If you think the presidential nominees (especially the Republican one) and/or the debates and/or the email and tax dodge scandals and/or the entire kerfuffle that is the 2016 United States presidential election is the absolute pits, artist Joey Yang offers some solace with Make America Colorful Again.
It’s a Donald Trump coloring book that features, on purpose, poorly drawn likenesses of the Republican nominee for the U.S. president. “These drawings are terrible, just like Donald Trump,” writes Yang.
Yang, a Rice University graduate and former station manager and DJ director at KTRU who now lives in northern California, recently took an art class in which one of the assignments was to complete a blind-contour drawing – drawing the contour of a subject without looking at the paper – every day.
“After a while, I ran out of things in my apartment to draw,” says Yang. “I was flipping through my phone before class and saw Trump pop up in my feed and decided to draw him, and I guess I never really stopped for some reason. I like that my drawings make Trump look as dumb as he deserves to look.”
Eventually, his catalogue of poorly illustrated Trump drawings – along with cameos by Chris Christie, Sarah Palin, Vince McMahon and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin – were compiled into a 30-page book designed by Christine Cooper. Yang created an Indiegogo campaign for a print run, with all the proceeds (more than $5,000, estimates Yang) going to International Institute of the Bay Area, a nonprofit that provides low-cost immigration legal services to the Bay Area community.
“Immigration hasn't been a really hot topic this election, but especially with Trump's proposals to build a wall and ban Muslims from coming here, immigrants and people of color are under attack in this country. My parents are immigrants to America, so Trump's bullshit is personal to me and I'm glad other folks agree, too,” says Yang, who’s Chinese-American.
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“I’m glad that I can make something fun and therapeutic out of a shitty situation. If we believe that America is made stronger and more interesting by the variety of people who call this place home, then we have to call Trump's anti-women, anti-people of color, etc. rhetoric anti-American. An art therapist who played with the book told me the coloring book was therapy for the election, and I think it's been true.”
Yang says he’s still trying to figure out how best to sell and distribute the paper version of the book. In the meantime, a free .pdf download is available at makeamericacolorfulagain.com.
“I recommend coloring therapy during debates and while watching the news,” says Yang.
Here are some of the as-is pages as well as some colored-in images from Make America Colorful Again.