Dan’s Papers Cover Artist: Doug Zider Shares ‘SNL’ Memories and Eagle Inspiration

February 14, 2020 Dan's Papers cover art (detail) by Doug Zider
February 14, 2020 Dan's Papers cover art (detail) by Doug Zider

Born and raised on Long Island, Doug Zider has contributed many covers to Dan’s Papers over the years. In addition to his work as a fine artist, Zider is a longtime designer for Saturday Night Live and has won six Emmy awards for his work at NBC Universal Designs.

Doug Zider headshot
Doug Zider

What was the inspiration for this piece?
Well, I found a cool old iron eagle online, the kind that hung on the front chimneys of homes back in the ’50s. I laid the flag over her, then went for that ol’ Saturday Evening Post look.

You’re one of our most prolific cover artists. What does Dan’s Papers mean to you?
Dan’s appreciation for the arts is spot-on and always has been, giving artists what they hope for—an opportunity to be seen in a modest way, and to be a part of today’s culture. It’s such a clean way to present yourself.

How has your art evolved over the years?
Hmm…To judge that, I guess I would have to view it through someone else’s eyes. I do experiment with other surface materials, application tools and work compositions in various ways, changing up the point of view, letting the imagination find its own way.

What do you consider your greatest artistic achievement so far?
Knowledge about the process, and that never ends. Not worrying about what to paint, but how to get there.

What are some of your most memorable experiences from working at Saturday Night Live?
There have been many, but the 40th anniversary show in Studio 8H and “that party” [the after-party featuring the late Prince] at the Plaza Hotel…man, oh man. It was everything it could have been, and for all those who were there, they know it, too. Great professional crew—it’s a blessing to still be a part of it.

See more of Doug Zider’s work at ziderfineart.com and on Instagram at @ziderfineart.

February 14, 2020 Dan's Papers cover art by Doug Zider
February 14, 2020 Dan’s Papers cover art by Doug Zider

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