The Caricaturist versus the Smartphone

Most of us are very familiar with the early slogan of the smartphone age, that for just about any conceivable problem or want, “There’s an app for that.”

Now, the smartphone world can even claim that there’s an app for caricature with a fun new photography program that creates cartoon images of users.


Available for both Android and iOS devices, MotionCam is an app that can take a person’s picture and alter it with any number of image and animated effects. The result is a quirky image of an individual that takes on the kind of funky personality that you can get from caricature art. These images can then be stored on the electronic device or shared with friends.

This definitely isn’t the only image-editing app that is designed to create a digital image of a person that applies some sort of cartoonish special effects. However, whenever the newest version of these picture apps hits the marketplace, they typically see a lot of activity for the first few months until the novelty wears off, or the next fun new photo editor comes along.

What these programs tend to miss is the human connection that comes from having an actual caricaturist sit down and sketch not just a profile, but also a personality. A computer only has so many algorithms, which it can use to analyze a picture, but a trained human artist can think outside of the box and come up with unique ways to express a person through art.

For instance, consider a profile piece on caricature artist Steve Nyman, published by The article discusses some incredible demonstrations he gave recently for the Rutherford Art Association at the Tamblyn Field Civic Center in Rutherford, NJ. Even when using technology, Nyman finds that he doesn’t work as fast as when working by hand; he can finish a drawing by hand in five minutes, while it takes him 15 minutes to finish a picture when using an iPad.

Technology can enable art to happen, but it can also cheapen the experience of seeing a finely crafted piece.

Mark Hall Caricature Art offers a wide range of caricature artwork, and Mark is available for booking for live events!

*Video courtesy of Mazhar Mohad