Visual minutes helps with training

Drawing visual minutes for Danfoss

Last week I was invited to minute some sales training at the fabulous Cranage Hall in Holmes Chapel. It was a lovely venue to work at, not least because I didn’t need to set up my portable wall to minute on (they had provided a rail on which I could attach the screens)

My client, Danfoss, is a very successful engineering firm, open to new ideas like Visual Minutes. On this occasion, I was illustrating their sales training, which was being lead by Roy Johnson from Sandler.

There was so much to cover – the techniques involved in sales require skill and knowledge – and for some this was a steep learning curve. I had lovely feedback from the group, comments about how the pictorial aspect of the Visual Minutes made each step more clear and memorable. I look forward to seeing how well the combination of Sandler Sales training and Scartoons Visual Minutes helps affect the sales figures of Danfoss!

Feedback on Visual Minutes

Watch to see what one happy client had to say about Visual Minutes.

Styles of caricatures – which one suits you?

Choosing a style of drawing for your caricature depends on several factors. If I’m drawing you at an event, you’ll get a standard “park caricature” like this:

Park style caricature

The drawing takes between 2 and 4 minutes per face, depending on how much hair you have (beards take longer!)

However, I do a lot of commissioned work, too. This is nice for me as I get a bit more time to really get into the drawing. It’s also nice for the client as they can choose exactly how they’d like the drawing to look, and we can add personal traits, clothing, backgrounds, etc. Prices start at £30 each.

Here are a few examples:

There’s a variety of styles here, from the digital to the drawn, from coloured to black and white. The simplest is the Ed Byrne cartoonish-style caricature, done in pen (not a great photo, I’m sorry). Cara Delevingne’s drawing is done in charcoal and gives more depth. The black and white digital portrait is of Daniel Radcliffe (sans wand). Some people like the B&W look, whilst others like a digital coloured portrait such as the Jean Reno pic. Sometimes I can add a bit of the person’s character into the drawing, such as the Trump image, showing his true nature. Finally, we have the David Tennant, done in pencil (again, not a great photo), where details can really be worked on.

Of course, there’s also drawings for special occasions, such as the following commission. The cartoons decorating the border depict personal details about the couple. This makes a super gift!

So what sort of caricature image suits you?

My BNI group

Just over a year ago, I joined BNI@10 in Staffordshire. The other week, I renewed my membership. Why?

BNI is an organisation in which businesses meet every week. It’s like a club where we support each other through referral marketing. It’s been particularly useful to my business of Scartoons in that it has boosted my turnover by over 25%. But it’s not just financial reasons: BNI is also a support network. The group is there for each other – I have had so much help and advice since I joined, and this has really helped me, especially when times got tough!

So who are these wonderful people in my BNI Chapter?

Here are a few (caricatured) faces:

Gavin Evans, Soiree Foods

Gavin Evans is a highly qualified chef and caterer.

Martin Williamson

Martin Williamson – the Business Doctor. Martin goes the extra mile to support SMEs achieve their goals.

Lyndsey Marchant, Phoenix Occupational Health

Lyndsey and her team of Occupational Health experts are really the gold-standard in OH.

John Scarlett

Need an airport transfer? Or looking for a taxi service you can trust? JMS TopGear is run by John Scarlett.

Steve Farrington

I chose Mercer Jones Insurance for their excellent service, and the fact that they were prepared to hunt around to find me the policy that suited my needs (for a good price). There’s no good getting a one-size-fits-all policy for most businesses, and Mercer Jones tailor cover to make sure you don’t pay for what you don’t need. And Steve’s a really nice guy too!

Watch out for upcoming blog posts to see who else is in the group. Even better, we welcome businesses who want to visit and find out more. Contact me if you want to visit the group and help your business grow!

Scartoons and Inktober

Followers on Social media will have noticed my departure from posting caricatures over October. The simple reason is: I like a challenge.

Inktober is a challenge to come up with an ink drawing every single day in October. Each day has its own prompt, and the artist is invited to submit a drawing per day. The important word is “invited”: some artists get a bit stressed coming up with a drawing every day that truly reflects their talents. For some, it’s a competition for likes; others it’s a chance to show off.

Here’s the prompt list:

I treat Inktober as a challenge to myself. Each day has a random prompt, on which I draw a cartoon. I could spend several hours coming up with a more detailed piece of art, but I like the idea of trying to come up with a quick joke based on the prompt. Firstly, it stretches my brain; and secondly it is much quicker to do a cartoon (as I’m usually too busy trying to keep up with drawing for paying clients!)

I suggest you check out the artwork submitted. is the link, and you can follow on Instagram with the hashtag #inktober.

To save you the bother of searching for my stuff, here are a few of the cartoons I submitted:

Caricaturing at Trade Shows

Today I received a lovely testimonial from a client:

We were attending a trade show and were looking for something a little different to draw (no pun intended) people to our stand. After meeting Simon from Scartoons through BNI we decided that he may be our little trick to make us stand out from the crowd. Little did we know what an impact it would have.

We didn’t know what to expect at first having never done anything like this before. We were the only stand at the event with a queue! This meant that not only did we engage with nearly every person attending the show, we actually got time to discuss our services with them whilst they waited for Simon to work through his queue.

Simon was professional and courteous and was a great addition to our marketing team that day; he really listened to what people said and tried to personalise all his caricatures.

Our stand was the talk of the event, we loved it so much we booked him again. Simon is a professional and talented artist who would be a fantastic addition to any traed show or event, he definitely gives you that wow factor and makes you stand out from the crowd.” – A Salt, internet Central

Very kind words from a happy customer. I really enjoy working at trade shows: you get to meet all sorts of people from all sorts of industries (including the lovely Mr Camara, as in the photo!). I can see why I’m asked to do this sort of thing. Word gets round exhibitions, and a caricaturist is a pretty unique pull for a stand. Partly the attraction is for those who want their face drawn, but also there is the appeal for the bystanders who get to watch me at work!

For the exhibitors themselves, there is an added bonus: that caricature is a branded piece of marketing that won’t get thrown away: years to come, their name will still be in a frame in someone’s office, next to my drawing. I think that’s quite a powerful bit of marketing – beats a business card!

We’re entering the season for trade shows now: I’m looking forward to seeing what industries I’ll be drawing for very soon!

Welcome to the new look Scartoons website!

It’s been a few weeks in coming, but at last we are delighted to announce the launch of the new SCartoons website. Many thanks to Amy from Creative Influence for the web design, and to Jon Cruttendon for some of the photographs.

Caricatures as avatars – should I?

I am often asked; “Do you do caricature avatars to use on social media?”
The answer is, of course, “Yes”. However, the question underlying this is actually: “Should I have a caricature of my face done for an avatar on social media?”, or – if you dig a bit deeper – “What will it look like?”