Monday, November 5, 2012

Child's play? The 2012 Presidential Election

Andy Ward has just completed a brilliant three-part series for KidsPost, a section of the Washington Post devoted to young readers. The articles provide a fun, accessible, and informative overview of the mechanics behind the 2012 presidential election.
Andy contributed images for cover articles about (1) the presidential debates, (2) campaign ads, and (3) voting. In each illustration, Andy depicts Barack Obama and Mitt Romney as thirteen year-olds... which we think may have been a bit generous.

Initial sketches for 'debate' image

Andy's first illustration (top left) addresses the presidential debates. Andy drew Obama and Romney sitting in a classroom, cramming for their "really big test." Study materials surround the candidates, and each has written "Barack rules" or "Mitt is king" on the chalkboard in the background. In his initial sketches (above), Andy proposed several different layouts to express candidates' preparation for these debates.

The second illustration (left) likens campaign ads to children hurling petty insults on television. Of the three sketches Andy proposed (below), the "Romneybot vs. Obama Flakes" concept made the final cut. As Andy says, "Negative advertising with a generous coating of untruths and a frosted sprinkling of exaggerated facts... Delicious!"

Initial sketches for 'capaign ads' image

The final illustration addresses the voting process. Andy depicts Obama and Romney coloring in a United States map with blue and red paint. He thereby references both the experience of watching the election results unfold--each candidate claiming his won states, and newscasters declaring these states "blue" or "red"--and an interactive "color-as-you-go"section of KidsPost that encourages young readers to color in a map as they follow the election.
No matter which candidate wins the 2012 presidential election, Andy Ward deserves the title of Illustrator Extraordinaire!

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