Key Steps in Illustration: Assignment 4 – Magazine Illustration, Final

Seeing the three magazine layouts next to each other, I still could not quite decide if I like the painted or the vector version better.

My personal view is that the painted version is a bit more interesting as an artwork by itself, but does not work too well in the context of the science magazine.

The vector verison, in comparision, is clean and works for the science context. I also like the subtle colour scheme, and the gradients for the faces. That’s how I imagined them in the first place. However, I still don’t quite like the “clean” look of digital vector designs. I feel it looks more professional, but also perhaps a bit too boring.

Since I could not make up my mind, I decided to ask my peers on Instagram and also on Facebook, as well as some votes among my friends. The results on social media vary, with the vector version having slightly more votes. Among my friends, the vector version is the clear favourite, so I will go ahead an put this forward as final piece for this assignment.

Peer check: Magazine Illustration

I did a few more edits to the magazine layout, and added the text source as hyperlink. Here is my final design, both individually and in the magazine layout:

Assignment 4: Magazine Illustration “Discovery”

Kat Illustrates: Assignment 4 Vector Design
Kat Illustrates: Assignment 4 Vector Design

Vector Design in Magazine Layout – Screenshot and PDF Version



Key Learnings: 

  • This project – like the overall section 4 – was a bit tough for me because I was not able to focus on the coursework as much as I would have like for several personal reasons. I found it hard to dedicate time to coursework, and to come up with ideas. So this assignment 4 took several weeks longer than I had planned.
  • Also writing up the project(s) was not easier the longer it had passed, especially in terms of writing about the references and ideas I had when developing the artworks.
  • This is one of the key learnings I am taking to the section 5 in the course: take time to work creatively, and accept that things cannot always be speeded up.
  • Leaving ideas and going back to them at a later point also helped me revisit certain ideas from a new perspective, which I feel helped create somewhat better artwork.
  • Getting more and more comfortable with working digitally in vector style.
  • Next up is purchasing a digitizer or tablet to work on digital sketches, which is something I do not yet have.
  • Asking your peers might help the creation process and the final decision process. One of the disadvantages I found is, however, that you might get contradicting views. So you have to be happy with the final decision you take, even though some people might not like it or would have decided differently.
  • Figuring out which style works best is quite tricky. I feel that I have a few techniques I’m quite comfortable working with, and I often tend to go for these materials or ways of painting automatically. I think I ought to experiment more and also focus on other projects beside coursework more to develop my own personal voice and perhaps even a signature style.


References: “Phantom smells may be more common than thought, study finds” by Shamard Charles. Published on Aug 16, 2018. URL


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