The Story

American Caricature

 A Film by Joe Ciomek and Tom Faraci

You’ve seen them in magazines, in cartoons, and at just about every densely populated tourist attraction in America. A professional caricature artist will manage not only to capture a person’s likeness, but amplify it - all while exaggerating, contorting, and stylizing the subject’s most prominent features. To some, they are souvenirs. Fleeting entertainment. To others, a powerful tool in the arsenal of effective satire. But what does it mean to the artists? American Caricature will showcase not only the art of caricature, but the subculture surrounding it. From animators, illustrators, cartoonists, and live sketch artists, you’ll hear in their own words what it is that brings them all together, both literally and figuratively. Drawing caricatures for a living is unconventional to say the least, and you’re invited to explore the art form, the passion, the industry, and the community of caricature art in the United States. After all, drawing funny faces is a serious business!

The film chronicles the 2015 ISCA Caricature Convention and the year leading up to it, and features interviews with many of the top caricature artists in the world, including Joe Bluhm, Tom Richmond, Jason Seiler, C.F. Payne, Glenn Ferguson, Ali Thome, Len Hernandez, Rob Hren, Stacy  Pierce, Dave Smith, Jared Stokes, Sean Evans, Mary Kay Williams, Ty Jones, Sean Gardner, Jeremy Townsend, Chris Chua, Natalie Hume, Emily Byrne, Kayla Archer, Nate Kapnicky, Tony Sobota, Beejay Hawn, and more!

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Director Statement & Biography                  

Joe Ciomek and Tom Faraci are lifelong friends who have been collaborating creatively together since the third grade. American Caricature is our first feature film and is the culmination of five years of work - a love letter to an art form and industry that has given us much. We hope this film finds an audience not just with caricature artists, but with people who appreciate art in general and wish to explore a world outside of their own. Our goal was to tell a story that was accessible whether you're an artist or not - one that is funny and engaging and reflects the passions of the artists we feature. We hope people who view American Caricature will take away a new understanding of an art form and community they may have had no knowledge of prior.

Joe Ciomek is a graduate of Cleveland State University's film program, and has since gone on to work on many projects and music videos, including "Thrash Mob" for Danica Roem's Cab Ride Home. Joe founded Lucky Card Productions in 2015 when work began on American Caricature.

Tom Faraci is a caricature artist, graphic designer, and filmmaker from Cleveland, OH. He also serves as the President of the International Society of Caricature Artists. Previous film experience includes sneaking around downtown Cleveland to watch filming of The Avengers.

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