Staff Caricature: Imagine The Impossible


‘The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.’ Aristotle

 

‘This world is but a canvas to our imagination.’ Henry David Thoreau

 

‘If you can dream it, you can do it.’ Walt Disney

 

Inspiration and Imagination, something every artist needs and is elusive as an island of tranquility in a sea of chaos. Many people have told me that I inspire the children and people in general with what I do. Whether creating art, playing baseball or trying to improve my life, people say that I have inspired others to try new things and look inside themselves. I have always found this interesting because I get my inspiration from these very people. Whether it be a child asking me about Mythology or adults asking me about their children or even just talking to people about a number of different topics, they have inspired me to create and use my imagination to bring the impossible possible.

A prime example is when I draw the staff at my school as cartoon characters or caricatures. It started one year around Christmas when we have our Christmas concert and staff dinner. Always after the concert, we go out for dinner and we exchange gifts, such as a Chris Kringle. I wanted to liven things up and instead of giving Christmas cards, I decided to create my own with the staff members as a caricature.
This specific year the inspiration for the caricatures came from my own person exploration of a style known as Steampunk. Steampunk is a subgenre of science-fiction and fantasy that came out of literary works such as Jules Vern and H.G. Wells to name a couple. But Steampunk can be best described by breaking up the word. “Steam” represents the era mostly the early industrial age around the early to mid-Victorian Era. “Punk” represents rebellion or going against the norm.
The “Punk” or rebellion signifies going against what is expected on the technology level as well as societal norms. On the technology level you see cars that are steamed powered, flying dirigibles or airships the size and look of sailing vessels or even steam-powered walking machines.   Yet when it comes to rebellion on the societal side, it affects women the most. During this time women were relegated to subordinates to the men, covering up themselves, not taking up employment or independent behavior. That is why in Steampunk you will see many women showing cleavage or wearing short skirts and showing a lot of leg to show off their stockings.
It took quit a while to create the caricatures but once the staff received them they loved the cards and caricatures. In the next few weeks I will be posting a few of the characters from the cards because these people inspired me to create these characters. Hopefully they can spur imagination and inspire others.

 

Steampunk Woman 01

 

The first caricature is a person whom I wanted to show their rebellious side. I wanted to create the caricature with a skirt and high boots along with the customary leather corset. I then added the puffy shirt that highlighted the breasts and cleavage. I then added the two belts with packs, goggles and finally a steampunk style rifle. With these caricatures I created a new way of creating hair and with caricature she has long shoulder length blonde hair.

Well she enjoyed the caricature, as did the other staff. I hope you enjoy the first steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

 

 

Steampunk Woman 01

 

Steampunk Woman 02

 

The second caricature is a person who is one that would help anyone if they asked for it. I wanted to show this person with more of a rebellious side; hence I began drawing her wearing a corset and short skirt or slip with the dress frame on the outside. However, I took this one step further by drawing the caricature showing a lot leg that showed off garter stockings. I then added a tight shirt that showed off a bit of cleavage. I finished off the caricature by adding a pair of steampunk binoculars and a flintlock pistol, for that “don’t mess with me” look.

She enjoyed the caricature, especially the garter stockings, as did many of the other staff. I hope you enjoy the second steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

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Steampunk Woman 02

Steampunk Woman 03

 

The third caricature is a person who is always thinking of others a typical mom. I wanted to show that this person is adventurous but someone you can rely on. So I decided to draw her with a pith helmet, with a matching corset and long dress. But I wanted to show that she is always prepared so I added the bag with pencils and a book.

She enjoyed the caricature, as did many of the other staff. I hope you enjoy the third steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

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Steampunk Woman 03

 

Steampunk Woman 04

 

The fourth caricature is a person who is always ready to lend a helping hand but also adventurous. I wanted to show that adventurous side but also her independence; therefore I drew her wearing pants, which was unthinkable during Victorian times. I drew here with a corset but no shirt for some added daring. I was thinking alone the lines of an aeronaut / pilot of a dirigible so I added the aviator cap with goggles. I added the bag and sidearm to finish the look.

She really enjoyed her caricature, as did many of the other staff. I hope you enjoy the fourth steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

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Steampunk Woman 04

Steampunk Woman 05

 

The fifth caricature is a person who can be best described as stead and reliable. I wanted to show that person could have an adventurous side but also be humble with what she does. I began with a short dress it would have a train so to show some leg. I added the corset with a stylish bra and a bow to match. I added the elbow length gloves for a touch of style and then to finish the outfit I drew in the small top hat with the feathers.

She really enjoyed her caricature, especially the stockings, as did many of the other staff. I hope you enjoy the fifth steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

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Steampunk Woman 05

 

Steampunk Woman 06

 

The sixth caricature is a great mom, teacher and friend. I’ve known this person for many years and I wanted to show that she is not someone to mess with. I started with a short sleeve shirt with a corset but then I added the dagger on the sleeve. I had her in a pair of pants to show that she doesn’t conform to what society says to do. I drew in a pair of repeating pistols that are very similar to Han Solo’s gun from Star Wars. I then drew in the gun belt, goggles and pouch but the big thing was her hair. She once had dreadlocks and I wanted to draw her with dreads. It was a bit of a challenge but in the end I liked the end result.

She really enjoyed her caricature, especially the dreadlocks, as did many of the other staff. I hope you enjoy the sixth steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

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Steampunk Woman 06

 

Steampunk Woman 07

 

The seventh caricature is a great teacher and friend. I’ve known this person some years and she is a lot of fun to be with. I wanted to show this with her outfit. I began with the idea of a frilly dress similar to what a dancer would wear. I added the corset and then elbow length gloves. Her hair was more difficult because she had dark hair with blonde highlights. I had to create a new way of creating hair. Within Illustrator I create an art brush with the desired colour of hair and then drew/painted in the hair. After I added the hat, boots and the revolver to show that she is a lady but someone you don’t want to mess with.

She really enjoyed her caricature, especially the red dress and hair, as did many of the other staff. I hope you enjoy the seventh steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

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Steampunk Woman 07

 

Steampunk Woman 08

 

The eighth caricature is a great teacher and friend. I’ve known this person some years and she is as tough as they get and for that reason I wanted her caricature to reflect it. I began be drawing her wearing pants, something women did not do during the Victorian era. I then added knee-high boots and a leather corset with a beige shirt underneath it. Her hair is usually up therefore I drew the caricature with this in mind but I also added the goggles. I added a couple of side bags and gave her a modified rifle with a scope to finish it off.

She really enjoyed her caricature, as did many of the other staff. I hope you enjoy the eighth steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

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Steampunk Woman 08

 

Steampunk Woman 09

 

The ninth caricature is a great teacher and one tough cookie. With this in mind I wanted to draw her caricature to reflect it. I began with a corset, a low-cut white blouse and I then added a ruffled skirt to show her feminine side. But then to toughen her up a bit I added the boots and leather greaves. She has longhair yet I added the top hat with the goggles for that tough look. To finish the look I gave her a large steampunk looking rifle with a lot of embellishments on this weapon in comparison to others I have drawn. She is leaning and in the final image she would be leaning on a couple of large crates, similar to the small crate she is stepping on.

She really enjoyed her caricature, as did many of the other staff. I hope you enjoy the ninth steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

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Steampunk Woman 09

 

Steampunk Woman 10

 

The tenth caricature is a great teacher and a lovely person on top of everything else. The teacher cares deeply about the students and staff she works with as much as her own family. She is always thinking of others that I wanted to she her as a lady with a bit of spice on the side. I therefore began with a blue dress with a visible corset and a frilly skirt to match. I added the sheer top that showed a bit of cleavage and the thigh high stocks for that spicy side. I finished off the look with shoes and a top hat that matched the dress and of course she would not be complete without a sidearm, just incase you decide to mess with her.

She really enjoyed her caricature, as did many of the other staff, which liked the fact that her caricature was showing a lot of leg. I hope you enjoy the tenth steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

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Steampunk Woman 10

 

Steampunk Woman 11

 

The eleventh caricature is a wonderful teacher and a lovely person that thinks of the students in everything she does. She is a bit quiet but she is always there to lend a helping hand. I wanted to draw her caricature a little riské, therefore I began with a corset and instead of a blouse I added a sheer top to show off a little cleavage. I then added a short skirt that allowed the caricature to show off her stockings and garters. Then I drew in the knee-high leather boots and a side pack. I had her hair come down onto her shoulders but I added a lady’s hat with feathers for that elegant look. The one thing that was different then the other caricatures is that everyone had either a necklace or earrings that had one gear as a piece of jewelry. Yet with this caricature I drew in three on her necklace. This is because she was my secret Santa and it was part of a game I did when I game everyone the final portrait with everyone on it.

She really enjoyed her caricature especially the stockings; as did everyone else. I hope you enjoy the eleventh steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

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Steampunk Woman 11

 

Steampunk Woman 12

 

The twelfth caricature is a wonderful teacher who always wears a smile and is a sweet heart to the core. She always has a nice thing to say and is the gentlest person I know. Therefore I wanted her caricature be a badass and show a different side of her then she wouldn’t normally show. I began with a corset-vest combination and then added a rolled up shirt that showed some cleavage. Instead of pants or a long skirt I drew her with a mini-skirt that showed a lot of leg. I then added the leather boots and two belts, one with bullets. Her hair comes down past her shoulders and then I put in goggles for an extra touch. However, instead of drawing her holding a gun or a rife I thought she would look tougher with a kick ass sword. I draw her with a sword that was more of a cross between a sword and an axe. The results were pretty badass.

She really enjoyed her caricature especially the tough look of the caricature and she loved the sword. I hope you enjoy the twelfth steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

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Steampunk Woman 12

 

Steampunk Woman 13

 

The thirteenth caricature is a wonderful teacher who is a good person through and through. She is a quiet soul and will always help you whenever asked. I have always thought of her as resembling Ariel from the Little Mermaid, therefore I decided to draw her caricature with this theme in mine. I began with a corset and then instead of a frilly dress, I drew a skintight dress along the thighs and then it would frill out at the knees to represent a mermaid’s tail. I added a blouse that showed some cleavage and a belt and feather hairpin. I added the navigational instruments of a compass, eyeglass and pocket watch to finish the look.

She really enjoyed her caricature especially the dress. She and many noticed the mermaid reference right away. I hope you enjoy the thirteenth steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

 

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Steampunk Woman 13

 

Steampunk Woman 14

 

The fourteenth caricature is a wonderful teacher who loves the children and to have fun while working with them. She is kind and gentle and I thought lets add a little naughty side to her persona. Therefore I began with a corset and white shirt then a short skirt to show off her long legs. She is a tall woman and I wanted to show this with the clothes she would wear. I drew the caricature with stockings and long knee-high boots to accentuate her height. I then added a top hat and goggles to show her long flowing hair. It is also something I know she would wear. The to finish off the look I gave her the biggest steampunked rifle I drew to show that she may be a nice sweet person but she is also a badass.

She really enjoyed her caricature especially her badass gun. She mentioned that she has boot like the ones I drew and I said I know I saw her wearing them once. Sometimes my caricatures come from the person’s own style too. I hope you enjoy the fourteenth steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

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Steampunk Woman 14

 

Steampunk Woman 15

 

The fifteenth caricature is a wonderful teacher who loves the children and has a personal favourite activity that I too enjoy, baseball. Her outfit is not really in the steampunk style but I did try to draw her caricature close to her personality and to the time period of steampunk. I began with her stance as if she is about to go up to bat or take down someone. I drew her uniform very close to the style of the women’s baseball league you may have seen in the movie A League Of Their Own, based the true woman’s league. Also I remember her wearing one very similar this one for Halloween. I then added thigh high stockings; a baseball cap and a baseball bat to give her that “I’m sweet but don’t mess with me” look.  

She truly enjoyed her caricature. She loved the uniform and mentioned that she has one like the one I drew. I told her I do remember but also that sometimes my caricatures come from the person’s own style too. I hope you enjoy the fifteenth steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

 

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Steampunk Woman 15

 

Steampunk Woman 16

 

The sixteenth caricature is a wonderful teacher whom I have worked with on many occasions. She is a force to be reckoned with, and I wanted to show this with her caricature. I began with a corset and I drew it with extra leather straps/belts on it. But I wanted it to be part of a vest combo so I drew in the top part of the vest with collars. I then added an over sized white shirt similar to a pirate shirt. I wanted to show that she was a rebel therefore I drew her wearing pants and a large shotgun style rifle on a leg holster held there with a bullet belt. I then added a smaller side arm on the other side, leather boots and goggles in her hair.

She loved her caricature, as did the others. I hope you enjoy the sixteenth steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

Steampunk_woman16

Steampunk Woman 16

 

Steampunk Woman 17

 

The seventeenth caricature is a wonderful teacher whom I have worked with on many occasions. She is a wonderful person to work with and has a … quirky personality on top of everything else, which is a good thing. This person has one place she loves to visit and she always talks about, Scotland. Therefore this is where I began when making her caricature. I began with a kilt and a tartan that I created. I then drew in the corset and large shirt that would show a bit of cleavage. I then added the belt, sporran, and black boots. I drew her hair a bit wild because that goes with her personality and then topped it off with a top hat and goggles. Then what Scottish outfit would be complete without a Scottish Claymore. Therefore I drew her holding one and stepping on top of a crate of TNT. If you look closely I added another claymore as a pin on her kilt.

She loved her caricature, as did the many others. I hope you too enjoy the seventeenth steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

Steampunk_woman17

Steampunk Woman 17

 

Steampunk Woman 18

 

The eighteenth caricature is a wonderful teacher whom I have worked with on many occasions. She was working with the grade fives at the time and I wanted to create a Steampunk caricature for her as I drew caricatures of a few of the students in the graduating class. She always a straight arrow and speaks her mine on a number of topics. With this in mind I thought to draw her as a Steampunk archer. I never drew an archer before and I wanted something different for this caricature.

I used the Lord of the Rings Elvin archers as inspiration and began there. I began with the corset and instead of a skirt or dress I drew her wearing skin-tight pants and riding boots. I added a feminine blouse with lace along the edge but because she is an archer she has short sleeves and a shooting gloves/greaves. Going with the Elvin archer look I drew her wearing a cape and hood. Her weapon of course is compound bow with a blade and a similar looking quiver.   I then drew her hair with a large braid to finish the look.

She loved her caricature, as did the many others. I hope you too enjoy the eighteenth steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

Steampunk_woman18

Steampunk Woman 18

 

Steampunk Man 01 (The Captain)

The last caricature of “Imagine the Impossible” is, me. After creating all the staff caricatures I also had to create mine. Yet I had already created one and I could not improve on what I had already created. I had created it as character in a story I had started about a year earlier, The Captain and the Baroness.

This is a story I created for someone special as a birthday present, but I decided to continue the story line. I was going through some difficult issues at the time and indulging in my creative side helped me through it. The story was loosely reflecting the issues in my own life and when I wrote chapter three I was going through a lot of changes in my life. Therefore I decided to change the look of the ‘The Captain’ character in the story. The original character was my caricature of myself dressed as a pirate, aka Jack Sparrow. So I changed the look of the character and my new caricature was created.

I began by basing his outfit with that of a naval officer during the Victorian Era. He is a captain after all so it made sense. I drew him with grey pants and vest, a royal blue jacket overcoat with gold trim and a white pouf shirt. I added a royal blue Ascot tie and black riding boots. This caricature is in the Steampunk style; therefore I drew two holsters with side arms.   I added a small dagger to his right and a sabre on the left with a couple of belts. If you look closely, the sabre guard has an inverted engraved image on it, a falcon. I am Maltese and adding a falcon created the idea that my caricature is the Maltese Falcon. The last touch on the outfit was a pocket watch hanging from his belt. It makes sense; a captain needs a watch to help navigate. The hair, beard and mustache (Van Dyke), were very similar to my hair beard and mustache I had grown at the time. The only thing I added from the previous images of ‘The Captain’ is the out stretched arm with the caricature holding a falcon. Along the same lines as the idea of my caricature being the Maltese Falcon.

The staff did not see this caricature until the final group portrait and they all loved it. Yet I did tell them that I did create this caricature as a character in a story I wrote. If you want to see and read the chapters I posted you can click on the link below.

 

“The Captain and the Baroness”

In the next few weeks I will post the final group portraits with all the caricatures in it. I hope you too will enjoy the nineteenth and final Steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

Captain

Steampunk Man – a.k.a. The Captain

 

Final Portrait 01

 

In the final image I gathered all the caricatures for a staff portrait. This is set in a   Steampunk style therefore I needed a Victorian Era background. I went through a few ideas, a garden scene, a drawing-room similar to something from Pride and Prejudice, a steamship (I do like ships) or a busy street in London. I thought long and hard and I wanted something that would inspire some imagination something fanciful but still had a sense of reality. Then I thought of the time I dressed up as a musketeer and the scene came to me.

Why should my setting be in London, why not in Paris? Therefore I found a great scene of some buildings along the River Seine and I drew a metal platform with stairs that you would use to get onto a ship. I have always loved ships and I was thinking that this group might be going a voyage. I am the Captain after all and what is a captain without a ship to command. Yet I did not want to use any ship, no. In the Steampunk style I imagined us waiting to board a dirigible. An airship with a massive balloon carrying an old sailing Man-o-War, like the HMS Victory. If you look in the upper left hand corner of the image you can see on flying into view.

I added the caricatures standing on the platform waiting for the ship to arrive to start our adventure. I am on the top platform with my falcon waiting for my ship. I added the soft-feathered frame and then I added my personal logo ‘Paul G” to the lower right but I was not sure what to call the portrait. Then the idea came to me. I wanted the portrait to inspire imagination, to believe that the impossible is possible. Therefore the title came out to be “Imagine the Impossible.”

This is the first group of educators I made the portrait and caricatures for. We went out for Christmas dinner and after I gave the staff their individual cards with their caricatures, I presented this final portrait to them all. They were all signed and dated and to say that they liked it would be an understatement. They all loved the final portrait and I hope you too will enjoy the final portrait of Imagine the Impossible”.

Steampunk_Imagine01

Final Portrait 02

 

In the Final Portrait 01, I gathered all the caricatures for a staff portrait. Those were people whom I worked with in the after school program. In this second portrait I collected all the staff I worked with during school hours. I created two of the caricatures around Christmas at the same time as I created the other caricatures, yet the three others standing closest to my caricature; I decided to create as part of their graduation celebration. They were the teachers of the graduating class and I thought a nice gesture to create a Steampunk caricature to commemorate the occasion.

Instead of creating a new background I thought it was fitting to use the original I used for the other portrait. I found a great scene of some buildings along the River Seine and I drew a metal platform with stairs that you would use to get onto a ship. I have always loved ships and I was thinking that this group might be going a voyage. I am the Captain after all and what is a captain without a ship to command. Yet I did not want to use any ship, no. In the Steampunk style I imagined us waiting to board a dirigible. An airship with a massive balloon carrying an old sailing Man-o-War, like the HMS Victory. If you look in the upper left hand corner of the image you can see one flying into view.

I added the caricatures standing on the platform waiting for the ship to arrive to start our adventure. I placed my caricature at the front of the group to show that I was leading the way to board my ship. I added the soft-feathered frame and then I placed my personal logo ‘Paul G” to the lower right, but I was not sure what to call the portrait. I then thought of the graduation and came up with another name, yet with this second creation I went back to the original portrait’s name.   I wanted the portrait to inspire imagination, to believe that the impossible is possible. Therefore the title came out to be “Imagine the Impossible.”

With these people I did give them a portrait but not with all six of us in it. There were two different portraits but I decided to combine these caricatures into one portrait. They all loved their final portraits and I hope will enjoy this Final Portrait 02 of “Imagine the Impossible”.

Imagine_Final02

Imagine the Impossible – Final Portrait 02

 

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