"2020 Vision" illustration

by Kaitlin Mechan

As a recent graduate I have been working on some editorial illustrations for various magazines, I have worked with this particular magazine a few times and always enjoy how varied the themes and topics can be.  For this editorial piece I was given a starting point of ‘food from the last decade’ but it was left very open to however I wanted to interpret that. This was an incredibly fun project to research and spend time selecting foods that were the most recognisable; from foods I remembered myself to those remembered by others. I took a lot of  inspiration from articles and online blog posts that highlighted food trends of past years.

I was given a lot of free range to explore ideas, I wanted to create an image that would be fun and exciting- allowing the reader to reminisce and relate to food items they recognise. I prefer to initially create imagery in a very hands on approach; through sketches, cutting paper, coloured pencil drawings and collaging layers. I find this way of working really allows me to explore ideas and develop an initial range of work very quickly whilst also really enjoying the process. After sending the initial imagery to the art director and working through feedback I then moved into creating the final illustration.

I made each of the individual food elements separately as layered paper cut outs and spent time arranging them to see that worked best next to what, I find doing this by hand so much faster than doing so digitally. I made far more than I needed so that I could have options and use only the ones that would really make the image successful. It is at this point that I then scanned the images and started the final digital process of assembling a final image and colour correcting. I find that making the illustrations on paper with pencil gives really nice textures that are harder to create digitally as well as adding some depth and shadows. I took a long time working out the best arrangements, sizing, table cover colours and tweaking all the final details until I was satisfied with the final look. I am really happy with how the final illustration turned out, I wanted it to be busy and colourful and fun and I think it has been successful in terms of that.

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