This is my last year on the Standard as I am a senior now, and as I look back on my artistic contributions to the publication, I realize now just how much I’ve grown, and how much I’ve learned from them. Through creating illustrations for the newspaper, I’ve learned how to better catch readers’ attention, how to communicate ideas visually, and how to connect my illustration to the article and headline. I’ve truly learned the ways in which illustrations can be journalistic tools, rather than decorations to go beside an article. 

In my illustration for “Alumni reflect on how school abroad changed them” from our November 2021 issue, I feel that I creatively demonstrated the core concept of the article. In the article, the alums from our school who were interviewed for a Seventeen article back when they were in high school reflect back on the way our school affected their lives. So, in my illustration, I drew the Seventeen article and the Standard issue, to show how the sources in the Standard article were “looking back” at the Seventeen article. The black and white magazines between the magazine and newspaper signify the time that has passed between each article. This was definitely a tricky cartoon to execute, as the subject matter was hard to encapsulate in an illustration, and it was also a center-spread article, so the image had to be quite striking and large. However, I feel that creating this illustration taught me how to creatively and visually portray complicated subject-matter in a visually appealing way. 

While making my illustration for “Art industry perpetuates injustice” from our December 2021 issue, I had a lot of fun. The idea for this illustration came to mind pretty quickly, and I was really excited to execute it. I knew firstly that my illustration would have to obviously be about art, as that was the key subject-matter of the article. I then would have to somehow portray racial discrimination in the art world through that illustration. Since the article talks about how art by white men is seen as better, and more sophisticated than art by people of colour, I decided to have a painting by a white man literally look down at art by people of colour. Thus, I drew one of Van Gogh’s self portraits mocking art by artists of color. 

My illustration for “Gender identity acceptance facilitates self-expression” from our February 2022 issue was especially difficult for me. As the subject matter of the article was very delicate, and I didn’t want to inadvertently hurt anyone through my illustration, it took a while for me to figure out how to portray being a transgender student through my art. After looking for some inspiration online, I settled on the idea of having a person look in the mirror and see themselves as another gender. Creating this illustration really taught me a lot of patience, since  it took so long for me to settle on one idea for it, and it also really challenged me, as I had never really had to worry so much or think about how my illustration could potentially hurt or harm someone, or a community. It was definitely a good learning experience. 

For “Black athletes push forward societal progress” in our February 2022 issue, my creative process was fairly short and straight to the point. Since Muhammad Ali was mentioned in the article, and is very famous and well known, I drew a famous moment from his athletic career that would be easily recognizable for readers, in order to draw them into the article. As the article praises him, this illustration reminds readers of his strength and excellence. 

In my illustration for “Study reveals gravity of COVID-19-related discrimination” from our April 2022 issue, I wanted to visually portray the way in which Asians have been blamed and racially discriminated against for COVID-19. Having a big finger pointing at them clearly demonstrates this, and I feel that the size of the finger, and the contrasting colours that I used make the image more powerful and striking. Through this illustration, I learned how to connect an article’s subject matter to an illustration, and, similarly to the gender identity cartoon, how to visually portray a complex and delicate subject without being offensive to, or harming a community.

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