When in charge of all world news at a daily newspaper, it occurred to me (eventually…and not all at once either) that the existing coverage relied on a preponderance of syndicated photos (to which our competitors also have access) and too little on creativity. The end result was that I took on the task of creating special news graphics whenever time permits – hardly a part of my job description. How they are received by the paper’s subscribers…I haven’t the foggiest, but the art has been satisfying. Below follow select efforts.
This post includes some earlier art, for the magazine format, including one about UN peacekeeping operations in Africa in 2010. So scroll through and take a look.
Avro Lancaster NE114, 166 Squadron | Published in April 2016
A distasteful image this, I thought, having completed it after 25 hours of work. No, not art itself, but of what it represents – an Avro Lancaster of RAF Bomber Command in trademark livery. Although I had created dozens of similarly colored Lancasters over a decade ago – and proudly of having done so at the time – my perception towards that type of aircraft known as the bomber has changed. When I was a boy, my grandfather held a shotgun up and said, “this is an instrument for the taking of life.” It was a statement that failed to resonate against the smug exterior of youth. But the message eventually sunk in, years later. And so, if the gun is the instrument of a living being’s death, the bomber is an instrument of wholesale destruction.
The German historian I created this piece for expressed the hope that I had fun while working on it. No, I can’t especially claim that. It kept me indoors for too long when I could have been enjoying the spring weather outside, but his undertaking was noble – he wanted to cobble together the story of the men who flew NE114 – exploring their lives until they hurtled to their deaths in a blaze of fire and cordite in the skies over his hometown. I seized upon this aspect to bring NE114 to life, as if it were no longer a weapon of war, but an entity responsible for the human beings in its charge, a creature which ultimately succumbed to its own fragile mortality.
Latest developments, Paris Attacks | November 19, 2015
The Paris attacks | Published November 14, 2015
Hollywood on rails — The Arras train incident | Published August 23, 2015
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