Refugees in a mass. My girlfriend is for open borders. I must say that makes total sense from a compassionate human being. I think "compassionate human being" would be the ideal person to strive for. Most religious people, mostly christian, that I've talked to through the years seem to have this theme that they strive to be a better Christian, a better Buddhist, a better Muslim... Maybe not in such direct words but the "struggle" is a common thing. In a non religious context a struggle to be compassionate seems to be a comparable term.
Unfortunately the world has many people in decision making positions who come from different points of the "struggle". I think people start out with good intentions. I have watched a lot of sci-fi movies with aliens and thought, like in "Independence Day", people from different countries, religions, and families, or whatever would put aside their differences to resist the alien invasion. I'm not so sure anymore.
I guess if you look at the refugees in this context, you can either see them as the invading aliens and the different countries are all on different pages on how to deal with this. Or the refugees are a world wide problem (not evil aliens) that everyone in the world needs to come together to solve this problem.
Some people choose to blame things that have already happened. This is not a solution for the present. What we can learn from the past is that we've done a horrible job in most cases. No country seems willing to take in refugees, and if they do, are willing to spend the money needed to help acclimate them into their society. Germany has made a good attempt, and I've seen what Turkey is doing first hand. Turkey seems to treat them pretty well unless they are Kurdish. But still, it's no way to live. No country seems to have an end goal, so whatever camp situation a refugee finds themselves, that is as good as it will ever get until you die or until you can't stand it and you try to risk everything to go somewhere else.
Open borders seems like a good solution. As an American, I can go almost anywhere in the world if I can get a plane ticket or whatever. Many Syrians could easily afford plane tickets. Let the airports sort out any bad apples in the bunch. But know there might be some people that slip through and that's the price we pay for being the better human being. Watching people lose hope and wait out a miserable existence until they die when this doesn't need to be, makes us horrible people.
Cover for The Week (cropped) Syrian refugee crisis.
Cover for The Week. Oregan massacre. A few people killed in America and it's a national vigil. Thousands killed in another country and we just blame others. Not that our national vigil changed anything.
Cover for The Week. I guess I should have replaced Obama with French President François Hollande. Or maybe have Obama in there with Putin also beckoning Hollande. Or replace Putin with an Daesh member beckoning Hollande.
One of the things I'm doing are these little warm up sketches every day. Caricatures of the presidential candidates for 2016. No favorites for me other than who is fun to draw. So far Bernie Sanders is the funnest to draw for me. Here is a collection so far. I began on Friday, so these are the first three. The Hillary Clinton fits in to my personal "rules" of how I'm going to be working. Pencil, sketchpad, and maybe a tone or ink and white gouache here and there.
Just a rule of thumb. The last few presidents in the US have had light to almost no eyebrows. President Obama was the first to go hard against this trend. Front runners in the field right now based on eyebrows, and what more valid way to pick a president? are: Gov. Jindel, Bernie Sanders, and now Trump. Jeb Bush seems to have fair to light eyebrows but he hides them behind his glasses. Smart move, and glasses have a tendency to make you look smart. Notice Gov. Perry has been wearing them more. Hillary has distinct eyebrows so she'd lose for sure. You might also notice that President Obama's eyebrows got thinner throughout his presidency. Also the big growth he had on his nose has almost completely disappeared.
Donald Trump has been losing eyebrow prowess for years. My initial caricatures of him from 15 years ago always involved the crazy free radical randomly rebellious depiction of his eyebrows. I thought he could do a comb-over with his eyebrows alone! They are still a little unruly but they got lighter and you really need to look harder for the really extra long hairs. Let's just call them eye-whiskers. He needs them that long so he doesn't bump in to things like a cat.
So here is the process of this past cover for The Week Magazine.
Under drawing. I started the first pose in the office. They asked for the fellow biting Trump's leg and the first try made it look like a compromising situation was in progress so I tried to make it clear that he was not in between Trump's legs.
Using Photo Shop, I through a little color over the pencil drawing for the editors to see where it was going. I had a lot of dead areas in the composition because the boiler plate cover design is a weird place to squeeze a composition in to. Saving room for type, and other spots. I figured I'd use some artistic license and inject the papers flying around. I'm sure they don't use paper on television anymore and just use teleprompters so there would never be this much paper on set.
Raw scan color corrected. My first thought on how to handle the woman was blow out her face with light so she seems as flat as I could get away with. I didn't think editorial would go with it. All three faces have so many signs of plastic surgery and false hair. I really don't like doing their portraits because who knows what they'll look like in a year and then everyone will look at your art and say "that doesn't look like them now".
Laying in one layer on the computer.
It's OK that it's Monday again, that just means we get another week to do our thing! Today I share with you the story of the cover I painted for The Week Magazine last week. It came out Friday, July 17th.
Cover meeting at The Week. Iranian nuke deal. The editors ask for John Kerry and Hassan Rouhani as cooks in a very used looking kitchen. The first thought that came to my mind was what a mess my own kitchen usually is. Then all the opportunities for symbols and metaphor. I wasn't trying to hide anything the editors didn't want so I put them all out there. I put a half chopped carrot on the floor as in "dangling a carrot in front of a horse" type of idea. Of course, who was the horse in this scenario?
I made a clear indication of a two headed chicken which for me referred to nuclear energy like the three eyed fish in the Simpson's cartoons that live too close to the nuclear plant. I had a cleaver stuck in to that. They told me one head was good enough. HA! I didn't think they'd let that one in but it doesn't hurt to try. If I don't try to be creative and try for the unorthodox I'll get boring. Boring is bad. I thought the cleaver stuck in the chicken would have been too much for them but they let that go. I had to do an image of Assad with dead bodies behind him for another cover and I made them bloody and they let that go too. I guess implied violence is OK but not silly. But Kerry and Rouhani as chefs in a dirty kitchen is pretty goofy as well.
If you subscribe to my newsletter you already saw this. Cover for The Week Magazine out on the stands this week. Today, Wed, I just finished another cover for them. It was much easier than last week's. You'll be able to see it Friday if you have a subscription to The Week. I could do covers for them every week if they asked!
Last week's cover dealt with Jeb Bush announcing his candidacy for President. He must have heard me talking about my annoyance with the choices the people get to choose from for President. It's possible there might be a Clinton and a Bush running for office. Out of 300+ million people in this country and there are only two families that get to run? Really? Sounds like a monopoly and needs to be broken apart.
Maybe they can get the family dog to run next time or the family hamster? The family hamster would at least be cute. He'd have a press conference where we get to watch him on his presidential wheel. The secret service can walk around with him in their pockets. And what world leader wouldn't just melt at his wiggling nose and whiskers? World peace at last.