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Editorial Illustration

"The essence of editorial Illustration is visual commentary. Its principal function is to be symbiotic with journalism contained within the pages of newspapers and magazines. " [1] Put simply, editorial illustration is imagery created through illustration to describe a piece of written information in a more easily understandable format, in a piece of artwork. The illustration in a way links the thought process of the editor and the reader, it allows the editor to show accuratley what they want to portray, visually. Meaning that the meaning of the piece is there for the reader and it cannot as easily be misconstrued. 
 
Editorial illustrtaion can work across many formats for instance, it can be a physical piece of art or it can be in a digital format strictly - which can include even animated artwork most often in the form of a GIF file, which is a short looped animation image. 
 
The most poignant meaning of editorial illustration however, is it's ability to take the text/document/article to the 'next-level'. The article, by including imagery, connects much more with theaudience and automatically, becomes much more appealing to readers, as the images are a vocal point. and they are an instant representation of information as opposed to paragraphs upon paragraphs of words.
 
Popular editorial illustrators include; Eric Fraser, Aude Van Rhyn and Ralph Steadman.
 
 
 
Bibliography
[1]MALE, A. (2007). Illustration: a theoretical and contextual perspective. Lausanne, AVA Academia.
[2]BACKEMAYER, S.(1998) Eric Fraser Designer & Illustrator (Lund Humphries Publishers, Russell Gardens, London)
[3]DAVIS, A. (1974 & 1985) The Graphic Works of Eric Fraser by Alec Davis (The Uffculme Press, Dalvey House, Great Malvern)
[4]PULLIN, T. For the Guardian (article posted, Sep 4,2015) 
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/sep/04/if-i-dont-see-it-why-clean-it-oliver-burkeman
[5] FRASER, E. (1956) 'The Talisman'. Chris Beetle's Gallery.
[6] FRASER, E. (1976) 'Smaug' (original illustration taken from 'The Hobbit' published 1976)
[7] SEMYKINA,V. 2014 'Divorcing with Children' for DM Magazine available at: http://www.wolphins.com/illustrators/victoria-semykina
Eric Fraser
 
"…there was never a time when he did not have an uncanny gift for going to the heart of a script and epitomising the whole weight of it in a single drawing. This is essentially an intellectual gift; he draws what he thinks and feels and seems incapable of irrelevance." [2] Born in Westminster, in the heart of London, 1902. Fraser's background was not an artistic one. His father worked in law and his mother as a teacher. However, his artistic abilities were early recognised, as In 1916, and whilst still a pupil at Westminster City School, he regularly attended evening sessions at the Westminster School of Art. At just the age of 14, Fraser attended regular life drawing classes and left tutors astonished with his natural abilities. Interestingly though However, the subject of the drawings  (a nude woman) Fraser's mother did not take kindly to once discovering, and she removed him from the evening classes.  
 
One of Fraser's mst significant clients was the magazine the Radio Times, but he also worked for many other popular titles such as; Vogue, Lilliput, Pall Mall, Nash's Magazine.  Harper's Bazaar also provided alot of work for Fraser with fashion based illustration work mainly from 1929 to 1937 - after these dates the photograph technology advanced greatly and they began to take place. Many have their views on which style is superior but in the favour of Fraser, an illustrator, he has the ability to draw outside of the confines and manipulate images in to the shapes he wanted to create, the human body as such could be altered and so he faced far less  restrtictions in creating desired effects. This popular debate between the photograph and illustration was sparked and Fraser gave his opinion: "Harper's Bazaar in the thirties—full of magnificent women 10 feet tall, aesthetically unreal, but beautifully created by artists who were also designers—the great era of release from Edwardian Art Nouveau—the new art phœnixed from the ashes of the late war. These women could not be produced through a lens, only we artists could evolve such creatures.
'Do not fear, the camera will never take the place of the artist,' said the Art Editor, Alan McPeake—forty years on—the artist will never take the place of the camera, I fear."[3]
 
Fraser used many of his previous experience gained from these employments and the lessons they had taught him to move into teaching which he did for roughly around 12 years around teh London area, his subjects included Fashion Illustration and Book illustration.
 
However, such was the era as a male, Fraser was called up in World War II, where he worked as a Civil Defence Warden - which as demanding as it was, lead him to quit teaching.
 
"One day, exhausted, I went to sleep in the staff room and woke up to find an air raid on, with everyone else in the basement. I gave up teaching after that." [2]
 
The emotional effects of the war, changed the nature of his work and it became much more serious, he worked alot more in book illustrtaion and specialised in creating pieces symbolic of the 'feel' or emotions created in the text.  the Folio edition of The Lord of the Rings as an example was one of which he deployed these techniques.
 
He died in 1983. 
 
 
 
Techniques
 
 
 

Using human elements: figures, profiles, hands, eyes
Using black and white and using tonal effects for grey tones and texture
Using silhouette and abstract, simplified styles
Using surrealist elements such as perspective lines
Constructing humanoid figures from objects
 
Technique 1: Lightness and humour
 
To study this first methodology, I looked at a weekly magazine article, this particular one named,  " If I don't see it, do I need to clean it" by Oliver Burkeman. The article was about how men and women have different views on tidiness. 
My task was to create an edtorial Illustration for the piece, which like the piece itself, had to be lighthearted and include some humour. The piece had an illustration already, therefore i tried to mimick some of the techniques i believe it deployed successfully to create a lighthearted and humouros effect. 
[4]
 
This is the image the article used, it depicts a pair of fogged glasses with 'clean me' scrawled on them, similar to what people do to dirty car windows, this irony is what brings the lighthearted humour. It is humour that can be lightly appreciated by any audience and is simple to understand and links to the piece. The image itself is also very soft, in style in that it contains no dark colours or even outlines, i believe this helps create a lighthearted, relaxed atmosphere.
For my own reply to the illustration i tried to use some of the techniques in the original to help create a similar feel. my piece is supposed to be based on the title "If I don't see it, Do I need to clean it?" And so depicts a fat man, who cant see his dirty shoes past his belly - something which I think all audiences would understand and find reasonably humorous. My only concern is that it may offend the overweight audience although it is supposed to be in light jest. I also out of personal choice tried to mimic the stylistic qualities of the original, I didn't include any harsh dark colours and I tried to use all passive and calming colours, whilst still maintaining some contrast to make the image interesting. I created it in photoshop using the paintbrush tool, I sampled colours from some of Pullin's other works in previous articles for colours. I then used a translucent textured brush over the top of the image to try and replicate the texture he achieves in his images.
Technique 2: Silhouettes and abstract 
 
In editorial illustartion silhouettes and abstract images can be very powerful and symbolic through very little complexity. They also can adhere to modern graphic design very well through their simplicity. I created a piece using this methodology by making the foreground of my image a window and the background a plain white. Through the window i put a sky, symbolising freedom. Around the window the white represents sparse emptiness and again, freedom. I've seen similar techniques used a lot, so it's definitley not my most original idea, but I feel it portrays the message okay. 
[7]
Methodology 3: Using pattern to create a midtone
 
Back on to Eric Fraser, one of the most poignant techniques in his work is his application of black and white patterning to create tone. He dosen't actually use any other colour (in these studies) than black and white, thus any depth created in his work is made using patterns and manipulating the contrast of the black and the white, he achieves this through: linework - differing space between lines to create illusion of a grey tone, using crosshatching to also create illusions of grey but also add texture to certain areas, using straight contrast to symbolise direct light, such as the sheen on a shining suit of armor.
[5]
[6]
I made this reply, trying to replicate similar techniques, in hindisght i should've been a bit more intricate and added greater descriptive lines but I'm content  with the boldness of the image.
Methodology 4: conceptualising the abstract and sensitive
 
For my final technique i created an abstract image with the aim to portray a message effectively. For this I used the technique of replacing a human head with a symbol.  I added text so the piece was easier to understand however I think if used editorially, in a piece of text it may be understandable. But I think it falls down slightly in this regard as maybe it dosen't show the message strongly enough. I had other concepts such as a fallen man and a spilt bottle which would perhaps have been more dramatic and understandable, but overall im not too displeased with how this one turned out. I used photoshop painting and  mixture of sample image shapes to create it.
[8]
Goodman's piece identifies qualities she expects from a love interest, using typography, replacing the face - symbolic of qualities over looks. 
It's suppose to portray the effect of heavy alcohol consumption on your life.
It's also probably worth noting I attempted to create a GIF file. However, the animation was far too large to be condesed in to one file... I definitely need to try and improve with my technical skills in this regard...