Artist Dennis Porter has drawn well over 250,000 faces (and counting), entertaining with live quick-sketches at thousands of parties, trade shows and other functions in more than forty years as a professional caricature artist.
Porter served honorably in the US Army and has worked as a newspaper reporter and editor; along the way he has written five books and a play, been a professional public speaker and failed miserably at standup comedy.
A lightning fast, fun and upbeat caricature artist, Porter’s Quick-Sketches are much in demand as party entertainment, convention booth entertainment and trade show entertainment. His drawings have appeared on television, in newspapers, books and magazines.
The artist has appeared on every television station in the Dayton area. In other TV efforts, he hosted “MEET THE KIDS,” drawing young patients at Children’s Medical Center. The show gave children facing tough issues a moment of fun and a chance to appear on TV. Another television venture was hosting “TALENT With Dennis Porter,” featuring gifted young performers demonstrating their skills in the arts.
Porter said his wife Diane is the secret weapon in the success of their business.
“A terrific partner! Diane is a genius at business issues, honestly — and I am NOT! She does all the hard stuff, I just draw,” the artist said.
When did you first start writing?
I remember writing stories in elementary school... My friend and I would write one-page stories on one side of our blue-lined notebook paper -- the text, written in longhand, had to fill up that space -- and draw an illustration for it in the white space at the top of the page. Then we would show each other our latest writings and comment on them. Pretty constructive discussions as best I can remember, never critical or derisive which is notable given our ages. Fun stuff. We never came up with an infrastructure use for the three-ring-binder holes to the left side, however. That was my best friend John Lay who was killed in Vietnam a bit less than ten years later.
What's the story behind your latest book?
This is a how-to book on dealing with disability, specifically Multiple Sclerosis and wheelchairs. It came about as a result of my wife's heroic struggle against Primary Progressive MS (the worst kind) and the various shortcuts and workarounds Diane and I have discovered, or invented or blundered into over the years. Nobody tells you the daily issues to come, what is likely to happen, how best to go about getting help, how to deal with these things -- so our book tries to fill some small corner of that void. We hope it is helpful to others facing these challenges.
Tips on dealing with MS, with disability, with wheelchairs, with government agencies and the stress of it all. Written by a married couple who face this daunting challenge with relentless good humor and a magical marriage that has stood the test of time.