This is not an editorial cartoon, even though I was an editorial cartoonist, here and there, in my career as an illustrator/designer. This resembles those drawings in style, black line with quick colorizing. Likewise content as it’s a dig at the current political regime. But the drawing is not an official editorial cartoon because if it were an editorial cartoon it would not be here, it’d be on a legit news site or on the editorial page of a newspaper laid out between the staff opinions and the op-eds.
Also editorial cartoons are generally a singular image constructed of a timely cliché augmented by biting caricature. Can’t say this is any of that. The symbolism while cliché, is archaic; and the red hat on a fat suit image is biting, but is no caricature. It, like it or not, is just a drawing.
It’s not the work of a fine artist either, even though I fit earlier centuries definitions of an artist by simply working as an illustrator/designer. Daumier or Hokusai from the 19th century are considered fine artists even though they both worked for hire.
The first modernists, Van Gogh, Gauguin, etc. created the stereotypical ideal most of us have of artists. I played at that for a while, too, but only after modernism was no longer modern. That movement ended at the one hundred year mark because, by then, all that was left for the artists to be avant garde from was themselves. So as they self-constructed, they self-destructed.
Then postmodernism happened. Let me paraphrase modernist Virginia Woolf: “On or about December nineteen sixty something art changed.” That was when someone, intelligent but innocent, while looking at a late modernist artwork, said of it, “You’ve got to be kidding.” A postmodernist answered, “Yup.”
It is not nineteen sixty something any more, let alone the nineteenth century, these days, fine art not about the art, it’s about the artist, thought not like in the old days, concerned with his or her expertise and talent, or passion and tragedy. It’s about marketability. As I am not a gallery/critic sanctioned investment grade “fine” artist—Koons and Hirst are examples of this—so my drawing is not a shiny object at the center of a scam to extract wealth from the wealthy. It, like it or not, is just a drawing.
And I’m good with that.