Well, I couldn’t help myself. I had to do it. I know it’s not great business to get political but to be fair, the world of caricature is steeped in politics – it is caricature’s life blood.
Trump, to me is literally a slimy toad, so what better way to respond to such a thin skinned narcissist than to jab him lightly with my pen. God Bless America, and God help the rest of us. Hold tight, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!
I’ve been drawing caricatures for 22 years this year and every year I’m contacted by multiple charities to support their cause.
All of the charities are worthwhile and make a massive difference to their beneficiaries. Without getting all Smashy and Nicey about it, I’ve supported a variety of charities including The Neo-Natal Unit at Nottingham City Hospital, Matthew’s Charity and Great Ormand Street.
This has involved drawing at events, offering raffle prizes and assisting with fundraising – I even built a website for one organisation! The problem is, I can’t support everyone I would like to. Many of the requests come in very late before an event and usually take place in the summer when I am at my busiest entertaining at weddings. For a while I have thought about choosing one single charity to support, and really put the effort in with them. Well, let me tell you, I’ve found that charity and it has changed my life.
Rainbow’s Hospice for Children and Young People
I’ve never been to a hospice. I always imagined them to be a softened off version of a standard hospital – nicer curtains but still those hard beds and the smell of disinfectant. Things couldn’t have been more different when I visited Rainbows as part of my marketing role at BeeNoticed Ltd.
Rainbow’s have purchased a number of our marquees and banners and the visit was to keep in touch, strengthen our relationship and to see if there was anything else we could support and provide.
From the moment we entered the building you could feel the warm and friendly atmosphere. We were greeted with smiles from everyone we met.
Our tour was lead by Maggie Deere, Rainbows’ Nottinghamshire Community Manager, who was clearly busy with a very long to-do list, but she made us so welcome and took the time to show us all around the hospice.
The facilities at Rainbow’s are second to none and they’ve worked hard to make it feel like a home from home. There’s an art room, music room, sensory room, pool… It was amazing. It wasn’t long before it got me thinking… what would I do if one of my own boys became ill or had an accident? How would we cope? Where would we turn? What would we do? It chokes me up even now.
A few times on the tour we heard stories of how the hospice has supported families, especially the siblings of ill children, and have helped them live their final days to the full – more than once I had to ask Maggie to stop for a moment while I caught my breath and fought back my tears (I’m a bit emotional anyway so it was only to be expected!).
If the worse did happen, and I hope with all hope that it never does, Rainbow’s is where I’d want to take my family. They care. It is the most obvious aspect and is clear to see at every level. Everything – literally EVERYTHING is tailored to support the families – there’s even a section for older teenagers to hang out and be, well, teenagers. It was unbelievable, and it opened my eyes to a part of life I had just completely blocked out.
At the end of the tour, we sat down with a coffee and I just had to offer my services. I want to help. I want to contribute, and I want to tell everyone about the fantastic service they offer to families at the worst times of their lives.
I’ll be at some of their events this year and have also offered a cartooning workshop with the kids. There’s also a big fundraiser that I’m planning so watch out for that!
I would LOVE you to support the charity with me. I’ll be asking for donations and for you to spread the word – let’s make a difference – just imagine if a similar fate landed at your door, where would you turn?
Wowee! I had such a brilliant night drawing caricatures for Tokio Marine HCC’s annual Christmas party – It was a belly laugh from start to finish!
Tokio Marine HCC is a leading international speciality insurance group with offices world-wide. It must be a great place to work because everyone, and I mean EVERYONE was so friendly and fun!
I drew caricatures at the Griffin Inn, Swithland, at a wedding in the summer and a guest at the wedding recommended me for the office Christmas party.
The Griffin Inn, Swithland
The pub is gorgeous and tucked away in the Leicestershire countryside, and their barn conversion houses wedding and party guests – the staff couldn’t have been friendlier and helped me rearrange the room a little to get me a great spot so everyone could join in with the caricature banter (I’ve just started using ‘banter’ – still feel a bit weird but we’ll go with it!).
A special mention should go to Sarah who was brilliant – she moaned all the way through her caricature as she had to wait for her mates to be done too, and then came back for 2 more and MOANED all the way through those too! ha ha! Honestly, I bloomin love my job!
It’s really feeling Christmassy now!!! Another wedding this evening and another Christmas party on Monday! Busy busy busy,
When it comes to spending money, your wedding day ranks among the most expensive. With UK weddings costing an average £18,500, and in some areas £25,000+ (ouch!) you really want to make sure your day is one to remember!
Whether you have lots to spend, or are working to a tighter budget, it’s important to remember that it isn’t how much you spend that counts, but how effective you spend the money you do have.
There are lots to consider – the dress, the venue, the flowers and the photographer for starters. Some of the costs can be minimized with a little creative thinking. Place-holders and wedding favours can be created with a little help from your friends – you could even get the bridesmaids together and throw a pre-wedding ‘make-a-table-decoration’ party.
It is important that you celebrate your marriage in style. The entertainment you choose for your reception offers you a chance to really make your mark and put even more of your personality into your day.
There are so many options available to you, from hiring a jazz band or harpist for some light background music, or you could go full throttle with a karaoke machine and party DJ! Anything goes.
When you’re considering your entertainment options, think about your guests and what they would love to experience too. Try and get as much value out of your entertainment – for instance, does your DJ have the playlist you know will get everyone up and dancing, or will “Come on Eileen” do the job? Do your guests get to take something away with them to remember your day?
Do your research. Find out as much as you can about your entertainment options. Is their website easy to navigate? Are there lots of spelling mistakes and broken links? This is their website – their calling card – if they can’t get this bit right can you really trust them with your one special day?
Have a look at any galleries they have and see if you can get an idea of how the guests are interacting – do they look like they’re having a great time – the kind of fun you would want at your wedding?
Are there any customer reviews and testimonials you can read? What are their previous customers saying about them? When was the last one written? Are the reviews on independent sites or could the entertainer simply have made them up? Most independent review sites allow you to contact reviewers to check they are genuine.
Once you are satisfied, get in touch. How fast do they respond and how do they communicate with you? Are they friendly and professional? Are they going to treat your day as special as you are, or are they blasé and stand off ish? Sometimes your gut reaction is what you have to go on.
Next is payment – what is their price? Are they offering discounts? Do they require a deposit? When will the final balance need to be paid and do they have any special requirements?
The entertainment you choose will take up a big part of your evening celebrations, and you want to ensure you get the most ‘bang for your buck’.Obviously my own speciality is wedding caricature entertainment. Caricaturists like myself will come to your wedding celebrations armed with paper and pens and will draw funny cartoon portraits of you and your guests.
Each caricature should take only 3 -5 minutes and will be in black and white and range from A4 – A3 in size – you can even have a message pre-printed on the sheets – ‘Mr and Mrs Smith
would like to thank you for helping to make our day so special’ for instance.
Wedding caricatures will entertain not only the subject being drawn, but all the spectators too, and they get to take home a gift to remember your special day – what other entertainment offers you that?
So how do you go about finding a caricaturist to entertain your wedding guests? Keeping your search to your local area should help to save you added travel costs or accommodation for your entertainment. You should be able to enquire with them directly from their website or Facebook page, oralternatively, you could hire your wedding caricaturist via an agent. The agency can arrange everything for you and will act as a go-between for you and your caricaturist – they can also help out if your chosen caricaturist is already booked or a problem occurs. Reputable agents
should be registered with the Entertainment Agents Association of Great Britain, or The National Entertainment Agents Council.
Hiring your caricaturist via an agent will incur more expense as the agent usually adds their fee on top of the caricaturist’s. The choice really is yours.
Whatever entertainment you decide upon, make sure it reflects both the mood you want to create AND your personalities, for a truly memorable day to remember forever.
Lastly, if you ARE considering hiring a Wedding Caricaturist to keep your guests entertained, and you’re based in the East Midlands, then please take 5 minutes to visit my site – Beefys Caricatures and hopefully I’ll be available for your date.
There were some BRILLIANT guests and other great entertainers including live music, Irish dancing AND singing waiters! It was cracking. Doddington Hall’s Coach House was the perfect venue and all the staff were really lovely.
Congratulations Mr & Mrs Fraser! All the best for your future together
You know that making sure your wedding guests have a great time at your celebration is top of your list, otherwise you would’ve ran off to Gretna Green to elope! You want them to have fun and remember your day for all the right reasons.
As much as you’d like to think your guests will love every single aspect of your wedding, the truth is you really can’t please everyone. Here are the 3 most common wedding guest gripes and what you can do to solve them…
In at number 3…“There were way too many speeches.”
I’m sure you’ve sat through a few of these yourself yourself to know that wedding speeches are great but you can definitely have too much of a good thing. Never-ending speeches full of too many inside jokes is quickly gonna get boring the majority of your guests.
So, how do you avoid it? Limit the number of toasts to three or four, and ask each toaster to keep their speech under three minutes. Encourage them to write everything down beforehand, and alert your DJ to signal a musical cue if it’s time to wrap things up, just like the Oscars. (Cue the music)
Number 2. “I had to sit with complete strangers at the reception.”
Figuring out where to seat everyone during the reception is definitely not an easy task, but creating a well-thought-out seating chart is very important. Imagine sitting at a table where everyone knows everyone else — except for you.
How to avoid this one? Try to make sure your guests are seated at a table with at least one person they know. Another idea is to have small envelopes at each place setting which has a one sentence fact about each of the guests at the table – these can then be used as icebreakers and talking points to avoid those awkward silences
“So Dave, it says here you’re a nude model for your local art school… wow!”
And finally, the single most common wedding complaint is…”Too much time in between the ceremony and reception.”
All weddings have a little down time, even when your ceremony and reception are at the same venue. While you are out on the lawn having your photos taken, your guests are inside getting restless and bored. So how can you keep them entertained and make sure they’re talking about your wedding for years to come, for all the right reasons?
Well, this one is easy to solve – hire some entertainment to liven things up a bit. Hiring a caricaturist is the perfect way to liven up your lulls. They’re quick, fun and they’re entertaining for both the sitter and the spectators, and best of all, each person gets to take home personalised gift from you both that they can remember your day by. They are also great talking points and icebreakers for anyone who might not know many other guests.
Now you might be a bit worried about your guests being up for having their cartoon portrait being drawn, but in the 20 years that I’ve been drawing at weddings I’ve never once not been rushed off my feet firing out caricatures. In fact here’s some of the things the guests have had to say at the weddings I’ve drawn at…
So if you’re based in Nottingham, Derby, Lecester or lincoln, why not enquire about your wedding date and make sure you fill your lulls with laughter! Just click the enquiry button below.
As most of you who follow along know, alongside drawing wedding and party caricatures, I also run a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Graphic Design at a local FE college. Every year we hand out the Graphic Design Student of the Year award for outstanding studentship.
This year the accolade was awarded to a fantastically talented student, Lewis. His attendance was exemplary and his attitude has always been professional, but the reason why he was the clear winner for us was the HUGE amount of progress he has made with his design skills. His work has transformed into highly professional level graphic design, and it is through his own hard work and determination to learn.
Along with the title and the certificate, Lewis also gets his very own framed caricature by Beefy! (Well worth the hard work I reckon!)
Another lovely night drawing caricatures, this time at Dan and Sarah Birkin’s wedding. The reception was held at the beautiful Arkwright building at Nottingham Trent University and the bride looked absolutely stunning!!!
I even got my own caricature drawn by one of the guests! Ha ha – I can see the resemblance!!!