Matt Dorfman, the Art DIrector at the NY Times runs the Draft blog in which writers share their reasons for doing what it is that they do and the craft of writing. This particular piece was an ode to the author’s Thesaurus, and for most of us non writers I am sure the last time we used one we were writing a paper on To Kill a Mockingbird in high school.
This was fun to work on, it had all the benefits of the Op-Ed page without the insane deadline. Enjoy the joke.
"You know, I spent ten years detoxify this party. It’s been a bit like renovating an old, old house. You can take out a sexist beam here, a callous window there, replace the odd homophobic roof tile. But after awhile you realize that this renovation is doomed because the foundation is built on what I can only describe as a solid bed of cunts."
Today I gave my students a quick presentation on some of the basic considerations for composition, which I am now sharing with you! I’ve given them separate talks about color and tonal value/contrast, which are also super important compositional concerns. (I’ll be sharing those presentations too once I properly format them)
I personally love learning about different compositional techniques. It’s fun to think about the ways that the brain views & sorts images, and how we can trick it into feeling a certain way or looking at certain aspects of an image first! It’s easy to fall into compositional ruts (which I am also guilty of) because a lot of art gets by with mediocre, though serviceable, compositions. If you can generally understand what’s happening in an image then it’s generally fine. However, it’s the truly great compositions, where everything in the whole image has been considered and ‘clicks’ together, that bump up an illustration to a visual slam dunk. NC Wyeth is one of my favorite artists for this reason: his compositions are rock solid, varied based on the image’s intent, and always enhance the mood or action he is depicting.
Here is a colorized version of a recent NY Times OP-Ed page Illustration. Thanks to Alexandra Zsigmond for the call. Being on the West coast makes these even more of a time crunch, but it’s a good thing that I wake up at 7am.
It’s a strange feeling working on a timetable that is three hours ahead of where you are, like an immediate feeling of jet lag, without the benefit of someone bringing you snacks.