The nationwide average cost of a caricature artist is $125 - $150 per hour. Most artists charge by the hour, but costs also depend on additional factors like travel, the number of faces to be drawn, paper vs. digital images, and whether your satirical pictures will be in color or black-and-white.
Caricature artists offer entertainment, an ice breaker, and a party favor guests will love, all in one. Their skill sets and comic effect help them create delightfully accurate, humorous illustrated send-ups of your guests. From corporate events to spanish-style dinner parties to an english high tea brunches, hiring a caricature artist for the day is a surefire way to make your party memorable.
What’s in this caricature artist cost guide?
- What Affects the Cost of Hiring a Caricature Artist?
- How to Hire a Caricature Artist
- How to Save Money on a Caricature Artist
- Benefits of Hiring a Caricature Artist
What Affects the Cost of Hiring a Caricature Artist?
Caricature artists charge based on number of faces, distance, color vs. black and white drawings, and access to digital images. Many artists request partial payment upfront to secure their services, which may be a percentage of the overall cost or a flat fee. SocalToons Caricatures charges customers a $75 deposit, while Caricatures by Courtney charges a 20 percent deposit.
Number of Guests
The cost for caricature services depends on how many faces — or faces and bodies — the artist will need to draw. Since more faces takes more time, the hourly rate will typically increase depending on the total number of guests.
Color vs. Black and White
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 caricaturists offer digital caricatures drawn on computer tablets and printed for customers. With skill sets like digital drawing, they are able to charge more than if they only offered 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.
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.
How to Hire a Caricature Artist
- Check out their recent work and learn more about their skill sets: Do you want a caricature artist who can incorporate popular culture references, or who has a knack for transforming guests into classic characters like Charles Dickens? Take a look at a few examples of a caricature artist’s work to get a sense of their overall style.
- Specific design elements: For a themed party, you may want your caricature artist to be able to portray specific settings. Is it important that they can create travel themed settings, sketching your guests into Italian, French, or German locales? Or at the end of the day, is your priority finding an artist who can use an exaggerated way of portraying your guests to create the funniest pictures?
- Digital image access: If you are asking for digital images, find out how and when you will be able to access them. They may have a system to send caricatures throughout the event, or they may provide you with a pdf or folder after the event that you can share with guests.
How to Save Money on a Caricature Artist
- Ask for discounts: Find out if your caricature artist gives discounts based on number of hours or other factors. 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.
- Choose paper and skip the colors: Color images and access to digital caricatures can increase the price. Cut costs by opting for black and white, paper images. These offer all the same party benefits at a fraction of the cost.
Benefits of Hiring a Caricature Artist
A history of caricature would probably reveal centuries of pleased party guests, since satirical pictures always add laughter and conversation to events. The process can be joyful and democratic: everyone gets to see themselves in an exaggerated way, and compare notes on who has the funniest picture. You provide your guests with an incredible icebreaker and unique memento that will make your event memorable.