interview, visual art

Pete Fallon Draws Donald Trump

Pete Fallon has been drawing since he was little. In college, he drew editorial cartoons that sometimes delved into politics, “but not really.” After school, as a furniture designer and set designer, he found himself drawing a lot of tables. It was towards the end of the 2016 campaign that he came back to cartoons. “And when Trump won I decided my small contribution to the ‘resistance’ would be to continue,” he says.

Natalia Lehaf: How do you feel about the Trump administration?

Pete Fallon: I find the Trump administration extremely unsettling. It's almost as if gravity stopped working the same way or something. Trump doesn't fit any of our expectations of what a president is and does. Him not following any of the rules exposes the fact that they were not, in fact, rules at all. There is no decency and no respect for the institution. Which is what his voters wanted, I suppose? It's fucking crazy.

NL: Where do you get most of your ideas?

PF: At this point I think its pretty hard to avoid the story of the day. If you have the internet or communicate with other human beings, you are gonna know what bullshit Trump is up to that day. This makes it much easier to do very specific cartoons abut a story, because I don't have to worry about giving much context. Typically people know what its about. I listen to a lot of political podcasts while I'm at workThe Daily, The Weeds, Gabfest, Pod Save America, etc.which are basically an addiction at this point. I also follow a lot of other cartoonists and illustrators. There are a lot of people doing some amazing art in response to this administration.

How long does each cartoon take? From idea to post.

It really depends. Like so many of us these days, I spend a lot of time reading and listening to the news, which is, almost without fail, very upsetting. As my anger/sadness/disbelief rises, I try to channel it, or maybe offset it, by thinking of cartoon ideas. I keep the news in the back of my head as I go about my dayat work, at home, talking politics with friendsand think of how it can be distilled into something simple. Sometimes it starts with a visual pun, sometimes it starts with a caption. Either way the goal is something that is easy to understand, but hopefully has a second layer that's thought provoking. Once I've got the idea, the drawings don't take very long at allI can draw Trump in about 90 seconds at this point. Sometimes the drawing evolves once its on the paper or in Photoshop, but that's rare. The captions change a lot more, usually at the behest of my wife who's great at spotting bad jokes...

What do you think people can do to voice their opinions and make a difference?

I guess I'd say those are very different goals that require very different actions. I think we need both... but voicing one's opinion is easier. We need to focus more on action. Making a difference requires more discipline, more knowledge of the mechanisms of power. It's tactical, not emotional. While Trump is making a fool of himself daily, the DOJ, Homeland Security, ICE, EPA, Interior, etc. are all making real changes to law and policy that do real, long-lasting damage. Easily as much damage as not calling out white supremacy, if not much more. 2018 is close, and there's a lot to be done. But generally I'm proud of the response and resistance from the voices of reason in our country.

After Charlottesville.

Find more cartoons by Pete Fallon on his Instagram.