The article mixes historical events with images from literature and popular culture. That's Brando in the center, (I've already taken some heat from friends for the sweating beefcake)
Last Wednesday Aviva Michaelov at The New York Times called with an assignment for the cover of Sunday's Week in Review. She wanted an image to accompany an article that looks at how long, hot summers have been a crucible for the evolution of America's idenitity from the very beginning of our history. The illustration covers a lot of front page real estate, 15.5 " x 8.6" She sent me a rough draft of the article with a note that the illustration should have a Hot Summer feeling not one of dread. A collage of images from the article made the most sense, and I added a Weber Grill and stole some Ben Shahn-style flames to wrap around the images. Aviva sent a layout that showed where the art would fit with the typography so I could design the shape to work well on the page.
The sketch was approved on Thursday morning and I worked late and sent the final art Friday morning. A call for a quick turn-around for the Times always gets my blood going, and it seems like magic to see the piece in Sunday's paper.