So I thought it might be interesting to make a blog post about my process and how I take a project from start to finish. Let's take a look at a project I completed early in 2017 for NET Magazine and 'Clients From Hell'. I ended up working on this feature regularly with NET for a few months afterwards and it was a really fun regular feature to produce illustrations for, with lots of freedom in terms of colour and subject matter. 

The first thing I do with any editorial project is to read the copy a few times (if i've been provided with it) and jot down any interesting phrases or ideas that pop into my head. I have a mini notebook on my desk just for this reason and it is where I do all of my planning and scruffy notes. I try not to be too precious about this stage because it's important to just let my brain whirr away and get everything out on paper. 

Once i've got some ideas written down, I sit down with my sketchbook and sketch out some rough ideas. 


From there, I select my favourite ideas and flesh them out properly to make roughs I can send to the AD. I know a lot of people just send over their rough-roughs but for me personally, it's really important that I send over 'tidier' roughs. I also find it cuts down on alterations later, so that's a nice bonus!


For this project, the AD chose the first rough with only a very slight change (the lines on the hair, if you're wondering).

Once i've got approval from the AD, I then start producing the final illustration working layer by layer on each element. This is where the neater roughs come into play because they allow me to just immediately flesh out the shapes and start working with the colours. 


I use a lot of handmade textures in my illustrations and it's a really important part of my process. Most of my textures are screen printed in the studio at work and then scanned into my computer - I like to try and make the textures slightly unusual so i'll embrace any 'happy accidents' that happen when i'm printing them! 

Once i'm happy with the illustration, I send it over to the client for their approval. On this job, I didn't end up getting any amends (hooray!) but if any amends came back then making those changes would be the next step before sending it back to the AD for final approval.

And voila! That's the job finished.