It took a doctor with a large pair of pliers (forceps as they are known in the medical field) to introduce the young James Hungaski, Jr. to the world in 1966. Rumors that it was his drawing pad and pencil complicating the delivery are false and have been categorically denied by Mr. Hungaski.
In fact, it wasn’t until his loving grandmother said those infamous words, “Take this money and don’t tell your mother...” that he was introduced to the world of caricature and comic Art. He collected MAD magazines and Marvel Comics the way other children collected baseball cards. Immersed in drawings from great MAD artists such as Mort Drucker, Harry North Esq., Sam Viviano, and Jack Rickard, he was influenced to view the world in a humorous light from a young age.
A child prodigy, James practiced his art in wide ruled notebooks during classroom lectures. Like many struggling artists, his masterpieces were not always appreciated by everyone (especially unsuspecting faculty members.) This resulted in James’ perfecting the art form of “stealth caricature.” Still he longed for the day, that his works would be made public and appreciated by all.
James’ wishes were about to be answered. After graduating from Franklin Pierce College in 1988 with a Graphic Communication’s degree, James spent over ten years working as a graphic designer in California and New York. Similar to many superheroes, James wore glasses and had a secret identity-as a caricature artist. No bat signal needed, his hilarious caricatures were sought after by a variety of corporations who commissioned him to complete gift caricatures. Working in both traditional (inks and watercolors) and digital mediums (Photoshop, Illustrator, FreeHand,) he was able to make fun of the boss while getting paid.
With a snowsuit, boots, and drawing materials in hand, James traveled to Minnesota in 2000, to pursue a career in freelance illustration. He has become a student of the human face, focusing on the unique characteristics of every individual. For James, creating caricatures is like no other art form. The challenge of exaggerating a person’s facial features, while maintaining their likeness, is immensely satisfying for him. Having studied with great artists such as Tom Richmond and Sebastian Krüger, James continues to refine his skills on a daily basis. Other artists he looks to for inspiration include C.F. Payne, Sam Sisco, Steve Brodner and John Kascht, to name a few.
James’ humorous illustrations have been featured in numerous publications. Previously, he was a featured illustrator in Network Computing Magazine’s “Last Mile” section. His award winning illustrations for Nationwide Insurance’s “Life Comes at you Fast” ad campaign have been published in TIME, People, Men’s Health and Golf Digest magazines.
James utilizes various mediums for his illustration, including pen and ink, graphite, airbrush, acrylics and watercolor. James is currently a proud member of The International Society of Caricature Artists and The National Cartoonists Society.
When not in his studio meeting tight deadlines, James enjoys spending time with his wife Kelly, his little son Lucas and their Miniature Pinscher, Maxx. Please contact James at 651-271-1110 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your next illustration project or event.