Many people have often come to think of caricature as either a fun joke that you can get done at Disneyland or some comic insulting a politician. And that’s even if someone didn’t have a bad experience with a caricature artist exaggerating something that was sensitive to that person, which does happen on occasion. It does show that not all caricature is light and funny, it can hurt some people, but caricature is never truly meant to do such a thing.
In most cases when a caricature artist pays attention to details of the person they are drawing they avoid things that people might be sensitive, like not exaggerating an already big nose. This is because as much as caricature artists are thought of as people who poke fun at other people, they care about the fun being on both sides. After all, if the person can’t laugh or enjoy the caricature of them, then why bother with it?
That’s why the thing that is often missed is the compliment in caricature. When you are able to simplify or exaggerate something on a person, you can actually make certain things seem more proportionate or enhance the good qualities of a person to show up better as the main focus. Then you can even compare a person to something else, like the amount of kids that have gotten pictures done of them in caricature in an outfit from a Pokemon game, or their favorite TV show character.
It makes the kids feel good to be compared to a character they like, and showing characteristics of those characters, which provides a compliment to them that they will take with them for the rest of their life. But it doesn’t end with just kids, this can be just as effective with adults, by complimenting them in areas they don’t think they do as well in, but want to. There’s a number of adults that have had caricatures done of them dressed as Indiana Jones or James Bond, just because they want to emulate qualities from those characters and seeing themselves dressed as those characters lets them fall onto that path.
Before long, you have people actually changing and becoming better people all because they got a compliment from a caricature done of them, and they didn’t even realize it was a compliment because it was masked as just a fun little thing to do. A caricature has a lot of good potential and power in it; they aren’t just all meant to cause trouble or bring people down. Remember that the next time you go to get your own done.