As we all know, paying jobs for artists can be in short supply. One of the more obscure but potentially full-time gigs is courtroom sketch artist—although cameras are increasingly allowed in courtrooms, sometimes a sketch is still the only way to bring the drama to the public.
The cautionary tale of Jane Rosenberg would remain as a warning though: the job has dangers as her infamous sketch of Tom Brady shows. The less-than handsome sketch of the superhuman ball inflator became viral on the internet and caused many hours of mirth here and elsewhere.
Brady returns to court today to face charges he overinflated footballs to help with his passing in a Patriots game, and Rosenberg has another crack at catching the many moods of hope and resolve flickering over Brady’s face, but although she’s been practicing since the first attempt she’s not sure it’s a touchdown:
“I still found him very hard to draw — from a photo as well,” the sketch artist said. “Something subtle goes on with his eyes. He has a big chin with a cleft in it.”
Rosenberg has a distinguished history as a sketch artist, something the Brady misadventure shouldn’t distract from. The Daily News jink above has a gallery of celebrity courtroom sketches and this Martha Stewart is a fine job.
According to this job site, courtroom sketch artist can pay from $19-90K a year. Qualifications include:
• Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
Not mentioned, artistic skill., But trust me, you need that.
Rosenberg has probably become the most famous courtroom sketch artist of all time since the Brady Incident. And she knows it. And today is not going to be a cakewalk.
“There’s a lot of pressure on me. A lot of eyeballs on me. I just hope my hands can move, period. I know I’m not going to have any sleep tonight,” she the the Daily News. “I still might blow it; anything could happen.”
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.