Thursday, December 13, 2007

hey! lookit me!

our local newspaper has a smaller, fre version that goes out once a week to some of the suburb areas surrounding halifax (yes, halifax has suburbs. go figure). i was featured in the latest issue. on the front page even!

check it out:

People are drawn to him
Caricaturist Pinsent finds local market warming up to his art
By PAT LEE Staff Reporter
Sun. Dec 9 - 8:25 AM

EASTERN PASSAGE — When Don Pinsent whips up a caricature, there are no do-overs.

When the Eastern Passage artist hires himself out to parties or conventions, he will do the whimsical portraits in black marker, having long ago forced himself to learn the skill by adopting an almost artistic form of tough love.

"I first started just drawing in pencil so I could go back and erase when I made mistakes," he said recently from his home.

"But I decided the only way I was going to learn how to do it was to go straight to the marker. I couldn’t make any mistakes anymore."

Pinsent, an animator at Collideascope in Halifax, has been interested in caricatures since he was a teenager growing up in North Bay in Ontario and reading Mad Magazine, perhaps the bible of satirical drawings.

"I first started off trying to copy their style," he said.

Like Mad Magazine, Pinsent is also drawn to pop culture subjects, with his portfolio including the cast of Seinfeld, Marilyn Monroe, the Beatles and his best-selling take on the Rolling Stones, which he sells online or during the summer on the Halifax waterfront.

"I do them in coloured pencil — full portrait style but still with the exaggerated features," said Pinsent, a graduate of Sheridan College in Toronto.

"What I like doing best is celebrities or people I know personally because I’ve gotten to know their features better."

Pinsent also plies his trade by hiring himself out to parties or conventions, where he’ll whip off caricatures for guests in about five minutes.

He charges by the hour for the service and said it’s a fun way for guests to leave with a memento of the occasion.

"Once I’m there, people start lining up and usually it’s just bam, bam, bam."

People can also commission caricatures by sending him a selection of photographs to work from.

The father of three youngsters said he likes drawing caricatures because they call for a certain level of skill but also allow for some levity.

"I like the idea of exhibiting the skill it takes to do a realistic portrait, while at the same time adding on top of that the skill of stretching the features and having fun with it," he said.

"The reaction I always hope to get initially is a laugh, then in the next breath I hope that people will go, ‘But that’s really well done.’ "

Pinsent, who moved to Nova Scotia about six years ago with his wife Jodi, said he’s been trying to grow his caricature business because the animation industry is so cyclical, with television cartoons always coming and going.

He said his father-in-law, who lives in Bedford, has been a big help in spreading the word about his company Caricatures by Don (

"One of my problems is that I’m an artist, so I don’t necessarily have a businessman’s mind, although I’m trying to develop that."

Pinsent said lately all the hard work has started to pay off.

"For the first few years I lived in Halifax I had a really hard time getting it going and then all of the sudden, I don’t know what changed, but in the last year or so it’s taken off."
Caricaturist Don Pinsent works on a self-portrait at his home in Eastern Passage. (PAT LEE / Staff)


Niall O loughlin said...

Well done on the interview Don, I wish you every success!

Ginger said...

I just found your cartoonatorium, thanks to the reference to North Bay, and have laughed my way through all your caricature posts. It is great fun to scroll from the bottom up and try to guess whose caricature you have drawn.

Love your work and your sense of humor!

chumpmonkey said...

thanks very much, both of you.

Scott Hamilton said...

Don over the years I've watched your work get better and better. You're kicking some major caricature arse with the lastest plethora of Pinsent goodness. I'm a big fan.

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Roshanda said...

This is great Don! You know I've always been a big fan of your work. I wish you all the success you deserve.

chumpmonkey said...

scott and roshanda, thanxalot for the comments. i had to look both of your blogs up to find out who you were, as i had forgotten your real names! sorry. anyway, thanx.

Israel Rodriguez said...

This is awesome stuff Don, you should include this blog on your website, it would give people a good sense of you and your work