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My Haiku of Illustration

My 100th New York Times Op-Ed Letters illustration was published this past Sunday, September 6th:

My first Letters assignment was commissioned by Op-Ed art director Mirko Ilic on January 3, 1993. Since then my illustrations have appeared in the Letters column exactly 100 times, representing one of my longest-running and most fruitful collaborations with a single client.

The organ in Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France goes digital. This was my first Letters assignment, published in January, 1993.

These assignments have always thrilled me and continue to be among my favorites. The deadline for Letters art is usually same-day, with the art director's call received around noon, and final art delivered by 5PM. The art is most often published in the next day's newspaper.

Working under this kind of pressure with its accompanying rush of adrenaline seems to bring out the best in my work. There's little time for research, forcing my response to the subject matter to be very intuitive. These days I often use my sketches as final art because it saves time and keeps the roughness and soul in my drawings. I love the directness of working in black and white. Modest in size and succinct in nature, these drawings are my haiku of illustration.

It means something to me that my children are growing up seeing my art appear from time to time in the newspaper that is delivered to our home each morning.
Thanks to the current New York Times Op-Ed art director Leanne Shapton for #100. Thanks to all the art directors at the Op-Ed page whom I’ve had the pleasure to work with over the years. Here’s to 100 more!

Below are thumbnails of my 100 illustrations that have appeared in the Letters column. You can see these illustrations at full-size here.