Good time to be a sketch artist

A sketch artist always seems to be a good career move. There will always be criminals. There will always be people trying to identify the criminals. What I find so interesting is the different styles and artistic abilities of each artist. It makes for some wild representations of the criminal.

Recent suspect composite sketches out of Central Florida

Central Florida sketch artists are pretty good for the most part. We have had a rash of stories recently where the ‘composite sketch’ gets a fair amount of air time.  Most of these creeps are caught up in rape cases and people are trying to identify who they are. And ‘composite art’ and ‘forensic art’ is usually what’s going to catch these guys – along with good police work, obviously.

The definition of composite art is an ‘artistic technique used to create a drawing from individually described parts into a single image. It is intended to be a likeness or a similarity of a victim’s or witness’s perception of a suspect or subject at the time a person was viewed. It is used by law enforcement for the identification of a wanted suspect.’

Worst Composite Sketch
A drawing being mocked as the world's worst police sketch has helped Bolivian police track down a murder suspect

Sometime the victims themselves attempt to draft what the attacker looked like. Unbelievably, some crude images have lead to arrests! Case in point, this story out of Bolivia where a sketch of what looks like the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz helped locate a murder suspect. Unreal.

If you take the perception, varying artist ability, the frame of mind the victim is in and about a 1000 other factors, it’s amazing we even have something legible from what police can build a case and track down the suspect. Many times these sketches can be spot on. Other times, it’s almost comical.

But God Bless our sketch artists – pretty or not, their representations of the scum of the earth do help make the world a safer place.

And in a down economy – it seems like a good gig if you can get it.

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Josh Benson

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Josh Benson


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