ABOUT THE MOST COMMON MISTAKES MADE BY CARICATURISTS
IN THEIR CREATIVE WORK AND THEIR INFLUENCE IN THE ARTISTIC
VALUES OF THE CARICATURE
Among the multitude of visual sensations in the world of art, the caricature in all its
forms, is one of the most displayed appearances in the printed and other mediums for
mass communication. Its permanent ascent since the prehistorical period of the human
civilization has reached its peak in the last few decades of the twentieth century, as a
result of the developement of the means for mass communication among people, the
appearance of the high quality printed products (newspapers, magazines, books etc.), the
developement of the electronic and other means for information etc, as well as from
people’s spiritual need for this kind of communication and information.
However, I would like to point out only some of the weak points (neglects and mis-
takes) made by the authors which directly affect the aesthetic qualities of the caricature,
as well as its reputation as a cultural product. If we agree that, although the caricature is a
kind of artistic product, it does not have any abundance of high aesthetic qualities of
visuel nature, having in mind its character and itd role in the spiritual creativity,
inevitably a question imposes: what is the author’s attitude towards the caricature
during the act of its creation? In other words, what is the level of awareness and the
amount of the effort put into it, that is to say, what are the proffesional qualities of the
author during the creation of the caricature? Is the author always fully aware, or how
much is he aware during the creation? In my option, the caricaturists do not always pay
enough attention to those issues. Many times and for various different reasons, the aut-
hors don’t pay attention to some elements, concepts or details of their caricatures, which
often make ugly impression to the reader of the newspaper or the spectator, with its
illogical, unacceptable, unsual and sometimes even absurd connotation.
Several elements can influence such awkward situation. The most common are: the
currentness of the main theme; the interrelatedness of the author`s works; the
commercialization; the shortness of the terms; the author`s self – satisfaction with the
previous results in his creativity; the unreal, flattering and biased critism he gets etc.
Usually, the matter is in some conceptual omissions and shortages, tiny details often
unnecessarily added or details needed but not drawn, that means, elements which should
logically be present on the sketch, or elements that have been drawn by chance, to
which the author has not paid enough attention etc. All thesse elements hav negative
influence to the reputation of the caricature.
Here are some examples:
1.One of he most characteristic examples is the one with the absence of logic.
Although the caricature is a with spiritual work which provokes people`s laughter, a
work that gets its primary value by disordering the things and by exaggeration, stil there
is a logical order that should be taken care of. It is unacceptable and unnecessary to
apply some illogical author`s ideas such as: a character with both legs put in one trouser
leg of his short trousers, or weightlifter lifting the weight together with his head which
has been taken off, or flag bearer, carrying the flag on the broken handle which other end
penetrates the man`s hands etc. As we can assume, they all miss logic in its artistic
solution. Therefore, an open question arises: why has the author chosen that way of
expession? And what is more, such themes often cause the consumer`s rejection. That is
why the author should pay particular attention to such elements.
2. Another example or mistake very often made by the caricaturists is the exagge-
rated input of the art in the caricature. As a specific graphic expression, the caricature
does note allow any “hard” art, epecially not an art with a visual characteristics. Very
often (out of author’s purely subjective reasons – for eample, enormous wish to be
accepted by the readers or his imagination to be a “great” artists) some authors decorate
their caricatures, overshadow and color them wishing to increase the artistic value of
their works. Many times, the authors, whether aware or not, tend to overdo the
beautying of the sketch, thus covering up the weakness of the value of the caricature’s
idea itself, which should carry its primary spiritual value. The caricature, even when
intended for a gallery display, should not be loaded with too many artistic elements
that would acquire a lot on consumer’s thinking and searching for the author’s idea,
because it would reduce the consumer’s enjoyment of the revealed spiritual values. On
the contrary, the caricature in all its simplicity and cleverness in the first place and
then with its visual aesthetic sketch, should immediately, in the very first moment,
accomplish its goal tempestuously – to provoke not only laughter but spiritual
satisfaction of the spectator, too. If that does not happen in the first moment, or does
not happen at all, then there is a great possibility to consider the caricature unsuccessful,
spite’of its high level of art and handicraft treatment.
3. The example with so called unintentional plagiarism is also one of the most
common mistakes made by the caricaturists that has negative influence not only on the
author’s reputation, but on this kind of art, as well. As the authors usually draw their
ideas for the caricatures from people’s everyday life, it often happens that two authors
–living and working in different parts of the world – work a same caricature, with the
same composition and contents, the same elements and even using the same technique.
Here, of curse, there is no intention involved, by either of the authors, for this ,,plagi-
arism,, . It is unpleasant event for both of them – especially for the second author who
has published his caricature later, which could mean that he had already been informed
– or could have been informed – about the existence of the caricature, its idea etc, and
still he ,,repeated,, it, and published it as his own product.
Obviously, in the previus example l don’t mean the real plagiarists. People’s
problems are almost everywhere the same, and so are the themes and motives used
by the caricaturists. Even the ways of processing (treatment) could be the same. There-
fore, there is always a possibility to see two or more same caricatures by two or
more (totally independent) authors. So, what should be done to prevent such unwanted
Because of the fact that the people’s problems, to which the caricaturists react with
their critical pens, are basicly the same and having in mind the increasing production
of the caricatures, these authors are left to nothing less but the need to be more and
more informed about the creative work of the other authors throughout the world. For
that purpose several things could be done: making personal libraries of books with pub-
lished caricatures and exchange of information trough computer and other systems
In that sense the seriousness in the approach towards this kind of creativity
becomes a must for the caricaturists. It is very unpleasant situation wehen authors
present their works on different international exhibitions, to see the same caricatures.
Relative restriction of the means of expression used in the caricature gives a lot of
possibilities for independent ,,repetition,, , but the autocensorship, the good information
and avoiding ,,easy,, and most exploited themes, will help the caricaturists to avoid en-
tering the situation of already seen (deja vu) caricature. It means that each author should
have a serious approach to his work after giving it a lot of thought.
4. The next problem to arise is very similar to the previus one. It deals with the vari-
ation or modification of the caricatures. Very often one successful concept solution of
the caricature of one author is used by another author to deal with the same or even
different theme. We call it concept or solution plagiarism, but, when it is done by the
author himself we call it a self – plagiarism or selfi – coping. In both cases, the main
point is the lack of the invention and a certain ,,laziness,, of such authors.
Again, the solution is to be found in involving more effort and serious work. One
should always have in mind that each caricature is a small masterpiece.
5. Some caricaturists make mistakes in writing the texst or the caricatures. For
example, when they write the answer first, and then the question, or the words they use
are not lirwerary etc.
So, let us conclude. If the basic task of the caricaturist and the satirist is to mace
people laugh with his witti sketch, citicizing some people’s weakness or negative
characteristic etc, he should bear in mind all these postulates, using the logic, maximal
effort, knowledge and skill. If he does not pav attention to small ,,thigins,, and in he
does not follow these principles, he will uncounsciously destroy the reputation of this
kind of creativity, thus confirming the opinion of those who claim that caricature is
not an artistic work, but only a common journalist ’s product.