November 13, 2010

New Illustration in the OP-ED

I had a chance to do some work for the New York Times' OP-ED section yesterday. I am on vacation in Florida at the moment, and I converted a corner of the hotel's breakfast room into a rather comfortable workspace. (My studio back in New York doesn't have free coffee refills.) I had a good time with this one so I thought I would detail my process.

On Wednesday, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform released 50 page proposal for deficit reduction. In an OP-ED published on Thursday, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson gave a critique of the proposed cuts, and offered a few ideas of their own. My illustration would accompany a set of letters that readers had made in response to the OP-ED. So I had some reading to do. 

What interested me more than any of the issues being discussed, was the idea that all of this mental energy could be expended without effecting any actual change in policy. The image that first came to mind was that of two firemen arguing over methods while the house burns down around them.

Or maybe just one guy...
After a few sketches I went back to the text to see if I could scare up an alternative. Something the fire image hadn't quite addressed was the idea that everyone involved has something to gain, and that in the end, a dollar for this project means a dollar less somewhere else. This was an idea that called for a pie. I took a few different approaches on my "pie fight," but eventually settled on the sketch below. Which is the one that was approved.

And now, back to my piña colada.


Daniel Fishel said...

I wish there was free coffee refills in the studio too. Great Solution!

Jet Landis said...

Illustration: where they pay you to use your noggin. Good job Chi!