When drawing people you would think it might help to actually remember their faces… What if you can’t remember them? British artist Danny Mooney suffers from facial blindness but finds that he can overcome this obstacle by focussing on other aspects of a person’s character, an approach that lends itself to caricatures.
“I can draw recognisable people with just a few lines without any real trouble,” he reveals. “I’ve been doing political cartoons. They’re an expression of my annoyance. Cartoons are caricatures really. Say I’m doing a cartoon of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson… I can do the shape and the way he stands without too much effort. I look at a couple of other people’s cartoons of him and see that they all have little piggy eyes and droopy eyelids. For me the thing that makes Boris look like Boris is the hair, the round face, the fat body and the shabby suit. It doesn’t really need any additional features. That cartoon could be Donald trump or Boris Johnson. In order to produce political cartoons you have to stay abreast of the news but in order to stay sane you have to not stay abreast of the news! It’s a difficult tight rope to walk. I have always recognised people by their shape, the way they move, the way they walk, rather than by their faces. If I’m painting someone then those are the characteristics that are most important to me.”