March 17, 2009
Putting aside my talent for stating the obvious, people from all corners of the country have quite a bit to weigh in on within the arena of money these days. Between the bailouts, the deficits, the stimulus packages, the unwarranted bonuses and the collective wallets from which all of those funds will ultimately be lifted from, finding an opinion or a suggestion as to how all of this money is being delegated is easy to stumble upon even if you’re lazy.
A slightly greater challenge of late has been coming up with increasingly different ways to represent this socioeconomic dungheap visually. Above are two pieces I just completed for Report on Business, a magazine released in conjunction with The Globe and Mail in Canada. The articles that they were paired with denote that free-market economic theorists, while currently playing defense to the charge that their policies are in part responsible for capsizing the U.S. economy, still have ample evidence to suggest that the brontosaurus-sized stimulus package that’s currently getting wedged through Congress could turn out to be the biggest waste of money since…well…the dawn of currency.
The piece below was done simultaneously for Business Week‘s current Management issue, concerning the fact that the government will be a much closer, much more present business partner in everyday dealings now than its ever been before.
Factoring in that each of these pieces required multiple comps in order to decide on a specific direction, I remember thinking at the time how difficult it was to keep coming up with different ways of illustrating problems with money. Now, having seen other illustrators’ work in that same issue, I feel as though I’ve been suitably taken to school. During a time in which the future of actual printed magazines is uncertain, Business Week’s art directors seem to have pulled out all their stops in assembling a roster of true artistic heavyweights to take a relatively dry subject and make it sing page for page. Alex Williamson, George Bates, Christoph Neimann, Dan Page, Harry Campbell, Kate Banazi, David Plunkert, Oliver Munday, Thomas Fuchs, Brian Stauffer, Edel Rodriguez, Jonny Hannah and James Steinberg all have pieces in this issue. All are different, all are inventive and all have in as many instances announced to me loudly that drawing ideas forth long after you’re certain that you’ve exhausted the possibilities is central to bringing one’s A-Game to such an assignment. The Business Week site for whatever reason isn’t featuring each and every one of these pieces, so I would strongly recommend a brief abandonment of the laptop, going outside and picking up an actual physical copy to see all that work showcased in one place. It’s a nice, gentle reminder of how printed materials can and should exist alongside the web. Exit soapbox.