Edel Rodriguez
For the last several weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about New York City.  Earlier in the Summer, I was asked to create the poster for the next illustration conference, ICON, which will take place next July in NYC.  I was honored to have been chosen for the task, and, to tell you the truth, a bit scared.  What would I do for a poster that goes out to thousands of my peers? One thing I knew was that I really wanted to include the people of this city in some way. 

I remember after 9/11 wondering whether NYC would ever be the same again.  The theater district, an area which I walk through daily,  was utterly quiet, and productions were shutting down.  Shops, restaurants, and galleries were closing.  Many illustrators were not getting much work and some magazines began to shut down.  For months, people discussed leaving the city, moving away, and changing their lives.
Time passed, and New York City is better than ever.  Artists are showing work everywhere, galleries opened up in places we never imagined, and the theater district is humming along as before.

While preparing for the ICON poster, I’ve been going around the city drawing and taking photographs of the people.  As I started looking carefully through the photographs recently, I again realized just how cool this city is.  So many unique personalities and characters.  White, African American, Hispanic, Asian, young , old—all in a hurry to get somewhere fast.  It’s something I’ve always known, but only when I really start looking closely, do I see how special this city is. 

Here’s to New York City, September 2007.
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