Traditional Illustration Meets Digital

Over the past two years, I had worked as the graphic designer and, later on, also as the editor of the youth magazine 3ska!!!

Let me give you an insight: it used to be a completely free (also ad-free!) magazine written by young people and distributed in schools all over the county. Now, because of budgeting cuts, it exists only as a web portal.

 A spread from the magazine featuring my collage and hand-lettering.

A spread from the magazine featuring my collage and hand-lettering.

 

THE REDESIGN

I took charge in 2016 and completely redesigned the magazine, giving it a fresh, youthful new look. 

Bad stock photos, screaming headlines and an overall l look that was perhaps suitable in the 90s was what I decided to ditch first. Then came the harder part: NOW WHAT?

The first issue was the one with the majority of trial and error and I used a lot of stock illustration. But, as my confidence kept growing, I started adding my own illustrations and photographs, giving it a much better, cohesive and original look.

It was a good way to practice graphic design and illustration skills, and it is during this period that I became aware of how much I like mixing traditional and digital media. 

 Behind the scenes - drawing on tracing paper allows me to scan the drawings hassle-free.

Behind the scenes - drawing on tracing paper allows me to scan the drawings hassle-free.

PENCIL ON PAPER FIRST

I have found out that my sketches should always be hand-drawn not only because it enables me to draw more freely and loosely, but also because it is my way of visual expression.

For some people, working only digital is fine. They are emersed in pixels or vectors and they don't even bother to sketch on paper. 

However, I'll always be attached to a pencil and paper, but I am equally enticed by digital software as well. That is why I'm trying to take out the best of the two worlds.

This is especially evident in hand-lettering and in splashes of colour. The more I learn about typography and practice drawing shapes and words, the more I see the importance of negative space between the letters. 

Furthermore, not limiting myself to either traditional or digital helps me retain that sketchiness while allowing me to quickly change the layout or colours if it is needed.

 A hand-drawn title that I converted to vectors and painted in a joyful colour palette,

A hand-drawn title that I converted to vectors and painted in a joyful colour palette,

 A portrait from my ''Bus people'' series - I draw people I see on the bus in my sketchbook and sometimes imagine the dialogues they could be having. After scanning in the pencil-drawn sketch, I added a flat layer of colour in Photoshop.

A portrait from my ''Bus people'' series - I draw people I see on the bus in my sketchbook and sometimes imagine the dialogues they could be having. After scanning in the pencil-drawn sketch, I added a flat layer of colour in Photoshop.

 A more relaxed style was used on this page where I drew imaginary portraits of students who eat in the canteen.

A more relaxed style was used on this page where I drew imaginary portraits of students who eat in the canteen.