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, banners 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 plan 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.
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!
If you haven’t heard - We are EXCITED to announce this year’s Guest of Honor, David Boudreau!
David is a professional animator, character designer and story artist with over 25 years of experience working for Warner Brothers, Dreamworks, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and currently works at Fox Animation. You can check out more about David at https://davidboudreau.weebly.com.
Who else is EXCITED for this year’s con?! We’re only FOUR months away!!
Our first interactive digital edition is now available to members! Visit http://caricature.org/exaggeratedfeatures/ to download today! Not a member? You can sign up using our NEW monthly payment plan!
Inside you'll find videos of all of the speakers at the 2017 Convention in Orlando, registration information for the 2018 con, video tutorials by Kiko Yamada and our cover artist Chihiro Noguchi, and more!
Speaking of the convention - Stay tuned, as we'll be rolling out announcements in the coming month regarding speakers and other surprises! The early bird registration deadline is July 31, 2018! Don't wait, register today!
ISCACON 27 will be held at the beautiful Town & Country Resort in San Diego, CA Nov. 4 - 9th, 2018.
Check ISCACON 27 for the latest information.
by Meaghan Hemmings Kent
FROM THE ARCHIVES is a series of featured articles from previous Exaggerated Features. This article is a follow up from one of the seminars at the Raleigh Convention and was originally published in the 2009 Post Con Issue. For access to all the Exaggerated Features, join ISCA today.
At the 2008 NCN convention in Raleigh, I had the privilege of speaking about Legal Matters for the Artist, and it became clear that the issue of the right of publicity is a hot topic for caricature artists. The right of publicity is, in general terms, a person’s exclusive right to bene t from, and the right to control the commercial use of, their name, likeness or persona. What this legal doctrine provides is that to use someone else’s name, likeness or persona, in a commercial way, you need their permission. While keeping in mind that this is a convoluted area of the law without clear guidelines, let’s see if we can break it down a little by answering some of the questions that were raised at the 2008 NCN convention.
What is the law of the right of publicity?
Unlike Copyright law, the right of publicity
is not covered by a Federal statute. Instead, it varies from state to state. Some states have statutes, some states rely on common law (case law) and some states use both. The only certain thing is that every state’s law is different. In addition, determining which state’s (or which country’s) law should apply to your facts can be difficult in itself. There are potentially three bodies of law that can apply: where the person resides (their permanent residence, not just where they have a home), where the alleged unlawful use occurred, or where the user of the image resides.
What is exempt from the right of publicity?
Nearly every state recognizes that use in connection with news, public affairs, sports broadcasts, and political commentary are protected speech that trumps the right of pub- licity. However, when that use becomes com- mercial (which is subjective and determined on a case by case basis) the exemption may no longer apply. Easy examples of commercial use are advertising, sports memorabilia, and products bearing a photo image sold because of that image.
Is artwork exempt from the right of publicity law?
Generally, no. However, there is some case law that has carved out exceptions by nding that the artwork can be covered as First Amendment speech. Note, however, that this exception is not a hard line rule because it requires a subjective balancing of an artist’s right of expression against a person’s right of publicity. An Ohio case decided in 2000 involved Tiger Woods suing an artist for using his image in prints of a montage depicting Tiger playing at the Masters in different poses along with images of other great golfers. There, the artist argued that his prints were art and were not commercial, while Tiger argued that the prints were sports merchandise and were commercial.
The Ohio court held that the original work and the limited edition prints were protected by the First Amendment because they were a montage that conveyed a message and were not merely posters created from a photograph.
In a California case decided in 2001, the estate for the Three Stooges sued an artist who had created a charcoal drawing of the Three Stooges and sold the image as litho- graphs and on t-shirts. The California court held against the artist stating that the image was so lifelike that it was not “transformative” enough to enjoy the protection of the First Amendment. In other words, under California law, transformative images are immunized by the First Amendment, but images that were too lifelike were not. The California court went on to explain, that if a person’s image is just raw material for original artwork and the artistic expression is the dominant attribute of the artwork, then the artist’s First Amendment rights will trump the person’s right of publicity. The California court used Andy Warhol portraits as an example of a work where the artist’s rights would supersede the person’s right of publicity. This test, unfortunately, does not provide any de nite guidance because it requires a court to make an aesthetic judg- ment on a case by case basis and different courts can reach different results.
In one 2003 California case applying this test, the court found that the musicians John and Edgar Winter (the Autumn Brothers) were recognizable in a comic book but that it was transformative because they were depicted as half human and half worm and was there- fore protected. However, a 2003 Missouri court found that the use of the name of a hockey player, Tony Twist, in a comic book was not transformative and was just a ploy to sell more comic books. Whether a caricature, or any artwork, is exempt from the right of publicity law, will depend on an aesthetic evaluation of whether it conveys a message, whether it is “transformative,” or whether it meets some other test that the state decides to apply (because remember, each state has its own law), and will require thorough review of the particular state’s law.
Are single and original artworks exempt?
Generally, yes. Many state’s (including Cali- fornia) include an exemption in their right of publicity statutes for single and original works of artwork. However, once copies of that single work are made as prints, even limited edition prints, on t-shirts, on posters, etc. then this exemption falters and the balancing of rights discussed above is required. For example, in the Three Stooges case, the California court noted that the original charcoal did not infringe on the rights of publicity, but the lithographs and t-shirts did.
Are political figures fair game?
No. In most states, the same restrictions apply to use of a politician’s image as to any other person. While news and political commentary are protected speech that generally trumps the right of publicity, commercial use of a politician’s image will raise a red ag. For example, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rudy Giuliani have both gone after people for use of their image. Arnold targeted a bobble head doll while Rudy threatened to sue PETA for using his image in a mock Got Milk advertisement (“Got prostate cancer?” related to milk consumption allegedly being linked to prostate cancer).
Are dead celebrities fair game?
It depends. Some states have posthumous rights (such as California, Indiana, Oklahoma, Tennes- see, Florida, Kentucky, Illinois) while others do not (New York, where Marilyn Monroe was found to have resided). Even if a state has posthumous rights, states vary on how long those posthumous rights last. For instance, in Tennessee (where Elvis resided), posthumous rights last forever, while in California they last for 70 years and in Florida they last for 40 years.
What do i do if i want to use a person’s image in a commercial way?
If you create a work that you or another party plan to use in a commercial way (like in an advertisement, on products, or mass publication of your artwork), be sure that you have permission to use the likeness of anyone who appears in the work. If the artwork is created for another party, ask them to agree to defend and indemnify you if a dispute does arise. And don’t forget to get it all in writing!
Meaghan Hemmings Kent is an intellectual property attorney in the Washington, D.C. of ce of Venable LLP. She advises clients on all areas of intellectual property law, including copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, right of publicity, and domain name law. She can be reached at 202-344-4481 and email@example.com. The views expressed in this article are those of the author, do not constitute legal advice, and should not be attributed to Venable LLP or its clients.
The winter Post-Con issue of Exaggerated Features is out now! The print version is in mailboxes now, and the PDF is available to members here. This issue features a round up of all of the winners from the 2017 ISCA convention in Orlando, as well as an interview with the newly-crowned Golden Nosey winner, Manny Avetisyan! Also in this issue: A gallery show of rock and roll caricatures in Cleveland (by Tom Faraci and Derek Brennan), a comic recounting the State Fair of Texas (by Lorin Bernsen and Robert Sundin), and an American caricaturist in Prague (by Sam KingDavis)! Cover art is by our 2016 Golden Nosey winner, Dai Tamura.
Oh, also, we're on Facebook now.
Exaggerated Features is included in your ISCA membership.
Not a member?
Stay tuned for more info.
#iscacon27 #sandiego #california
ISCA Con 26 is over! What a week!
Congratulations to all of this year's winners, especially to Joe Bluhm, Lindsey Olivares, and Manny Avetisyan, who took home the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Noseys, respectively.
Thank you to all of our speakers and sponsors, and a HUGE thanks to President Matt Zitman, who stepped down this year, handing the ISCA reigns to Chris Moore as we head into 2018. Chris will be joined by returning board members Cory Lally (Vice President), Tom Faraci (Treasurer), and the newly elected Secretary, AJ Jensen.
Look for a full convention wrap up in the post-con issue of Exaggerated Features!