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Local Caricaturist Celebrating 40 Years Of Drawing Happy Valley

For the past 40 years, caricaturist Chip Mock has been seen around State College blessing the community with free drawings. From THON events to gamedays to festivals downtown, Mock has set up shop offering his comedic drawings to students, families, alumni, and community members.

Mock found his passion for drawing caricatures at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1980. Shortly after that, he moved to State College in 1982, where he has been drawing faces of the community since.

“I turned into a Penn State fan pretty early when I got here,” Mock said.

Although he loves drawing the people of State College, he initially came here for a job offer to work as an illustrator at an advertising company.

Even before his time at the art institute, Mock was always intrigued by the way caricatures are made and the way they look. Mock first found his admiration for them from Mad Magazine and Sunday papers back when he was a kid.

“I’ve admired caricatures since I was very young,” Mock said. “I would always look forward to seeing the illustrations from John Johns in the Sunday paper in Pittsburgh. When I went to the art institute, [Johns] was the instructor for caricatures, so I had a pretty good feeling about how to draw caricatures, at least John Johns’ style. I just fell in love drawing live caricatures.”

Luckily for Mock, he got used to being in a fast-paced environment early on in his caricature career and learned how to draw efficiently over the past few decades.

“I’ve always been lucky that I’ve been really fast at it,” he said. “I look at the person and I know what it’s going to take to make it look like them. That’s definitely changed over the past 42 years. I’m constantly learning what it takes to make it look like the person. My goal is to make the drawing look more like you than you look like you. If you have a big nose, I’m gonna give you a big nose. I’m not gonna over-exaggerate, but I’m gonna exaggerate enough that you’re gonna laugh at it and make sure people know it’s you.”

Mock spends each season creating fun drawings at a variety of events. You may have even spotted him at some of them. In the spring, Mock goes to proms and weddings the most, and in the summer he attends a lot of art festivals and even more weddings. Once fall hits, Mock goes to almost every Penn State athletic event, which carries on through the spring.

“I like the interaction. I like the response,” Mock said. “I like that I’m doing what I love to do in the sense where I meet you, I draw you, and we’re done in minutes Then, onto the next. I really thrive under that constant pattern.”

“I like drawing smiley, happy people because I think that’s what kept me in it so long,” he said. “People smile, they laugh, they have fun. Sometimes it’s a little tense when I’m drawing them. They say ‘you’re looking at me so intently,’ and I say ‘well it’s looking pretty funny on my end.'”

On top of his caricatures, Mock now owns his own graphic design company, where he’s his own boss and artistic director.

“What I try to do with my graphic design business is become your in-house art department,” he said. “You need someone who can develop a brand for your company and then continue to maintain that.”

Although he has his own business aside from this venture, that hasn’t stopped him or his passion for caricatures.

“There have been some pretty crazy weekends, especially with football, but I don’t shy away from it because I love doing it,” Mock said. “My wife always says I don’t do it for the money — I do it because I love it.”

Mock has enjoyed his past couple of decades drawing Penn State and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Mock even drew Onward State managing editor Gabe Angieri!

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About the Author

Evan Halfen

Evan Halfen is a junior broadcast journalism major from Newark, DE, and is one of Onward State's associate editors. Evan loves all things Penn State, tailgating, being loud, just about any beach, and his puppies, Butterscotch and Wentzy. You can direct all your tips, roasts, and jokes to his Instagram: @evan.halfen or email: [email protected]

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