Exercise 30: Editorial illustration


Buy a newspaper with a supplement and go through cutting out any article that contains an illustration. Notice the heading for each article and read the text that the illustration refers to. Make a mental note about the way the illustration relates to the text, how its ideas relate to the meaning of the piece, how it extends the content of the piece. Analyse the type of illustration – is it decorative, conceptual, informational? Does it use metaphor to convey an idea or does it have a narrative base? Is it representational, abstract or diagrammatic?

Due to covid reasons, I could not go outside and buy a fiscal newspaper how I would have liked to make this exercise. But I found the next best thing: digital newspaper: “ABC News”.

These are the posts that I found:

Every single news article that I found was accompanied by a photograph, I think that this is due to the fact that it was an online digital platform and they target audiences visually. There were a lot of videos as well, as you can see above two of the four articles I found include videos. Specifically, they are based and talk about what is going on in the video.

Furthermore, I could not find any illustrations that accompanied articles, they were all photographs and none contain any form of art.


Now imagine that you’ve have been commissioned by the paper to create an illustration. Your task is to provide a visual interpretation of one of the headings below:

  • How green is your food?
  • The best restaurant in town
  • Loves me, loves me not
  • Throwing your money away
  • The object of my desire
  • Finding your family history
  • An interview with Melvin Bragg
  • Paris, still the best place on earth

I decided to choose “Loves me, loves me not”.

Then, I read the article that I choose and analysed it. I highlighted the most important parts and focused on the overall meaning of the text and the title of course.

Afterwards, I knew I wanted to create an illustration that was simple, clean yet straight to the point. I also wanted it to feel vulnerable and approachable due to the fact that it is a sensible and personal subject for many people that may be going through heartbreak, a breakup, or someone mistreating them in a relationship.

The first sketch of my idea for the article:


“Make a list of words that describe the illustration you want to create. This should be as clear as the analysis you made of the illustrations in the newspaper or magazine and will help you decide how to proceed. Identify what the function of your image will be. Will it contain information, offer opinion, clarify or decorate the text?”

I had a clear idea of the image I wanted since I started brainstorming ideas, I wanted a big statement but in a corner letting the text occupy majority of the frame. And I wanted something emotional, so I decided to create an illustration of a woman crying and picking petals out of a flower. A famous “Does he/she love me, love not?” seen and concept represented in may movies.

The main words:

  • Approachable
  • Sentimental
  • Relatable
  • Simple
  • Helpful
  • Eye catching
  • Metaphorical

This is the video of the process fo creating the illustration:

This is the final image:

Adding the article:


I am really proud of this exercise and I think that it helped me to create a specific illustration for a specific targeted audience. Looking at the final piece and reflecting on my work I would like to change the character to a male character because I think that this would help break stereotypes and make it more approachable for the male audience. But overall, I am happy with the final illustration and if I saw it in a newspaper/magazine I would pick it up.

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