Hi, I’m Phil Bowler,
The owner and artist of MELBOURNE CARICATURES, proud member of the International Society of Caricature Artists and all-round nice guy!
It all started way back in 1993 when I decided to spend a gap year in Spain as my 1st year of a degree in chemistry here in Melbourne wasn’t enlightening enough. Off I went as a skinny 19 year old on my first solo overseas adventure as nervous as hell. After spending 6 weeks in Madrid brushing up on my Spanish, I finally ended up in the Canary Islands (Lanzarote) with an uncle of mine who I knew drew caricatures for a living. As my efforts to find (and keep) a job didn’t go too well (I lasted 5 days as a waiter at a Chinese restaurant), my uncle gave me a job as his assistant. I was basically instructed to help him mount his caricature stand on the side of the footpath and use my English skills to bring in the customers for a quick 5 minute caricature. After a few successful weeks enticing tourists to take a seat and then watching the drawings unfold, something strange started to happen in my brain. I finally realised that every caricature followed the same pattern, that is, there was a definite start and end point with each feature changing form relevant to capturing the likeness of every individual. Could I have unlocked the secret to drawing live caricatures? Or was the one year spent studying chemistry causing a slight chemical imbalance in my head? Either way, something clicked. Three months of solid practice later and I was ready to unleash my talents on the hundreds of British and German tourists that flocked to Spain every summer. By this time I was a very nervous 20 year old who had just begun the journey of providing live caricature entertainment. Four years later and I decided to come home to Melbourne to get a ‘real job’, so I spent many years back at university gaining numerous qualifications in the fields of business, tourism and education. This was followed by a career in retail travel, tour guiding and subsequently teaching all the while I drew caricatures in private as my hobby. Then in 2015 at the ripe old age of 42, I decided the big city of Melbourne needed another live caricature artist to satisfy demand…and here I am!
Since then I’ve entertained people at countless events, functions, parties, weddings – you name it, I’ve drawn there! I’ve even been on TV and even done Shane Crawford whilst being distracted by Lauren Phillips!
Contact me today and I will guarantee laughter and entertainment at your next function!