Artist Cory Van Ieperen, right, and client in a photo posted to corycatures.com.

As dry-grad events cancel, a Cloverdale caricaturist draws on digital biz

The pandemic has also robbed Cory Van Ieperen of making music with his rock band

The very first grad class of Surrey’s Salish Secondary was to be welcomed this spring, but the COVID-19 pandemic has ruined those celebrations.

Cloverdale-based artist Cory Van Ieperen was booked to draw caricatures for the school’s dry-grad event, as he’s done for hundreds of other schools over the past couple of decades, but those plans are now cancelled.

“My son goes to Salish, which opened last year, and they only had up to Grade 11 for the first year,” Van Ieperen explained, “because they didn’t want those Grade 12s to be taken away from Tweedsmuir and Clayton in their grad years. So it’s a drag for Salish that in their first grad year, they don’t get to do a proper ceremony and walk across the stage, all that.”

The Surrey-born Van Ieperen has made a career of drawing “Corycatures” of people at weddings, parties, corporate events and other gatherings now outlawed or scaled back.

While studying art in college, he worked his first dry-grad event in 1995 at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary, for $25 an hour.

“I gave it a shot, and a year later I did another one, then it was three and it kept going every year, just snowballed,” Van Ieperen said. “Over the past 10 or 15 years, I’ve been doing 12 or 14 a year, so that’s probably around 200-plus at this time of year, which is usually really busy for me.”

The pandemic has been “devastating” for business, he added.

Accordingly, he’s drawn up plans to create caricatures of 2020 grads based on submitted photos, in an online venture. The digital drawings can include a solo grad or a class of them, in any setting. Details about the two different packages are posted to his website, corycatures.com.

“If they just want the face and a little ‘Grad 2020’ slogan, I do that, and I also have pre-drawn bodies, a variety of them, with as many students in the drawing as they want,” Van Ieperen said. “They’re done digitally and emailed, so they can print them off.”

In another artistic pursuit of his, Van Ieperen is the singer/guitar player for Skookum, a riff-rock band that was booked to play Vancouver’s Roxy nightclub on March 20.

“We’d been rehearsing and were ready to go, and we were ready to hit the studio in April,” he said. “I think it was one or two nights before (the March 20 gig) that all the bars started shutting down, and we haven’t been able to get together to rehearse. We’re trying to see how it’s going to work, and we were supposed to have a new album done by now, ready to go. We have the 14 songs demo’d and ready to hit the studio, and that was our goal for April. Just bad timing for that.”

• RELATED STORY: The day 28,000 Lollapalooza-goers rocked Cloverdale in 1994.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Signs at a new COVID-19 testing and collection centre at 14577 66th Ave. in Surrey. It was relocated from an urgent primary care centre near Surrey Memorial Hospital. This new centre allows for up to 800 tests per day, which is 550 more than the previous centre, according to Fraser Health. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
More than 200 new COVID-19 cases linked to Fraser Health region: Dr. Henry

Provincial health officer appeals to people to keep gatherings small

Reni Masi file photo
Former Surrey school trustee, Delta MLA dies at age 87

Reni Masi served as Liberal MLA for nine years, then as a Surrey school trustee for another nine

A driver pulls up to the new COVID-19 testing and collection centre at 14577 66th Ave. in Surrey. It was relocated from an urgent primary care centre near Surrey Memorial Hospital. This new centre allows for up to 800 tests per day, which is 550 more than the previous centre, according to Fraser Health. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Weddings, funerals have ‘potential to become a super-spreader’ event: Fraser Health

As of Oct. 21, health authority accounted for 70% of total provincial cases

The White Birch proposal for a six-storey rental-only building for 1485 Fir St. (at the corner of Fir Street and Russell Avenue) will proceed to a public hearing on Nov. 23, following a split vote at White Rock council. Contributed rendering
White Rock 80-unit rental-only project goes to public hearing

Six-storey, mid-rise building planned to boost affordable housing stock

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Most Read