Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cartoon or Caricature?

Sam went to the state fair on a mission.
No, he wasn't searching for The Famous Cheeseburger Between Two Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (which curiously disgusts me and makes my mouth water at the same time.)
He wanted to have his caricature done.

I was a little hesitant.
"Are you sure you want a caricature?"
He nodded.
"Do you know what a caricature is, exactly?"
"Duh Mom. I'm almost 12. Of course I know what a caricature is. It's kind of like a cartoon but they exaggerate all your weird features and it still looks like you."
"Okey doke then. If that's what you want."

Personally, I've never desired to see an artist make my nose bigger than actual size or my eyes droopier or wrinkles deeper. Even if the girl does look like me!

He found a great artist to do the sketch and had a blast with the whole experience.
First question the guy asked?
"Cartoon or Caricature?"
There was a choice?
Yep. Mr. Rasheed could draw a straight caricature, or he could pose him with Sponge Bob. Or Scooby Doo or Superman.
Sam picked Cartoon. Duh!
"Can you put me with Chuck Norris?" he asked. Mr. Rasheed laughed and thought a little.
"Sure. I've got a funny idea."

As I stood there, watching the artist do his magic, I flipped through his sample book of work. His cartoons were amazing, as is his website, here.

I can see why people prefer cartoons to caricatures. Who really wants to see their chins or noses ballooned up so big?
The whole experience got me thinking about caricatures. It made me wonder if I don't sometimes make others into caricatures of themselves.

I was a caricature expert as a little girl, dividing people into good or bad, based on my exaggerations of their features. I even had a checklist. Did you?

Drink or smoke? Bad.
Cuss? Bad.
Steal gum from the store or cheat on a test? Bad. Very bad.
Say "yes ma'am"? Good.
Please and thank you? Good.
Nice to teachers? Good.

But then there were problems. My granddad smoked a cigar in the truck on the way to the lake to fish. I had aunts and uncles that smoked cigarettes and drank a little. They weren't bad people.
I knew kids who said yes ma'am and were nice to your face, but said mean things when you walked away.

It's interesting to me now what I put on my list. All those easy black and white rules, that weren't so black and white in flesh and blood.

I wonder now if I don't still make caricatures sometimes. Draw loaded pictures of people in my mind and discount them, judge them, instead of looking at the whole picture.
I'm afraid our culture does this all the time, especially when it comes to people we disagree with politically. We exaggerate some characteristics and oversimplify others. We try to make things black and white, because gray is so hard to manage.
Why do we classify anyway?

I'm lucky God doesn't see me as a caricature. I'm thankful God sees the whole picture, the good and the bad, all mixed together, and loves me anyway.

Cartoon or caricature?
Cartoon, please!

Just for fun, and because I'm weary of heavy thinking after the accident in our family, (Thanks again, by the way, my dear friends, for your words on Monday,) lets have a little fun.
Which cartoon character-or larger than life person-would you pick to pose with in your cartoon?

Here's Sam's finished product. Excuse the sweaty head. I made him pose after his baseball game last night.

I'll get us started. I pick...King Julian! I love that guy!

Have a wonder-full Wednesday, y'all!
Much love, Becky


Jean Wise said...

Wonderful post and thought provoking illustration. just love it. You made my day!

What cartoon? Tigger, of course. His infectious enthusiasm for life energizes me.

Patricia said...

I am so thankful Ben and his friend are OK. Being a mother is so scary sometimes. I couldn't even think what to say when I read your post Friday.
Remember when I went to the NC State Fair with you, and someone asked if we were twins? Good times!!
Love you,

Clella said...

Interesting ideas. I'm not much on cartoons, but my Kindred Hearts like

Anonymous said...

I agree! Cartoon! With Betty Rubble.

Kat said...

Cartoon for sure! Although when I was younger my best friend and I were obsessed with getting our caricatures done everytime we went to Six Flags. Crazy.

I love this post (and all your posts) and the spin you put on it. Sure does make me think. :)

I'd have to pose with Bugs Bunny. He is a wise cracking, smartie pants. I love him. They don't make cartoon characters like that anymore. :)

Sharon said...

I never thought of that choice!

Cartoon! I'd pose with "Donkey" from Shrek.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

So Tigger, Betty Rubble, Bugs Bunny, and Donkey. Love it! Thanks for playing, folks!

Tricia, I'm sending you a hug. Thank you. I agree. Being a mom is terrifying at times. And of course I remember the fair with my twin! "Hello squirrels. I mean girls." Remember that?
Love you!

Ronnie said...

Great post, Becky. I still have trouble with the gray thing.
Daffy Duck it is!

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

Oh, my. So true, so true. How black and white we make the world sometime. So glad our Father takes us as we are.

Who would I pose with? A bigger-than-life character to me, kind of like Chuck Norris to your son. The bard -- Will Shakespeare!

Sandra Evertson said...

He is adorable and the sketch is a riot!
Sorry to hear of the mishap below but so happy to know all is well!

Sandra Evertson