1. WORK SAMPLES.

2. ARTISTIC CREDENTIALS.

3. SPEED.

4. PERFORMANCE CREDENTIALS.

5. PROFESSIONAL RECORD, REFERENCES OR TESTIMONIALS.

Back to "HOW TO HIRE" INTRO

Which is cheaper: the $65-per-hour artist who draws six or seven people per hour? Or the $95-per-hour artist who draws 25 people per hour? DO THE MATH! You are paying the "cheaper" artist $10.83 per caricature, the "expensive" one is only charging you less than HALF that much: only $3.80 per caricature!

What is the point of hiring an artist to draw caricatures of guests or clients at an event if only a few can be drawn? Well, if the caricatures are done in an extremely novel style, or the artist is as famous as Picasso, that might be a perfectly valid thing to do. Put numbers into a hat and have a lottery for the few lucky recipients. But in most cases, the goal is to give as many guests as possible an opportunity to be drawn and receive a keepsake to take home with them.
Which is cheaper: the $65-per-hour artist who draws six or seven people per hour? Or the $95-per-hour artist who draws 25 people per hour? DO THE MATH! You are paying the "cheaper" artist $10.83 per caricature, the "expensive" one is only charging you less than HALF that much: only $3.80 per caricature! THAT's THE BOTTOM LINE!

There is an additional reason to hold out for an artist who can draw at a fast pace: it is more fun to watch than an artist who takes forever to size up the subject, hovers hesitatingly over the paper and then labors over the drawing at a snail's pace.
The minimum speed
that an artist should be capable of drawing at depends on the number of people who will be likely to show up at your event and want a caricature, and the budget you want to allocate for entertainment. If you are having a small get together and anticipate that only a dozen or two people will want a caricature, you only need to find an artist who can do that many in a couple of hours. If you expect 100 or more, you had better pay attention to SPEED when hiring.
A favorite trick of unscrupulous agents and caterers is to hire artists who draw very few caricatures per hour, and whom THEY can therefore pay at a very low rate, but then charge YOU a much higher rate and pocket the difference! Of course, they can still undercut the better and faster caricature artists who might otherwise get the job but need (and deserve) to charge more, in part, because they draw so many more of your guests per hour.
Be sure to CONFIRM that the artist's claims of speed are backed up by SIGNED AFFIDAVITS from satisfied clients. Call one of them. Ask them if they actually WATCHED the artist DRAW and COUNTED the number per hour, or was it just that they personally LIKED the artist so they were willing to say something nice about them without really monitoring their actual speed?