Monday, August 3, 2009

Paper Sons Piece

I just finished an illustration for Wes Bausmith at the LA Times, accompanying an Op-Ed piece by author Lisa See. It's a very informative story, and an interesting piece of American history. Read it online here (sans my illustration). It was a lot of fun looking at old photographs from the early 20th century, when I was researching clothing of the period. The National Archives has a digital vault online with photos, immigration documents, marriage licences, and more. You can browse through it here. And, as always, it was great to work with Wes again.

I also did an illustration for Nick Jehlen from The Progressive recently. It appears in the book review section, where Moustafa Bayoumi reviews Engaging the Muslim World, by Juan Cole, and Sowing Crisis, by Rashid Khalidi.

With my illustration, I chose to focus on the first book, Engaging the Muslim World. As Bayoumi explains, it serves as an introduction to Islam, and the Middle East, and provides a way for the West to get to know Muslim culture, in an attempted cure of "Islamophobia." I felt it was fitting to portray the book as a doorway to a mosque. Thank you to Nick, who allowed me to go in a completely different direction, after I found an old North Korean poster that was very similar to the sketch that was originally approved.

One of my original sketches focused on the second book, Sowing Crisis, which details the ways in which the US and Russia, engaged in Cold War, exacerbated the many tensions, feuds and conflicts in the Middle East. I came up with a concept of the boot prints demonstrating the mess that the two super-powers left behind, and sent Nick the sketch. Afterward, I just happened to come across this old North Korean poster, which coincidentally used the same concept. I showed the poster to Nick, and he agreed that it was too similar, and let me go with a new concept.


  1. Your work is great. From your concepts to your technique, your illustrations make me want to read each article they accompany.

  2. Wow, thanks Alex! That means I'm doing my job. I'm really glad you like it.