Take one step into Nicholas Randolph's Mount Pleasant home and you'll have no doubt that he is passionate about his work. Every available surface of his workspace is covered with his drawings, some dating back more than a decade. From larger-than-life-sized depictions of superheroes to caricatures of movie stars and TV personalities, Nicholas's art is just as unique and full of personality as the man himself.
Stemming from his childhood fascination with the cartoons and comic books of the ‘80s, Nicholas has been drawing his entire life, but it wasn't until a former teacher asked for a sketch that he realized that drawing was what he wanted to do for a living.
“Back in 1995 when I went to St. Andrews High School my freshman and sophomore year, I took an auto service class and had a teacher named Mr. Bennett,” said Nicholas. “One day, he sat down after class and handed me a sheet of paper and said, ‘I want you to draw me. I want to see how good you are.' He sat in front of me and I sketched him and Mr. Bennett liked that picture so much that he showed it to a lot of people. And one day he came up to me in the cafeteria and said, ‘My wife liked that picture you drew of me so much she wanted me to give you this.' His wife told him to give me $5.” From that point on, Nicholas knew that he wanted to turn his passion for drawing into a career.
Teachers were always an important part of Nicholas's life and his pursuit of a career in the arts. “He had special needs, but he had wonderful educators at Charleston County schools and they really took him under their wing and fostered his love of drawing,” said Nicholas's sister and business manager Gena Randolph. “He's the product of really good educators.”
Nicholas, known professionally as “The Sketchman,” is available for individual and group portraits, corporate events and birthday parties. His first major gig came in 2004 when he was hired as a sketch artist for a corporate Christmas party. He spent the evening drawing portraits of partygoers and getting to know his clients. While a bit nervous at first, Nicholas still remembers the thrill he felt sharing his talent with all those people.
“At the end of that night, I came home and I was laying down in bed and I couldn't sleep,” said Nicholas. “I still felt like I was at that party just drawing people over and over again.”
Currently working at The Kickin' Chicken in Mount Pleasant, Nicholas hopes that his art career will continue to grow. “I'm really passionate about this. I've been doing it for a long time,” said Nicholas.
For sketches, caricatures and portraits, or to enlist his skills for an event, Nicholas Randolph can be reached by phone at 843-971-1837 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dustin Waters is one of our staff reporters and the staff copy editor. Follow Dustin on Twitter @MNreports for more news updates.