Treacher Collins or not, Jono has a great face. That's what I thought when I saw it, and I knew I had to draw it. The more I read about Jono, the more I wanted to draw him. The more I drew him, the more I tried to imbue the drawing with the qualities I'd seen and read about: the strength and positive attitude, the playfulness, and a nobility not everyone has. The resulting piece was a little me and a lot of him, which is how it's supposed to be.
When I had a booth drawing people at the county fair, I got a lot of practice with this. The people who sat for me were ordinary people, outstanding people, people who didn't know how beautiful they really were. They had amazing faces to draw because they relaxed enough to let their personalities shine through. (My post on that is here.) Jono Lancaster is one of these people.
As a portrait artist I'm always looking for faces to draw, and for dynamic, positive spirits behind those faces. The spirit is what gives the face life and personality. It's what I see when I look in the eyes of those I draw, and what I try to capture in my portraits. I don't try for photo-realism. Mine is an idealized realism that turns a person into what I see in them. You recognize them because you see it too.
When I finally posted the portrait I'd drawn of Jono on twitter, I was so nervous. I was afraid he wouldn't like it, afraid he'd be insulted, afraid he wouldn't notice it at all. All those fears were put to rest when he told me he loved it. He loved it so much he reblogged it on twitter, and posted it to his Facebook page. Here's Jono's post:
I'm delighted for so many likes and comments, and especially those that articulate the traits I was trying to capture the most. My favorite has to be "Disney prince". (I've had some Disney and quite a bit of anime influence. ^_~) I'm glad I've been able to give a little something to a man who gives so much to others.
You're welcome to follow me on Facebook and Twitter to see who or what I draw next! (Or you can just go right to my Tumblr.)