On whether or not he recommends a formal education
While most artists I encounter professionally did attend some kind of art school (graphic design, fine art, illustration, animation, etc.), nearly all of them say school isn’t necessary. Here’s why: the ability to draw caricatures accurately and successfully comes down to the ability to “see” –and learning to see takes thousands of drawings and years of practice. You don’t need to pay thousands of dollars to an institution to get this practice, but you can get paid to do it as an artist in the field.
Have real passion
Like many artistic professions, you have to really want this to get in and stay in, because the career definitely has its ups and downs. Ask yourself: How badly do I want to do this? Drawing caricatures is a rewarding career in that I get paid to do what I love, meet lots of people and see different parts of the country, and work side-by-side the most driven, talented, and fun group of artists in the world. But if you’re not sure you want to do caricatures – if you don’t love it – you won’t have the motivation you need to make it long-term.
Read this book
If you want to learn how to draw caricatures, I highly recommend you pick up Tom Richmond’s book, The Mad Art of Caricature, and gather some like-minded friends around you and practice what’s in the book. There are a lot of good books on caricature, but Tom’s is generally known as the caricature “Bible” and offers an accessible, detailed, and fun approach to think about and learn caricature.
Draw, draw, draw
If you can, draw something every day. I drew all the time as a kid and young adult, and it no doubt helped me have thousands of hours of practice under my belt by the time I started drawing caricatures. Be patient with yourself, and remember that learning to see takes time, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t ‘get it’ after 10 drawings, or even 100. It may take 1000 bad drawings to get to the good ones. So have fun along the way!
Advice on getting your foot in the door
Sign up for a job at the theme park. This is easily the best way to get started in the field. To get in at a theme park you usually need to have a portfolio of portraits, caricatures, and other illustrations. 10 pieces will suffice. And usually an interview sketch is involved: that’s right, you draw your interviewer live! Believe me, there is no better way to learn than going through the process of drawing at a theme park with other artists – and you get paid to do it!