When asked how I have drawn over 50,000 caricatures I always answer, “One at
a time.” When asked, “How can you do these?” I answer, “Practice, practice, practice. I was not very good when I started." No one believes me, of course.
People are surprised to find out that I did not get into art until I was in my
mid-twenties and had earned a Bachelors Degree from the University of
Pittsburgh with majors in English Writing and Rhetoric. When I say that I
worked as a union ironworker “off and on” during those years they are even
more surprised. Then I explain that I have a full-time career as a fine art
painter (go to www.vincetheartist.com) and folks want to know how all of
After I began my art journey, I learned that most artists and
photographers who have long professional careers in both the fine art and
commercial art fields walked a long and winding road in the beginning. With
persistent defiance against quitting, the path eventually straightens out
and becomes more consistent. This is what happened to me when, after
college and construction work, I made the decision to earn a living from my
“once in a while” hobby of drawing--and failure was not an option.
In 1983 I enrolled in the Visual Communications program in the Evening
School of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh where I completed a one year
program studying graphic design in commercial art. I then practiced hard to
obtain a job as a sketch portrait artist at Kennywood Park where we did
five minute color drawings of the customer’s profile in chalk. When I graduated from night school I was also hired by National Record Mart as their graphic artist and sign painter. There I worked on ad campaigns and related projects as well as plenty of free lance work for other clients.
One fine afternoon I attended a workshop on the art of caricature conducted
by John Johns, a highly respected illustrator who was then President of the
Art Institute of Pittsburgh. I loved the bold effect of the marker’s black line attacking the white surface and I took the guidance that Mr. John’s gave that day with me and practiced, practiced, practiced. I drew from sittings, from television, and from photos in the newspaper; I sketched on place mats and napkins while waiting for my food in restaurants, while waiting in line in banks, or anywhere I was. I always had a hard bound sketchbook with me and drew all types of subjects that I saw: trees, people, buildings, cars, everything. I started a caricature
stand at Kennywood and in other theme parks such as Sea World, Cedar Point
and Geauga Lake, and gave lessons to the newly hired art students there applying for jobs. After a few years, I broke away to work for myself doing caricatures at
local and out-of-town festivals and parties. "These days, I can be found at Seven Springs on weekends during ski season drawing caricatures in the Center Lobby. I also draw at their Autumnfest in October and other events duirng the year."
The above is how I learned about caricatures and the glory of the black line
on white paper. I am happy to offer my abilities to you!