Cartoon Portrait Commissions from Photographs

Welcome to my homepage.

I’m Ian David Marsden, an internationally experienced illustrator and cartoonist. I also provide an additional service. I create custom, commissioned cartoon portraits from photographs for all kinds of uses. Social Media cartoon avatars, wedding or anniversary gifts as framed artwork, company or sports teams, vanity projects such as custom stationery or stickers, even artwork which is then transformed into actual tattoos. High resolution digital files are provided to you which allow you to produce items from cups, t-shirts, magnets, stamps, letterhead, stickers. Want to advertise your business with a fun portrait of yourself or your team? Suprise a loved one with a cartoon featuring a memorable (or embarassing) milestone from your lives? Digital files or actual hand drawn, inked and colored original artwork on high quality watercolor paper as a super exclusive and elegant present.

Let’s not forget birthday cards, company, team or family Christmas or Holiday cards with custom seasons-related illustrations. Graduations, Awards, Invitations, Parties, Special Events…

Crafting Your Unique Tale

What sets these portraits apart is the level of customization they offer. It’s about capturing the essence of individuals, the soul of a band, or the heart of a family. For instance, a blues band desired to have each band member’s distinctive head portrayed with their instruments, all of them cruising in a classic VW van. Families often want their pets to be part of the picture, their house in the background, enterprises might want their company logo lovingly hand-drawn on the holiday card featuring their team portrait. When I say customization, I mean anything is possible—it’s your story, after all.

Caricature, Cartoon of the Band Take the 55, illustration

Stories Crafted in Pencil, Ink and Watercolor

A world-renowned wrestler, a repeat customer, wanted to capture his unmistakable glasses and look. In one of his portraits, he even wished to hoist the entire world above his head like Hercules. Another client wanted his pets, a car and a dog, as characters in a Western entering a saloon. This is the level of personalisation and creativity that these hand-drawn portraits can bring to life. Personalization is at the heart of these portraits. It’s about capturing the spirit of a family with their pets or spotlighting a significant achievement—a golf trophy, a Christmas tree, graduation, engagement, or even a new position at a company. These are the moments that matter, and these are the stories that deserve to be preserved in unique gifts.

Cartoon Tshirt Caricature, Cartoon of the Band Take the 55, illustration in a classic volkswagen van, illustration

Let’s talk about the process. These portraits are NOT created through automated filters or AI prompts and algorithms; they’re brought to life by hand, by an artist with over 20 years experience as a published magazine and newspaper cartoonist, illustrator for high level company projects and graphic novel author and artist.

Family Portrait – “Daddy is King”

Two Paths, One Destination: Your Special Portrait

I offer two paths for your personalized portrait. The first is a high-resolution digital interpretation, opening the door to a world of possibilities—from prints to t-shirts, cups, magnets, pillow cases and beyond. The second is a hand-drawn pen and ink with watercolor original on high quality illustration paper. This isn’t just a portrait; it’s a piece of art.

From Idea to Artwork: Your Role in the Journey

The process begins with a simple inquiry. We’ll sit down (virtually, of course) and chat about your vision. I’ll provide a cost estimate tailored to your unique portrait. Think of it as a partnership—a collaboration where your thoughts and ideas shape the direction of the artwork.

Refinement: Breathing Life into Your Vision

Once the vision is in place, the sketching phase begins. I present you with a rough pencil sketch before final artwork is created. Revision phases, if required, are no problem. This is about making your vision tangible, step by step.

Transparent and Personal

Let’s talk about the financial aspect. It all starts with a 50% up front deposit, a symbol of your commitment to the journey. This deposit becomes non-refundable when the pencil sketch has been created. The second half of my fee comes only after you’re satisfied with the completed artwork. Naturally a hand-signed, dated, and personalized dedication is included if desired.

Animated greeting cards? Yes, I do those too

Presenting Original Artwork

Owning an original artwork isn’t just about possessing an image; it’s about connecting with a legacy. My journey includes contributions to publications like The New Yorker, Mad Magazine and Nebelspalter. Every portrait I create extends this legacy—a testament to the lasting impact of artistry.

A Myriad of Possibilities: Your Unique Portrait

The stories behind these portraits are as diverse as the people who commission them. A world-renowned wrestler distinctive glasses and all, a blues band wanted each member, instruments in hand, cruising in a classic VW van. Families incorporate their beloved pets or their homes into the scene. Sometimes, a company logo takes a place of honor, hand-drawn with care. The possibilities truly are limitless.

Creating Emotion, Building Memories

Ordering a personalized portrait isn’t just about receiving or giving an image; it’s about evoking deep emotions. It’s about giving a thoughtful, special gift that shows you care. These portraits encapsulate moments, achievements, and connections that are close to your heart. Each time the recipient looks at their portrait, they are reminded of these feelings and memories, and that’s something that’s truly priceless.

So, if you’re ready to transform your memories into tangible art, let’s take this journey together. No filters, no algorithms—just authentic, hand-drawn artistry that resonates with your story. I look forward to your e-mail to discuss your personal custom artwork.

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Marsden Illustration