Most illustrators crave a wide audience and feel that the larger the number of people who see- and appreciate- their work, the better. Usage fees often depend on the number of eyeballs (to use a web term) that land on their reproduced artwork. More eyeballs equals more money.
The idea that your illustrative light should be placed under a self-imposed bushel is an anathema to most illustrators. Lenny Bruce was, I think, right: all artists are saying “Look at me, Ma!”
Spare a thought then for Jacques Kapralik. Although this quirky caricaturist (born- like Steinberg and François- in Romania) worked from the 30s to the 50s for film studios like Paramount, 20th Century Fox and MGM when they were at the height of their powers, most of his work was only seen within the trade, not on the public hoardings that advertised the films these studios made. Inside the movie world he was regarded as a genius; outside it was a different story.
His work is carefully crafted (with the emphasis on craft) and simply, but sharply observed. He used collages made of wool, plastic, fabrics, various kinds of printed papers and sundry found items to generate his clean, precise caricatures. The artwork is always in colour, even if the films being promoted aren’t.
I presume he was well paid, but I wonder if the person who photographed his work was paid more or less than he was…One of the reasons Roger Law and Peter Fluck gave up doing illustrative three dimensional caricatures and started their television puppet show Spitting Image was that the person who photographed their plasticine creations for reproduction (the talented John Lawrence Jones) was paid more than they were for creating the monsters…Perhaps Hollywood was different….?
Oooh, look. Is that a pig flying by the window?
Honky Tonk, MGM, 1941 (Clark Gable and Lana Turner)
Babes on Broadway, MGM, 1941 (Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney. The latter is not to be confused with Macaroni, a kind of pasta dish)
Johnny Eager, MGM, 1942 (Robert Taylor and Lana Turner)
Rio Rita, MGM, 1942 (Bud Abbott and Lou Costello)
Random Harvest, MGM, 1942 (Ronald Colman and Greer Garson)
I Married An Angel, MGM, 1942 (Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald)
Woman of the Year, MGM, 1942 (Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy)
Keep Your Powder Dry, MGM, 1945 (Susan Peters, Laraine Day, Lana Turner)
As ever, with this new ‘improved’ WordPress format, you have to click on the images below to see a bigger version of the illustration!