Friday, January 31, 2014

Reject Mountain 4 - Kingdom of the Chrystal Reject


reject. but they were right, though. 
The drawing on the left there is a wreck. The parents did good. You know how I know they did good? Because I don't remember anything. They must have did some kind of hocus pocus on me. They get a 10.

Bad reject. Bad! (imagine I'm slapping the back of the mom's hand) This looked like her daughter, and it's funny and cute and charming and the mom was dumb. They get a 4. unacceptable.

reject. It was my failure. The likeness wasn't fantastic. I got the eyes a little too close together. The dad let it all crystallize, though, so I gotta give him credit. 8 points for Dad.

  This here is a little kid who came to Lotte World with his grandpa. As I was doing the drawing my reject sense kicked in a little bit, not because of anything the grandpa was doing but because of the way I drew the kid's face. I know it's not all that crazy but lopsidedness coupled with a lack of exaggeration has bit me before. And then as I finished and everything was honky dory and the grandpa smiled and what have you, I was thinking in the back of my head kind of like "Haha. Good old grandpa doesn't know mom's don't like this kind of thing." It's like when grandpa gets you a Tailor Swift sweater because he heard you're into Pop Music. Well this got returned. I give the customers a 3. I bet they got a photo. I can't be sure though.

I dove into this with a what-the-hey level 8 riskiness. I know it doesn't look like it, but it's just mostly because of this part here,
and the girl was about seven years old.  I could have blacked that little dip out and everything would have been hunky dunky, but instead I started over,

and drew this which got rejected also. But... had I started with this, I think it would have been a sale, and that's the frustrating part.

What happened was my coworker was drawing the girl's sister at the same time, and then there was murmur, and they murmured to my coworker, but she didn't say anything to me yet, but I started over, and she didn't know I started over and the parents didn't either, I guess. Then after she finished the sister, she had the girl I was drawing move over into her chair (I know. A little bit rude, but I think she knew that I can read murmur pretty well, so it's not quite as rude as it sounds {but still a little bit rude}), and I was like "No no. I started over," and then somebody must have grimly said to the mom "go have a look." Then, the mom comes over within sight of my current drawing, looks at it, putting all of her weight  on the foot nearest me,
shook her head no, and that was that. That made me mad. I had to get up and leave the stand. I don't usually get too riled up, but that one riled me.

And this is the chrystal reject. The little girl—let's say her name was Crystal— looked like what you see in this drawing, but the mom—let's say she was on Crystal Meth, just kidding. She was fine. She was of sound mind. It wasn't a reject at first, but the mom was very iffy and she explained to my coworker that it wasn't ugly and it wasn't pretty it was just very...meh, as they say. She admitted that it looked like her girl, but beyond that, she seemed to see no value in the drawing, and then she paid and left. Later she came back. This was actually a case of a lackluster portrait getting rejected because the mom wanted a caricature. My coworker did the redraw, and it wasn't really a caricature but it didn't look like the girl which was close enough to satisfy the mom. may have been a case of me not being in tune enough with Asian faces. But anyway you look at it, one thing is crystal clear: People like them silly caricatures. Except for when they don't of course. And we'll end with a non reject to go out on a positive note. This is a near-reject.
 Not a reject

While I was drawing the girl on the left, she was pushing me to draw a smile, but parents don't understand how children, ESPECIALLY Korean children can't hold a fake smile.
After I finished there was a lot of reject murmur but I had another customer immediately which I drew as wacky as I could and the mom, seeing this, must have had some kind of epiphany, I'd like to hope. She didn't reject the drawing. Well that's my positive note. Everybody stay positive now.

When you look at caricatures one way, they're the easiest thing in the world, but when you look at them another way, they're closer to impossible.

People ask what's the best way to practice caricatures? The obvious answer is "draw caricatures" but even within that, how does one improve at an art form wherein the less likely you are to draw something again, the more necessary it is for you to draw it this time? Well, it would seem that you can't, if you put it that way. But the trick, then, would be drawing and observing often enough and honestly enough that you amass a knowledge of frequently re-occurring but often overlooked facial features, and then confront the customer with a classification of their face.

But you gotta have fun with it or the customer may leave the experience feeling frightened and disoriented and alone, if you do it right.

1 comment:

Emily Byrne said...

"Reject murmur" is the most aptly put concept in the history of live caricaturing, thanks to you, Aaron. I will think of you the next time it happens to me...