Wednesday, November 09, 2016

About Donald Trump, POTUS 2016 and David Parkins

This evening I finally found the source of the image I shared early this morning from a women's Facebook account to my Making A Mark Facebook Page after spending the night watching the results come in. (I always think the result will be in the next 10 minutes!) Which means I watched both iconic elections of 2016 as they happened!

The intention was to illustrate the level of shock and dismay experienced by many people following the 2016 POTUS Election - in very marked contrast to the joy and hope which followed the 2008 POTUS Election

Initially I thought she was an artist and she'd come up with the image herself. But it kept bugging me all day - mainly because most artists are rather better at claiming artwork as their own.

So in need of some distraction therapy I went on a hunt on the Internet to see if I could find the original - and, as importantly - who exactly had produced what seems to me to be an iconic illustration of this POTUS Election.  (It's actually not very easy to find images on Facebook on the Internet as the finder software in Google Images and Tineye doesn't work very well inside Facebook (See How to do a reverse image search), So I went from Facebook to website to Twitter account - and there found the image posted by somebody else. That gave me the basis for then doing a reverse search - and that's when I found the larger version.

Cover of The Economist 16-22 July 2016
Illustration by David Parkins

It turned out that the image was a crop of a cover of The Economist edition covering 16th-22nd July 2016. Its feature article was about Donald Trump and a divided America.

This is when I found out that the image is by illustrator David Parkins.

It's nice to be able to credit the originator of one of the most effective images I've seen to sum up much of the feelings after the result of the 2016 POTUS Election.

Interestingly the intention at the time was to illustrate one of the themes of the article

In 2016 that seems to have been turned on its head: America is shrouded in a most unAmerican pessimism.

About David Parkins

David Parkins has apparently been an illustrator for over 40 years.  He seems to be a very modest chap as his website contains no bio or CV.  All I could detect is that when he was younger he used to live in the UK and that he now lives in Canada. Odd that - he obviously got in before the Great Canadian Immigration Website Crash of 8th November 2016! ;) Later I found that he also has a Wikipedia entry!
David Parkins is a British cartoonist and illustrator who has worked for D.C. Thomson, publisher of The Beano and The Dandy. Now based in Canada, he illustrates children's picture books
His website is however a compilation of a selection of his illustrations over the years - working in different ways for different clients.
In forty years illustrating, I have been obliged to work in a whole lot of different ways. I like the work to fit the brief. I like to do different types of work. I like my eggs distributed around various baskets because I am fallible, and if they were all in the one basket I'd probably sit on it.
I found his website both fascinating and utterly delightful in terms of the range of illustrations for:

  • Editorial Illustration (Nature, The Economist, Bloomberg Business Week, and the Times Ed.)
  • Political Cartoons (The Guardian, The Globe and Mail and TES - a weekly comment cartoon for 3 years - teachers may well enjoy these!)
  • Strip Cartoons - this is a man who in his time has provided illustrations for The Beano, The Dandy, The Beezer and Topper - and at one time drew Dennis the Menace. (which will mean a lot to readers of a certain age and it's too long to explain for anybody else!)
  • Children's Book Illustrations
  • A list of books he has provided illustrations for

The illustration is not on his website. He might want to review that.

About sketches for the 2016 POTUS Election

My last post was about the sketch I did while waiting for the result - see Sketching the Vote in 2008. I tried looking for sketches this year - but turned up nothing.

It seems that interest in sketching elections this year was more or less NIL. I'm guessing people have got pretty tired of politics.....

and finally......

For those interested in articles analysing what has happened can I refer you to two interesting articles:
  • the first 5 Reasons Trump will win by Michael Moore was published round about the same time as David's cartoon and hence was written well in advance of yesterday's election. Mr Moore has an uncanny knack of seeing "the writing on the wall" which others appear oblivious to!
  • the second History tells us what may happen next with Brexit & Trump is an essay by Tobias Stone which also seems to have been published round about the same time. It takes a long view of history and the cycles that come around repeatedly over time. It's a salutary read.


  1. Blimey Katherine is you ever fancy a retirement job...super sleuthing comes to mind!

  2. Have a look at Leone Ermer's 'The Nightmare' on for another interesting illustration

  3. It's not that the interest is low. It's that the depression is so high that no idea of what to sketch comes to mind during this time.

    Thank you for finding the image. Totally transmits proper feelings.

  4. The “shock” is from is from people not really listening to each other, the “dismay” is from believing the mainstream media. I am not surprised that 59 million voted for Trump and I am a lifelong democrat.

    People voted against the status quo.

  5. I'm coming round to the same view Joey.

    If you don't listen to lots of people most of the time we should not be surprised if people conceal how they intend to vote until they get to the ballot box.

    It's now my belief that Politics does indeed need to change and that carrying on as before is no longer an option.

    Whether Donald Trump is the man to deliver this remains to be seen. Personally I don't think he thought he'd ever be elected and he's probably just as much in shock as a lot of other people.

    Whether he makes it to the end of the term of office also remains to be seen

    What is clear is that politics will never be the same again - until they forget and repeat the same mistakes.

  6. Yes, people voted against the status quo.
    Looking at only our recent history, the economy crash, 911 and two wars people have had enough of politics as usual and are saying it is time for real change so no one should be surprised a NON life-long-politician won. Despite some of the really controversial things Trump would say we have all grown tired of the same political rhetoric we hear from the 'establishment'.

    Similar but on a smaller scale was a few years ago when Ross Perot ran and the debates featured 3 candidates instead the the usual 2. People were surprised. I remember thinking Perot won't win but I hope this shakes things up enough for change.
    It didn't but time will tell on this election.

    Katherine, I had the same thought. I don't think Trump actually thought he'd win either. Whether he makes it to the end of his term or not I do hope this will have a lasting affect on politics. I would like to have more choices than 2 candidates right up until the end of the election.



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