Tennessee Traveler: Knoxville caricature artist

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.(WVLT) -- Knoxville's Tony Sobota does for a living what many laugh at.

"You want to look for the features in a face that defines that face as different from any other face."

Sobota is caricature artist. He gets smiles everywhere he goes. Quite likely you've seen artists like him at fairs and festivals. At 33 he estimates he's drawn over 22,000 mugs.
He's a big time people watcher.

"Especially when I'm at an event, it's hard to break out of the caricature mode; you're just seeing features pop out," Sobota says.

But there are some who hate him.

"I've had people tell me it doesn't look like them, had people refuse to pay," he says.

Sobota has also done commissioned work including a painting for his landlord, who he hopes won't raise his rent.

There's also a six foot modern day drawing of the resurrection of Jesus dressed in contemporary clothes with red roses in the palms of his hands.

But it's his caricatures that he likes most.

"You have to remember I tell people all the time caricatures are for people with a sense of humor, and you have to have a sense of
humor," he says.

"Are you ready?," he asks.

"Yes, oh, oh, oh....can we do a do-over!!!" I say.

Driving in your neighborhood, I'm the Tennessee Traveler.

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