CARICATURES NY©MMVIII BY DALE GLADSTONE
New York, NY (917) 443-8787 (718) 782-2250

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Jay Leno caricatureTestimonials fax (509) 479-4345 Send me some EMail at dgladstone@aol.com
All artwork and copy ©2008 Dale Gladstone

Q.1) "What do you do?"
A) I am usually seated in one spot (so people always know where to find me) & draw funny pictures of people 1 or 2 or 3 at a time (or whatever) as they come over to me at an event.
Q. 2) "When should you arrive?"
A) It is usually best for me to arrive at the very beginning of an event, so everyone sees me as they arrive. The first few guests keep me busy until the rest arrive.
Q. 3) "Is this a picture of you?"
A) No, this is Jay Leno. I generally don't put drawings of myself in my advertising.
Q. 4) "Do you stroll as you draw?"
A) No, it is far too painful to hold up a drawing tablet more than a few minutes. If necessary, I can move from table to table, but I am seated when I work. Generally, it is best to keep me in one place so people can find me.
Q. 5) "Are you gonna make me look fat?"
A) You'll be paper thin, I promise.
Q. 6) "What kind of materials & frames do you use?"
A) I usually draw on my "tablet PC" (see
Q. 15 for more info) & print the 8.5"x11" drawings on my portable bubble jet printer. As far as I know, I'm the first party caricaturist in the New York area (the whole Northeast, really) to do anything like this and only one of a handful in the whole country, or even the world. The frames I offer are black carboard pre-cut mats. The software I'm using is Alias Sketchbook Pro. The PC is just a very expensive tool. I'm still doing the drawings by hand by any reasonable standard. If you prefer something more nostalgic enough to pay extra, I can draw with fast-drying permanent ink felt-tip markers on 11"x14" ledger bond paper.
Q. 7) "Do you draw on T-shirts?"
A) No, but anyone who really wants it on a T-shirt can go to almost any copy shop or photo lab these days and have any caricature, art or photo affordably printed on a T-shirt, sweatshirt, sweatpants, shorts, coffee mug, calendar, keychain ... etc. Starting with a better caricature on paper, they'll end up with a better T-shirt. I can print out my drawings on iron-on transfer paper w/instructions and refer you to someone you can book to provide & print the shirts on the spot.
Q. 8) "Would you be able to draw a caricature if I mailed you a picture of someone to you? I want to reproduce it on invitations to invite people to a party. What would you charge for this & how many pics will you need?"
A) What I charge for this depends on a few things;
-1) How soon can you send the photos & how soon do you need this done? (How soon does your printer need my art to meet your deadline?)
-2) I get the impression you've seen www.dalegladstone.com? What samples were like what you want? For instance, work like the samples on the page w/Jack Nicholson are more expensive than work like the samples on the page w/Elvis. Please send me your fax # with your selection. I'd like to send you an invoice so you can send a deposit with the photos. It's best to send as many photos as possible because it's better to let me judge which images will best help me render a good likeness. Please put in writing any details I must include in the art. Also put in writing anything I must not include. The reason for this instruction is best explained by the following story:
Once I was asked to do a marker drawing of a man at his desk. No instructions were given regarding his attire, so I drew him in a jacket & tie. When the client saw this, they said, "Oh no, he musn't be dressed that way, no jacket & tie..." With a marker drawing, the only way to fix this would be to put him in a black turtleneck or do the whole drawing over again. They didn't want a black turtleneck. They finally understood why I had to charge them for 2 drawings to give them what they wanted, but I wish to avoid such unhappy situations in the future. That's why I always ask clients to put their do's & don'ts in writing. Not all changes require a double fee. Some are even free. I only charge for needed changes that are not my fault. How much I charge depends on how much work is required & how much time is left to do it.

I recommend sending as many snapshots as possible and allowing me to choose what is the best reference. Of course, I'll listen to your suggestions in that regard. If you only send me the one photo you think is best, it may show a nice smile, but something like dark hair might be lost in a dark background or something. The worst photo you have with a person's eyes closed or glowing red might be the only shot where I can see what their hair or chin looks like. Another photo where they might have a big coffee mug in front of their face might be the only shot showing their eye color... so send me lots of photos so I can get all the visual reference I need to render a good likeness."
Q. 9) "How long does it take to draw someone?"
A) 5 to 6 minutes/person. That's per person, not per drawing. If 2 or 3 or 6 people come over and want to be in the same picture, it won't be done in 4 minutes. See my Rates.
Frank Sinatra color caricature
Q. 10) "Is this a picture of you?"
A) No, this is Frank Sinatra.
Q.11) "Can you draw faster than that?"
A) Can you? You won't find anyone else good who can. I'm drawing fast enough already. If you want more people drawn you'll have to pay me to stay longer or...
Q.12) "I'm inviting a LOT of guests, can you help me find an extra artist or 2?"
A) Yes, as soon as I get your check or PayPal deposit, I can refer other artists if you need extra. But, I ONLY make REFERRALS, not reccommendations or sub-contracts. There is no accounting for taste & I do not take any responsability for other artists. They must contract with you separately. Even if I refer someone to you, I urge you to ask them for samples before you hire them. We're all quite different and there's no accounting for taste. I will not tell you if you will like someone or not, but my referrals are reliable.
Q.13) "What kind of events do you do? Do you do barmitzvahs & batmitzvahs?"
A) I've done more barmitzvahs & batmitzvahs than your rabbi. I also do trade shows, conventions, conferences, awards dinners, promotional events, office parties, picnics, pool parties, dinner cruises, bar-b-ques, block parties, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays for all ages, christenings, communions, sweet 16 parties, graduations, proms, fund raisers, batchelor parties, bridal showers, holiday parties, New Year's parties, gifts, presentations, Superbowl parties, illustrations and advertising.
Q.14) "Are you gonna draw all my chins?"
A) Sorry, only one to a customer.
Q.15) "What is a tablet PC and why should I want you to use that instead of markers?"
My tablet PC is a special kind of laptop PC that allows me to draw, write & do all my computer work directly on the monitor screen with the special tablet stylus pen. When I use the tablet PC instead of markers, it produces results that are in many ways much better. For those reasons plus the fact that I'm tired of working with markers after 17 years, I bought my tablet PC and for customers who prefer marker drawings for some reason, I will charge extra. The PC is only a very expensive tool. I'm still doing the drawings by hand by any reasonable standard. I print the 8.5"x11" glossy fast drying drawings on my portable bubble jet photo printer. The frames I offer are black carboard pre-cut mats. The tablet PC also allows me to offer you some other very nice extras I can't deliver any other way: People often ask for extra dawings, especially if they are posing with friends or relatives from outside their household. If I'm working with markers, I usualy have to tell them there isn't enought time to draw anyone twice. With my tablet PC, I can just tell the printer to spit out another copy and I only charge $2.oo (black & white) or $3.oo (color) for extra copies, paid either by the host or the guest, as the host wishes. I can also provide a CD-Rom containing all the drawings from the entire party to the host, guest of honor or anyone else for $50.oo per disk. The software I'm using is Alias Sketchbook Pro.
Q.16) "What are these items in your price chart about a video hook-up or projector & an easel?"
A) I can connect a TV, video equipment or my projector to my tablet pc so the drawings I do are projected live, stroke by stroke, on a big screen or wall. If no such screen or blank wall is available, I can bring an easel & canvas to project on. This practice makes what I do a real spectacle & illicits the most impressive response from people.
Q.17) "How much do you charge?"
A) It ranges from $120/hr. and up. See my Rates.

Q.18) "Do you accept credit cards?"
A) So far, I can only do so through an online service called PayPal.
Q.19) "Can you draw people's hobbies?"

A) I can and will draw whatever people ask me to as long as it's nothing that'll get me in trouble. Many people prefer to be drawn just as they are without any background, costumes or props. Some artists who always interrogate you about your career and hobbies fill their drawings with all these gimmicks because they can't draw a good likeness and they want you to think you're getting your money's worth anyway. I'm always happy to chat with people, but my first priority is to draw what people want without adding any junk they don't.
Q.20) "Can you give me more hair?"
A) Are you particular about where I put it?
Q.21) "Will you give me a discount?"
A) If you want to save money, skip the color and/or other extras. My black and white prices are competative enough. If you need me for more than 5 hours, we can discuss day rates that may be good for you.
Q. 22) "Are you gonna make me look ugly?"
A) You'll look the same after I draw you as you did before. I'm not responsible for how you look and I'm not a licensed plastic surgeon, so what you are is what you get , but I never draw braces without permission.
Ray Charles color caricatureQ. 23) "Is this a picture of you?"
A) No, this is Ray Charles.
Q.24) "Do you mind if we watch you draw?"
A) Not at all. Half the reason why people should hire me is so their guests can enjoy watching me capture humorous likenesses of their friends & family on paper. I always enjoy an audience. Frankly, I've always been a shameless show-off.
Q. 25) "How do you keep track of who's turn is next?"
A) I don't. Crowd control is rarely a problem, but when it is, I'll never get any drawings done if I have to manage a sign up sheet. If a sign up sheet is necessary, you will have to arrange for someone to assist me with it throughout the event.
Q. 26) "Do you have references?"
A) I'm rarely asked, so I rarely update them, but yes. I can send them upon request.
Q. 27) "Can you draw people faster as couples or groups?"
A) Yes, but I won't promise how much faster.
Q. 28) "How long have you been doing this?"
A) A couple hours.
"No, I mean how many years?"
Since 1987.
Q. 29) "What else do you do?"
A) Some freelance ILLUSTRATION. This still pays most of my bills. Never had a day job.
Q. 30) "Can you write John Doe's Birthday (or whatever) on every drawing?"
A) Yes. I can even place your company logo on every drawing or probably anything else you can think of, but extra charges may apply.

Q. 31)
"How do you still make it look like the person when exaggerating features? "
A) Actually, it's harder to get a likeness if you don't exaggerate features at least a little. To make a long story short, the problem is best solved mostly by not looking too closely at details but stepping back and keeping your entire subject & image in perspective. By that I don't mean mechanical perspective with horizons & vanishing points. I mean getting the overall shape and proportions of your subject represented or exaggerated properly. To elaborate: if you are waiting in a huge train station, parking lot or airport for a friend to meet you, you recognize them even if they're 200 ft. away. From that distance, you can't see exactly what shape their nose is or how many freckles they have, but you see their build, relative size, posture, movement, mood, hair (or lack there of) and out of a crowd you can recognize them. Get the general features right and focus less on the minute details. If you stare too hard at the little wrinkles and contours, you get lost too deeply in all that and the more important general proportions can get messed up.
Q. 32) "Do you use watercolor or colored pencils? "
A) For parties, I usually use my tablet PC or sometimes markers. I usually do not use colored pencils. I do use watercolor, but more recently I like to do everything in Adobe Illustrator cs when possible. I still start with a pencil sketch and maybe use Alias Sketchbook Pro to plan the color. The finshed art is 100% Adobe Illustrator.
Q. 33) "Will you wear a tux?"
A) Sure, but the rental will be added to the bill
Q. 34) "Which is better, black & white or color?"
A) I like both very much. Black & white caricatures are faster, less expensive and easier (See my Rates.). I urge you to get what you want.
Q. 35) "How many people can you fit into a group drawing?"
A) With the hi-tech gear I use now, I can draw groups limited only by time. If we have the time, I can digitally copy, paste & scale everyone into a group drawing comprised of whatever number you like, and they only need to pose one at a time.
Q. 36) How much does your Tablet PC system cost?
A) Twice the price of a regular notebook. Basically, you can get a good Tablet PC in the $1400.oo range, but of course, there's more to it than that. You want to read customer reviews & shop on Amazon & DealCatcher (AKA: PriceGrabber). This is generally the only way to shop for a Tablet since it's rather impossible to find anywhere to try one out.

My convertible Tablet PC is a 2006 Toshiba. Whatever you buy, keep it under warranty (pay to renew a service protection plan) and get it covered for theft & accidental damage (SystemGuard, not part of the standard warranty). A Tablet PC is not a notebook & separate tablet system. The tablet is built into the entire screen and the tablet feature is always active. It comes with a stylus, of course. Take care of it. Replacement styluses are pricey. I use the Canon ip90 portable battery powered 8.5" x 11" photo printer (about $250.oo). The battery system & bluetooth wireless kit are separate purchases. There may be one or two other brands of comparable printers. I don't know more than that about that question. I don't normally use a camera. I waited several months before I had the bucks & courage to buy a projector. I got an Acer for maybe $800.oo. I shopped around for that the same way I did for the PC. A year later I bought a $70.oo portable screen. Maxing out the Ram, buying extra PC & printer batteries and software (get cheap, legal software on ebay) adds up to several hundred dollars more at least. The software I'm using to draw caricatures at parties is Alias Sketchbook Pro. Fortunately, all my serious breakdowns (5 not counting the death of my Canon ip70) occurred between jobs in the first 9 months and were repaired under warranty before I missed any paid gigs. Don't use any recycled, generic or 2nd party inks, they'll kill your printer. I use 8.5" x 11" glossy photo paper (shop around for that any way you can think of to cut costs but try each brand in a small purchase before you stock up or you'll get stuck with a lot of paper that jams your printer or offends your tastes), it really represents the party caricature images most accurately. Even if you like matte, bond or plain paper, I don't recommend it for this. You should be able to figure out how often you'll need to replace paper. The ink on my printer needs replacing an average of once/party. Before you ever decide to buy any printer, shop around to see what it's ink will cost you & compare with other options. Ultimately, my operating costs are probably about $10 or $20 more/week for paper & ink, but it's worth it unless you love the way you already do things. I didn't. The projector bulb is supposed to last a few years given the amount of use it's getting & a replacement is more than $300.oo I think. I'm carrying a bit more gear than I used to. I actually raised my advertised prices for felt marker drawings $20.oo/hr. because I hate markers & had enough of them after 17 years. The options I offer my clients range in price from $120.oo to 185.oo/hr. For details, visit my website. The average I end up making at trade shows & parties is $150.oo/hr, so if any of our colleagues accuse me of cutting their throats, they can kiss my @$$ & go to #&%%.

One more thing: Why am I using a PC instead of an Apple? For 15 years I was a die hard Apple using Windows hater. Still, Apple makes no tablet PCs (yet) & Windows is not as bad as it used to be. There is a 3rd party making Mac OS tablets, but last time I checked, they did not come with keyboards. Who needs that?

If you enjoy the way you work, don't change it. I went digital because I hate markers & love my PC. It's not faster or easier, just better, but only if you like working this way. A lot of people wouldn't. If you're not really good with computers, you could run into a lot of printing problems that will really cost you big time. I believe that's the best & most honest run down I can give on this subject. If you try this but don't follow my advice to the letter, it'll waste you a fortune.

Finally, whatever you do as an artist, do not fail to join & maintain an active membership in the Graphic Artists Guild. There is no more important thing you can ever do for your career. Tell them I sent you. That won't help you, I just want them to know I sent you.
Q. 37) "Can you come to my event & draw for one or two hours?"
A) Hey, don't underestimate my stamina. I can draw all day & night. But if you still only want me to draw caricatures at your event for less than 3 hours, I'll charge a flat fee (variable nonetheless depending on what options you choose) instead of an hourly rate. Keeping me 3 hours or more will give you a better value.
Q. 38) "Can you draw something I need for my business before I pay you so I can see if I like it first? "
A) No one with any brains ever works on spec. I can offer a bid including confidentiality & licensing agreements, but you have to decide on my abilities based on my ample portfolio. There are billions of people who want people like me to do work on spec. I could spend infinite lifetimes rewarding such useless requests and never get paid. Why don't you try spending your life that way? There is some reason you don't, isn't there? I am always paid a deposit before I begin any sketches. If that doesn't help you, waste no more time with me and enjoy the unreliable, litigious experience of working with hacks & losers. Mrs. Gladstone didn't raise any morons. I won't be one of the idiots who buries your desk with free ideas & sketches while you give your nephew an ice cream to steal the ideas and finish the job. What is it about my website that made you think I would?
Q. 39) "Are you gonna draw me with a big nose?"
A) I usually draw with my right hand, and I dion't have a big nose. If you ever wish to contact me ASAP regarding business or any urgent matters, please address a short, simple eMail beginning with your phone # & name to all three addresses:

dale@dalegladstone.com
dalegladstone@tmomail.net
dgladstone@aol.com

PS- And PLEASE type a subject line that leaves no room for cofusion with SPAM.
Q. 40) "I am trying to find out what would a reasonable amount be to charge someone for illustrations done for a children's book they are writing. I've read publishers hire their own illustrators and I have no idea what to charge."
A) You're right, publishers hire their own illustrators as a general rule. Does the author even have a confirmed publishing contract or are they just working on hope? The best source for pricing guidance would be the Graphic Artists Guild Handbook, also known as the Graphic Artists Guild Pricing & Ethical Guidelines. You might find it at Barnes & Noble or the Graphic Artists Guild web site. Off the top of my head I'll tell you that book illustration is usually paid for with an advance on royalties that will at least compensate you enough for your time. How much is that? It should be at least a few hundred dollars per illustration. Estimate how much time the art will take you and price it as if you depended on this occupation to support your family. You may then want to double the time estimate because your client may spend a lot of time bending your ear and asking for changes to the sketches or even finished art. Don't do changes for free if their need arises from omissions or mistakes the client makes in the original instructions. After all this estimating, Discuss your advance on royalties in terms of a total fee, not hourly charges. I know some freelancers who bill by the hour but I feel that can too easily result in an aggravated client. If you know what you're doing, you should be able to estimate what the job will cost you in time and what it's worth. If your estimates are off, it's a learning experience that should pay off next time. If the book makes a profit, you should be getting 5 or 10% of net. That & everything else should be in writing from the start. Never depend on net profit alone for compensation because some publishers, music companies, television networks and movie studios will artificially inflate the advertising expenses on their records to cheat you out of your percentage. Never do anything, even preliminary sketches, without getting paid. I always get 25% of my fee before I do sketches, the next 25% before I do finished art and the balance on delivery. Always get everything in writing with signatures. Do not sign anything that mentions "work for hire" or transfers copyright beyond "first North American printing" unless you're getting paid a fortune. Never do anything for anyone who says anything like, "I'll pay you if it sells..." or "I need to see sketches of the project before I commit any money." If they like what they've already seen of your work enough to ask you to do anything, it's time for them to pay you or they're not for real. I've been asked by countless jerks to do sketches or even finished art on the premise I'll get paid IF the project sells. In polite terms, that's called asking someone to "work on spec." In the real world, it's called slavery. There is no end of creeps out there who would waste a million of your lifetimes while you never get anywhere. There is also no end of nice people who mean no harm but just don't realize how wrong it is to ask you to do something stupid. The research & results you already did before writing me demonstrate you're not stupid. Don't let anyone treat you as if you are. If your artwork is that nice, you might be able to sell prints on ebay. I haven't tried it yet, but it's a fairly easy, cheap, low-risk way to do something with your talent. I know someone who does watercolor as a hobby & sells prints at good prices at local art shows in PA.
Q. 41) "How did you learn to draw like this?"
A) Since I was 5 or earlier I can remember drawing to be one of my favorite hobbies. My parents kept me well supplied with #2 pencils & letter sized paper used on only one side so I could draw on the back. I used to draw a lot of the time. Unfortunately, a box full of those old drawings spanning most of my childhood were lost in a basement flood in the '80s. In 2nd grade I had a classmate who would bring in beautiful drawings that made me obsessed with learning to draw that well. (I grew up next to a farm, so had little opportunity to get caught up in much of anything else. A lot of cartoonists grow up on farms.) So, for years I knocked myself out trying to draw like that kid in 2nd grade. All the practice, plus some talent which seems to come from my Dad's side of the family (my drawings in school always did show above average aptitude) resulted in conspicuous drawing ability a year or 2 later. I was easily one of the best artists in school. Only years later, (as I learned more about the reality of human nature) did I realize that kid in 2nd grade was a pathological liar & had traced all his drawings from Disney books. He lied about some other memorable things. I haven't seen or heard of him since the middle of grade school. I remember his name but am not mentioning it in case he would sue me for libel. By the time I realized his fraud, it was far too late. I enjoyed drawing too much & dreamed of someday making the kind of money raked in by Charles M. Schulz (Snoopy, Charlie Brown) & Jim Davis (Garfield). After a childhood spent drawing monsters, spaceships, superheroes, aliens & airplanes nearly every day & taking lots of good art classes in school, I got my Bachelor's in cartooning at the School of Visual arts in NYC and have been surviving by drawing caricatures at parties & trade shows ever since. In art school, I realized I didn't feel ready to write a great comic strip like Peanuts or Calvin & Hobbs & didn't want to try anything less in that field. I decided to try getting whatever illustration work I could find with books, magazines & advertising. It's very hard to find such work at fair prices & therefore it still accounts for only a small part of my activity. With perseverence, I hope someday to break through & make enough money with illustration so I won't need to depend on caricatures anymore. Sadly, I know a guy in NY who's much older than I want to be when I get out of the party biz, & he's still doing it.

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All artwork
©2004 Dale Gladstone

CARICATURES NY©2008 BY DALE GLADSTONE
New York, NY (917) 443-8787 (718) 782-2250

 ILLUSTRATION

 PARTY CARICATURES

 CARICATURE

DIGITAL ILLUSTRATION 

HOME
 

$ make a PAYMENT $

newest art

 send me eMail 

 personal 

 FAQs 

Oh, NO, watch out! He's got a BLOG! FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions) Click here to see my Prices.

Jay Leno caricatureTestimonials fax (509) 479-4345 Send me some EMail at dgladstone@aol.com
All artwork and copy ©2007 Dale Gladstone

Q.1) "What do you do?"
A) I am usually seated in one spot (so people always know where to find me) and draw funny pictures of people 1 or 2 or 3 at a time (or whatever) as they come over to me at an event.
Q. 2) "When should you arrive?"
A) It is usually best for me to arrive at the very beginning of an event, so everyone sees me as they arrive. The first few guests keep me busy until the rest arrive.
Q. 3) "Is this a picture of you?"
A) No, this is Jay Leno. I generally don't put drawings of myself in my advertising.
Q. 4) "Do you stroll as you draw?"
A) No, it is far too painful to hold up a drawing tablet more than a few minutes. If necessary, I can move from table to table, but I am seated when I work. Generally, it is best to keep me in one place so people can find me.
Q. 5) "Are you gonna make me look fat?"
A) You'll be paper thin, I promise.
Q. 6) "What kind of materials & frames do you use?"
A) I usually draw on my "tablet PC" (see
Q. 15 for more info) & print the 8.5"x11" drawings on my portable bubble jet printer. As far as I know, I'm the first party caricaturist in the New York area (the whole Northeast, really) to do anything like this and only one of a handful in the whole country, or even the world. The frames I offer are black carboard pre-cut mats. The software I'm using is Alias Sketchbook Pro. The PC is just a very expensive tool. I'm still doing the drawings by hand by any reasonable standard. If you prefer something more nostalgic enough to pay extra, I can draw with fast-drying permanent ink felt-tip markers on 11"x14" ledger bond paper.
Q. 7) "Do you draw on T-shirts?"
A) No, but anyone who really wants it on a T-shirt can go to almost any copy shop or photo lab these days and have any caricature, art or photo affordably printed on a T-shirt, sweatshirt, sweatpants, shorts, coffee mug, calendar, keychain ... etc. Starting with a better caricature on paper, they'll end up with a better T-shirt. I can print out my drawings on iron-on transfer paper w/instructions and refer you to someone you can book to provide & print the shirts on the spot.
Q. 8) "Would you be able to draw a caricature if I mailed you a picture of someone to you? I want to reproduce it on invitations to invite people to a party. What would you charge for this & how many pics will you need?"
A) What I charge for this depends on a few things;
-1) How soon can you send the photos & how soon do you need this done? (How soon does your printer need my art to meet your deadline?)
-2) I get the impression you've seen www.dalegladstone.com? What samples were like what you want? For instance, work like the samples on the page w/Jack Nicholson are more expensive than work like the samples on the page w/Elvis. Please send me your fax # with your selection. I'd like to send you an invoice so you can send a deposit with the photos. It's best to send as many photos as possible because it's better to let me judge which images will best help me render a good likeness. Please put in writing any details I must include in the art. Also put in writing anything I must not include. The reason for this instruction is best explained by the following story:
Once I was asked to do a marker drawing of a man at his desk. No instructions were given regarding his attire, so I drew him in a jacket & tie. When the client saw this, they said, "Oh no, he musn't be dressed that way, no jacket & tie..." With a marker drawing, the only way to fix this would be to put him in a black turtleneck or do the whole drawing over again. They didn't want a black turtleneck. They finally understood why I had to charge them for 2 drawings to give them what they wanted, but I wish to avoid such unhappy situations in the future. That's why I always ask clients to put their do's & don'ts in writing. Not all changes require a double fee. Some are even free. I only charge for needed changes that are not my fault. How much I charge depends on how much work is required & how much time is left to do it.

I recommend sending as many snapshots as possible and allowing me to choose what is the best reference. Of course, I'll listen to your suggestions in that regard. If you only send me the one photo you think is best, it may show a nice smile, but something like dark hair might be lost in a dark background or something. The worst photo you have with a person's eyes closed or glowing red might be the only shot where I can see what their hair or chin looks like. Another photo where they might have a big coffee mug in front of their face might be the only shot showing their eye color... so send me lots of photos so I can get all the visual reference I need to render a good likeness."
Q. 9) "How long does it take to draw someone?"
A) 5 to 6 minutes/person. That's per person, not per drawing. If 2 or 3 or 6 people come over and want to be in the same picture, it won't be done in 4 minutes. See my Rates.
Frank Sinatra color caricature
Q. 10) "Is this a picture of you?"
A) No, this is Frank Sinatra.
Q.11) "Can you draw faster than that?"
A) Can you? You won't find anyone else good who can. I'm drawing fast enough already. If you want more people drawn you'll have to pay me to stay longer or...
Q.12) "I'm inviting a LOT of guests, can you help me find an extra artist or 2?"
A) Yes, as soon as I get your check or PayPal deposit, I can refer other artists if you need extra. But, I ONLY make REFERRALS, not reccommendations or sub-contracts. There is no accounting for taste & I do not take any responsability for other artists. They must contract with you separately. Even if I refer someone to you, I urge you to ask them for samples before you hire them. We're all quite different and there's no accounting for taste. I will not tell you if you will like someone or not, but my referrals are reliable.
Q.13) "What kind of events do you do? Do you do barmitzvahs & batmitzvahs?"
A) I've done more barmitzvahs & batmitzvahs than your rabbi. I also do trade shows, conventions, conferences, awards dinners, promotional events, office parties, picnics, pool parties, dinner cruises, bar-b-ques, block parties, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays for all ages, christenings, communions, sweet 16 parties, graduations, proms, fund raisers, batchelor parties, bridal showers, holiday parties, New Year's parties, gifts, presentations, Superbowl parties, illustrations and advertising.
Q.14) "Are you gonna draw all my chins?"
A) Sorry, only one to a customer.
Q.15) "What is a tablet PC and why should I want you to use that instead of markers?"
My tablet PC is a special kind of laptop PC that allows me to draw, write & do all my computer work directly on the monitor screen with the special tablet stylus pen. When I use the tablet PC instead of markers, it produces results that are in many ways much better. For those reasons plus the fact that I'm tired of working with markers after 17 years, I bought my tablet PC and for customers who prefer marker drawings for some reason, I will charge extra. The PC is only a very expensive tool. I'm still doing the drawings by hand by any reasonable standard. I print the 8.5"x11" glossy fast drying drawings on my portable bubble jet photo printer. The frames I offer are black carboard pre-cut mats. The tablet PC also allows me to offer you some other very nice extras I can't deliver any other way: People often ask for extra dawings, especially if they are posing with friends or relatives from outside their household. If I'm working with markers, I usualy have to tell them there isn't enought time to draw anyone twice. With my tablet PC, I can just tell the printer to spit out another copy and I only charge $2.oo (black & white) or $3.oo (color) for extra copies, paid either by the host or the guest, as the host wishes. I can also provide a CD-Rom containing all the drawings from the entire party to the host, guest of honor or anyone else for $50.oo per disk. The software I'm using is Alias Sketchbook Pro.
Q.16) "What are these items in your price chart about a video hook-up or projector & an easel?"
A) I can connect a TV, video equipment or my projector to my tablet pc so the drawings I do are projected live, stroke by stroke, on a big screen or wall. If no such screen or blank wall is available, I can bring an easel & canvas to project on. This practice makes what I do a real spectacle & illicits the most impressive response from people.
Q.17) "How much do you charge?"
A) It ranges from $120/hr. and up. See my Rates.

Q.18) "Do you accept credit cards?"
A) So far, I can only do so through an online service called PayPal.
Q.19) "Can you draw people's hobbies?"

A) I can and will draw whatever people ask me to as long as it's nothing that'll get me in trouble. Many people prefer to be drawn just as they are without any background, costumes or props. Some artists who always interrogate you about your career and hobbies fill their drawings with all these gimmicks because they can't draw a good likeness and they want you to think you're getting your money's worth anyway. I'm always happy to chat with people, but my first priority is to draw what people want without adding any junk they don't.
Q.20) "Can you give me more hair?"
A) Are you particular about where I put it?
Q.21) "Will you give me a discount?"
A) If you want to save money, skip the color and/or other extras. My black and white prices are competative enough. If you need me for more than 5 hours, we can discuss day rates that may be good for you.
Q. 22) "Are you gonna make me look ugly?"
A) You'll look the same after I draw you as you did before. I'm not responsible for how you look and I'm not a licensed plastic surgeon, so what you are is what you get , but I never draw braces without permission.
Ray Charles color caricatureQ. 23) "Is this a picture of you?"
A) No, this is Ray Charles.
Q.24) "Do you mind if we watch you draw?"
A) Not at all. Half the reason why people should hire me is so their guests can enjoy watching me capture humorous likenesses of their friends & family on paper. I always enjoy an audience. Frankly, I've always been a shameless show-off.
Q. 25) "How do you keep track of who's turn is next?"
A) I don't. Crowd control is rarely a problem, but when it is, I'll never get any drawings done if I have to manage a sign up sheet. If a sign up sheet is necessary, you will have to arrange for someone to assist me with it throughout the event.
Q. 26) "Do you have references?"
A) I'm rarely asked, so I rarely update them, but yes. I can send them upon request.
Q. 27) "Can you draw people faster as couples or groups?"
A) Yes, but I won't promise how much faster.
Q. 28) "How long have you been doing this?"
A) A couple hours.
"No, I mean how many years?"
Since 1987.
Q. 29) "What else do you do?"
A) Some freelance ILLUSTRATION. This still pays most of my bills. Never had a day job.
Q. 30) "Can you write John Doe's Birthday (or whatever) on every drawing?"
A) Yes. I can even place your company logo on every drawing or probably anything else you can think of, but extra charges may apply.

Q. 31)
"How do you still make it look like the person when exaggerating features? "
A) Actually, it's harder to get a likeness if you don't exaggerate features at least a little. To make a long story short, the problem is best solved mostly by not looking too closely at details but stepping back and keeping your entire subject & image in perspective. By that I don't mean mechanical perspective with horizons & vanishing points. I mean getting the overall shape and proportions of your subject represented or exaggerated properly. To elaborate: if you are waiting in a huge train station, parking lot or airport for a friend to meet you, you recognize them even if they're 200 ft. away. From that distance, you can't see exactly what shape their nose is or how many freckles they have, but you see their build, relative size, posture, movement, mood, hair (or lack there of) and out of a crowd you can recognize them. Get the general features right and focus less on the minute details. If you stare too hard at the little wrinkles and contours, you get lost too deeply in all that and the more important general proportions can get messed up.
Q. 32) "Do you use watercolor or colored pencils? "
A) For parties, I usually use my tablet PC or sometimes markers. I usually do not use colored pencils. I do use watercolor, but more recently I like to do everything in Adobe Illustrator cs when possible. I still start with a pencil sketch and maybe use Alias Sketchbook Pro to plan the color. The finshed art is 100% Adobe Illustrator.
Q. 33) "Will you wear a tux?"
A) Sure, but the rental will be added to the bill
Q. 34) "Which is better, black & white or color?"
A) I like both very much. Black & white caricatures are faster, less expensive and easier (See my Rates.). I urge you to get what you want.
Q. 35) "How many people can you fit into a group drawing?"
A) With the hi-tech gear I use now, I can draw groups limited only by time. If we have the time, I can digitally copy, paste & scale everyone into a group drawing comprised of whatever number you like, and they only need to pose one at a time.
Q. 36) How much does your Tablet PC system cost?
A) Twice the price of a regular notebook. Basically, you can get a good Tablet PC in the $1400.oo range, but of course, there's more to it than that. You want to read customer reviews & shop on Amazon & DealCatcher (AKA: PriceGrabber). This is generally the only way to shop for a Tablet since it's rather impossible to find anywhere to try one out.

My convertible Tablet PC is a 2006 Toshiba. Whatever you buy, keep it under warranty (pay to renew a service protection plan) and get it covered for theft & accidental damage (SystemGuard, not part of the standard warranty). A Tablet PC is not a notebook & separate tablet system. The tablet is built into the entire screen and the tablet feature is always active. It comes with a stylus, of course. Take care of it. Replacement styluses are pricey. I use the Canon ip90 portable battery powered 8.5" x 11" photo printer (about $250.oo). The battery system & bluetooth wireless kit are separate purchases. There may be one or two other brands of comparable printers. I don't know more than that about that question. I don't normally use a camera. I waited several months before I had the bucks & courage to buy a projector. I got an Acer for maybe $800.oo. I shopped around for that the same way I did for the PC. A year later I bought a $70.oo portable screen. Maxing out the Ram, buying extra PC & printer batteries and software (get cheap, legal software on ebay) adds up to several hundred dollars more at least. The software I'm using to draw caricatures at parties is Alias Sketchbook Pro. Fortunately, all my serious breakdowns (5 not counting the death of my Canon ip70) occurred between jobs in the first 9 months and were repaired under warranty before I missed any paid gigs. Don't use any recycled, generic or 2nd party inks, they'll kill your printer. I use 8.5" x 11" glossy photo paper (shop around for that any way you can think of to cut costs but try each brand in a small purchase before you stock up or you'll get stuck with a lot of paper that jams your printer or offends your tastes), it really represents the party caricature images most accurately. Even if you like matte, bond or plain paper, I don't recommend it for this. You should be able to figure out how often you'll need to replace paper. The ink on my printer needs replacing an average of once/party. Before you ever decide to buy any printer, shop around to see what it's ink will cost you & compare with other options. Ultimately, my operating costs are probably about $10 or $20 more/week for paper & ink, but it's worth it unless you love the way you already do things. I didn't. The projector bulb is supposed to last a few years given the amount of use it's getting & a replacement is more than $300.oo I think. I'm carrying a bit more gear than I used to. I actually raised my advertised prices for felt marker drawings $20.oo/hr. because I hate markers & had enough of them after 17 years. The options I offer my clients range in price from $120.oo to 185.oo/hr. For details, visit my website. The average I end up making at trade shows & parties is $150.oo/hr, so if any of our colleagues accuse me of cutting their throats, they can kiss my @$$ & go to #&%%.

One more thing: Why am I using a PC instead of an Apple? For 15 years I was a die hard Apple using Windows hater. Still, Apple makes no tablet PCs (yet) & Windows is not as bad as it used to be. There is a 3rd party making Mac OS tablets, but last time I checked, they did not come with keyboards. Who needs that?

If you enjoy the way you work, don't change it. I went digital because I hate markers & love my PC. It's not faster or easier, just better, but only if you like working this way. A lot of people wouldn't. If you're not really good with computers, you could run into a lot of printing problems that will really cost you big time. I believe that's the best & most honest run down I can give on this subject. If you try this but don't follow my advice to the letter, it'll waste you a fortune.

Finally, whatever you do as an artist, do not fail to join & maintain an active membership in the Graphic Artists Guild. There is no more important thing you can ever do for your career. Tell them I sent you. That won't help you, I just want them to know I sent you.
Q. 37) "Can you come to my event & draw for one or two hours?"
A) Hey, don't underestimate my stamina. I can draw all day & night. But if you still only want me to draw caricatures at your event for less than 3 hours, I'll charge a flat fee (variable nonetheless depending on what options you choose) instead of an hourly rate. Keeping me 3 hours or more will give you a better value.
Q. 38) "Can you draw something I need for my business before I pay you so I can see if I like it first? "
A) No one with any brains ever works on spec. I can offer a bid including confidentiality & licensing agreements, but you have to decide on my abilities based on my ample portfolio. There are billions of people who want people like me to do work on spec. I could spend infinite lifetimes rewarding such useless requests and never get paid. Why don't you try spending your life that way? There is some reason you don't, isn't there? I am always paid a deposit before I begin any sketches. If that doesn't help you, waste no more time with me and enjoy the unreliable, litigious experience of working with hacks & losers. Mrs. Gladstone didn't raise any morons. I won't be one of the idiots who buries your desk with free ideas & sketches while you give your nephew an ice cream to steal the ideas and finish the job. What is it about my website that made you think I would?
Q. 39) "Are you gonna draw me with a big nose?"
A) I usually draw with my right hand, and I dion't have a big nose. If you ever wish to contact me ASAP regarding business or any urgent matters, please address a short, simple eMail beginning with your phone # & name to all three addresses:

dale@dalegladstone.com
dalegladstone@tmomail.net
dgladstone@aol.com

PS- And PLEASE type a subject line that leaves no room for cofusion with SPAM.
Q. 40) "I am trying to find out what would a reasonable amount be to charge someone for illustrations done for a children's book they are writing. I've read publishers hire their own illustrators and I have no idea what to charge."
A) You're right, publishers hire their own illustrators as a general rule. Does the author even have a confirmed publishing contract or are they just working on hope? The best source for pricing guidance would be the Graphic Artists Guild Handbook, also known as the Graphic Artists Guild Pricing & Ethical Guidelines. You might find it at Barnes & Noble or the Graphic Artists Guild web site. Off the top of my head I'll tell you that book illustration is usually paid for with an advance on royalties that will at least compensate you enough for your time. How much is that? It should be at least a few hundred dollars per illustration. Estimate how much time the art will take you and price it as if you depended on this occupation to support your family. You may then want to double the time estimate because your client may spend a lot of time bending your ear and asking for changes to the sketches or even finished art. Don't do changes for free if their need arises from omissions or mistakes the client makes in the original instructions. After all this estimating, Discuss your advance on royalties in terms of a total fee, not hourly charges. I know some freelancers who bill by the hour but I feel that can too easily result in an aggravated client. If you know what you're doing, you should be able to estimate what the job will cost you in time and what it's worth. If your estimates are off, it's a learning experience that should pay off next time. If the book makes a profit, you should be getting 5 or 10% of net. That & everything else should be in writing from the start. Never depend on net profit alone for compensation because some publishers, music companies, television networks and movie studios will artificially inflate the advertising expenses on their records to cheat you out of your percentage. Never do anything, even preliminary sketches, without getting paid. I always get 25% of my fee before I do sketches, the next 25% before I do finished art and the balance on delivery. Always get everything in writing with signatures. Do not sign anything that mentions "work for hire" or transfers copyright beyond "first North American printing" unless you're getting paid a fortune. Never do anything for anyone who says anything like, "I'll pay you if it sells..." or "I need to see sketches of the project before I commit any money." If they like what they've already seen of your work enough to ask you to do anything, it's time for them to pay you or they're not for real. I've been asked by countless jerks to do sketches or even finished art on the premise I'll get paid IF the project sells. In polite terms, that's called asking someone to "work on spec." In the real world, it's called slavery. There is no end of creeps out there who would waste a million of your lifetimes while you never get anywhere. There is also no end of nice people who mean no harm but just don't realize how wrong it is to ask you to do something stupid. The research & results you already did before writing me demonstrate you're not stupid. Don't let anyone treat you as if you are. If your artwork is that nice, you might be able to sell prints on ebay. I haven't tried it yet, but it's a fairly easy, cheap, low-risk way to do something with your talent. I know someone who does watercolor as a hobby & sells prints at good prices at local art shows in PA.
Q. 41) "How did you learn to draw like this?"
A) Since I was 5 or earlier I can remember drawing to be one of my favorite hobbies. My parents kept me well supplied with #2 pencils & letter sized paper used on only one side so I could draw on the back. I used to draw a lot of the time. Unfortunately, a box full of those old drawings spanning most of my childhood were lost in a basement flood in the '80s. In 2nd grade I had a classmate who would bring in beautiful drawings that made me obsessed with learning to draw that well. (I grew up next to a farm, so had little opportunity to get caught up in much of anything else. A lot of cartoonists grow up on farms.) So, for years I knocked myself out trying to draw like that kid in 2nd grade. All the practice, plus some talent which seems to come from my Dad's side of the family (my drawings in school always did show above average aptitude) resulted in conspicuous drawing ability a year or 2 later. I was easily one of the best artists in school. Only years later, (as I learned more about the reality of human nature) did I realize that kid in 2nd grade was a pathological liar & had traced all his drawings from Disney books. He lied about some other memorable things. I haven't seen or heard of him since the middle of grade school. I remember his name but am not mentioning it in case he would sue me for libel. By the time I realized his fraud, it was far too late. I enjoyed drawing too much & dreamed of someday making the kind of money raked in by Charles M. Schulz (Snoopy, Charlie Brown) & Jim Davis (Garfield). After a childhood spent drawing monsters, spaceships, superheroes, aliens & airplanes nearly every day & taking lots of good art classes in school, I got my Bachelor's in cartooning at the School of Visual arts in NYC and have been surviving by drawing caricatures at parties & trade shows ever since. In art school, I realized I didn't feel ready to write a great comic strip like Peanuts or Calvin & Hobbs & didn't want to try anything less in that field. I decided to try getting whatever illustration work I could find with books, magazines & advertising. It's very hard to find such work at fair prices & therefore it still accounts for only a small part of my activity. With perseverence, I hope someday to break through & make enough money with illustration so I won't need to depend on caricatures anymore. Sadly, I know a guy in NY who's much older than I want to be when I get out of the party biz, & he's still doing it.

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Always see samples if possible before hiring an event caricature artist. These samples represent the quick sketches I do at parties and events. Caricatures also make great gifts! I can even work from photos. If your budget allows & you'd like to see the more detailed caricatures I do, see my CARICATURE page. If you would like to browse my illustration portfolio, click here, or go to www.dalegladstone.com


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Jay Leno caricatureTestimonials fax (509) 479-4345 Send me some EMail at dgladstone@aol.com
All artwork and copy ©2007 Dale Gladstone

Q.1) "What do you do?"
A) I am usually seated in one spot (so people always know where to find me) and draw funny pictures of people 1 or 2 or 3 at a time (or whatever) as they come over to me at an event.
Q. 2) "When should you arrive?"
A) It is usually best for me to arrive at the very beginning of an event, so everyone sees me as they arrive. The first few guests keep me busy until the rest arrive.
Q. 3) "Is this a picture of you?"
A) No, this is Jay Leno. I generally don't put drawings of myself in my advertising.
Q. 4) "Do you stroll as you draw?"
A) No, it is far too painful to hold up a drawing tablet more than a few minutes. If necessary, I can move from table to table, but I am seated when I work. Generally, it is best to keep me in one place so people can find me.
Q. 5) "Are you gonna make me look fat?"
A) You'll be paper thin, I promise.
Q. 6) "What kind of materials & frames do you use?"
A) I usually draw on my "tablet PC" (see
Q. 15 for more info) & print the 8.5"x11" drawings on my portable bubble jet printer. As far as I know, I'm the first party caricaturist in the New York area (the whole Northeast, really) to do anything like this and only one of a handful in the whole country, or even the world. The frames I offer are black carboard pre-cut mats. The software I'm using is Alias Sketchbook Pro. The PC is just a very expensive tool. I'm still doing the drawings by hand by any reasonable standard. If you prefer something more nostalgic enough to pay extra, I can draw with fast-drying permanent ink felt-tip markers on 11"x14" ledger bond paper.
Q. 7) "Do you draw on T-shirts?"
A) No, but anyone who really wants it on a T-shirt can go to almost any copy shop or photo lab these days and have any caricature, art or photo affordably printed on a T-shirt, sweatshirt, sweatpants, shorts, coffee mug, calendar, keychain ... etc. Starting with a better caricature on paper, they'll end up with a better T-shirt. I can print out my drawings on iron-on transfer paper w/instructions and refer you to someone you can book to provide & print the shirts on the spot.
Q. 8) "Would you be able to draw a caricature if I mailed you a picture of someone to you? I want to reproduce it on invitations to invite people to a party. What would you charge for this & how many pics will you need?"
A) What I charge for this depends on a few things;
-1) How soon can you send the photos & how soon do you need this done? (How soon does your printer need my art to meet your deadline?)
-2) I get the impression you've seen www.dalegladstone.com? What samples were like what you want? For instance, work like the samples on the page w/Jack Nicholson are more expensive than work like the samples on the page w/Elvis. Please send me your fax # with your selection. I'd like to send you an invoice so you can send a deposit with the photos. It's best to send as many photos as possible because it's better to let me judge which images will best help me render a good likeness. Please put in writing any details I must include in the art. Also put in writing anything I must not include. The reason for this instruction is best explained by the following story:
Once I was asked to do a marker drawing of a man at his desk. No instructions were given regarding his attire, so I drew him in a jacket & tie. When the client saw this, they said, "Oh no, he musn't be dressed that way, no jacket & tie..." With a marker drawing, the only way to fix this would be to put him in a black turtleneck or do the whole drawing over again. They didn't want a black turtleneck. They finally understood why I had to charge them for 2 drawings to give them what they wanted, but I wish to avoid such unhappy situations in the future. That's why I always ask clients to put their do's & don'ts in writing. Not all changes require a double fee. Some are even free. I only charge for needed changes that are not my fault. How much I charge depends on how much work is required & how much time is left to do it.

I recommend sending as many snapshots as possible and allowing me to choose what is the best reference. Of course, I'll listen to your suggestions in that regard. If you only send me the one photo you think is best, it may show a nice smile, but something like dark hair might be lost in a dark background or something. The worst photo you have with a person's eyes closed or glowing red might be the only shot where I can see what their hair or chin looks like. Another photo where they might have a big coffee mug in front of their face might be the only shot showing their eye color... so send me lots of photos so I can get all the visual reference I need to render a good likeness."
Q. 9) "How long does it take to draw someone?"
A) 5 to 6 minutes/person. That's per person, not per drawing. If 2 or 3 or 6 people come over and want to be in the same picture, it won't be done in 4 minutes. See my Rates.
Frank Sinatra color caricature
Q. 10) "Is this a picture of you?"
A) No, this is Frank Sinatra.
Q.11) "Can you draw faster than that?"
A) Can you? You won't find anyone else good who can. I'm drawing fast enough already. If you want more people drawn you'll have to pay me to stay longer or...
Q.12) "I'm inviting a LOT of guests, can you help me find an extra artist or 2?"
A) Yes, as soon as I get your check or PayPal deposit, I can refer other artists if you need extra. But, I ONLY make REFERRALS, not reccommendations or sub-contracts. There is no accounting for taste & I do not take any responsability for other artists. They must contract with you separately. Even if I refer someone to you, I urge you to ask them for samples before you hire them. We're all quite different and there's no accounting for taste. I will not tell you if you will like someone or not, but my referrals are reliable.
Q.13) "What kind of events do you do? Do you do barmitzvahs & batmitzvahs?"
A) I've done more barmitzvahs & batmitzvahs than your rabbi. I also do trade shows, conventions, conferences, awards dinners, promotional events, office parties, picnics, pool parties, dinner cruises, bar-b-ques, block parties, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays for all ages, christenings, communions, sweet 16 parties, graduations, proms, fund raisers, batchelor parties, bridal showers, holiday parties, New Year's parties, gifts, presentations, Superbowl parties, illustrations and advertising.
Q.14) "Are you gonna draw all my chins?"
A) Sorry, only one to a customer.
Q.15) "What is a tablet PC and why should I want you to use that instead of markers?"
My tablet PC is a special kind of laptop PC that allows me to draw, write & do all my computer work directly on the monitor screen with the special tablet stylus pen. When I use the tablet PC instead of markers, it produces results that are in many ways much better. For those reasons plus the fact that I'm tired of working with markers after 17 years, I bought my tablet PC and for customers who prefer marker drawings for some reason, I will charge extra. The PC is only a very expensive tool. I'm still doing the drawings by hand by any reasonable standard. I print the 8.5"x11" glossy fast drying drawings on my portable bubble jet photo printer. The frames I offer are black carboard pre-cut mats. The tablet PC also allows me to offer you some other very nice extras I can't deliver any other way: People often ask for extra dawings, especially if they are posing with friends or relatives from outside their household. If I'm working with markers, I usualy have to tell them there isn't enought time to draw anyone twice. With my tablet PC, I can just tell the printer to spit out another copy and I only charge $2.oo (black & white) or $3.oo (color) for extra copies, paid either by the host or the guest, as the host wishes. I can also provide a CD-Rom containing all the drawings from the entire party to the host, guest of honor or anyone else for $50.oo per disk. The software I'm using is Alias Sketchbook Pro.
Q.16) "What are these items in your price chart about a video hook-up or projector & an easel?"
A) I can connect a TV, video equipment or my projector to my tablet pc so the drawings I do are projected live, stroke by stroke, on a big screen or wall. If no such screen or blank wall is available, I can bring an easel & canvas to project on. This practice makes what I do a real spectacle & illicits the most impressive response from people.
Q.17) "How much do you charge?"
A) It ranges from $120/hr. and up. See my Rates.

Q.18) "Do you accept credit cards?"
A) So far, I can only do so through an online service called PayPal.
Q.19) "Can you draw people's hobbies?"

A) I can and will draw whatever people ask me to as long as it's nothing that'll get me in trouble. Many people prefer to be drawn just as they are without any background, costumes or props. Some artists who always interrogate you about your career and hobbies fill their drawings with all these gimmicks because they can't draw a good likeness and they want you to think you're getting your money's worth anyway. I'm always happy to chat with people, but my first priority is to draw what people want without adding any junk they don't.
Q.20) "Can you give me more hair?"
A) Are you particular about where I put it?
Q.21) "Will you give me a discount?"
A) If you want to save money, skip the color and/or other extras. My black and white prices are competative enough. If you need me for more than 5 hours, we can discuss day rates that may be good for you.
Q. 22) "Are you gonna make me look ugly?"
A) You'll look the same after I draw you as you did before. I'm not responsible for how you look and I'm not a licensed plastic surgeon, so what you are is what you get , but I never draw braces without permission.
Ray Charles color caricatureQ. 23) "Is this a picture of you?"
A) No, this is Ray Charles.
Q.24) "Do you mind if we watch you draw?"
A) Not at all. Half the reason why people should hire me is so their guests can enjoy watching me capture humorous likenesses of their friends & family on paper. I always enjoy an audience. Frankly, I've always been a shameless show-off.
Q. 25) "How do you keep track of who's turn is next?"
A) I don't. Crowd control is rarely a problem, but when it is, I'll never get any drawings done if I have to manage a sign up sheet. If a sign up sheet is necessary, you will have to arrange for someone to assist me with it throughout the event.
Q. 26) "Do you have references?"
A) I'm rarely asked, so I rarely update them, but yes. I can send them upon request.
Q. 27) "Can you draw people faster as couples or groups?"
A) Yes, but I won't promise how much faster.
Q. 28) "How long have you been doing this?"
A) A couple hours.
"No, I mean how many years?"
Since 1987.
Q. 29) "What else do you do?"
A) Some freelance ILLUSTRATION. This still pays most of my bills. Never had a day job.
Q. 30) "Can you write John Doe's Birthday (or whatever) on every drawing?"
A) Yes. I can even place your company logo on every drawing or probably anything else you can think of, but extra charges may apply.

Q. 31)
"How do you still make it look like the person when exaggerating features? "
A) Actually, it's harder to get a likeness if you don't exaggerate features at least a little. To make a long story short, the problem is best solved mostly by not looking too closely at details but stepping back and keeping your entire subject & image in perspective. By that I don't mean mechanical perspective with horizons & vanishing points. I mean getting the overall shape and proportions of your subject represented or exaggerated properly. To elaborate: if you are waiting in a huge train station, parking lot or airport for a friend to meet you, you recognize them even if they're 200 ft. away. From that distance, you can't see exactly what shape their nose is or how many freckles they have, but you see their build, relative size, posture, movement, mood, hair (or lack there of) and out of a crowd you can recognize them. Get the general features right and focus less on the minute details. If you stare too hard at the little wrinkles and contours, you get lost too deeply in all that and the more important general proportions can get messed up.
Q. 32) "Do you use watercolor or colored pencils? "
A) For parties, I usually use my tablet PC or sometimes markers. I usually do not use colored pencils. I do use watercolor, but more recently I like to do everything in Adobe Illustrator cs when possible. I still start with a pencil sketch and maybe use Alias Sketchbook Pro to plan the color. The finshed art is 100% Adobe Illustrator.
Q. 33) "Will you wear a tux?"
A) Sure, but the rental will be added to the bill
Q. 34) "Which is better, black & white or color?"
A) I like both very much. Black & white caricatures are faster, less expensive and easier (See my Rates.). I urge you to get what you want.
Q. 35) "How many people can you fit into a group drawing?"
A) With the hi-tech gear I use now, I can draw groups limited only by time. If we have the time, I can digitally copy, paste & scale everyone into a group drawing comprised of whatever number you like, and they only need to pose one at a time.
Q. 36) How much does your Tablet PC system cost?
A) Twice the price of a regular notebook. Basically, you can get a good Tablet PC in the $1400.oo range, but of course, there's more to it than that. You want to read customer reviews & shop on Amazon & DealCatcher (AKA: PriceGrabber). This is generally the only way to shop for a Tablet since it's rather impossible to find anywhere to try one out.

My convertible Tablet PC is a 2006 Toshiba. Whatever you buy, keep it under warranty (pay to renew a service protection plan) and get it covered for theft & accidental damage (SystemGuard, not part of the standard warranty). A Tablet PC is not a notebook & separate tablet system. The tablet is built into the entire screen and the tablet feature is always active. It comes with a stylus, of course. Take care of it. Replacement styluses are pricey. I use the Canon ip90 portable battery powered 8.5" x 11" photo printer (about $250.oo). The battery system & bluetooth wireless kit are separate purchases. There may be one or two other brands of comparable printers. I don't know more than that about that question. I don't normally use a camera. I waited several months before I had the bucks & courage to buy a projector. I got an Acer for maybe $800.oo. I shopped around for that the same way I did for the PC. A year later I bought a $70.oo portable screen. Maxing out the Ram, buying extra PC & printer batteries and software (get cheap, legal software on ebay) adds up to several hundred dollars more at least. The software I'm using to draw caricatures at parties is Alias Sketchbook Pro. Fortunately, all my serious breakdowns (5 not counting the death of my Canon ip70) occurred between jobs in the first 9 months and were repaired under warranty before I missed any paid gigs. Don't use any recycled, generic or 2nd party inks, they'll kill your printer. I use 8.5" x 11" glossy photo paper (shop around for that any way you can think of to cut costs but try each brand in a small purchase before you stock up or you'll get stuck with a lot of paper that jams your printer or offends your tastes), it really represents the party caricature images most accurately. Even if you like matte, bond or plain paper, I don't recommend it for this. You should be able to figure out how often you'll need to replace paper. The ink on my printer needs replacing an average of once/party. Before you ever decide to buy any printer, shop around to see what it's ink will cost you & compare with other options. Ultimately, my operating costs are probably about $10 or $20 more/week for paper & ink, but it's worth it unless you love the way you already do things. I didn't. The projector bulb is supposed to last a few years given the amount of use it's getting & a replacement is more than $300.oo I think. I'm carrying a bit more gear than I used to. I actually raised my advertised prices for felt marker drawings $20.oo/hr. because I hate markers & had enough of them after 17 years. The options I offer my clients range in price from $120.oo to 185.oo/hr. For details, visit my website. The average I end up making at trade shows & parties is $150.oo/hr, so if any of our colleagues accuse me of cutting their throats, they can kiss my @$$ & go to #&%%.

One more thing: Why am I using a PC instead of an Apple? For 15 years I was a die hard Apple using Windows hater. Still, Apple makes no tablet PCs (yet) & Windows is not as bad as it used to be. There is a 3rd party making Mac OS tablets, but last time I checked, they did not come with keyboards. Who needs that?

If you enjoy the way you work, don't change it. I went digital because I hate markers & love my PC. It's not faster or easier, just better, but only if you like working this way. A lot of people wouldn't. If you're not really good with computers, you could run into a lot of printing problems that will really cost you big time. I believe that's the best & most honest run down I can give on this subject. If you try this but don't follow my advice to the letter, it'll waste you a fortune.

Finally, whatever you do as an artist, do not fail to join & maintain an active membership in the Graphic Artists Guild. There is no more important thing you can ever do for your career. Tell them I sent you. That won't help you, I just want them to know I sent you.
Q. 37) "Can you come to my event & draw for one or two hours?"
A) Hey, don't underestimate my stamina. I can draw all day & night. But if you still only want me to draw caricatures at your event for less than 3 hours, I'll charge a flat fee (variable nonetheless depending on what options you choose) instead of an hourly rate. Keeping me 3 hours or more will give you a better value.
Q. 38) "Can you draw something I need for my business before I pay you so I can see if I like it first? "
A) No one with any brains ever works on spec. I can offer a bid including confidentiality & licensing agreements, but you have to decide on my abilities based on my ample portfolio. There are billions of people who want people like me to do work on spec. I could spend infinite lifetimes rewarding such useless requests and never get paid. Why don't you try spending your life that way? There is some reason you don't, isn't there? I am always paid a deposit before I begin any sketches. If that doesn't help you, waste no more time with me and enjoy the unreliable, litigious experience of working with hacks & losers. Mrs. Gladstone didn't raise any morons. I won't be one of the idiots who buries your desk with free ideas & sketches while you give your nephew an ice cream to steal the ideas and finish the job. What is it about my website that made you think I would?
Q. 39) "Are you gonna draw me with a big nose?"
A) I usually draw with my right hand, and I dion't have a big nose. If you ever wish to contact me ASAP regarding business or any urgent matters, please address a short, simple eMail beginning with your phone # & name to all three addresses:

dale@dalegladstone.com
dalegladstone@tmomail.net
dgladstone@aol.com

PS- And PLEASE type a subject line that leaves no room for cofusion with SPAM.
Q. 40) "I am trying to find out what would a reasonable amount be to charge someone for illustrations done for a children's book they are writing. I've read publishers hire their own illustrators and I have no idea what to charge."
A) You're right, publishers hire their own illustrators as a general rule. Does the author even have a confirmed publishing contract or are they just working on hope? The best source for pricing guidance would be the Graphic Artists Guild Handbook, also known as the Graphic Artists Guild Pricing & Ethical Guidelines. You might find it at Barnes & Noble or the Graphic Artists Guild web site. Off the top of my head I'll tell you that book illustration is usually paid for with an advance on royalties that will at least compensate you enough for your time. How much is that? It should be at least a few hundred dollars per illustration. Estimate how much time the art will take you and price it as if you depended on this occupation to support your family. You may then want to double the time estimate because your client may spend a lot of time bending your ear and asking for changes to the sketches or even finished art. Don't do changes for free if their need arises from omissions or mistakes the client makes in the original instructions. After all this estimating, Discuss your advance on royalties in terms of a total fee, not hourly charges. I know some freelancers who bill by the hour but I feel that can too easily result in an aggravated client. If you know what you're doing, you should be able to estimate what the job will cost you in time and what it's worth. If your estimates are off, it's a learning experience that should pay off next time. If the book makes a profit, you should be getting 5 or 10% of net. That & everything else should be in writing from the start. Never depend on net profit alone for compensation because some publishers, music companies, television networks and movie studios will artificially inflate the advertising expenses on their records to cheat you out of your percentage. Never do anything, even preliminary sketches, without getting paid. I always get 25% of my fee before I do sketches, the next 25% before I do finished art and the balance on delivery. Always get everything in writing with signatures. Do not sign anything that mentions "work for hire" or transfers copyright beyond "first North American printing" unless you're getting paid a fortune. Never do anything for anyone who says anything like, "I'll pay you if it sells..." or "I need to see sketches of the project before I commit any money." If they like what they've already seen of your work enough to ask you to do anything, it's time for them to pay you or they're not for real. I've been asked by countless jerks to do sketches or even finished art on the premise I'll get paid IF the project sells. In polite terms, that's called asking someone to "work on spec." In the real world, it's called slavery. There is no end of creeps out there who would waste a million of your lifetimes while you never get anywhere. There is also no end of nice people who mean no harm but just don't realize how wrong it is to ask you to do something stupid. The research & results you already did before writing me demonstrate you're not stupid. Don't let anyone treat you as if you are. If your artwork is that nice, you might be able to sell prints on ebay. I haven't tried it yet, but it's a fairly easy, cheap, low-risk way to do something with your talent. I know someone who does watercolor as a hobby & sells prints at good prices at local art shows in PA.
Q. 41) "How did you learn to draw like this?"
A) Since I was 5 or earlier I can remember drawing to be one of my favorite hobbies. My parents kept me well supplied with #2 pencils & letter sized paper used on only one side so I could draw on the back. I used to draw a lot of the time. Unfortunately, a box full of those old drawings spanning most of my childhood were lost in a basement flood in the '80s. In 2nd grade I had a classmate who would bring in beautiful drawings that made me obsessed with learning to draw that well. (I grew up next to a farm, so had little opportunity to get caught up in much of anything else. A lot of cartoonists grow up on farms.) So, for years I knocked myself out trying to draw like that kid in 2nd grade. All the practice, plus some talent which seems to come from my Dad's side of the family (my drawings in school always did show above average aptitude) resulted in conspicuous drawing ability a year or 2 later. I was easily one of the best artists in school. Only years later, (as I learned more about the reality of human nature) did I realize that kid in 2nd grade was a pathological liar & had traced all his drawings from Disney books. He lied about some other memorable things. I haven't seen or heard of him since the middle of grade school. I remember his name but am not mentioning it in case he would sue me for libel. By the time I realized his fraud, it was far too late. I enjoyed drawing too much & dreamed of someday making the kind of money raked in by Charles M. Schulz (Snoopy, Charlie Brown) & Jim Davis (Garfield). After a childhood spent drawing monsters, spaceships, superheroes, aliens & airplanes nearly every day & taking lots of good art classes in school, I got my Bachelor's in cartooning at the School of Visual arts in NYC and have been surviving by drawing caricatures at parties & trade shows ever since. In art school, I realized I didn't feel ready to write a great comic strip like Peanuts or Calvin & Hobbs & didn't want to try anything less in that field. I decided to try getting whatever illustration work I could find with books, magazines & advertising. It's very hard to find such work at fair prices & therefore it still accounts for only a small part of my activity. With perseverence, I hope someday to break through & make enough money with illustration so I won't need to depend on caricatures anymore. Sadly, I know a guy in NY who's much older than I want to be when I get out of the party biz, & he's still doing it.

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Always see samples if possible before hiring an event caricature artist. These samples represent the quick sketches I do at parties and events. Caricatures also make great gifts! I can even work from photos. If your budget allows & you'd like to see the more detailed caricatures I do, see my CARICATURE page. If you would like to browse my illustration portfolio, click here, or go to www.dalegladstone.com


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