October 7, 2011
I often get repeat customers coming back to order caricatures up to a year after their last order. The caricatures business is one that builds up a solid following, but it’s nothing quick-fire! It’s not like we’re selling doughnuts or contact lenses here. Caricatures are bought as a gift, and then if that gift goes down well, people think of the idea again a few months down the line, when the next birthday or wedding pops up.
Just this morning I had a couple of caricatures ordered for a birthday. The order was placed by a customer who had ordered a caricature for a wedding over a year ago, in August. It’s always funny when a familiar name pops up in your email list… You try to think: when did we last do caricatures for this client. You try to match a name to an idea, a composition… then , when that fails, I run a search through our caricatures archive, to put a name to a face. So, firstname.lastname@example.org, who are you… oh yes that’s right, you’re married to that woman flying through the air on a magic carpet, dressed as Princess Jasmin and holding a giant blackberry. That’s the one!
That’s when it’s fun for me to take a trip down memory lane and re-visit old orders. Every single caricatures order represents an emotional investment, so it’s always funny to go back and see these caricatures, and to wonder what those caricatures have lived through since they were made: How many people have seen them, smiled, laughed…
October 5, 2011
I got two orders today for cartoon caricatures for weddings. The funny thing is customers rarely know exactly what they want for this kind of caricature. They have the general feel that they’d like something sweet and pretty to commemorate their big day. But then the day can’t be all pretty and perfect – it shouldn’t be too serious. That’s where cartoon caricatures come in: to poke just enough fun at the characters, at the event, and to undermine any seriousness in an upbeat way. Cartoon caricatures say: “Hey, we might be dressing up, looking fancy and living a fairy tale for a day, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Taking one of the most important steps of a lifetime doesn’t have to be done without the kind of sense of humour that a caricature can convey.”
But beyond knowing that they want to bring that feel to the event that cartoon caricatures bring, customers often don’t really know where to start. They’re often overjoyed when I explain that cartoon caricatures can kill a multitude of birds with one stone: they can be scanned and used on invites, they can be mounted and left by the marquis to sign on the day, and they can be kept forever after. With all these uses at hand, our cartoon caricatures often turn out to be pretty good sentimental and practical value for money!
On the other hand, wedding caricatures are the type of cartoon caricature for which people are, understandably, the most particular about what they want. And you can understand why: this isn’t just some funny off-the-cuff caricature gift to hand to granddad on father’s day – this is how people want to be portrayed at their prime. Cartoon caricatures, sure. Humour, absolutely. But everything in exactly the right dose, please! Wedding cartoon caricatures are drafted and re-drafted to get the balance of humour and personal charm absolutely right.
October 4, 2011
A question that many of us ask ourselves, what on Earth should I get my partner for our anniversary? We can always go for the standard gifts – chocolates, wine, flowers, but none of these things really have any meaning. If you are looking for a special and personal gift, one of our cartoon caricatures is perfect for you. Our caricatures are tailored specially to you, and we can incorporate any unique memories or traits that you wish. So whether you are a keen golfer, or love your garden, our caricatures are completely centred on what you require.
As all of our caricature cartoons are individual, you can be sure of receiving a completely individual gift. Drawn by only professionals, these caricatures are great framed and hung on the wall. With different sizes available, these unique gifts can be made completely to your specification.
With that extra dollop of humour incorporated into every cartoon caricature, these gifts are sure to make you smile every time you look at them. Our caricatures from photos are also very realistic and picturesque, giving that extra bit of personality to each and every one. Our process to making these great caricatures from photos is extremely simple. All you need to do is get in contact with our team and send some photos across. Two or three photos will normally be enough, but occasionally we may ask for more. Photos are easiest to portray when they are portrait photos, so any portrait photograph of your partner will be fine.
September 24, 2011
Do you have a boss who is retiring or moving on to something else? If you have a well loved boss, why not give him or her something special for a leaving present? Cartoon caricatures make fun and memorable leaving gifts for a well loved boss.
Most people have some amusing or crazy stories about their bosses that could be incorporated into a caricature from photos. Why not ask around the office (or wherever it is that you work) to get some stories and ideas from your co-workers.
Others might also be able to supply photos, so don’t hesitate to get others involved in the project. Chances are, if it’s a gift from everyone, they will all be chipping in to pay for it anyway.
You may also want to ask your boss’s family for some ideas. They might be able to supply information that will make the gift more personal, as well as assist you in avoiding any stories or incidents that might embarrass them too much to include.
After you have gathered some stories and photos, send us the information via the contact form. Just click on the Order Your Cartoon tab to get started.
When we get the information from you we will immediately start thinking about how the caricature from photos should look.
We have done caricatures from a photo before as leaving gifts, such as the one we did for Francis Baron, former CEO of the Rugby Football Union, which you can view in our portfolio.
September 18, 2011
Sometimes grandparents are hard to buy for. So, why not get a personalized gift that will show your affection as well as your sense of humour?
Caricatures make great gifts for people of all ages. But perhaps grandparents will most enjoy seeing happy memories from their lives transposed into cartoon form. After all, what better way to remember the past in an uplifting light than to do it while smiling or laughing?
A cartoon caricature specifically for your grandparents could be a picture of your grandfather and grandmother in a familiar scene or from a favourite memory—like their wedding day, a perfect vacation, or sitting in lawn chairs in front of their house.
Or, you could order a caricature from photos that featured your grandparents in the forefront with their grandchildren in the background.
Send us some information about your grandparents along with the photos. Tell us who they are and what they like to do. You may even want to collaborate with some of your cousins to get more perspective on what your grand parents are like, and how the picture should look.
Once you have some photos and ideas, send them off to us via the contact form found under the Order Your Cartoon tab. Prices start at only £90 for A4 caricatures from photos. Please place your order well in advance of the day it’s required.
September 9, 2011
Looking for a gift for an animal lover in your life? How about caricature cartoons of their pets? This is a fun way to give a piece of original artwork that will have special meaning to the recipient.
Pets offer lots of fun and humorous potential for a caricature cartoon as they are often doing funny things, acting mischievous, and posing cutely. Caricatures from photos of pets make good Christmas and birthday gifts. But they would also make a good tribute gift for someone who has recently lost a beloved pet.
For an adult pet portrait, why not consider sending us some photos that span the pet’s lifetime? For instance, if your friend or relative has a cat, send us a picture or two from when the cat was a kitten, and then one of it as an adult.
Or, you could send photos of the pet in some favourite activities or positions. Is this a dog who loves to sleep on his owner’s bed? Or perhaps it’s a rabbit who loves to be cuddled like a baby? Send us these great shots so we can incorporate them into our caricature from photos.
Tell us a little bit about the pet’s personality too. What is his or her name, what are their favourite foods, favourite toys, and who is his or her carer? Once you have chosen your photos, just send them to us via the contact form under the Order Your Cartoon tab. Then we can get started on your caricature pet portrait!
September 1, 2011
Looking for a fun anniversary gift for your spouse? How about an anniversary caricature from a photo?
Here at Charlie’s Cartoons, we make high quality, humorous caricatures from photos. They make fun and highly personalized gifts for anniversary gifts. It’s a great way to spark memories and share a smile with the one you love.
All you need to do to get started with your own custom caricature from photos is visit the Order Your Cartoon page. Fill in your details, and send us a couple of photos of the person you want us to draw.
You can also tell us a little bit about them. This is a great place to mention hobbies, favourite foods, what they do for a living, or how many grandchildren they have. It’s a way for us to get a sense of your spouse’s personality so that we can incorporate some of those traits into our drawing.
Once you have sent us the information, we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can with our own ideas—within 24 hours. After that you can tell us if there are changes you want us to make to the concept, and then it’s time for us to get started on your caricatures from photos.
Once we’re done we’ll send you an invoice and a scan of the finished drawing. Pay for your artwork, and then we’ll post it to you framed to your specification. Looking for prices? An A4 drawing starts at £90. For more price information, get in touch.
August 17, 2011
Customers are always coming up to me a few days before a key anniversary asking for urgent anniversary gifts! Sometimes as close as two days away from the actual event, you get them on the phone, desperate for an original, personal solution, hoping that we have room in the schedule to fit in an emergency commission. And usually, of course, we say yes.
Naturally anniversary gifts are high-stake projects… they’re joyous occasions to celebrate, but equally the slightest faux-pas in representing the two protagonists of the cartoon can lead to a diplomatic disaster. Taking the mickey out of a partner’s habit or tick in a cartoon can be interpreted as affectionate knowledge or as insensitive lampooning. It’s always a fine line with anniversary gifts.
So how do we navigate these difficult waters in so little time? Well, the answer is communication. Constant contact with the customer to discuss the composition, adjust details, run drafts by them etc. We feel what the customer wants to say and develop their vision, but they still have to fine tune these anniversary gifts. After all, they know the subject, and all we have is an email and some photos!
Then it’s all about getting the anniversary gifts there on time! Usually, a date is planned months in advance, the restaurant table is booked, and all that’s left is for the anniversary gifts to be slotted in for the final picture to be perfect. Often we work around the clock and over weekends so that the anniversary gifts are ready and arrive, paint and ink still drying under the mount and glass, to be presented to a glowing partner!
August 14, 2011
The point I made about anniversaries being about looking back in order to contemplate the value created by being together – through experiences, kids, the lot – brings me to my next point: if looking back is what these occasions are for, why not get anniversary gifts which precisely serve this purpose?
Rather than being the expensive cherries on the cake, booze and three course meal, your anniversary gifts could be retrospective summaries of a relationship. This is what Charlie’s Cartoons are.
So what else might you get as anniversary gifts? A pet, perhaps? Hmm, tough to make that one a surprise… Such an important anniversary gifts decision is bound to be preceded by long chats about what animals you like, how much time you can both commit, what you’re allergic to and so on. It would be a pretty gutsy move to turn up with a puppy in a box.
But then most anniversary gifts: a tie, a watch, etc etc, are so bland that you almost feel that you have to “spend your way out of the problem” – i.e. if I spend £300 on my anniversary gifts, then they’re bound to be appreciated. It’s a simple case of economics: cost to me, benefit to you.
Might seem a bit cynical, but if we’re honest, most anniversary gifts are viewed in the perspective of some sort of transaction. This is an event where presents will be given both ways. Unlike birthdays where it’s about an individual, or Christmas where it’s about a group, this is about a two-person exchange.
Differences in how much each person invests in their anniversary gifts will be glaringly obvious. The only thing that can blur the edges of this cynical perspective is getting personal with your anniversary gifts. Making them personalised.
August 9, 2011
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When someone leaves the office to move on to another job, or to retire, it’s always the same headache: What leaving gifts would be most appropriate for such an occasion? Generic ideas such as a tie, a watch or a voucher for a spa weekend are easy to purchase, but lack the personal feel.
So you’re faced with the question: How could I look into more personal ideas for leaving gifts, without taking too much time out of my busy working week. Of course, ideally, most of us would like to hand over a photo album compiling memories of all the best moments spent together in all those years together at the office.
But let’s be honest: are you really going to spend five hours of your precious weekend hours doing an arts and crafts session, when reports need to be finished, the garden table needs fixing and the mother in law needs a visit? Leaving gifts don’t usually figure highly on the priority list.
Yet without great leaving gifts, once a chapter of your professional life has passed, what is left to commemorate and celebrate the environment that took up 80% of your time over all those years?
It’s worth making leaving gifts personal. But it’s also key that those personal leaving gifts shouldn’t eat up all of your time. The solution? Outsource the creativity! Hand over the personal knowledge and information to a company that can turn it all into the most personal of leaving gifts! Charlie’s Cartoons is such a place: personal, yet efficient. The process won’t take up much of your time, but it will look like you’ve spent an age!
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