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

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

Just Posted

Councillor Doug Elford. (File photo: Amy Reid)
Elford to join Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society as a director

Fellow Safe Surrey Coalition Councillors Laurie Guerra, Mandeep Nagra and Allison Patton will be re-appointed to the board

A cyclist stops traffic to allow a gaggle of geese cross the road. (Tino Fluckiger photo)
White Rock man asks motorists to be mindful of wildlife after close call

Impatient motorists drives into oncoming traffic

Big Splash water park is located in Tsawwassen. (submitted photo)
Big Splash reopens Canada Day with changes to keep the water park ‘safe for everyone’

Executive Hotels & Resorts has owned and operated the attraction since 2017

Elgin Park Secondary students rally for climate change outside of their South Surrey in 2019. (Nick Greenizan photo)
City of Surrey set to host online climate-action panel

June 23 Zoom event to include speakers, question-and-answer period

(Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey council moves to reduce parking along rapid transit corridors

This also targets rental housing developments in Rapid Transit Areas

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.’s Indigenous language, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact they recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says re-opening B.C.’s border to the U.S. ‘is not in our best interest’ right now. (B.C. Government photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry (B.C. Government photo)
B.C. records 113 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 4 deaths

Vaccination of young people rising quickly, near 75 per cent

Most Read