Drawing Outside the Lines | 20th Anniversary | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

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Drawing Outside the Lines

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Mike Dubisch's illustration for Quarter to Three, 9/04.
  • Mike Dubisch's illustration for Quarter to Three, 9/04.

I was the art director of Chronogram for 5 years. I designed each issue, mentored by my predecessor, Molly Rubin, a photographer who left New Paltz with a one-way ticket around the world. When I sent her my first cover, a black and white photo of boy standing on the beach, she emailed me back from Indonesia. "I hired the right person."

In 1999, we were a team of 7. Brian and I shared an office, singing our favorite songs, scarfing down lunches, coming in and out as we pleased. We worked late hours, drank late drinks, hung out on the stoop in New Paltz. I'd scout the Valley for cover art, frequenting Carrie Haddad Gallery and The Center for Photography at Woodstock. I'd visit studios and survey work, commissioning Ralph Steadman and Milton Glaser and James Victore. Unknowingly, I hired illustrators who are top-of-their-field today. We paid them $150 for full page illustrations, and for some, Chronogram was their first assignment.

Times were great, some of the best in my life so far. There was true camaraderie, freedom and fun. This is why Chronogram has lasted. We were young, we were friends. And there was work we believed in: a magazine on art, culture, and spirit in a place with the most I've ever witnessed. How could that go wrong?

Carla Rozman is a former art director at Chronogram. She currently lives in Washington, DC and is an art director for Smithsonian magazine.

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Illustrations from Chronogram's 20 year history.

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