Casey Christenson draws in attention

The Student Events Team hosted a free caricature event on Monday. The event took place on Zoom, where students could join and have artist Casey Christenson draw caricatures for them.

Student Events Team Vice President Atlas James said they’ve had caricatures at many past events and keep bringing them back because students really enjoy them.

“I think part of it is hoping that they feel a part of the community when doing it with other students and getting to chat in the Zoom,” James said. “But it also is just a fun thing that we like to do kind of close to the end of the semester.” 

Christenson is a Minnesota State alumni who’s been in the art industry for over 15 years. After graduating he worked as a graphic designer and art director at Lime Valley Advertising in Mankato. Eventually he got asked by his boss to draw caricatures at a trade show. It snowballed from there as people started asking him to do events. 

It eventually got to the point where he was doing so many events and gigs that he had to pick one path or the other. He  chose the drawing path and focused on caricatures.

Six years later, thousands of people drawn and having done many events around the midwest (including working at the Mall of America and Valley Fair for a bit), Christenson has become one talented artist.

During the winter he doesn’t travel to many gigs, so his time is mostly spent doing commission work, where people send photos they want him to draw. For him, the summer is the busiest time.

“During the summer I’ll put on a good 15,000 miles on a car and I’ll be driving all over the Midwest and drawing probably 5-10,000 people,” Christenson said.

Christenson’s done a lot of work for Minnesota State, including the giant mural illustration in the Career Development Center. 

“I loved my time there,” Christenson said. “I really like the art department and all the people there. Any chance I can I try to get back and be involved with where it came from, where I learned a lot of my art skills.” 

Christenson also talked about how he hopes to inspire students to go into an art career. He said if you do get a job in art, it’s important to hold onto what makes it fun and continue to feed that ambition to avoid it feeling like a job. 

Another thing that drives him to keep drawing people’s reactions.

“I get a lot of laughs and compliments. People really love it,” he said. “That’s what keeps me going, all the smiles you get every time you’re working on these things and people watching you. It’s not just the entertainment factor, but the interest in it. It makes it a lot of fun to share.”

Write to Jack Harding at jack.harding@mnsu.edu

Header Photo: The Student Events Team hosted a free caricature event over Zoom Monday with artist Casey Christenson (Courtesy Casey Christenson)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.