The above is a recently completed illustration for the Asian branch of Time Magazine in Hong Kong. The article that the image pertains to addresses speculation and uncertainty of how China’s economy will perform in the wake of the upcoming summer Olympics. Upon giving me the assignment, deputy art director Nilanjan Das suggested that a bear might make a good representation of a brutish economy. As it happens, I have a love of bears born primarily out of wonderment and fear. This wonderment and fear should not be confused with the mania personified by Timothy Treadwell in Herzog’s Grizzly Man documentary. I’m not like that. I like to observe bears but I wouldn’t want to live with one. Regardless, for the purposes of this project, our course was set.
The assignment happened to come to me right before taking off for a decidedly lost weekend with my brother, so working quickly was of the essence. The final sketch was approved Friday afternoon and the final illustration was delivered the following Monday evening with my brother’s and my fantastic voyage sandwiched in between. It was quite a ride.
The article can be read here, and the quick-as-nobody’s-business sketches that Nilanjan and his editors graciously entertained before landing on our final are included below:
1. Loose Change – Notice the lack of bear.
2. Bear Tunnel – The Olympic torch lights the way into the bleak void that is a bear’s salivating jaws.
3. Bear as Socio-economic Superfreak.
4. Bear vs. Olympian in a heated battle for the governance of China!