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  1. #1
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    Portrait Busking

    Hello CA


    I have seen people selling portraits in London (Leicester square/covent garden) for 35£ a pop, they are by no means accurate portraits, but tourists getting ripped off dont know any different/ buy the experience of "an artists drawing my child in London" blah blah, I am considering doing it myself! I could earn rent money for like 4 days of drawing..which is what I would be doing anyway!

    But I just have some reservations... I will obviously not be doing what they do, I would want to use it as both practice and a means of making some money to live off for a while.

    Does anyone have any experience in this? actually selling work on the street, is it literally a case of getting the materials together and pitching up one day, or are there things I should know and prepare for?

    Any and all information appreciated

    Alex


    Looking for work experience - let me show you what I can do


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  4. #2
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    The nice thing about it is with people payin cash and you not having books to log everything, you could make a tidy sum without the tax man interfering. If you're cool with that
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  5. #3
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    Not sure about the London area but to sell em in the states I think you need a street vendors license, not sure though. Regardless I probably will attempt a few street portraits
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  6. #4
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    Buskers in Covent Garden need a licence - not sure about the artists.

  7. #5
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    I pretty nervous too


    Looking for work experience - let me show you what I can do

  8. #6
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    I would really like to hear from someone who has done this too. I want to try it in Bristol, although there isn't a concentrated tourist area to do so.

  9. #7
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    Didn't Andrew Jones do this fairly early on? I remember reading something about it. Could try sending him a PM.
    "Good composition is sort of like pornography. You know it when you see it. "



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  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostbrush View Post
    I pretty nervous too
    Try doing a few timed portraits (from life would help) to see if you either need to get faster or focus more on getting a likeness or both. Focus on line width, and using nice dark lines at points of tension or intersection rather than getting worried about rendering. Some basic shading is a must but I wouldn't try for the whole "do a pass with an hb, then 2b, then 4b etc.."

    When on location, print out/bring along and post up your best portraits, but be confident you can produce something similar on the go.

    One last thing: if you think you're not strong enough in portraiture, try some kind of creative hook to draw more interest: draw girls with flowers in their hair, do a quick local feature or attraction behind them, something that adds a little more.

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  13. #9
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    @JASON - yeh i pretty confident with my portrait skills, likeness is something I know i can get, think its my timing i need to work on, think i need to do what u said, time myself with the medium on some friends, see what happens.
    thanks for the sound advice

    PM'd Android

    I really wanna stress that i do not want to just bang out a shoddy portrait, i really wanna do a good job, cos the ones i see atm are baaaaaad!


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  14. #10
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    any more insight from anyone, even if its just u have had one done urself etc would love to here ur responses

    ALex


    Looking for work experience - let me show you what I can do

  15. #11
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    PEOPLE DONT REALLY DO THAT WHERE i LIVE BUT I WAS WONDERING HOW LONG ARE THE I GUESS CUSTOMERS WILLING TO SIT? IF PEOPLE ARE DOING THIS WHERE YOU LIVE YOU COULD ASK ONE TO DO ONE FOR YOU AN SEE HOW THE EXPERIENCE GOES HOW LONG IT TOOK THEM HOW LONG BEFORE YOU WANTED TO LEAVE ...W/ EVERYONE IT MAY BE DIFFERENT BUT YOU MAY HAVE A BETTER IDEA OR YOU COULD OBSERVE AS SOMEONE ELSE DOES A PORTRAIT .... IF YOU DO START DOING IT ID LIKE TO HEAR HOW IT GOES GOOD LUCK AN SHAKE THAT MONEY MAKER!

  16. #12
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    I have been watching people do it, the maximum seems to be about half an hour. I notice a lot of the time its children and tourists having them done, and they are charged 35£ for a portrait or 15£ for a caricature (hate those...creepy)

    I sat and watched for a good few hours a few weekends back, when its busy, they were non stop, taking 70£ an hour! one day like that and I have my rent money insane!

    I will continue to research, I am going to go and speak with them, see what they say, whether its legal or just over looked, what i need to look out for etc

    Again any info appreciated, what would your thoughts be on it? what is common sense telling you may be a problem?

    Alex


    Looking for work experience - let me show you what I can do

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  18. #13
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    Dude just go for it, ask the guys doing it to make sure, and then rock em' out!

    I mean 70 quid an hour? Fuck I'm moving back to London

    And just as a quick tip, if your still nervous, try drawing them in profile first. People usually aren't aware of what they look like in profile, so likeness is easier.

    Good luck man!
    matt
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  20. #14
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    I'd like to know about this. My sister has been going on at me to go down to the seafront when it's all touristy and do this, but I don't feel fast enough or good enough!

  21. #15
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    also agreed that you need a license. I mean, legally speaking.

    the teacher of my portrait class in school said that he did that for a summer job when he was a student and that it was a decent way to get paid to practice
    "Every little step considered one at a time is not terribly daunting" - Ethan Coen

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