The illustration of Bob Marshall is the “evil” counterpart to my drawing of Danica Roem. He is an openly homophobic and transphobic Republican in Virginia, who the transgender, left-wing candidate Roem beat in a local election.
I made his illustration with dark colors and an “evil king” propaganda vibe, the counterpart to Roem’s “hero queen” portrait.
For my last figure, I focused on a politician in the national spotlight: Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
DeVos is about as anti-education as a Secretary of Education could possibly be. She has no experience working in the education sector, supports private and charter schools over public schools, has championed rollbacks in regulations including Title IX, and is protested by many teachers and teachers’ unions. I decided to draw her as the devil, because I hate her.
The archetype I am leaning into with this illustration is the “star-crossed lovers” trope. Alison Parker was fatally shot in 2015, and two years later, her boyfriend Chris Hurst won a local election in Virginia. He was motivated by her tragic death to address violence in his community, among other issues such as education and healthcare.
For my first political figure, I decided to illustrate Democratic Virginia state legislator Danica Roem. In November of 2017, Roem unseated legislator Bob Marshall, a Republican and famed homophone and transphobe. Although it was just a local election, it made national news.
I wanted to focus on this race because I believe local elections are extremely important, and I didn’t just want this project to be, for instance, about Trump v. Hillary. I also think this shows that there is light and hope in the future, where good people can upset the status quo and where outright bigotry will no longer be tolerated.
In addition to obviously being a big supporter of LGBT and women’s rights, Roem is working in her district to increase healthcare coverage and improve the roads. It is important to show that candidates like Roem are not just one-dimensional, and that they are people with many facets and beliefs.
For my illustration of Roem, I wanted to show the “hero” archetype, with a royal twist. She has earned a kind of cult status on the internet and among trans kids looking for a hero, and I wanted my illustration to reflect that. That is why I drew her wearing a crown and with a bright background reminiscent of old campign posters. I also used a lot of bright colors, because I wanted the illustration to reflect hope and light.
I am also creating an illustration of the man whose seat she won, Bob Marshall, as a sort of “evil king” character. Check out my post on him for more information!
To hear more commentary about Danica Roem and this project, see the video of my artistic process below.
*NOTE: I had technical difficulties recording the audio commentary for this video, so unfortunately it is silent, but you can still view my process and get a good idea of what I did!