While checking in on a New Yorker cartoonist Slack group a few days ago I noticed a number of my cartoonist colleagues had begun using their art to help those in need during this pandemic. I asked if one of the organizers would explain in detail what they were up to. So here is my New Yorker cartoonist colleague, Amy Kurzweil to tell you about an incredibly worthy effort, #Cartoonrelief:
#Cartoonrelief was born on the New Yorker
Cartoonist Slack channel. Navied Mahdavian posted that he’d just bought some photographs from Italian artists raising money for local hospitals, and wanted to know if we cartoonists were interested in selling prints or drawings for a coronavirus cause. I was just about to do something similar on my instagram; a couple times annually I sell prints and originals and give half the proceeds to charity, and this seemed like a moment to up my charitable game. I chose (and often raise money for) Give Directly because their charitable model makes the most sense to me; they give unconditional, direct cash transfers to people living in extreme poverty; they’re highly rated by charity watch orgs because their model means overhead costs are low and decisions about how to spend money are as local as possible. Usually their efforts are global, but right now they have a fund that sends cash to US families hit hardest by COVID-19.
Other cartoonists jumped on board, and we each made our own choices about what to offer and for how much, given our various constraints at the moment. Avi Steinberg is offering digital portraits, Navied Mahdavian is offering original cartoon drawings, Brendan Loper is offering original cartoon drawings, digital prints, and pet portraits, Sofia Warren is offering originals portraits and original collaborative cartoons, Kendra Allenby is offering signed prints and one-on-one art consultations, Ivan Ehlers is offering prints and custom digital portraits. Neil Dvorak is offering prints, Tom Chitty is drawing robots on horses. Each of our offerings is set at a different price-point, between $25 and $125; people just have to message us the receipt for their donation. I’m offering drawn portraits for $100 and personalized digital cartoon prints for $50. Most people are going for portraits, usually of a loved one: a child they’re quarantining with, a partner they are or aren’t quarantining with, a coworker they’re missing. Although it’s been a lot of work, it’s felt quite meaningful to enter people’s lives momentarily through the act of drawing the people they love. All the responses have been incredibly validating. Here are a few of the portraits I’ve done so far:
And here are some other offerings:
Original Cartoons from Navied:
A collaborative cartoon from Sofia and a donating contributor:
I’ve noticed people have been making much larger donations than I suggest. For example, someone just sent me a receipt for $1000. I think people who can give, want to give, and they appreciate encouragement and validation for doing so. Together we’ve raised $8,000 +… and counting!
If you’d like to join us: Our efforts are unified under the hashtag #cartoonrelief, and any cartoonists can get involved by offering whatever art they can, for a COVID-19 related charitable cause. We’re encouraging of cartoonists and cartoon supporters to propose their own charity or fund they believe is helping with medical or economic relief right now.
If people have any questions about how to get involved, or want to support our efforts, you can reach out to any of the cartoonists mentioned above on Instagram, or email me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
A listing of New Yorker artists who contributed to newyorker.com features during the week of March 30 – April 3, 2020.
The Daily Cartoon: Peter Kuper, Shannon Wheeler, Jon Adams, Johnny Dinapoli, Kendra Allenby.
Daily Shouts: Liana Finck, Jason Chatfield (with Ginny Hogan), Avi Steinberg.
…Barry Blitt’s Kvetchbook.
Tom Gauld’s Cartoon Collection Reviewed