Today I received a nice surprise: a copy of Associations Now magazine in the mail with my latest sketchnote illustration appearing on page 57.
In September I was commissioned by the magazine to create an illustration to complement an article by Jeff Hurt on the basics and benefits of bringing a meeting steward for meeting planning.
In 2009 I was hired to illustrate a cover and feature story on Visual Thinking. The Associations Now staff and their readers loved the sketchnote style, so when I had a chance to create a follow-up piece, it made sense to follow a winning formula.
I was given the space of a single magazine page for my art — either the top of two pages for a horizontal piece or a single full page for a more vertical piece.
First I did some pencil sketching to figure out elements I wanted to use and to figure out the best format — either horizontal or vertical.
In the sketch below you'll see I began playing with elements from the article text in a horizontal format. I really liked the feel but was feeling that I would need too much space vertically, even in a horizontal format to make the flow work right.
Since I liked the detail of this sketch, I drew up another concept to work out how the same elements would look on a single page, in a vertical format:
This seemed to work better from a flow perspective as you can see on the right page as I mapped out how generally the eye should be drawn across the illustration.
Once I had the direction, I started by laying down light pencil shapes on paper at actual size and then inked in elements of the piece. After the ink dried, I erased the underlying pencil and scanned in the art to modify for production in Photoshop.
I wanted to add a little color to the piece, though I really liked the cream and black look I've developed for my sketchnote art. I decided to add warm red highlights specifically to the arrows, as a way to draw the reader's eyes through flow of the conference imagery.
Final art was sent to Associations Now and worked great for the article. As a side benefit, the art director was able to reuse arrow art for feature quotes on the following pages to carry the theme all the way through the article.