Top-notch artistic talent Xi Ding proves that caricature can be more art than kitsch. He highlights the prominent features of a person in humorous, yet life-like ways. From celebrities and public figures to famous characters‘ cartoon adaptations to private commissions - in the hands of this ‘face designer’, subjects turn into charming cartoonized versions of themselves.
We‘ve already shown on Bored Panda how Xi Ding masterfully reimagines our favorite movie icons, and now we want to share his new versatile artwork.
Xi Ding is an award-winning caricature artist based in Vienna who specializes in live quick draw caricature. Trained as a classical painter for 10 years in his hometown Shanghai, he discovered his passion for drawing caricatures in 2009. He came to Austria in his 20s for natural science studies, but continued to explore the art of drawing with great enthusiasm.
What makes him stand out from other artists of a similar profile is that he doesn't follow the traditional path of caricature that ridiculously blows things out of proportion, resulting in crooked teeth, enormous noses, funny ears or deformed body shape. He chooses to emphasize positive distinctive features, personality and expressions in appealing and humorous ways rather than pointing only at flaws.
Being able to depict the unique features and personality of his subject in less than 3 minutes, he is one of the fastest quick draw caricature artists in the world. And the numbers speak for themselves – he can easily draw up to 120 guests during an evening event and 40 more in a full day event. But being fast doesn’t compromise his works which are always insightful and professionally made.
When creating caricatures he uses both traditional and digital mediums. So his works range from quick black and white marker sketches on a piece of paper to colored cartoon illustrations created with an Ipad Pro. When working on brilliant digital pieces, he creates an outline in the digital illustration app Procreate and adds finishing touches in Photoshop to recreate subjects in his own, animated way.
During a 10 year career, Xi Ding has earned a name for himself as an utterly talented caricaturist and event entertainer both on a national and international level. Xi Ding shares his best works and time lapse videos of behind the scenes with over 100k followers on Instagram. The recognized artist has won several awards at Austrian, European and international caricature conventions, including "ISCA minico" and “Eurocaricature”. In 2014 he won the "Best Character Design" award at the "Austrian Computer Graphics Award". Among the brands he has worked for are well-known names, such as Samsung, Microsoft, BMW, Audi and Mediamarkt.
For centuries, caricatures were a powerful tool to convey messages without the need for the written word. These exaggerated satirical portraits were more populist and influential than any other form of art, especially at times when the majority of people were illiterate. While caricatures remain popular in public and political scenes as a way of poking fun at flaws and criticizing people in power, they have also become a source of entertainment in our day-to-day lives. While a fun and quirky portrayal is a way to prove that one can laugh at oneself, we are essentially paying artists to ridicule us and point at our biggest insecurities. And it doesn’t have to always be the case.