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Current Issue

Fall 2020

Illustration of a student

Illustration: David Cowles

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Draw the Student*

*Anyone remember the ads printed on matchbook covers and in magazines like Reader’s Digest and TV Guide, urging aspiring artists to “draw me”? Sponsored by the Art Instruction Schools, the ads showed a pen-and-ink example to duplicate — Tippy the Turtle or a cowboy in silhouette, even Bob Hope’s head — and asked readers to send in their sketch for a professional critique and the possibity of winning a free scholarship to the Minnesota-based correspondence school. (Apparently this is how Peanuts creator Charles Schulz got his start when he was in high school.) We asked a dozen well-known illustrators to try their hand at our version of the “draw me” exercise. However, instead of simply copying our student (drawn by David Cowles, who got his big break at The Village Voice and has been a regular contributer to Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and more), we asked the illustrators to put their own spin on Cowles’ student for a new COVID/Zoom/racial division/who-knows-what’s-next world.

Draw the Student collage
Draw the Student collage
Draw the Student collage