Second year Illustration recently finished an intense 4 week project – Synopsis. This project was a crash course into the world of Editorial Illustration and pushed the students to really question how they communicate ideas visually aka Illustration. This was done through a variety of briefs, of varying length to keep the students on their toes. (from 4 weeks to 1 week to 1 day to 2 hours) Not only did the students keep up, they produced a whole load of exciting work and successful work.

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Above is a selection of outcomes from a 1 day editorial workshop. Articles included a review of the Oliver Sacks book: Hallucinations and a piece about Empathy.


As well as workshops the students were presented with a variety of presentations including one about Roughs.


Here Nick White talked through his work with regards to creating thumbnails and sketches and working in collaboration with Art Directors. He also showed examples from a variety of other Illustrators who had kindly donated sketches from a variety of editorial projects and a few words of wisdom, like the below from Illustrator Ben Newman.

“Thumbnail roughs are an amazing way to understand your illustrations/images composition quickly. It means you can make big decisions and mistakes in a tiny drawing.”

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Ben Newman’s Thumbnails.

These previously unseen images and top tips were a great insight into the world of a working freelance illustrator today.


One of the last editorial briefs saw the students working quickly to create both a full  page and spot Illustration in black and white in 2 hours.


This included coming up with at least 3 roughs to be approved by tutors / art directors Nick and Sarah.

As you can see for yourself the students hunkered down and worked quickly and quietly to produce some great results.


Alongside the shorter workshops and briefs, the students had to complete a longer 4 week project, which saw them create visual directions for a variety of …….. This included How to Juggle , How to bake a loaf of bread and How to dance the Charleston amongst others.




This project had the students considering how they could successfully communicate complex ideas and directions, without the use of text and question what the most appropriate format these instructions should take.



Overall it was a hugely successful project. The second years are now onto their self directed briefs.