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.
The Dare2Draw folks invited me to give a "pro tip" for their segment "Draw like a pro". I had 3 to 5 minutes to explain something. I chose hands because a lot of young people in art I come across openly say drawing hands is the hardest and they don't like doing it. Well drawing hands is very important to any figurative art. I knew I wasn't going to show anyone how to draw a hand in less than five minutes so my main message was practice. Draw that thing you find is hard. I said it but who knows if I taught it!
I didn't really intend to say so much about Dare2Draw, but I feel I need to be clear even in my side comments sometimes. What I really wanted to show here is the last cover I did for The Week Magazine featuring the Pope. Yeah THE Pope and his recent visit to New York city. I included this in with my presentation to D2D. There are a lot of hands in this one. Sometimes I have to make an illustration in a way I wouldn't do naturally. This is an example of one of those times. I had to change things so the title would be legible. I worked with Dan, the AD, to make sure the words would read and had to ruin the illusion of depth above the door and Pope by lightening everything. But I painted everything in anyway so I could work some things out in the paint.
Above is the way it printed.
This is mostly a raw scan. I darkened the area above the Pope clumsily in Photo Shop to give the idea I would have preferred to do. But it's sort of important to be able to read the headline, eh?
College. Art school. I'm immersed in student behavior. Homework, coffee, Mountain Dew (this was before Red Bull), Zingers, Ramen noodles, and a lot of no sleeping. I was very focused on art. After design class I'd have to psyche myself up before going outside so my brain wouldn't melt at all the disorganization in the real world. I had the wonderful timing of graduating art school the year before my school opened a new wing full of the latest computers for design etc. Computers were not in-bedded in my way of life. Along with that, writing, and promotion, were never an emphasis.
Here I am 25 years after I graduated college and I'm on the computer tweaking art in Photo Shop, writing a blog entry and ravenously checking all my social media for feedback and messages and cat pictures. I think I do OK. I just mailed a little over 200 postcards to art directors all over the US. Physical cards! Of course they contained my e mail address, and my website so you can get a hold of me electronically. Just for you, I personalized all of them in case you ran in to a colleague and compared messages and you'd see yours was unique.
Postcards are fun to walk around the city with even after the mailing. You meet someone cool and then you can give them this small piece of paper with what you do and how to get in touch. Then watch and cringe a little on the inside as they fold it up several times and stuff it in their back pocket as they walk away. Soul is sufficiently "dinged" and you move on with full knowledge that they will never call you and that card is going to end up in a homeless person's hands as he rummages through a landfill. Fortunately he won't call either.