News / Illustration

Andrew Rae’s New York Times Mag brief was “Fear and Loathing in the time of Trump”


Andrew Rae: New York Times Magazine cover

Andrew Rae has illustrated this weekend’s The New York Times Magazine front cover, titled Trumplandia. A visual feast full of action, hidden messages and political mockery, the image is Andrew’s response to a brief from the magazine’s design director Gail Bichler.

“She described it as a profile of the Capital during what has been an incredibly tumultuous time. ‘Fear and Loathing in the time of Trump’,” describes Andrew. “From her brief I knew it would be fun – it’s funny how the most depressing politics makes for the most fun satire.”

It also accompanies Mark Leibovich’s article, This Town Melts Down.

“There were lots of phone calls and emails back and forth to decide on what to include, which was good as I know a bit about what’s going on over in DC but the editorial team at the New York Times had lots more than I could have thought of. Gail compiled lists of suggestions and I took the bits that I could see working and then I added more myself. For instance they suggested a huge Twitter bird blocking out the sun but I felt lots of Twitter birds flying out of the White House with an aide desperately trying to catch them would look better, then we realised that they could block out bits of the New York Times logo which was a nice touch. 

“Some of the other things suggested by Gail and the editorial team were Maggie Haberman with an aide whispering in her ear, Sergey Kislyak on a chaise lounge, a couple of preppy people playing golf, Air Force One flying off to Mar-a-Lago and lots of suggestions that didn’t make it. I suggested a swamp monster and they felt it needed an encroaching swamp to explain it which was a good call.

“Early on we decided it would be good to leave Donald himself out of the image he gets enough press already and I’m getting a bit sick of drawing him, although he did turn up on the second image as an ice sculpture.

“To get it all done I basically spent two weeks doing nothing but drawing or eating from the moment I woke until I slept again in the evening although I did get the weekend off to hang with my wife Chrissie and my baby Rita. By the end my back was all cricks and my hand had turned into a claw but it worth it as I’ve had loads of great feedback!”

Andrew’s book Moonhead and the Music Machine has recently been released in paperback by Nobrow. This issue of The New York Times Magazine is out 16 July.


Andrew Rae: New York Times Magazine cover (rough)


Andrew Rae: New York Times Magazine cover (black and white)


Andrew Rae: New York Times Magazine inside illustration