One of our latest projects at Uni was to pair up and choose articles for each other to illustrate, so we had a bit of experience as art directors as well as illustrators.
The article that was chosen for me was an interview with a woman that works with insects. She talks about how she worked her way up in her career and also about how she’s come across certain insects, like lily beetles and leek moths, and finds them fascinating and exciting.
One of my sketches shows a pattern of insects, which was inspired by how she explained how many different types of insects she’d encountered. The others show specific insects she mentioned in the article. I showed them to Cindy, my partner and temporary art director, and she said she’d like me to continue with the bottom-right one, the one of the beetles in the leaves.
I totally agreed and knew it was probably the strongest idea. Pleased with how well my recent Fletcher-inspired editorial illustrations went, I decided I’d do some more minimalist collage for this one. I wanted the main colours to be green and yellow as a reference to the natural environment that insects live in. I cut out the leaves and played about with their position.
The first image above, with the two smaller leaves running parallel to each other, was the most appealing to me, it gave a sense of order and balance more so than any of the others. I added a beetle and a moth and was really happy with it.
However, I looked at it again after a break away from it and felt it was too clunky and drab. I started drawing it with brush felt-tips to see if I could come up with something a bit more soft and delicate. I was really happy with the last version of the moth I drew and used the photocopier to overlay it in different places on the collaged background I’d already made.
I was really happy with the one below-left, and I really wasn’t sure which one to send to Cindy so I sent both the ones below. Her feedback was that the drawn one didn’t look as good as the other one on screen and that she liked the beetle, so she chose the one below-right, with no further adjustments.
It was a really enjoyable project, and I think the outcome is pretty successful.
Thanks for reading,