COVINGTON, La. - Roy Robinson has spent a lifetime finding that special something that defines a person.
As a caricaturist, he has captured the famous and the not so, seeing what makes a face a personality.
“The best customer is the one who knows how they look and they’re satisfied,” he laughs.
As a caricaturist, he has worked everything from parties in private homes to international conventions, drawing in minutes his impression of a face – all while being watched.
“A lot of artists I know just never do get used to it.”
But before Roy was a caricaturist, he was a cartoonist, discovering his art and his humor while in the military during World War II. Over 30 of his cartoons were published in Yank Magazine, the official magazine of GI's around the world.
“Yeah, I had a wide audience at that point and when I got out and went into the cartoon business, the audience diminished a little,” he said.
It’s that wry sense of humor that lives 60 years after the war and is seen in his more recent cartoons, now published in a book featuring commentary on events statewide and local.
“Like the guy who was running around the Covington neighborhood for weeks and weeks with just a ski mask on.”
Or the unusual crop that was growing in one neighborhood.
“They found 600 marijuana plants in somebody's backyard.”
These are his art, his view and his sense of humor. But like so many who have made their living making other people laugh, Roy Robinson's beginnings were anything but funny.
A child of the Great Depression, his family unraveled. He and his sister were shipped to relatives in the midwest.
“They put us on a bus with a tag, like they did at Ellis Island, I guess,” he said.
He never lost hope the family would reunite.
“Even after I got out of the service, I harbored the idea that they would get back together and we’d finally have a family.”
It never really happened and this gentle, talented artist ultimately hit bottom, losing everything and starting his life over at age 45.
Now at age 91, he walks to the Three Rivers Gallery in Covington, which carries not his caricatures or cartoons but his fine art.
His haunting watercolors of landscapes, rivers and swamps capture the beauty of our world.
Whatever sadness he has lived, Roy Robinson, now in his ninth decade, is moving forward with his ever-evolving art and indomitable sense of humor.
For information on Roy Robinson's work, contact him at 985-893-0686 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.