A little while back I was commissioned by Plan International Australia to design and illustrate a publication, Climate Extreme: how young people can respond to disasters in a changing world. The purpose was to help children in the developing world learn how to prepare for and respond to disasters. It was one of the biggest illustration jobs I’ve taken on while also working fulltime. Working 9 to 5, then working after hours sometimes until midnight and beyond for weeks, but I wanted the job so bad and I wanted it to be amazing! So who needs sleep anyway!
The brief for each illustration was very detailed and in some cases a particular scene was described to me, which I loved as I’m visual like that.
A lot of people assume I draw freehand and just ‘think up’ how to perfectly draw a person or an object’s features, sorry to burst your bubble but I ain’t that good! I use photo references and in this kind of situation where I’m briefed quite a specific scene, I create my own scene to reference. I hunt through stock libraries for the bits and pieces to make up my own scene and layer, cut, paste and manipulate them to create something I can draw from.
Here are a couple of examples where I’ve used up to 6 different stock images to create the final illustration below it.
I was so happy with the final publication and Plan must have been too because not long after that they gave me the role as their in-house graphic designer 🙂
You can download the full publication here.