Design agency blog narrative illustration.
Creative Role: Lead Illustrator
Thesis is a design agency in Portland, Oregon invested in DEI. As a Brand Lead at Thesis, I lead several blog highlights, including our Women’s Empowerment article.
Collaborating with other talented women in the company, I created supporting illustrations and introduced the team to my content-oriented methods of planning, collaborating, and reviewing.
My first step to illustrate is reading the content & making an outline for myself of the illustrations needed. After that outline is done, I move to actual drawing: I use procreate to make rough but representational sketches. I then create a deck with the outline and sketches for a team review of how it is all working with together to support the article narrative.
When illustrating for editorial, especially for longer pieces, I break down the content of the article into where I think illustrations can be most effective. I number them, add a snippet from the writing that drives the concept of the illustration, and start drawing. This way of working supports easy check-ins with teammates to ensure everything is resonating and prioritized accordingly.
The outline and notes function as a review document, but also a roadmap for me. Once the sketches and deck are together, I share with the team, feedback is vetted, then changed are folded into the next steps: final line and final color.
After the illustrating is complete, I update my deck to plug in social moments expected + the artwork I plan to ‘hero’ on each social channel. I find this helpful to track what social channels we’re posting on and ensure alignment with copy + all creative stakeholders who need a big picture view.
Through collaboration, we created an article that is easy to engage with, looks great, and showcases the story we set out to tell. Not all people work with illustrators often, and every illustrator is a bit different. Over time I’ve developed these project management structures to support all types of collaborators.