Rolling Stone illustrator Victor Juhasz, explains how a single line from Matt Taibbi‘s cover story on President Donald Trump became the concept for the cover. “A cover has to grab you, has to be a simple image,” Juhasz says in the new mini-documentary.
In the story, Taibbi describes Trump’s leadership style as “chaos … hurricanes of misdirection, ignored rules and dared the system of checks and balances to stop him.” That image crystalized the concept for Juhasz. He began to sketching out what the metaphor of Trump as a hurricane might look like in quick, imperfect circles in Rolling Stone‘s Midtown Manhattan office.
Juhasz says he works like a jazz musician, riffing on concept 10, 20 times before he’s satisfied. The other part of that process is doing the job of devil’s advocate in order to come up with the sharpest illustration. “I aggravate everybody,” Juhasz laughs. “[But] I think we’re at a point in the current politics where the animosities are so ratcheted up, political discourse has really degraded.”
“Illustrators are not great talkers, so this is how we get an idea across,” says Juhasz over his work table. “I’m really happy with a piece if it feels like it’s honest.”