Forward Magazine: Bankrupt Nation

Here is some new artwork from a great client, Forward Magazine.

From the art director's lips (or rather, the email): "This story is simply about the great debt our nation is in. I think we want to depict the “gruesome” aspect of this topic, and really drive home the point that our debt is ruinous. Your style struck a chord with me because you’ve done several pieces that are sort of dramatic in manner, but can deliver the message in a palpable way. I’ve attached a cover template so you can also get an idea of where things fall in placement. I’d like to get 3-5 different sketches, and then we’ll choose one for cover, one for inside."


Heh, I really liked this sketch! I think it was the lighting; seems like it would have been fun to take to final. However, I think it was a bit too much for the art director; also, my girlfriend said it was a little over the top. Well, you should have seen it before I photoshopped out the blood. I have yet to illustrate a piece with a snake! This has to happen at some point.

And the same could be said for this sketch. I was really happy with my body language on this one as well as the hanky in his pocket. Was a bit too violent? But it's metaphorical violence! No? Ok...

A penniless Sam, pretty straightforward.

Lady Liberty drowning in red ink (quote from article) explored in two sketches.

And lastly, a bank picked clean.

The art director chose the Uncle Sam sketch, and I can understand why. This sketch is subtle and still dramatic, an approach I think is often best. As such, I try to offer a sketch of this type in every assignment.

Initially, the sketch was just Sam, and I added the reaching hands at the end as I felt it just needed something to represent the middle class victims (you and me) of the economic storm. I also like the play of scale between such small figures and a giant Uncle Sam that cannot help them.

Final Cover Artwork:

I slightly adjusted the cover art :) The masthead was overlapping Uncle Sam's head, and I reversed it for sake of the portfolio. Thanks for reading!

 The art director then went with the torch as the interior image:

Thanks to Gretchen for a terrific assignment!
Enjoy the Day,