Editorial Illustration – Utne Reader: Debtors Anonymous

This was an editorial illustration done for Utne Reader’s March-April issue for an article on the Debtors Anonymous organization. Debtors Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from compulsive debting. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop incurring unsecured debt.

The final illustration drew inspiration from part of the article that focused on the emotion that DA is fighting, “when one tries to cover up shame or acts unconsciously with money, looking to get unmet needs satisfied.”

This assignment was an interesting one, not necessarily due to the article, but the conditions in which I delivered the initial concepts to Stephanie over at Utne.

I was flying back to NYC a couple days before the concept sketches were due(thinking I had plenty of time still) with a layover in Charlotte, NC. This layover just so happened to coincide with their big ice-storm-freak-out-end-of-days-debauchery that took place there this winter. I actually made it on my connecting flight and was in the plane on the runway when the captain informed us that the airport had run out of de-icer and all remaining flights had been canceled for the night. By the time I got a flight rebooked, all the hotels were sold out for the night. Myself and thousands of other humans were then left to fend for ourselves for the night at an “airport lock-in.”

Long story short, one canceled flight evolved to a total of nine canceled flights over the course of three days. I was actually traveling without my portable scanner(Canon LiDE200 Color Image Scanner) too, but fortunately had my iPhone and was able to take photos of my sketches and prepare them for sending. My iPhone actually worked just as well as a scanner for this purpose since sketches don’t need to be really high quality at this stage. On the due date for concept sketches everything was sent off on time from my makeshift airport shelter, Steph never knew the difference, and I was saved by my portable studio once again. Another reason why I love and embrace the freedom and mobility that constantly evolving technology gives humans and their businesses.


The three concept sketches that were delivered for this freelance illustration project.


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