An Innisfail-area artist discovered it pays to go BIG.
Creating a giant, world-record-busting caricature of two Calgary deejays on Central Alberta pasture land netted Dean Foster the grand $25,000 prize in a radio station promotional contest.
Foster was almost speechless when he heard on Monday that he won the top prize from CJay 92.
“I couldn’t have asked for more. I am so relieved,” said Foster, who intends to use the money to keep fighting to stay in Canada.
He’s been on a temporary residency permit since arriving in this country seven years ago to flee violence in his native South Africa, and has racked up legal fees fighting to become a permanent resident.
Nearly two weeks ago, Foster shot drone footage of himself creating the 130-metre high by 100-metre wide cartoonish image of deejays Jesse and JD to raise awareness of their morning show.
He then made a quick-time video and posted it on YouTube, where it’s so far received more than 1,200 views.
The weather worked against his venture, snowing the morning he was to begin. Foster recalls having to wait until the snow melted before he started painting lines along a grid system with water-soluble paint.
Then rain washed away part of his hectare-sized drawing, and he had to do most of it over again. The artist admitted he had planned to double up the lines to make the caricature look more distinct from the air, but ran out of paint because he had to re-do many of the same lines.
Regardless, he believes his giant cartoon still qualifies for official world-record status from Guinness, which takes about 10-12 weeks to verify entries.
Foster believes he had some stiff completion in the contest — including a man who created radio station button pins and handed them out at C-train stations, and a woman who made flags with the radio station’s call letters and flew them around the city. Another contestant decorated his pedal pub (a multi-person bicycle with a bar on top) with the station’s call letters, while a guy tattooed the deejay’s names onto his arm.
The aim was to promote the radio station, stressed Foster. But he hopes the side benefit is becoming a bit better known. The truck driver and part-time artist hopes to draw more clients so he can go back to making art full-time.