Phoenix New Times/LA Weekly: Immigration Cruelty

Before the end of the year, I was asked to do another immigration-based image for Phoenix New Times. I assume this was based on my previous immigration image for Barron's, but I've also worked with Peter several times resulting in images that we both always enjoy. The article is about cases of abuse brought about by immigrants; they are alleging that border patrols are being cruel to immigrants in several ways including beatings and stuffing too many people into police wagons when being deported. The latter is often referred to as putting them in "kennels." The goal of the article is to raise awareness of possible deaths at the hands of border patrol officers and give a voice to those who have been mistreated.

Preliminary Sketch:
We were on a pretty short deadline and I already had some irons in the fire, so Peter and I discussed cover concepts over the phone to save the time of doing a round of sketches. The result is a sketch I thought to be pretty powerful and immediately empathetic; as a pet owner, I have witnessed very unhappy cats in pet carriers, and who wants to be in a cage? So I just tried to take Peter's initial suggestion of a officer/pet carrier and turn it into a crowded hand-held mini-prison.

Final Art without text:
I'm pretty stoked with how this image turned out, and I was very happy to add it to my portfolio. In a nice turn of events, New Times' sister publication, LA Weekly, decided to re-run the image as their cover the following week. With so much exposure, I hope the article was read by folks who can do something about the way these people are being treated; even if they are not citizens, they still have rights as human beings.

I was lucky to have my LA-based buddies Josh and Julie send me copies of the issue as well. Thanks guys!

Enjoy the Day,