Before I sit down at my desk to do any kind of work in the morning, I drink a hot cup of matcha and do some kind of physical activity like stretching, jump roping, or going for a quick walk. I find that when I skip this step, I feel more easily distracted, less focused, and stiffer at the end of the day. I’m not perfectly consistent, but I’m a big advocate of putting the pencil down regularly and tending to one's physical and mental health.
If I’m working on an editorial project, I'll grab my tablet or a stack of sticky notes and write down some ideas I may have based on the title alone and then I read through the brief several times, looking for key words or paragraphs as “hooks” for the image. If the brief is on a complex topic or about a person, I’ll do supplemental research, looking up other articles and/or biographies to get a deeper sense of the subject. I do more writing than drawing in this initial stage, creating some mind maps or sentences of concepts I’d want to explore further, as ideas come rapidly and sometimes it’s faster to briefly describe in words what I’m thinking before doing a few squiggly thumbnails. The goal is to just get the ideas out as quickly as possible to sift through later.
The third one is more simple and straightforward. I was thinking about how the point of storytelling is about connection and how a good story can captivate us, so in the middle of an enthralled crowd is a person energetically sharing a story.
|"Moth" from "How to Tell a Story - From a Wedding Toast to a Job Interview."|
Life Kit on NPR.
Kristen Uroda is an artist best known for her vibrant, joyful illustrations. Often softly formed yet boldly colored, her work aims to express beauty in the ordinary moments, celebrate the poetry within diverse faces and figures, and tell stories that inspire reflection and social and civic change. While her career started in editorial illustration, she has most recently moved into narrative illustration with her first picture book coming in 2023. She also works as a design researcher at Civilla, a Detroit-based studio dedicated to changing the way public-serving institutions work using human-centered design thinking and design research.