As I have began to hint at, I am a fan of the bold and crazy. And specifically, the talented, or at least very brave, few that call themselves Street Performers. So, when walking through the Washington Square Arch this past weekend, and seeing a large sign reading "FREE," I had to stop and ask the guy what his story was. About 15 minutes later, Jared from The California Boys, had recounted the story that had lead he and his fellow caricaturist buddy to pack up and move to New York City a month ago. They are making their way and making a name for themselves on the streets and at private parties for their great caricatures and "California Boys" style (even though they're from Hershey, PA.) They figure if a guy can make a name for himself by singing in his underwear around Times Square, they can make a name for themselves drawing really good caricatures for free. I asked how the other caricature artists felt about them working for free and leaving it up to the person getting their portrait done whether or not to tip them. He confirmed a suspicion that I have had for years: All those caricature "artists" in Times Square and Central Park: scam artists! Those "examples" they have posted up on their booth? Probably downloaded from the website of a world famous caricaturist.
As the signed said, "Tips greatly appreciated. Seriously, thank you. I'm one cup of noodles away from falling into the 'starving artist' category." And for that I admire the hustle and the drive to get out their and create the next New York City street performer success story. All in all, a great experience "being drawn" and a chance to hear another fantastic "we just knew we had to get to New York City" story.