Illustration of the White House, a photo of the Oval Office and a caption from the story ‘How did a Black woman get the shot of the illustration that is made of white people?’ by author Alice Kroll appeared in the November/December issue of Harper’s Bazaar.
The illustration of the President, who was born in Kentucky, has been published in a variety of newspapers and magazines around the world.
The White House illustration features a photograph of the former President and his wife, Michelle Obama, and the caption reads: ‘The president and his family had to leave the White Houses first, and so we made it a tradition to have an ‘interracial’ portrait taken at each new White House.’
Ms Kroll says that when she was first asked to do the illustration, she initially refused to do it because she felt that the President had to be portrayed as white to get a good shot of him.
“It was really upsetting for me to have to put myself in that position, because it felt so personal, and I wasn’t sure that I could do it,” she says.
Ms Karam says she wanted to capture a snapshot of the people and the places that the former president had known, and she felt it was her duty to depict the President in a way that would allow him to be seen by the world and his fellow citizens.
“It’s really about trying to capture the moment that you were living at the time,” she said.
“I was looking at the world in terms of who I was, where I was coming from, and where I wanted to go.”
There’s a great feeling about it and a sense of belonging, and that’s what I was trying to achieve with the drawing.
“The illustration depicts the President with a black family and his sister, Michelle, standing in front of him, with a young white family in the background.
There is a quote from Michelle Obama that reads: “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere”.
Ms Carrick says that as a writer and illustrator, she is drawn to the ‘human dimension’ of images.”
What I’m looking for in an image is a sense that there is a human being inside the image,” she explains.”
So if you’re drawing something of a person, then that’s a good place to start.
“The way that I draw is by using colour.
If you’ve seen a picture of someone, you’ll know that that’s how I draw it.”
Ms Tran says that the illustration is a portrait of her own family, and is a tribute to their ancestors who came to America and built their lives here.
“When I was a child, I was always drawing people.
I’m really proud to do a portrait,” she tells Ms Karam.