In just shy of 60 days, the U.S. will have a new President. What's an illustrator's role in such an event?
Like with any subject, there are lots of opportunities for artists to depict others' or their own interpretation. I would argue, however, that politics has provided more fuel for artists than almost any other combustible source. The recent satirical Barry Blitt New Yorker cover of Mr. and Ms. Obama is one such example. Browse the newsstands today, and you're likely to see any number of interpreted angles on whichever issue is getting the once over on Morning Joe. Check the history books and you'll see a plethora of examples, including political cartoons dating back to Benjamin Franklin's "Join, or Die" days. Remember, the eight-pieced snake, ultimately used as a call to the colonies to unite against the British toward independence?
Political illustrations can be incredibly potent because of the thought involved in developing an idea and subsequently depicting a subject matter that can strike a raw nerve with certain segments of the global population.
Even talking about it can set some folks off. In fact, I may be inches away from setting myself off if I go any farther with such partisan talk. (Just kidding, by the way.)
This McCain-Obama image was done especially for my last newsletter, which had as its theme: politics.
The scrollable nature of e-newsletters lent itself to a strong vertical format and telling the story from top to bottom. The sepia-tone was a conscious decision, as it added a hint of color and a bit more richness to the email.
Politics will continue to be a hotbed of activity through that day in November when we walk, or skitter to the polling booth. Inspiration often-times comes from challenges, real or perceived, in one's life. If one can find a positive to our statistically-divided nation, it is that the partisan friction is great fodder for thought-provoking imagery.