January 2021 | All about Composition

If it’s not apparent by the title but one of my first editorial art pieces was all around online dating. As my 2021 goal, I decided to take some time to upskill my art & design skills by enrolling into OCAD University’s Illustration Essentials course. As part of my first assignment, I was required to make art that communicates something - the visual representation of information.  Our first assignment was all about composition, exploring the energy of our drawings, the characteristics of our lines and taking a look at the four Cs (Calligraphy, Composition, Clarity  & Consistency) and how they can reinforce each other. 

I started off searching for articles that can translate well into visuals. I decided to leverage an article that highlighted my brother’s company, Tinder Photography Toronto. Click here to have a quick read!

The article was all about the challenges of online dating and how if your headshot or selfie isn’t great, people would automatically swipe left and you wouldn’t even get a chance to meet them. Tinder Photography Toronto is a company that offers professional photography services to individuals to showcase their personality, smile and bring their truest character in them.


“With the right image, a special someone will be swiping right instead of left”

Concept Phase: 

Now that I finalized the article, I decided to brainstorm ideas using my sketchbook and the ProCreate app on my iPad. I had gone through some online magazines/google images and pulled some brief samples of individuals taking photographs of each other, swiping left/right on Tinder or taking their own selfies. 

Thumbnail Sketch Phase: 

Using my samples, I created 10 very different thumbnails - this was my first time doing anything like this. Usually, when I start working on any of my previous art pieces, I tend to already have that idea in my head. However, this was an interesting and a necessary exercise because I realized how my ideas got more creative and sharper after every thumbnail.

Sketch Phase: 

In order to get to my final concepts and sketches - I created a Google Form that included all 10 thumbnails and shared the link around with my family, friends & colleagues. My aim was to get about 20 submissions but ended up getting a total of 52 submissions! After reviewing the survey data (my inner HR Analytics came out in this phase), I noticed more than 50% of submissions indicated that Thumbnail #10 translated very well with the article, followed by 16% indicating that Thumbnail #6 was their second favourite. I also got qualitative feedback that helped drive more ideas. 

I slowly started working on 2 of the top thumbnails by enlarging it to match my final piece size. I tightened my composition, by really looking at how I’d like to highlight certain pieces of this illustration. Personally, I love drawing architecture and wanted to embed the Toronto skyline into my final image along with adding colour to the key elements.

Revised sketch and/or Colour Comp:

I knew from the start that I didn’t want my final piece to be black and white and imagined creating a hybrid illustration. I decided to keep the backdrop (skyline) as black and white and add colour to the characters and the building. 

…. And voila!