Hiring a Caricature Artist to draw at your party or special event is a great way to insure that your party will be a memorable one! More than any other party favor, a caricature allows the guest to ‘take home a piece of the party”. But out of the hundreds of caricature artists how do you choose the right one for YOUR event? I’m glad you asked! here are ten surefire tips for helping you make the right choice!

1. Do you like his/her drawing style?

As the consumer you have the right to choose an artist whose style appeals to you. If you are comparison shopping, and I’m not against it, you SHOULD Do this, look for an artist whose style of work you would like to have on your wall. FEW artists are able to deviate from their “HOME” style. If they draw wild and exaggerated, chances are they will draw YOU wild and exaggerated, and MAYBE you don’t WANT that. Since you’re BUYING the service you deserve to get what you want, no?

2. Does he have pictures of his LIVE work?

ANY artist worth his salt can draw an excellent picture WHEN HE HAS TIME. look on their site to see if they ‘re live work actually LOOKS like the person they’re drawing. Ask them HOW LONG IT TAKES for them to draw. Remember you are PAYING them by the hour. If you have 20 or more guests and you get an artist who draws one picture every ten or twenty minutes then you’re in for empty pockets, unsatisfied guests and a long night.

3. How FAST can he draw?

If he cant draw with a Three to Five Minute time frame he is SLOW.  The bottom line is that you want as many guests to be drawn as possible. a decent caricature artist can draw between 12-20  caricatures per hr. Keep in mind that color takes longer to draw than black and white.  Ask your artist about how fast they can draw if time is a factor at your event.

4. How Personable is He/she?

The artist, unlike the hot dog vendor at the food court, is an LIVE ENTERTAINER. You WANT someone who is going to be able to entertain your guests and be personable. He/She should be “part of the event” No matter how FAST the artist draws, every guest at the party might not walk home with a souvenir, BUT if the artist is entertaining, that wont really be an issue. You want people to leave the party with a good feeling about YOU the host/hostess. Your artist can assist you in that.

5. What VIBE do you get from him/her?

Does the artist REFUSE to meet with you prior to the event> do they rush you off the phone, or are they “all business?” Sometimes this is an indication that they are “all about the money” and while it’s TRUE they are working professionals, you want someone who you can work with. Ive heard accounts of people who have been insulted by artists, ignored by them, and even ridiculed all in the name of “fun” Trust your instincts if you get a weird vibe don’t hire them.

6. How much experience does he/she have?

How long has the artist been doing his job? While we all must begin SOMEWHERE do you really want a novice to try their skills at YOUR event? While there are some novices who are very talented, the dynamic of a live event makes some of them fold. I’ve SEEN it happen! You want your event to be a success, not some “grainy exercise”for a novice.

7. Is he/she affiliated with other companies?

While it’s true most caricature artists work as independents I find that it’s good to find out who they are or have been affiliated with  in terms of other company’s. For example I have worked with numerous event planners in NYC and across the United States for many years. Having worked with these individuals has helped me establish a track record with them for being dependable, professional, one time, courteous and fun. ANY artist off the street can tell you “they’re good” how would YOU know that for sure? Professional affiliations help you to ask artist employers how good they are. Testimonials from reputable clients also fall into this category.

8. Are his/her prices reasonable?

That is,are the rates  REASONABLE for YOU? that’s the key question. Is the artist willing to negotiate?. You might be pleasantly surprised. I’ve actually come up with many ways my clients can save money by booking me for different types of events and have even thrown in free additional specials at no cost whatsoever. As of this writing, the going rate for party artists are $100.00 to $200.00 per hr, with a 2 hr minimum. Some artists require deposits to secure the date, some desire to be paid in cash, others by check.

9. Is he/she willing to travel

You need to ask. Some artists charge an additional travel fee based on location. You don’t want to hire an artist then find out later there are hidden costs involved. There’s nothing illegal about an artist charging a travel fee, but as a client you may not be willing to spend the extra cash for covering that expense.

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