Assignment 4: Magazine illustration


“A magazine wants an illustration on one of the following topics:”

  • Lost
  • Disaster
  • Discovery
  • Guilty Secret

“They want an illustration based on a still life. You have the freedom to select the items for the still life and are given creative free rein. The rest of the content, the method you use to produce it and the colours you use are all for you to decide.”

I decided to choose “Guilty secret”, and I started brainstorming some ideas.

The first sketches and ideas that came to my mind:

The 1st sketch was about someone who had the guilty pleasure of shopping too many shoes, as maybe a way to fill a void or simply because they love shoes and can’t have enough.

The 2nd one was about someone who had the guilty pleasure of watching bad romantic comedies, it could be that they acknowledge that these are bad movies but they simply bring comfort, or maybe takes their mind of their problems, or simply they find them funny or entertaining.

And the 3rd one was about someone who had the guilty pleasure of always caring a chocolate bar and eating through out the day. They are addicted to chocolate and couldn’t go a day without it.

Then I looked up some inspiration for the third sketch, which was the one I liked the most:

But when I was starting to develop this idea, I had in mind all of the other exercises that I did in this part 4 and hoe they made me realise the power of an image and how it can affect the viewer. Some of the exercises that made me realise this were: a children’s book cover (24), museum posters (23), and a menu card (25).

Therefore after careful consideration, I realised that I wasn’t really happy with the idea. Because I thought it could be a problematic illustration due to the fact that there are a lot of people dealing with body dysmorphia, anorexia, bulimia, e.t.c.

And this could be a triggering image due to the fact that the tittle would be “guilty pleasure”, as if someone was guilty for eating chocolate.

At the same time, this image would be adding to the social norms in our society of feeling guilty by not fitting into the “perfect lifestyle” or “perfect body” categories. Which I would never want to promote, even tough I think that eating large amounts of chocolate everyday isn’t healthy I would prefer to approach that making a poster about how adding healthier foods to your diet could benefit you internally.

So, therefore, I decided to change it to a different guilty pleasure. Because I didn’t quite like the other options I had sketched I decided to create a new one: smoking.

I also decided to create a visually impacting image by making the character in it be someone who you wouldn’t expect to be smoking. I was able to do this by using the skills I learned in exercise 28 (character development). So I decided to create a girly, youthful, innocent, colourful character; almost as a Disney princess.

My first sketch:

As I previously said, I decided to draw the girl very girly and innocent because I thought that this would have a nice contrast between the smoking and her, it would be more eye catching to people. And I decided to use colours that would represent her “girly”, innocent, and bubbly personality.

Illustrating process:

Final illustration:

Adding the tittle for the magazine:

I really like how this turned out, I love all the girly colours in contrast with the cigarette and the smoke. I also really like the letters I used and the fact that I wrote “your” in bold. I think this could work really well as a magazine cover. I also think it could be used as a illustration for an article on how to quite smoking, or being aware of this addiction and how it can affect you, or an article about how we idealise girls and how we can perceive smoking from the two different genders (this could be an article titled “good girls can be bad too”, I think it would be really eye catching).


I enjoyed this exercise very much, I found it challenging but fun to do. I am really pleased with the final result, and I am happy that I changed my mind before actually developing the sketches. In this exercise I learned that reflection and thinking about your work in every possible scenario and through the eyes that it is seen is very important. In order to not get wrong interpretations or the wrong message across.

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