Why Drawing with Love?
My name is Tess Howington. I'm a Professional Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Document Specialist, and Mother of three awesome children.
I had the honor of being the caricature artist for the Fall Carnival at my children's school. As I set up my easel and markers, I thought what I offered was a simple amusement. Many of us in the Creator industry underestimate the impact of our own work. Even the industry we register under shows a bit of condescension to our craft as we are listed under Novelty, as if all our effort and skill that goes into our product may bring about brief entertainment, but is then discarded.
This event showed me how wrong that perception was.
As the children sat down in their adorable Halloween costumes, I noticed a strange nervousness with them. Some of the children started immediately apologizing for perceived flaws, and I flinched in pain for them. Even the parents noticed the impact of our appearance-based society on their children, and they had a quiet sadness to them. I remembered that caricatures usually exaggerate people's worst features, and sometimes injure delicate self-esteems of its clients.
I did NOT want to be that kind of caricature artist. I did NOT want them to see their portrait and wince.
So I pulled from my own experience as a child and as an animation artist, and drew them as I would want to be drawn, as a cartoon protagonist. I wanted them to see themselves as the star of their own show, heroes in their own life story. I drew them idealistically, compassionately, and with the same forethought and broad appeal that artists strive for in their own characters for books, shows, and movies.
The response was immediate. Their faces relaxed, and their eyes lit up with joy and wonder, as they've never dared to perceive themselves like this. The parents' faces also showed gratitude and joy that I didn't expect. They expected the worst, and I showed them their best. I showed the children the purity, beauty, and greatness all of us parents see in them.
I made many smiles that evening, and hopefully, when they feel insecure, I hope they look at my drawings and are reassured that their self-doubts are unfounded. I hope that they remember that they are beautiful and amazing.
Drawing with Love, TessandraFae