Artist’s statement: Ethical products illustration

In this picture I was trying to enhance the environmental and learning aspect of an article about sustainable products.

In this picture I was trying to enhance the environmental and learning aspect of the of, “Conscious Products”. An article that promotes “Body Shop” and their continuous effort to produce sustainable products. I attempted to try to illustrate a person who is actively trying to educate herself on how products are made and the ramifications of purchasing them. This why I included plenty of plants and books to signify her research. I also drew her in a way that suggest, she’s trying to compare two products. However, I didn’t want this to look overbearing and make the viewers feel guilty for owning products that may not be ethical. So, dressed the character in comfortable clothing and added a rainy backdrop on the windows to create a comfortable atmosphere.

conscious products the body shop illustration

Looking back at my finished work, I see more areas I could have improved on if I were to continue revising this work. For example I think that adding an open book can further emphasize her effort of researching about this topic. I also noticed that the colour of the containers that she was comparing were the same and this might suggest that she’s looking at the same product. I suppose, in this case the viewers might interpret this as the character looking at ethical products. However, in the future I might not be as fortunate, so I will be more careful next time and be wary of what connotations my illustrations may convey to the audience.

One of the things that I struggled with is incorporating my online persona: “bittermelon” into my illustration. If it’s possible, I want our audience to be able to distinguish my art pieces from other illustrations not just by style but the type of message and emotion my art pieces convey. Perhaps, this goal might be too ambitious to some but I wanted to try to achieve something more with my illustrations. For example, helping to eliminate the prejudice about art being seen as insignificant compared to academic content or topics.

One of the biggest mistakes that I made was, drawing something that represented “bittermelon” but it did not enhance any of the features of the article. Instead it looked like belonged to a different universe. In the end, it took 6 revisions in order to make an illustration that corresponded to the article. Even though, this process subjected me into what seemed like a never-ending cycle of drawing, consuming too much tea, re-evaluating my life choices and scraping the progress that I’ve made, I felt accomplished in the end. Coming out of this project, I feel that I now have a good grasp on creating a good illustration and it’s made me reconsider some of the choices I make while creating art, such as the atmosphere and the purpose of certain details instead of solely focusing on the aesthetics. I’m still lacking in a lot of areas but hopefully I will be able to produce better content as I continue to practice illustration.

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