Editorial Illustration Process WI Life Magazine

I thought I’d have a look back at one of my favourite projects from last year and share my editorial illustration process. I was commissioned by WI Life magazine to create six illustrations to accompany their resolutions article. Each year the WI decides on a cause to support and for this issue they had narrowed down the selection to six possible topics:

  • Maternal mental health care
  • Refuges for women
  • Microplastics in the sea
  • Loneliness
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Safe space in refugee camps for women and children

After reading all the information supplied by WI Life magazine I started some research of my own – sketching as I went – and eventually narrowed down the sketches to a final six. As I knew that I was going to create these using vector shapes and there was a very tight deadline I decided to create rough vectors before sending them over for approval. I don’t always do this, if I’ve been working with someone for a while I tend to just send over rough pencil sketches and maybe some colour swatches, if needed. It also depends on deadlines, if the turnaround time is really short you can save a bit of time by moving to a more completed version sooner. So I sent these over to the magazine…

Editorial Illustration Sketches WI Life Magazine Sam Osborne

After feedback from the client I was then able to progress to final artwork. Each illustration was a slightly different size so I created individual files for each and exported the flat vector designs into Procreate on my iPad Pro to add texture and detail. If you compare the above image with the final design below you can see the difference. It adds a layer of ‘humaness’ to the crisp vector graphic which I felt was quite important given the difficult nature of some of the topic in the article.

And here they are in the magazine that popped through my door a few weeks later!

Editorial Illustration Process Magazine Sam Osborne


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