Picture a painting by Peter Paul Rubens titled, Immaculate Conception. Picture Hillary Clinton. Picture a pants suit. Put them together and what does one get? One gets this particular illustration that speaks about her and the Democrats finding religion. One also gets an illustration that luckily made it into Illustrators West 46, the juried annual exhibition by the Los Angeles Society of Illustrators. It will be on-line in the spring of 2008.
When I have some extra time, I will do self-assigned illustrations. This piece was based on a TIME Magazine cover story about the Democrats all suddenly finding religion in hopes of reaching a voting segment they've been historically unable to reach. The Republicans have been the party of religion, so this newfound interest by the Dems to start talking more prominently about their religious beliefs seemed worth probing.
What I aim to do whenever I assign myself a TIME cover story is execute it under the same stringent timeframe as is typical for a TIME illustration. It's good practice. I read the story on TIME.com on a Thursday night -- when the new issue is published on-line. I generated some ideas later that night and decided on one to pursue for the finish. Friday, I shot some reference for the pose and did much of the illustration that night. Saturday, I added some final touches and it was totally completed that afternoon. It's very encouraging to have this effort validated by the gracious jurors at the Illustrators West show.
Now, as I add to this blog entry on March 4 -- Ohio and Texas Super-Tuesday -- and as we see Hillary take both states, this image takes on another life -- the martyr, the risen dead, the prodigal daughter? Is the tide turning? Does it matter? What about SNL? Are Tina Fey and Amy Poehler the combined Oprah of the Clinton set? How about religion? Funny how that has serendipitously sneaked it's way into the candidates' conversation. Thanks, Hil.
detail and inspiration