Ann's Open Road


    Southern Route


    Washington, DC


    Public Television: Season 2

  • ON DVD:


Political Cartoonist
Humor's Edge

“Just be ready to look at other doors. I had a lot of doors open to me that I never thought about when I was a student, and I took them. It worked out really well.”


Art Politics


Confidence Education Failure Fear Honesty Instincts Passion Transitions Choices Opportunity Determination


Anita Hill hearing, applying yourself, art school, business, drawing, drop out, editorial cartoon, floundering, graphic design, journalism, keep trying, open doors, opinions, options, take control, taking advantage, taking control, the unknown, Tiananmen Square protests, wall street


When Ann Telnaes was in high school she felt confident in her artistic abilities, but when she got to college she realized the stakes had changed. At Arizona State University, where she was majoring in graphic design, she faced competition from her classmates. Floundering at the time, and not taking her work seriously enough, she made what to her seemed like a radical decision—she would drop out and apply to an art school where, she believed, she would be motivated to apply herself. Although her artistic pursuits seemed impractical to her parents Ann was determined to develop her gifts in a meaningful way. Ann began drawing editorial cartoons prompted by two high-profile televised events—the Tiananmen Square uprising and the Anita Hill scandal of the early 1990s. Ann had found her niche and her talent for it did not go unnoticed: In 2001, she won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning.

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