Category Archives: Extra! Extra!

Extra! Extra!: Fit for Life


Hello readers, today is another Extra! Extra! segment, whereby I illustrate articles I like on a speculative basis (as in I wasn’t commissioned) or on the odd occasion, my own editorial-esque articles. So far I’ve been playing around with speculative header/feature images, so for this one I thought it might be interesting to create some spot illustrations. For those that might be scratching their heads a bit, a spot illustration is an object or figure that stands on its own, without a background scene. They tend to be used within the article and small in size, unlike a feature/header illustration which usually is more elaborate, bigger, with background and focused on conveying the article’s concept. Anyhow, as always I hope you like; let me know what you think – now onto the article!

Today’s article featured is ‘Fit for Life’, from Winter 2015  Issue 12 of  My VIP in the UK. Note this is only an extract and to my knowledge no full online version exists. 

Why pump iron at the gym when you’ve got a ready-made exercise parnter right there? It’s time to start getting fit with your four-legged friend.

Too tired to go to the gym because you’ve already walked the dog? Too cold and wet outside for that early morning run? Fed up with your training partner cancelling at the last minute? It’s time to get fit with your dog!

A university of Missouri study in 2009 found that people who exercise with their dogs are more likely to stick to their exercise routines because taking the dog out doesn’t feel like exercise. Your pet will never let you down (whatever the weather) and when you exercise together, you’re both guaranteed a great time as well as a good work-out.
Exercising with your pooch also has other health benefits – for example, interacting with your dog raises your endorphin levels, which helps to reduce stress. Who wouldn’t prefer that to a human training partner who spends the whole time moaning about their job, or talks too much and slows you down? Your dog’s happy, can do attitude is much more likely to help quicken the pace and keep going.

Start gently

“Exercising with your dog helps you build up mutual trust, which is essential for a good relationship between pet and owner”, says Steve Goward, deputy head of training and behaviour at Dogs Trust. “Whether you’re out in the field together, or in a community situation, you look to each other for support and fun.”

Steve suggests starting slowly, gradually building up your own fitness and that of your dog, before attempting longer or harder work-outs. For example, try a brisk thirty-minute walkin the countryside, five times a week. Start at a pace that suits you both and gradually increase the seed and distance whenever you think you’re both ready. If you walk fast enough to keep your heart rate up, you’ll get an even more strenous work-out, and your dog gets plenty of time to investigate new smells and territories. But always remember to check for ticks and other parasite when you finish your walk.


Just for you guys to get a better idea of how spot illustrations are used I created a really rough layout and placed the images in. This by no means is the best way to use them, but it was fun to see what they might look like in a quick preview. So that’s all for now, till next time!



Extra! Extra!: BAME’s in the Science Industry


Hello, hello! Today is another Extra! Extra! segment, this is where I illustrate articles I like on a speculative basis (as in I wasn’t commissioned) or on the odd occasion, my own editorial-esque articles. So, first things first, I’ll admit I’m not totally happy with this image, I think I could have been a lot more dynamic in composition. Another side note is that I also posted my own version of the article title as I didn’t like the original. (BAME stands for Blacks And Minority Ethnics if you didn’t know.) Anyhow, I hope you like, as always let me know what you think – now onto the article!

Today’s article featured is ‘Black and Latina Women Scientists Sometimes Mistaken for Janitors’, from The Washington Post, originally posted on February 6th 2015. Note this is only an extract, link for the whole version can be found at the end.

In a series of famous studies designed to gauge at what age stereotypes sink into young minds, elementary school students were asked to draw a scientist. Kindergarteners’ drawings in these Draw-a-Scientist tests were all over the map. But by second grade, one standard image had firmly taken root: A scientist wore a white lab coat and glasses. And he was always a white man.

So it should perhaps come as no surprise that a new report on women of color in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, found that 100 percent of the 60 scientists interviewed reported experiencing bias and discrimination.

So much so that African-American and Latina scientists said they were routinely mistaken for janitors. “I always amuse my friends with my janitor stories,” one black woman scientist said. “But it has happened, not only at weird hours.”

More than three-fourths of the African-American women scientists surveyed – 500 in an online survey in addition to the 60 in-depth interviews – reported having to provide evidence of their competence over and over again. They tend to feel they can’t afford to make a single mistake. And more than women of any other race or ethnicity, black women were more likely to report a sense of “bleak isolation.”

Link to the online version is here.


Extra! Extra! : Is Everybody on Something?

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Hello everyone! Today I’m starting a new segment which I dub ‘Extra! Extra!’. This is where I illustrate articles I like on a speculative basis (as in I wasn’t commissioned) or on the odd occasion, my own editorial-esque articles. I will always credit/link if it is someone else’s article, but the illustrations will always be mine. So, I hope you guys like and feel free to let me know what you think!

Today’s article featured is ‘Is Everybody on Something?’, from December 2015 issue of Glamour Magazine in the UK. Note this is only an extract, link for an earlier, online version can be found at the end. 

We [Glamour Magazine] wanted to know where you stand on drugs, so we did an exclusive Glamour Survey. The results? One in three women take drugs recreationally – and are convinced they can do it safely. But is that really possible?

Back in April 2011 Rachel, a PA, woke up in an unfamiliar room. ‘Where the hell am I?’ she wondered. White walls, beeping monitor, IV needle in her wrist. ‘Hospital. But why?’ The 29 year old remembered taking ecstasy with her friend Stacey at the Coachella music festival, waiting an hour for it to kick in, then taking another. She remembered snorting MDMA (the psychoactive ingredient in ecstasy) and some cocaine. And she remembered getting to the hotel, making herself sick, and freaking out that she wasn’t coming down. Then, nothing.

Around 9 A.M., Rachel would later learn, her roommate woke to a terrifying sight: Rachel was foaming at the mouth and having a seizure. By the time Rachel opened her eyes in the hospital, three days had passed. “I’d been in a coma,” she says. “The doctor said I was lucky I didn’t die, which obviously was incredibly scary, but it was also confusing. Yes, I partied. But I didn’t feel like I’d gone on some crazy binge.”

But two doses of ecstasy, MDMA, and coke is a binge, experts say. “Mixing drugs increases your risk of things like panic, overheating and heart problems,” says Dr Adam Winstock, consultant psychiatrist and founder of Global Drugs Survey. “Data from the survey indicates that, last year, about 100 users of drugs such as MDMA had emergency medical treatment. You don’t have to be dependent on a drug to have problems. You can have pretty negative consequences if you use sporadically.”

While Rachel is more cautious now, she still smokes weed and has taken ecstasy, mushrooms and ketamine since then. “I’m tame compared to most people my age—I don’t even drink,” she says. “I’m more responsible; I take a very small amount.”

“Responsible” drug use? Is there such a thing? Many young women believe so: In an exclusive Glamour survey of 1,024 women, that idea came up time and again. 32% of women in our poll say they’ve used street drugs (like pot, ecstasy, and cocaine) or prescription drugs (like Adderall and OxyContin) recreationally. And a quarter of all women believe using drugs is OK, as long as you’re not hurting anyone or developing an addiction.

The picture that emerged is of user who approaches her habit in the same shame-free, matter-of-fact manner she might approach her diet or exercise routine. Women said they Google safety information, have rules about what they’ll consume, and “buy locally” from friends. “This is a huge cultural shift that no one is talking about,” says Dr Joseph Lee, from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in the US, which runs addiction treatment centres nationwide. “There’s a big pool of women who are educated and have their lives together—and subscribe to the philosophy of better living through chemistry. We’re blind to this group who may not be addicts but who are at risk nonetheless.”

So what are the risks? Why are women ignoring them? We went in search of answers.

Link to the online version is here.

The illustrations that never made it: 

Thought it might be fun to show some of the initial ideas that didn’t make it. The first is a line of women waiting to get into a nightclub, one in three of them was going to be coloured differently, signifying the ‘one in three women take drugs recreationally’ statistic. However I felt the main message of the article wasn’t been shown in there. The second one was a large disco scene, with maybe the disco beams falling on the women, however, again I felt the main message of the article wasn’t being shown and focused to much on the partying aspect.

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