Finding cool birthday party entertainment should be a cakewalk. One surefire hit? Hiring a caricature artist. We think Doodlebooth is the next big thing. The Chicago portrait biz comes to you to make adorable, spot-on drawings in five minutes flat — and makes kiddos smile ear to ear, in the process. Read on for the scoop on the experience, which lets each little guest go home with something special.


The Illustrations
Kids’ caricatures never go out of style, and Doodlebooth brings something new and fresh to the picture. Owner and illustrator Jana Kinsman does her work by hand in pen and ink for a clean, simple look that’s whimsical without being overly cartoon-y. She’s inspired by Anime, fashion ilustrations and graphic novels, and it shows.

Sittings take about five minutes and kids leave with an illustration on archival quality, heavy stock paper. If you want a special message printed at the bottom for your party, that’s doable, too.


The Artist
Jana has been doing illustrations as long as she can remember and tries to make the experience fun for her subjects, many of which are kids. During her casual sit-downs Jana tries to make kids engaged and relaxed. She usually starts with get-to-know-you questions (favorite color, toy, thing to do on a sunny day) and pays close attention to the personality that shines through a child’s eyes.

You’ll find Jana doing the birthday party circuit, as well as a slew of grownup events, from cocktail parties to sessions at Wicker Park’s popular Dose Market. She’s also toured CB2 stores in the U.S. and Canada to draw portraits of shoppers.


How to Book
Doodlebooth travels just about anywhere to do party caricatures. If you book in Chicago, Evanston or Oak Park, there are no travel fees. Fees are by the hour, with a minimum of two hours (Jana can do 10-12 portraits in one hour). Prices vary according to the event, so the best thing to do is email for a quote: For more info, go online to

Have you ever hired a caricature artist for your kid’s birthday party? Let us know in the Comments section below.

— Kelly Aiglon