Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I Did this piece for yesterdays Op-Ed, for a first
person account from Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, 
a prisoner at Guantanamo, about his hunger strike
due to his indefinite detentions since 2001.  It's 
always an honor, and a privilege to be able to
contribute to this section, but this piece in particular
seems to have caught peoples attention, and helped 
generate a discussion in the media about the topic at
hand, and so I feel a special privilege to have been
able to contribute something to a very important
issue. I've been pleased with the reaction in the media,
several other news outlets highlighted the op-ed, 
including, The Globe and Mail, Slat, and A Huffington
Post article  describing the illustration as "Harrowing"
Which is a great honor!  
Below check out some of the process involved in
creating the image.

These are some of the sketches I pitched to art
director Matt Dorfman (I did something like seven
sketches in all):

I started with the idea I wanted to do a
Ben Shahn-esque take on the subject.
We ended up going with the above sketch,
It seemed the simplest, starkest idea,  and
it kept the portrait less specific (less of a
portrait, more of an idea).  In the final I ran
through a couple versions, I really wanted
to get the feeling right for the article,
and I wanted to give Matt something to choose
from, these were two of the first versions, one
in ink, one in pencil, both with some shading and
the idea of the drip in the background as a kind
of gallows:

In the process of assembling these, I started to
strip out the details, take away the shadow, get
rid of the bag, and as a third option, I sent  this:

Which because of it's simplicity struck Matt
as the most potent idea, and was inevitably the
one we went with.

Thanks to matt Dorfman for the chance to work on
this one.

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