Monday, 11 April 2011

In the eye of the beholder

Now, here is a little conundrum I found myself in recently. I was commissioned to produce a very last minute caricature for a CEO who was due to retire in a few days time. The client sent me three photographs but pointed out that they were taken abour 5 years ago but that "he hasn't changed much - maybe a bit thinner in the face and his hair is lighter". I had time to get an intial image/rough over to them for approval and they thought I'd 'pushed' the caricature too far i.e. it didn't really look like him. So, I had another go and came up with the caricature below which I posted to them.

I received an email a few days later saying that "Unfortunately it really doesn’t look at all like Richard (the photos are 5 years old but he hasn’t changed much)" and asking if I could have another go... I asked for more recent photos and got the reply that the ones I had were the only ones available. In a situation like this what is the point spending more time drawing another caricature from the same photos if you can't see what's wrong with the one you've just produced? I asked for the artwork back and retreated backwards out of the situation!

Many thanks to all those colleagues whose advice I sought as to where they thought I might have gone wrong and was inundated with similar stories from clients who reported a 'lack of likeness' - so it's not just me! I DID wonder if it was a similar case to that reported by the great Tim Leatherbarrow who went through the same process only to be told a few days later the client had "unfortunately sent the wrong photographs" i.e. they ones they'd sent were of a different person!!!

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