People often mistakenly refer to caricaturists as ‘characterturists’ and caricatures as ‘charactertures’. And it’s easy to see why. In fact, as a caricaturist, I quite like it.
The word ‘caricature’ was originally French, appropriated like so many French words by the English-speaking world. It’s derived from the Italian ‘caricare’, which literally means ‘to overload’ or in other words ‘to exaggerate’. Not distort, but exaggerate – there’s a slight yet fundamental difference.
When you exaggerate (someone’s features) you accentuate or enhance their characteristics. If you distort something, you make it harder to recognise.
For me, caricatures are all about capturing a person’s essence – their uniqueness of character – in a way that makes them instantly recognisable.
That’s why, even though it’s a misspelling, in some ways I prefer the words ‘charactertures’ and ‘characterturists’. I think they communicate what I do and explain my style more appropriately.
Find out more about me – my blank-page approach, how I work and my life as a caricature artist in Perth. Or check out the charactertures in my caricature gallery, where you’ll find a selection of commissioned artwork and caricatures of famous people (available as prints).