Larry Buchanan is a freelance designer and illustrator based in New York. In the 7th grade, when everyone wanted to write for the yearbook, Buchanan wanted to design it. After studying journalism and fine art at Indiana University, he packed up and moved to New York where he “started making ridiculous graphics for McSweeney’s and more serious ones for the New Yorker.” His work was recently featured on the front page of the New York Times.
When asked how he got involved with SND, Buchanan replied, “In high school there was the bookshelf and on the bookshelf was like the 8th or 15th — I can’t remember — edition of the Best of News Design annual. I borrowed it permanently (don’t tell) and it became my bible. In college, I went to a few SND conferences, won an internship, and became a member. ”
How has your involvement with SND helped you grow professionally or personally? SND basically kicked off my visual journalism life. The people I met at conferences and the internship that I got led to more jobs and internships and awesome people than I could have ever imagined.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? “Work hard and be nice to people.”
What’s one thing people should know about you? I’m mildly obsessed with mobsters and magicians, but not mobster magicians (although that would be pretty sweet).
Tell us about one of your favorite projects. Probably this mashup visualization of NYC subway + income levels at various stops. The project came to life when I pitched it in the morning web meeting and everyone went, “Hmm… ok …”. My wife is a city planning grad student at Pratt who’s always talking about things like income inequality and different neighborhoods, so I thought the subway might be an interesting lens through which to view them. I made some initial sketches, learned a few programs I had no idea existed (I’m looking at you QGIS), read a lot of tutorials, and came up with the visualization.