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Artist Spotlight: Beyond Caricature


Beyond Caricature is coming to Vancouver, WA to draw faces at the Recycled Arts Festival this June. And with a festival that has around 40,000 visitors each year, we're sure to keep them busy! Joseph Brady and Lisa Dubitsky are the artists behind Beyond Caricature, and they draw live caricatures and portraits on their uniquely upcycled illustration paper.

Joseph and Lisa have been long-time artists, and decided to take their art to a more environmentally friendly level. "Buying recycled content paper didn't seem to cut it, so we began looking at everything that came through the house," explained Joseph. From this came the idea to build illustration paper using scraps of used paper that would otherwise go into their recycling or garbage bins. 

They use layers of receipts, junk mail, envelopes, paper bags, popsicle sticks, the occasional parking ticket and more to build their pages (see the image below). To naturally tint the paper, they use material people normally discard such as beet tops, coffee grounds, onion skins and wine dregs. The finished pages are an art form on their own, and are then used for live portraits and caricatures at events like the Recycled Arts Festival. Each page is unique with different textures and colors of the recycled paper, and the artists use that to their advantage when drawing faces. 

"Faces appear from scribbles" is how Joseph and Lisa describe their live drawings...

To begin, they take their pre-prepared illustration paper and grab multiple writing utensils in each hand. They use both hands to scribble in a pattern that may appear random to any passerby, but in a few minutes a face will begin to appear. Then Lisa and Joseph will finish out the faces with highlights, colors and other accents, completing each face in 10-15 minutes. Joseph described his favorite part about this work is in giving each portrait the finishing touches of color, tone and texture. Their goal is to "express the energy and spirit of each individual," and they do this in an environmentally friendly way that we love at the Recycled Arts Festival. 

An image from Beyond Caricature that describes the layers of their upcycled pages.

Beyond Caricature is excited for their first year at the Recycled Arts Festival because they love celebrating the environment and they are excited to engage with festival goers. Joseph explained that he enjoys the conversations that their artwork brings up, and they are enthusiastically preparing new upcycled pages for the festival. If you'd like to learn more about Beyond Caricature, check out their Instagram @beyondcaricature

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