Drawing on the edge
News is being tossed at us every second, on every phone, tablet, monitor and paper.
What is news?
It’s weather, traffic, politics, culture, accidents, murders, tragedies, new things, old things that have gone away, celebrities, movie news, technology, things to worry about. News outlets try to get at what they think you need, what they think is the most important, that is useful… what their advertisers will like. They try to think what you will want.
News is a scramble for your attention.
I love the news. I love politics. I love knowing what people are doing, what new things are being discovered, what our politicians are trying to do, or what they are not doing. I love hearing about people who inspire. I want to hear about people in trouble across the globe.
I love to draw the news.
I draw not only the obvious, I draw what isn’t seen. What’s on the side, what’s behind the scene, to the left of center, or right of center.
Who is setting up the coffee, who is operating the cameras, what does the bank of tech experts look like, who is taking out the trash? People on the subway, in a store.
These things are news, but they are also not news in the sense we have come to think. Seeing on the edges of things rounds out an understanding of what is going on. It tells us a story that is deeper than just the main event, a narrative that enriches the loudness of what we are being told to focus on.
Pretend that you’re watching the Impeachment hearings and wonder: who brings the speakers their water? Was there a line to get in to the room? Were there pastries? Those are the things I draw, along with Senators, Congressmen and experts.
What I am doing is like a moment of silence. It gives the viewer/reader a moment to pause. Reflect if they like. Think a little bit more about something – perhaps something not related to what I drew and what they saw.
My digital drawings of my observations of the world are like a breath. Stop and look. Take it in. Take a moment and reflect. Pause. No yoga involved, no meditation, no higher power, no machine to help with endorphins. Just a moment, sparked by a visual. Our eyes tell us so much, but we often only listen to a small bit of what they are saying. We don’t take to time to see, really see.
Some of these images have been on CBS News, NBC social, CNN, Fusion, The New Yorker, Hindustan Times and others. People tell me they enjoy following events through my lens. I even drew the NYC Marathon as I ran it, and finished! I wrote about it here.
My lens is that of a silent observer, walking quietly around with my tablet, going unnoticed as I draw what I see. It is the eyes of someone with 40 plus years as a professional observer – i.e. cartoonist – of people, culture and news.
News is what is around us. All of it.
Samples of my visual journalism in drawing and videos:
Thanksgiving videos and drawings