Stephen Kroninger
Joe Kleinís IN THE ARENA column for TIME
This piece was about Mitt Romney crawling his way to the top of the Republican heap. (52 layers)
Earlier in the year I recieved a call from Tom Miller at TIME magazine asking if I would be interested in illustrating Joe Klein's column IN THE ARENA. The column runs 43 weeks in a year. Below are some of the images from that collaboration.
This is a sketch for the Romney piece. I like my sketches to be loose because the compositions get set into my head during the collage process. Collage is a wonderfully improvisational art form. Too tight of a sketch generally leads to too tight of a finished piece.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sketch
 The main art director on these has been Edel Rodriguez. Edel is fantastic to work with. For starters he keeps late hours similar to mine. I generally start work at around 8 or 9 after the kids are in bed and go until 5 or 6 am. With Edel I can send him stuff at around two O'clock and he's still awake for feedback. We've worked out a great rapport and rhythm for these. I get the call on Tuesday afternoon, talk with Edel, send sketches and then have the finish in on Wednesday morning.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad being inflated by the media. I moved the point of insertion for the final. (48 layers)
General Petraeus on stage sketch
This General Petraeus (on Stage) was thought to look too much like a photograph. I generally try to cover my photo-shop tracks but this one got away from me. Tom Miller suggested I try it again pushing my cut-out collage approach to the fore.
General Paetraeus on stage final (50 layers)
John McCain's resurgent campaign (sketch)
For this piece I had Max Fleischer's Popeye Cartoons on DVD playing on my computer while I worked. Edel suggested we swap the tank in the sketch for the GOP logo on Popeye's tattoo. (46 layers)
This was an unpublished sketch for a column dealing with how the Dems were running away from the more centrist Democratic Leadership Counsel for the primaries but would return for the General election.
This is the final for the DLC column. (14 layers)
Like myself, Joe Klein is a big METS fan. The Mets had a monumental collapse at the end of this past baseball season and Klein wrote a great piece on what it means to be a METS fan. The above is an unpublished sketch.
Mr. Met crying sketch
Here again is where Edel's simple but absolutely perfect suggestions come in. This is the first pass on Mr. Met on a white background.
Edel suggested adding the orange to bring out the foreground and not lose the baseball in the white. Orange and blue are the Mets colors. (43 layers) Every broken hearted Mets fan should read Joe Klein's column "Oh, My Mets!" He's one of us.
General Petraeus report sketch
the first smile. Note the Lewis Carroll influence. Someday I'd love to illustrate Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the Looking Glass. Some day.
the finish
Country music star Merle Haggard throws his support behind Hillary Clinton. The collaged guitar is based on Merle's. I could have simply cut and pasted a photo of his guitar but I think it's important to retain as much of a hand made cut and paste look to the pieces as possible and not rely on complete photographs to deliver the image. (25 layers)
Joe Klein wrote a laudatory piece on Senator Clinton's health care proposal. First sketch.
Here again is Edel art directing at two in the morning. I had a ton of white space above the U.S. I was thinking very literally that this was a doctor's visit so I was wracking my brain of what to fill it with. Lights. cabinets etc. Edel suggested the I.V. which seems simple but was the perfect choice and one I hadn't though of since I associate I.V. with hospitals and not check ups. Above in black is Edel's late night sketch to my update and sketch. The dark marker is Edel, the light sketching is me. The I.V. in the finish is nine layers, meaning nine separate images went into the making of it.
Doctor Hillary final. (49 layers)
This is a sketch for a piece concerning U.S. military progress in Iraq undermined by the Bush administrations politics and priorities. The scene is a goat grab.
final. The men depicted are the men referenced in the column, Amar Al-Hakim and Sheik Ahmed [Abu Risha]. (42 layers)
This is this week's. On this I didn't have the column because it was to be written that Tuesday evening after the Democratic debate. Fortunately Obama compared his campaign to Rocky Balboa and handed us the image. Sketch.
Final. The final on this conforms perfectly to the sketch because the sketch was approved late wednesday morning and the final was due at two that same afternoon. (26 layers)

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