Caricature artists are experts at looking at a face and rendering an accurate and sometimes humorous depiction of it. They’re fun attractions at parties and other events. Most artists charge by the hour, but costs also depend on other factors, such as travel, the number of faces to be drawn, whether the drawings will be color or black-and-white and whether they are to be paper or digital images.
Most caricaturists charge by the hour, and some have a two-hour minimum. SocalToons Caricatures of North Hollywood, California, charges $175 per hour, with a two-hour minimum. Caricatures by Courtney of Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, also charges $115 per hour with a two-hour minimum.
The cost for caricature services depends on how many faces — or faces and bodies — the artist will need to draw. More faces, obviously, will take more time. Color drawings also take longer than black-and-white drawings. Different artists work at different speeds; once the artist knows how many guests will be at an event, he or she can estimate the number of hours needed. Caricatures by Courtney estimates that in one hour she can draw 15 to 20 black-and-white faces and 10 to 12 color faces or 10 to 12 black-and-white faces with bodies and eight color faces with bodies.
Some artists will travel various distances to entertain, for a price. For example, SocalToons Caricatures offers services beyond its home base of Los Angeles but charges $300 per hour with a four-hour minimum (as opposed to $175 per hour with a two-hour minimum). Other artists charge mileage and tolls. Caricatures by Courtney charges $1 per mile from her location.
Some caricaturists offer digital caricatures drawn on computer tablets and printed for customers. Digital drawings are generally more expensive than paper caricatures. Caricatures by Tony of Fayetteville, Georgia, offers digital caricatures for $250 per hour with a two-hour minimum, which is twice as much as what he charges for paper caricatures. Phoenix Caricature Company of Phoenix offers digital caricatures for $200 per hour—$75 per hour more than the company’s paper rate.
Ask for discounts. For example, SocalToons Caricatures offers discount rates for referrals. Phoenix Caricature Company offers a deal if customers purchase four hours, shaving $15 off the hourly rate for paper caricatures and $25 off the hourly rate for digital caricatures. She Draws You of Mesa, Arizona, offers $10 off its $100 hourly rate for paper caricatures if customers purchase four hours. Avoid holidays and weekends if possible, when prices may be higher.
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