Quality V. Quantity
by Nolan Harris
Over the past 16 years I am asked on a regular basis, "How many faces can you draw in an hour?" The honest answer is, "I can draw close to a hundred, but they are going to look TERRIBLE!"
I have a confession to make. In 2012 I was voted the "Fastest Caricature Artist in the World" by my peers in the International Society of Caricature Artists. The award was earned in a competition where I managed to horribly draw 16 "recognizable" faces in the span of 5 minutes. While I am very proud of this distinction, it immediately changed my clientele's perception of my skillset once I was hired for events post-award. It was assumed that I would crank out bazillions of drawings in a speedy whirlwind of marker ink at each event! This was not the case, as I would entertain at each event creating the best quality experience possible by producing close to 25 caricatured faces per hour. To be clear, each and every client was very happy with my services, but they were also very curious about my "fast" drawings. So I pulled out my phone and showed them! Once the clients saw my "fast" drawings, they would chuckle and tell me that they would, "never hire this artist for an event."
The topic of drawing speed at an event has been debated since the genesis of event caricature entertainment. In several instances clients want as many of their event/party attendees to be drawn as possible. It's very normal to want each attendee to walk away with a drawing. The real question is-- Are you getting your money's worth? Yes? No? Maybe? That's up to you! However, I'd like to share with you what happens when a caricature artist kicks it into high speed overdrive:
-Less attention is given to each individual guest. Our specialty is creating a positive guest experience through our art AND our personalities. In just a couple minutes, our artists can give your guests a positive memory that will last for years.
-The drawing suffers when an artist draws quickly. I like to make the comparison between a McDonalds burger and a burger you can get at a good restaurant. A fast, hastily assembled burger is NEVER as delicious as a well crafted burger created with love. The best way to give your guests a memorable experience is with a quality product. Plain and simple.
Does this mean that hiring an Over The Line Artist equates to only a few drawings per hour? No way! Our artists are the perfect balance of quality and quantity. Our goal is to create the best art-entertainment experience out there. Do you need a fast artist? No problem! Can they draw 40 faces an hour? I'm afraid not, but 25 quality faces an hour is still pretty darn amazing! That's one face every 2.5 minutes!
So, the next time you hit the interwebs to hire art-entertainment, don't just consider the value of what YOU'RE getting, also take into consideration the value of what your GUESTS are getting.