NPR finally leveled with Juan Williams about the reasons for his firing. “Juan”, they said in a closed door meeting, “we’re so sorry, when you came in the door the other day, a bunch of us thought you looked just like Yasir Arafat. ‘Joe’, one the guys said, ‘Arafat’s dead’. I said, ‘okay, but this guy could be like, a relative. An Arab at least. Maybe even a Muslim. Friggin’ creeps me out, you know’. We all agreed. You creep us out. Just a feeling we had. We hope this doesn’t inconvenience you. But you know in America we have the freedom to be just as racist as the next guy. Like you!” Juan looked up to God at this point. A victory for freedom, was all he could think at that moment. And then could be heard to utter “God is great.”
Illustration, or narrative art, is about using visual language to tell a story in the most beautiful, compelling way possible. . . in under a second. It does not exist to merely fill a hole in a page of type. Rather , its purpose is communicate clearly while engaging the eye, the mind and heart of the viewer. If successful, it has the potential for rewarding the viewer with a fresh, illuminating, even transcendent experience.
Caricature, which is a subcategory of illustration, is about finding the narrative elements within a portrait and making them clear as tools in making literal and figurative points. When done for publication, it is not merely about making big things bigger and small things smaller. It is storytelling. This involves knowledge about what is under the surface of a face and teasing it to the top. Caricature is not the destination. It is the journey.
Illustration is a volatile profession. I’m always kind of busy. Sometimes very, but sometimes only moderately. Arranging for projects I would very much like to do is usually no problem. So drop a line and/or post a comment on the homepage any time!