I got a call from Andree Kahlmorgan at Time on Tuesday, while the world was still reeling from this attack. Time was / is doing a piece on the effect of the Paris attacks on children, and how to explain the vast evil that is afoot in the world.
I do a lot of books for children, but editorial is my first love and mainstay- so it's not uncommon for editorial art directors to assign me articles that address children's issues. I had about an hour to come up with some ideas. In the end, they went with a photo, which is always a hazard in this business.
This was my first thought, and the best, I think, in context.
Going with a more obvious image, the Eiffel Tower has become a symbol of Paris & the attacks. Casting a shadow on the child becomes a easily understood metaphor. The trick is treading the fine line between clarity and cliche.
Blood is tricky: you want to respect the victims yet express the impact of the horror. I added these as an alternative to the more subtle images.
Here, I took the child out completely and used a symbol of childhood, of innocence lost. In any case, I know, from working at Newsweek, how these crash meetings go. In the end, when you only have a few hours before press, it's hard to analyze a drawing, adjust it for subtlety, whatever it takes- it's easier to print a photo.
If It had gone to finish, I would have kept the color to an absolute minimum.
There seems to be fewer outlets for visual editorial commentary than there was just a few years ago, and certainly a couple decades ago. The Eiffel Tower/peace sign that went viral on the internet was derided by some as simplistic, but I think it was an important reminder to the culture at large of the power of the drawn image.