I hope that by now we’ve all adjusted our clocks and set them one hour ahead.
I was awake around 2 a.m. Watching carefully my phone displayed 1:50 a.m. Before I could get ready for that magical moment it changed to 3:00 a.m. An hour gone in an instant! Pretty anticlimactic if you ask me.
Now, with my clock correctly adjusted and my calendar in sync, it’s time for another newsletter.
This month I wanted to share an interview I submitted to Wacom Technologies’ social media department.
I worked with them on an advertising campaign in 2019. They asked me a few questions about my conversion to digital art and the resources & techniques I use to create facial composites. Because it was a lengthy interview, I’m going to share the first half with you in this month’s newsletter and in April we’ll share the final half of the interview.
I hope you enjoy it. If you have additional questions or if you need clarification, you can drop me an email at: Contact@SketchCop.com.
In the meantime, enjoy the interview.
We know this probably has a super long answer, but try your best to keep it short – how does one become a forensic facial imaging expert?
Becoming a successful forensic facial imaging expert takes tenacity and endurance. Convincing a skeptical investigator is difficult. But, with a bit of humility and lots of perseverance, you will increase your chance for success.
Were you in a different creative role before becoming a forensic facial imaging expert?
Before I became a forensic facial imaging expert; I was an aspiring animator. My career goal was to work for Disney. So, I spent much of my time drawing comic/cartoon figures rather than people.
When did you first find out you had a knack for making accurate portraits?
I never sketched a human face until I was an adult. It was always about cartoons. When I first learned that being a forensic artist was an option, I took a course from a famous LAPD police sketch artist. To be accepted into his course, he required we copy a test sketch he created of an old man’s portrait. After that, I became hooked on faces which led me to where I am today.
Could you walk us through the process of an interview with a witness to start a sketch?
Communication is key! It’s important for me to quickly gain the eyewitness’ trust. To begin, I spend a short period of time establishing rapport and building a bond. Much of my success is the ability to effectively communicate with the eyewitness. My art skills are secondary.
What’s the hardest part about drawing composites?
The hardest part is not turning the composite into your own sketch. You must be aware of, but mostly ignore the rules of classic facial proportion as it relates to individual facial features and how they relate to one another holistically. Composite sketches rarely, if ever, follow established rules.
Are female faces harder or easier to draw than male? Is there a difference in difficulty in gender?
Not really. I rarely sketch female criminals. Statistically, they don’t commit as many crimes as males. Even so, you should still know enough about female facial anatomy to be prepared.
What are some aids you use to help you create more accurate composites?
I use two different facial reference catalogs created by other forensic artists, including miscellaneous images I have curated and cataloged myself. This helps eyewitnesses who cannot articulate select facial features and those who are more visual than verbal.
I hope you enjoyed the first part of my interview with Wacom Technologies. Come back next month for the final half of the interview.
Until then, stay safe, be well and as always…pick up a pencil and SKETCH something! 😊