Drawing, 1972; 1999 Portrait; Drawing, 2004

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."
- Soren Kierkegaard (1813 - 1855)

My name is Ben Burgraff, and I'm a professional artist who has spent most of my life drawing CARICATURES, exaggerated portraits with large heads and small bodies, for clients around the world...

I've achieved some measure of success in my chosen field, and I'm frequently asked, "How did you get STARTED?" and "Can you really spend a LIFETIME doing THIS?" I hope this brief "walk down memory lane" will answer these questions (and not BORE you to TEARS!)

Most artists I know have been drawing since they could hold a pencil in their chubby baby fingers! What separates us from everybody else is a combination of talent, practice, and sheer stubborness. And a LOT of LUCK, too!

I've always considered my story as a journey to find my niche as both an artist and an individual. Many people have played a part, both in a positive and a negative sense, and without both sides, I certainly couldn't have become the person I am today.

It's a bit strange, but my life, beginning with my first days in school, seems to have fallen into approximately 13 to 14-year Cycles; the first ran from Elementary School, until I entered the Air Force (1959-1972); the second covered my Military and College years (1972-1986); the next Cycle encompassed my career with Caricatures for All Occasions (1986-1999). If this pattern remains consistent, I'm over halfway through my current phase, from my arrival and "rebirth" in North Myrtle Beach through my present status in Las Vegas (1999- ). While four "Acts" can make for bad Drama, this bizarre timetable does seem worth mentioning, at least as a odd coincidence...

(Ah, the musings of someone who daydreams far too much...)

Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading about my life and adventures as an artist!

Ben Burgraff

Drawing from life, 2004

Chapter 1: THE EARLY YEARS...