BOULDER, Colo. — His art has been seen around the world thanks to Taylor Swift. Jeff Kandyba, a Boulder native, gave a glimpse inside the courtroom over the past week.
“A person like Taylor Swift, who is very pretty — has perfectly proportioned dimensions on the face — is actually much harder [to sketch],” Kandyba said.
The artist has been sketching in Colorado courtrooms since the 1980s. He has witnessed some of the most high-profile cases in the state while studying the faces of plaintiffs and defendants very closely.
“Everybody’s got little idiosyncrasies about them that you want to pick up on,” Kandyba said.
Each day throughout the media and fan frenzy that was the Swift trial, Kandyba introduced a new character of the legal saga. His work, broadcast and published across the globe, doesn’t always come easy.
“It’s hard. Some people are just much easier to draw than others,” he said. “If you give me somebody with a beard and glasses — bingo — got it.”
Unlike a portrait where subjects stay still, Kandyba must take a person who is free to move and create a still image in his mind.
“I’m always drawing people in my head and they always look way better in my head than they do on paper,” he said.
For a person as famous as Swift, there was plenty of preparation work to be done online. Kandyba said he did his homework weeks before the trial started.
“It made me very nervous going into it,” he said. “That’s why I did practice sketches ahead of time.”
Outside court, Kandyba stays busy creating illustrations for various people and organizations.
He got his start as a courtroom sketch artist decades ago when one of a Denver TV station’s “go-to guys” was unavailable for a gig.
Kandyba was referred and has been Denver media’s “go-to guy” for courtroom sketches ever since.