Wisdom for doing work ethically

Hi guys. I am a cartoonist that has recently made his first foray into political cartooning. I personally am having a lot of trouble with discerning what to do morally when I’m asked to do caricatures of political opponents to make them look somewhat in appealing. I need the work, and my Father tells me to do the work without considering the politics because I need the money (my client is conservative so a pro-choice or liberal cartoon isn’t even on the radar).

I just want to ask for prayer because I’m a very scrupulous person and I don’t want to treat my subject (the person I’m caricaturing) differently from how I would want to be treated. I want to be ethical, but I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot professionally and burden my Parents.

I agree it is hard to do something that goes against who you are. I can only suggest to seek God for any situation in your life including work. Many at times we are put in situations were we feel we are running straight into the wall, yet losing focus on God. Do want you think is best, and what you know would be pleasing to our Heavenly Father. Remember there are many things in this world we give up and sacrifice because we are trying to reach eternal life, and not the other place. I guess it depends on what you are working towards. May God bless and you and enlighten you.

Praying for your intentions.

You are an artist questioning ethics so that says a lot about you. God bless.

First-look at cartooning. Very serious people have been reduced to a caricature through history. That is ethical. It is the medium that does the caricature. This type of artistic representation is not like a sit-down portrait. If I pay a cartoonist to draw me, I may not like the drawing because cartooning is a sort of caricature or “quick take” on my features. No ethics issue here.

If you look at how the Irish people were caricatured in the British press in the last two hundred years, you will see gross exaggeration to portray the Irish people as sub-human. It’s been done with the Jewish people, Black people, Asian people etc. It was a way to avoid looking at how their human rights were violated by portraying them as wild, savage, crazy. That would be an unethical type of drawing.

But it is possible to caricature, NOT de-humanize your subject AND put them into situations, costume, and backgrounds that show their hypocrisy, error, idiocy.

You can practice this.

Imagine a very nice looking politician who pleases everybody to a dangerous fault. It would be appropriate to draw a nice picture of them sitting at their desk with several faces on their head, one talking to a guest, one on the phone, and one dictating to a secretary. You are caricaturing a political situation. Many politicians might even agree that THAT is what politics feel like. You have done your job and have not dehumanized the person, only their role as a politician.

Now if your boss wants to fabricate things about a certain politician that are not factual and he wants your work to demonize that person, then yes, I’d have an ethical problem with that: It’s Not Even An Effective Form Of Editorial. It’s just lame propaganda. The important thing is to draw based on a truth…they lie, they cheat, they don’t listen, they have blinders on, they take bribes, they talk out of both sides of their mouths, they fiddle while Rome is burning, they smile through others’ sorrows, they live too luxuriously, they are friends with brutal dictators,… these things are easy and ethical and fun to portray and a picture is worth a thousand words.

The best editorial cartoon carries a truth that both friend AND foe will identify. If the person is dehumanized, you lose most of your audience. Study the greats.

Wow! Auntie A! That is exquisite insight! Thank you very much!

Your conscience is obviously bothered and your Father (though probably largely responsible for that character trait, has let this slip because of financial need/always the testing ground). Consider Joseph, how he faithfully served Pharaoh and Daniel, how he faithfully served supposedly pagan kings (he was a favorite of Cyrus and Darius). Neither Joseph nor Daniel would have faithfully served people they did not respect. It appears to me that we can learn lessons from both men. I guess the first thing you must ask yourself is, “Do you respect your boss?”

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