I've been doing Op-Ed work for about five years, thrilled when I got that first call from Steven Guarnaccia back in 04. This was right when I began working in this new way. Since then I've worked for Brian Rea and now Leanne Shapton, and of course I've had the pleasure of working for their assistants who I might add have launched out of there like comets, John Hendrix, Sam Weber, and Kim Bost, who I believe is still Leanne's assistant.
Anyway, I just finished up a double header, letters piece for Thursday and Op-Ed for today. The deadlines are always fast but the letters piece came in at 11 am, needed roughs by noon, final by five, no problem. Leanne is great to work for as have been all her predeccesors, always open and encouraging to the best ideas. The editors are sometimes finicky as was the case with this multiple births letters piece. My frst round of roughs had the obvious pregnant women with double fetuses, or rather more like full term babies. I kind of had a feeling that they may take issue with fetuses as we have all become so used to seeing the anti choice people flinging the image around in various forms, no need to mention more. And as I was doing the roughs I recalled a piece I did for Steven Guarnaccia back in 04 where I had a naked Barbie doll who incidentally had nipples. If I remember correctly it was an article about objectifying women and how with plastic surgery some women end up looking the same, and how that is sometimes the intent, smooth skin, blonde hair, big breast etc. Not all women of course just a particular demographic. Anyway the nipples had to go and not only that but I had to clothe the doll, crazy right? So the "naked" pregnant women with fetuses had to go.
First round of roughs on the letters piece. I kind of liked C, just a simple organic shape.
The final letters piece.
The Op-Ed piece was on Afghanistan. The writer suggests that perhaps the best strategy is to have a naval force in the Persian Gulf and not boots on the ground-that coupled with Afghan security forces. The article goes on to say that more troops create more trouble, how there weren't any terrorist attacks in Afghanistan before 2001, how the current government is corrupt etc. Basically that more boots on the ground won't fix the situation, just make it worse. Their opinion of course. I heard a report on NPR this morning about Al Qaeda and it's recruting efforts and how it is still a huge threat. Personally, I believe that to be true, and like most everybody else I'm not sure what the answer is except for good police work to root out possible plots. I'm not sure more and more troops in foreign lands is the answer and I think I agree that more troops = more trouble. We're an occupying force and they'll just keep picking our guys off bit by bit, despite scores of their own fighters being killed.
Brian used to always encourage more black. I always hope for a big space on the page or to be able to work with the page. Leanne gave me a great big space on this one.
The first unedited doll from that assignment back in 04 for Steven Guarnaccia.