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  • July 03, 2020 6:48 PM | Tom Faraci (Administrator)

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    Dear ISCA Members:

    We would like to start this letter by first expressing how incredible it has been to witness all of the innovation, collaboration and perseverance that has been displayed within the ISCA community despite the incredible setbacks we have each been facing. ISCA is first and foremost a community, and exists because of, and for, you.

    It is with heavy hearts that we have to inform you that the decision has been made to postpone our in-person gathering in Las Vegas for ISCAcon29. This is obviously something we have been wrestling with for months, and this decision has not been made lightly. Between monitoring the coronavirus situation, surveying our members, and communicating with The Golden Nugget Hotel Las Vegas, we have determined that for the health and safety of our members, the best course of action is to postpone the physical gathering in Las Vegas until November 14-19, 2021.

    Regarding 2020, your Board of Directors are working diligently to prepare an exceptional experience unlike any ISCAcon before. We expect this will be one of the most unique and accessible ISCA events to date, so be on the lookout as we will be sharing more about what to expect in the coming weeks.

    We appreciate your continued support of ISCA and look forward to announcing what we have in store for this year! And we cannot wait to see you all in person at the ISCAcon 30th Anniversary next year - there will be much to celebrate!

    The ISCA Board of Directors

  • June 12, 2020 5:24 PM | Tom Faraci (Administrator)

    In addition to all of that, you'll find videos from all of our #ISCAcon28 seminars and speakers and a selection of highlights from our

    Spring 2020 Issue of Exaggerated Features Now Available!

    The Spring 2020 issue of Exaggerated Features is now available for members to download here, and it is a doozy! Inside you'll find articles by Celestia Ward, Michael White, and Teresa Farrington on their experiences handling the coronavirus crisis. Ed Steckley has penned a tribute to the late Mort Drucker, and Robin Schwartzman interviews Erin Goedtel about her contribution to Elton John's performance at the Academy Awards. Torren Thomas has contributed an incredible illustration in response to the death of George Floyd that we've highlighted in support of Black Lives Matter.

    In addition to all of that, you'll find videos from all of our #ISCAcon28 seminars and speakers and a selection of highlights from our Drawn Together 2020 Facebook live streams!

    And let's talk about that cover! A huge shoutout to Mike Graessle for his corona-commentary piece that conveys much of what we've all been feeling and experiencing in the last few months. As this is a digital edition, we thought it would a be shame not to see this cover in print. We are offering an opportunity to own a physical copy of this incredible piece of artwork. Prints can be purchased at https://gumroad.com/isca. Proceeds will be split, with 30% going to Milke and 70% benefiting The Center for Disaster Philanthropy's COVID-19 Response Fund.

    Thank you all for sticking with us while we navigate this strange world together.

    Drawn Together 2020
  • March 19, 2020 11:04 PM | Tom Faraci (Administrator)

    Dear ISCA Friends and Family, 

    As we all face down the reality of COVID-19, I know there is much uncertainty and many questions regarding the state of our industry. I will not claim to have all of the answers, but I hope the following will be of some reassurance.

    First of all, I’d like to thank Freelancers Union for providing the following articles, resources, and advice. They’ve been stepping up as a voice for freelance artists and entertainers in this difficult time. I recommend registering as a member (it’s free) to receive their updates.

    Here’s a master list of resources crowdsourced by Freelancers Union members. You’ll find emergency grants for artists, advocacy information by state, business management tools, mental health resources, remote job opportunities, international resources, and crowdfunding initiatives. As much as I would love to, I have not clicked through every link to personally investigate, but this list is widely regarded as one of the best compiled for freelancers. Many of the resources listed actually link back to it. If you have personally used or recommend any of the articles or resources, please share them with your fellow members!

    I also recommend this article: What Freelancers Need to Know About Coronavirus

    Now, what can you do? How can you make your voice heard?  

    Well, here’s the Freelancers Union’s call for aid. If this is a plan you wish to back, they’ve included a form letter you can use to contact your representatives. The more of us who write in on behalf of freelancer’s and gig workers, the louder our voices will be.

    You can also add your name to these petitions: 

    Change.org: COVID-19 Federal Aid Package for Events Industry

    Action Network: Tell Congress to Include Displaced Entertainment Workers in Relief Package

    Freelancers Union is also establishing a Freelancers Relief Fund. You can fill out their survey now to share how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you and your business: 

    Check your local and state level arts councils for similar relief fund information (several are listed in the resource above). I filled out one for the Ohio Citizens for the Arts as an individual as well the national Americans for the Arts survey on behalf of ISCA. This one is open to businesses and organizations, so it may be useful for agency owners and others as well.

    As for ISCA, we’re keeping an eye on the situation as best we can, and have been since early February. Our members’ health and safety will be our first priority. We have been in contact with the Golden Nugget Hotel in Las Vegas. Our conference is still many months away and as of now has not been impacted by the pandemic. However, that is subject to change as the situation develops. And with Las Vegas shuttering hotels and casinos for the next 30 days, it is unlikely we will have more information before the end of April. As always, we will do our best to keep you all informed.

    In the meantime, we have some ideas we will be rolling out to make the current isolation period bearable. More info on that coming soon! For now, wash your hands, stay inside, don’t touch your face, and definitely don’t sneeze on people.

    Thank you all, and be safe out there. Or rather, be safe inside somewhere.

    Tom Faraci


  • March 29, 2019 4:46 PM | Tom Faraci (Administrator)

    We are proud to announce our 2019 Guest of Honor, Valentin Chibrit

    Valentin is an award-winning artist from Galati, Romania drawn to perceiving reality in colours and vibrations. Regardless of the medium, Valentin manages to feel the personality of his characters and translate it into different permutations of nuances. Each and every work he does is unique, as the way he plays with shapes and colours cannot be obtained twice. He was interested in playing like that in the way a child is curious about taking a toy apart and then reassembling it. Studying the human nature is at the base of his artistic approach, while drawing portraits is just an instrument. His technique can be described as a journey from the traditional medium (pastels, acrylics, oil, clay) to the digital one, which happened to fulfill his desire to combine as many layers of colors on the surface as he wished, while keeping a clean style at the same time.

    As any other idealist, Valentin dreams of creating a home for Creativity, unlimited by social or financial constraints in a world where the need for authenticity and honesty becomes so important. He would like to create a reference for other artists to acknowledge that pursuing an honest art is possible, that connecting with other artists can make a difference as in any other domain. In the end, art means channeling an unlimited potential of creativity through a human imagination. So any field can reach an artistic level if it’s accomplished with passion and self-awareness.

    ISCA is excited to have Valentin join us for our 28th Annual Convention at The Guest House at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee!

    Registration and room rates coming soon. Stay tuned! #iscacon28

    Join us!

  • March 08, 2019 3:49 PM | Tom Faraci (Administrator)

    We’re happy to announce you can now buy prints of this year’s Caricature of the Year - “Gold Nosey Rush” by Caricature Artist of the Year, Daniel Stieglitz!

    Thanks to Daniel, 50% of the proceeds will benefit ISCA! There are three size options to choose from. Click the link below to take a look!

    Check out the piece at our merch page: http://caricature.org/Merch

  • February 22, 2019 2:56 PM | Tom Faraci (Administrator)

    Hello everyone! We're pushing to be more active across all of our online platforms this year, including right here on our EF blog. We hope to post content as regularly as possible. I wanted to start this trend off with something truly special.

    What we have here is a live caricature/speed sketch workshop by the late Tom 'Huf' Hofstedt from the first NCN Convention in Cozumel, Mexico in 1992. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this qualifies as the first ever convention workshop! The footage is from founder Buddy Rose's personal archive - digitized, restored, and graciously provided to ISCA by his son, Harrison Rose. We hope to have more of this footage available throughout the year. For those of you who've been with the organization since its early days, this will surely bring back some memories. For our newer members, pay attention - cause you just might learn something!

  • November 28, 2018 8:25 PM | Tom Faraci (Administrator)

    Join us at the Guest House at Graceland in Memphis, TN for the 28th Annual ISCA Caricature Convention, November 17-22, 2019!

    More info coming soon!

  • November 26, 2018 11:01 PM | Tom Faraci (Administrator)
    Congrats to ISCACon27's Nosey winners!

    Golden Nosey - Daniel Stieglitz

    Silver Nosey - Derek Brennan

    Bronze Nosey - Sebastian Martin

    Updates and full winners list will be published in the upcoming post-con issue of Exaggerated Features!

  • July 10, 2018 9:26 PM | Tom Faraci (Administrator)

    by Connie R. Tistic

    FROM THE ARCHIVES is a series of featured articles from previous Exaggerated Features. This article was originally published in the 2016 Pre-Con Issue. For access to all the Exaggerated Features, join ISCA today.

    This is written for all you wannabe con artists (you know, as in CONvention artists) out there who have no idea what to expect at the convention and are too afraid to ask. And it’s also for all of those returning artists who are too scared to admit they can’t remember what to bring. Whether this is your first or fifth convention - yeah, you know who you are - this is written for you. Think of it as an advice column. I’ve been to enough cons to be considered an expert on the subject, if I don’t mind saying so. It didn’t hurt that I, like all members, have access to the old Pre-con EFs online either. But let’s cut to the chase.

    Stay at the same hotel as the con!

    Book early and use the code to save some dough. Save even more dough by sharing a room. Don’t know anyone? What a way to change that - share a room with a stranger! See the ISCA Members Facebook page for others who are in the same boat. The ballroom is open 24 hours. So if you don’t like your roommate, you can always just draw in the ballroom until the sun comes up. And it seems someone ALWAYS falls asleep in the ballroom. But that’s when people suddenly revert back to slumber party prankster mentality - especially the guys. Don’t be surprised if you wake up with artwork on your face and the whole process documented on social media when all you were trying to do is get some shuteye.

    Plus, if you stay at the same hotel as the convention, you won’t miss out on anything. I stayed at an offsite hotel one time. Worst thing I ever did. I saved some cash but really hated leaving the convention room to drive the 10 minutes back to my hotel. And some, if not all, of your room fees could be tax-deductible. But you better check with your tax guy about that. You do have a tax guy, I hope!

    How it Starts

    Check-in and pick-up your badge, swag bag and t-shirt starting Sunday afternoon. Where? Oh, you’ll know. As soon as you walk in the hotel lobby, your Spidey senses will start tingling and you will quickly be drawn (haha, get it?) to your own kind, your artistic brethren, your tribe.
    Make sure you check in early if you can so you don’t miss the evening icebreaker reception with finger foods and cash bar and, if you are lucky, tater tots! That’s right, tater tots. You are welcome to bring sketchbooks. And you will want to stick around for “Art Fight.” This energetic and friendly competition gets everything into full swing. And what is the first rule of Art Fight? Don’t talk about Art Fight. You’ll just have to go and find out for yourself what it’s all about.

    What to Pack

    It’s just like packing for any other week long trip, except you got to plan to be drawing for a week.

    Art Supplies. What should you bring? Whatever you want to draw with. You wanna draw with crayons, bring crayons. You wanna paint with coffee, have at it. But whatever you bring be VERY careful when you make a mess. If you are going to paint, bring a freakin’ drop cloth or something! And clean up after yourselves. I ain’t your momma. If you are bringing a tablet or laptop, bring an extension cord, power strip and printer. Or else how you gonna get those pretty pictures out of that contraption to put on your wall? Wait—what? Oh, ISCA is providing a printer too, but I would still bring my own, just to play it safe.

    Don’t forget about restrictions on the airlines. Don’t bring flammable paints or supplies like craft knives or razor blades in your carry-on luggage. Find out your airline’s rules soon.
    Basically, bring everything you think you might need. The nearest art store will require a drive. Don’t bring promotional signs, b
    anners or displays or try to sell merchandise. If you want to do that, read the rules and get a vendor table.

    Easel /drawing board. The ballroom will be full of tables and chairs. But that’s about it. So bring an easel or drawing board unless you like craning your neck to draw on a surface that is perpendicular to your body.

    Layered clothing. Just because it’s Phoenix (San Diego, for you 2018 attendees), and just because it’s the middle of the desert, doesn’t mean you won’t be freezing your butt off in the ballroom with 200 of your new buddies, or old ones.

    Swimsuit. It’s a must if you plan to swim or hot tub it.

    Party attire. The final night of the convention is capped off by the Awards Ceremony and banquet. Some dress like it’s prom all over again. It’s your chance to dress to impress or make a statement. Or not. Up to you, my friend.

    Install Google Translate on your smartphone. With the worldwide membership in ISCA, you are gonna need it. How else will you be able to ask that guy from France if you can borrow his box of crayons de couleur???

    What you can expect

    You’ll be creating caricatures of other people at the convention. You will be given a section of wall space with your competition number on it about 2 feet wide. You can draw any size you want, but you are only allowed to post inside your allotted wall space. Don’t be a Putin and encroach on your neighbor’s territory. That just ain’t right. See the convention rules on pages 6-7 in this issue to read all of the space regulations (Note: Convention rules will be available on the website shortly).

    You should put up your caricature work as soon as you can. Don’t wait until the last day. It’s fun to see the competition room slowly get plastered with artwork as the week progresses. By the way, all work that you put on the wall must be created in the competition room during the convention. Not your private room. Not your studio at home, before the convention. Remember, the competition room will be open 24 hours a day all week long.

    Don’t be shy about approaching people. If you see someone doing work that you like, go ahead and bug them about it. Find out what they’re doing, where they’re from, how they got so good. Go ahead, be annoying. That’s one of the main benefits of this con — rubbing elbows with other artists and learning from each other. But if you can see that they’re trying to focus or laboring to get a piece done quickly before the deadline, maybe give them some space. Usually a good way to tell if someone doesn’t want to be bothered is if they’re wearing headphones and listening to music. Likewise, if you wear your headphones, you will be putting out an anti-social vibe and may miss out on some camaraderie.

    There are organized competitions throughout the week, like the speed competition and the likeness competition. The general competition drawing ends on Thursday afternoon. And all the members then vote for their favorite pieces in multiple categories: abstract, retail/party style, realistic style, most exaggerated, best black and white, best color, most humorous and so on. A lot of people come intent on competing and winning. But do not feel pressured to impress or win anything. If you focus too much on the competition aspect, you will be stressing yourself out and not enjoying your time as much. Just do the type of work you really want to do, and pick up what valuable nuggets that you can from others.

    All the awards are given out during the banquet on Friday night. Don’t be a schlub. Dress up! The banquet is open seating and the dinner is included in your convention fee. But again, it’s a cash bar. And tip the bartender! After the ceremony, whether you’re crying or celebrating, we all give our artwork to the people who we drew during the week. So be sure you take photos of your work and other artists’ work before the banquet starts. You won’t get a chance later.
    If you are odd-looking, you probably got drawn a lot and will be going home with tons of artwork from others, so p
    lan a way to get these home without destroying them in your luggage. If all else, have them shipped home, and be sure to get them insured!

    On the flip side, try not to burden someone with a giant, two ton caricature that they have to figure out how to get home. If it doesn’t fit in someone’s luggage, it’ll be hard for them to get home.

    Hanging your art

    Put the art that you make up on your wall with the nice blue painter’s tape that is distributed by ISCA. ONLY USE THIS TAPE!!! Do not use anything else to put up your artwork. Not scotch tape, not super glue, not rubber cement and definitely not push pins.
    If this is your first time, and even if it’s not, the amount of amazingly awesome, jaw-dropping art you will see will Blow. Your. Mind.

    Draw from life

    With the advent of new technology, many artists are using these tools to make life easier. It is so easy now to take a picture of someone in the ballroom, run back to your secluded drawing corner and begin work on your masterpiece. But by doing that you miss out on something very important: FREE live MODELS!! Sometimes people will set up drawing circles to do just that: draw from life. Don’t miss out. If you see a circle, join in. If you don’t see one, start your own. If a circle spontaneously forms around you, don’t be frightened. Just go with it.

  • July 03, 2018 5:08 PM | Tom Faraci (Administrator)

    Excited to announce a NEW ADDITION to this year's con - A Pre-Con Workshop!

    Character Designer and Teacher Stephen Silver will be hosting his "Level Up Workshop: Mindset - Caricature - Character Design" Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Town & Country in San Diego from 10am - 5pm.

    This is a great opportunity to check out his workshop, since you're already coming to San Diego anyway, right?   The cost for this workshop is $150 and is open to all convention attendees.

    Registration for both the convention and the workshop can be found here!

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