. Business cards. If you want people to be interested in your business cards they need to be different. With a personalised image drawn by Charlie your card can be engaging and memorable.

4. Corporate art. Offices don’t have to be boring and nor do business websites. Charlie works with companies that want to promote a friendly, helpful image and a reputation for thinking outside the box.

5. Welcoming family portraits. Caricatures from photos are great for adding a touch of warmth to a home. Visitors seeing an image of a happy, friendly family will be put at their ease and friends will be delighted and amused.

6. Stag gifts. A cartoon can be the perfect way to commemorate the end of bachelorhood. A group portrait of all the groom’s friends will make sure they’re not forgotten as he settles into marital bliss.

October 25, 2011

Charlies Caricatures as a Present

Finding the perfect present at this time of year can be difficult.  With Christmas fast approaching there is always that added pressure of finding good quality yet meaningful presents for those you love.  If you are in the market for something different, or simply just curious about our range of gifts, then please feel free to have a browse online at our portfolio.  Here at Charlie’s Cartoons, we are professionals at bringing to life caricatures from photos.  We believe that quality in line and tone gives a personal and meaningful gift.  Because of this, all of our caricatures are drawn to the highest standard, and we can ensure that you will be delighted with your cartoon caricature.

We also believe in the old saying, simple but effective.  We ensure that our cartoon caricatures are simple and effective, making them personal to you, but not too complicated.  This further ensures that your caricature from photo has that professional feeling to it.

Our process for creating caricatures from photos could also not be made simpler.  We advise you to firstly browse our extensive online portfolio before making any hasty decisions.  After you have had a look around, simply get in touch (contact details are on the website) and we will talk you through the rest.  We may ask some questions about what you would like to appear on the cartoon caricature, for example any specific hobbies or sports or personality traits you would like us to portray.  Then, simply send us some photographs and we can get started!

October 22, 2011

Cartoon Caricatures Highlights

Filed under: cartoon caricatures — Tags: , , , — Charlie Anson @ 9:34 am

So what have been the highlights of the business so far? We’ve been making cartoon caricatures at Charlie’s Cartoons now for almost two years, and it’s true that the day to day process is pretty exhausting. Some of it is exciting and creative, some of it repetitive, like in any industry. But I suppose the main thing that lets us have fun is the fact that we have to be immersed, very quickly, into other people’s lives. Good cartoon caricatures require intimate knowledge of people .

One definite highlight has to be when the secretary to Francis Baron, the former chairman of the Rugby Football Union, invited me to Twickenham to discuss producing a caricature of the England team, and of Francis himself. Now most cartoon caricatures require us to enjoy getting acquainted with people from photos and emails. For this caricature, I was actually invited to come and see the England versus Barbarians match, just to get a feel of the stadium! Anyway, I hope the feel was conveyed in the cartoon… because it was one of the best cartoon caricatures I’ve had the pleasure of doing, and one of the most immersive creative processes I’ve ever enjoyed.

Once the match was over, it was time to knuckle down and get to work. The problem was: I do most of my cartoon caricatures with watercolour on paper… and this one had to be done with oil paint on canvas! Added to which, the only oil paint I had were the primary colours: red, yellow, blue. Oh, and some green thrown in too. Not the easiest cartoon caricatures experience – but we got there in the end.

October 20, 2011

Anniversary Gifts from Charlies Caricatures

Filed under: caricature gifts — Tags: , , , — Charlie Anson @ 3:31 pm

This is a little known phenomenon, but predominantly, anniversaries come up in the winter months.  Maybe it’s the Christmas spirit, or maybe it’s the feeling of a new start at the New Year, but whatever it is, make sure you have got your spouse the perfect gift!  Anniversary gifts can be high end, and often expensive.  But when you think about it, what says ‘I love you’ more, some expensive piece of welded metal, or a hilarious, personal cartoon caricature?!

Well obviously here at Charlie’s Cartoons, we believe it is our drawings.  As all of our drawings are done by photographs, you can be sure to fully capture the traits of your spouse.  You can decide to personalise your cartoon caricature any which way you want.  Whether you are more of a romantic soul, and looking for a caricature from photos with a meaningful sentiment to it, or more of a joker, we have the perfect solutions for you.

We really can tailor your caricature from a photo however you want it.  We can incorporate iconic places, or even your pets!  The process for this could also not be made simpler.  All you need to do is contact our professional team, and send a few photographs through.  Once we are happy with the photographs, you get to specify exactly what you want the cartoon caricature to look like – what you want included, and what you don’t want included.  With different sizes available, we are sure to fully customise your cartoon caricature however you want it.

Caricatures for Children

Filed under: family caricatures — Tags: , , , — Charlie Anson @ 9:34 am

Kids’ caricatures are pretty tricky to make… Parents have a very subjective view of what makes their little boy or girl unique, and they are also very protective of the particular aspects, features, etc which make the child recognisable. On the other hand, children often don’t have that many obvious distinctive features out of which caricatures can be made. With their angelic little faces, what is there to exaggerate?

The answer is not to exaggerate anything, apart from emphasising that cute, big-eyed and big-forehead character that has been a staple for infant and child representation in painting and cartooning. But you can’t go generic when you draw caricatures. You can’t afford to just churn out a carbon copy little cherub every time someone wants a cartoon of their baby.

It’s a very delicate operation: First, to make the caricatures specific enough, context is key. Do they have a favourite place, a favourite toy, favourite clothes? Anything that is instantly recognisable to the customer, and to the child herself! Then, you have to identify the most infinitesimal defining features and render them ever so subtly, so as not to upset that cheruby look that parents will be looking for in their caricature.

A couple of times, admittedly, we haven’t got our kids caricatures right the very first time. Parents have come back to us with details we hadn’t even spotted, or to say that the draft is simply too generic, it’s too safe… Fortunately, that’s what our draft check phase is for. To make sure our customers always get the caricatures they want, whether they’re of kids or grown-ups.

October 17, 2011

Caricatures from Photos

Filed under: custom caricatures — Tags: , , , — Charlie Anson @ 9:34 am

How do we make sure we get our caricatures from photos absolutely spot-on? Well, my view used to be that the subjective buck has to stop somewhere, and that I should simply have the final call on how the cartoonists arrive at their successful draft. I used to check the drafts of our caricatures from photos on my own, and not run them past the customer, trusting that my instinct was always right. Well guess what, I was wrong!

Sure, in most cases the caricatures from photos that were of good enough quality, if faithful to the original image and mixed together with enough entertaining fantasy on the part of the artist, would go down very well. And I would always let out a long “phiewph” at every happy response email that would come my way concerning the completed caricatures from photos.

But every so often we would get a bad surprise. “That’s not at all him!” the odd customer would say after seeing the final product. The truth was that my desire to make these caricatures from photos into wonderful surprises that customers could discover all in one go had outweighed practical reality. My vision and the vision of my associate cartoonists might be good. It might be artistic. But it might not be right. And after all, context and composition is all very well, but likeness is the single most important thing for caricatures from photos.

So since January 2011, we have run drafts of all our caricatures from photos past our customers before proceeding to the ink and paint stage. And the result? Nobody ever gets disappointed… and the surprise is still just as great!

October 15, 2011

What We Can Offer on Cartoon Caricatures

Many cartoon caricature artists work simply with one picture in mind, and will drawn the same figure in the same context.  However, here at Charlie’s Cartoons, we only draw our subject exactly how our customer wants them.  So, whether your chosen subject likes football or shopping, there is always something for you.  We offer many different styles of caricatures from photos as well, ranging from graduation gifts, to anniversary gifts, to more humorous and funny gifts.

Our range of caricatures is available to view on our website.  We can tailor any cartoon caricature to however you want it.  So, whether you are looking for your brother, for your father, or for a friend, we really can help you in every way.  Most of our caricatures also have a humorous side to them, and they can also tell tales of a person’s life and past experience.  We can incorporate any past experience into your caricature, and the more suggestions you give us, the more we get to play with.

The process for a caricature from photos is made simple by our experts.  All you need to do is firstly contact us, just to gain further information on exactly what we can offer.  The next step is generally sending a few photographs of your chosen subject to us.  Now, these photographs are best when taken as a portrait, and possibly from different angles.  Normally 2 or 3 photos will suffice.  Once we have received these, as they say, the rest is history!

October 12, 2011

Cartoon Caricatures for Websites

Filed under: cartoon caricatures — Tags: , , , — Charlie Anson @ 9:19 am

More and more companies are turning to people like us for cartoon caricatures to use as their website mugshots, rather than photos.  Maybe it’s because they think we’re more flattering, maybe it’s because photographers cost so much? (Well I know we’re not exactly cheap – but £300 for a headshot? Come on!) Maybe it’s just that cartoon caricatures can convey that dynamic glint in the eye that companies want to convey…  And also, when you’ve had that swanky website designed to make your company look like the hottest on the block, cartoon caricatures can be the final touch that just makes you look like you don’t take yourself too seriously.

Then there are the style choices: Do you want your cartoon caricatures to be heads only, head and shoulders only, or full body? Full body cartoon caricatures are my favourite: they enable for an element of personality to be worked in: sportiness, geekiness, any personality facet – or else the caricature can convey a hobby, a particular profession, anything.

And then, what’s great for us is that companies require continuity… So to preserve the consistent style of the website, whenever people are fired or hired, cartoon caricatures are removed and replaced. Might seem like a harsh and slightly mercenary way to look at things, but it’s a great stream of caricature business for us!

We can also be a very cheap option for businesses. As a start up, we need to get our cartoon caricatures out there into the public eye, so I’m more than ready to strike deals: cheaper cartoon caricatures in exchange for references and clickable links on the page. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours!

October 10, 2011

A Cartoon Caricature for Christmas

Filed under: cartoon caricatures — Tags: , , , — Charlie Anson @ 3:13 pm

Christmas is fast approaching, and you always find yourself buying the same gifts for the same people.  For your parents, socks and nice jumpers always suffice. For friends and family, gifts seem to centre around cds, dvds, and other such items.  Whilst the thought is there, you can’t help thinking that something more unique may have meant more.

Here at Charlie’s Cartoons, we produce high quality cartoon caricatures from photos.  As all of our drawings are made from photographs, you can be sure that whoever you are giving this gift to will be fully appreciative.  With that extra humour added into the mixture, this is also a funny gift, and will be sure to make you smile every time you see it.  So, whether you are buying for your granddad or your mother, these cartoon caricatures are an absolutely brilliant gift idea this Christmas.

The process could not be simpler.  All you need to do is send us a photograph or two of the person you wish to be drawn, and we do the rest.  It is important however that the photographs are good, and depict the chosen person well.  It is not so good to send group photos, unless you are in need of a caricature cartoon of a group.

The cartoon caricatures can be made specifically to you, and tailored however you want it.  Thinking of a Christmas present, you could always have a Santa’s hat or beard drawn on to your chosen person, or they could even be riding a reindeer!  It is completely up to you!

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