Drawing on Personal Experience

Illustration that uses direct, personal experience to inspire creative image-making.

Liu Chang: Some Moments of the Food Deliverer

Liu Chang’s digital illustrations are inspired by observing a local food deliverer as they wait, or move in and out of view. The illustration imagines what his life is like, with the monochrome background and pop of orange highlighting his isolation from the scene around him.

barista pouring coffee drink in messy chaotic cafe by illustrator andrew haener

Andrew Haener: At Your Service

‘At Your Service’ is an exploration of personal experience as the basis for graphic storytelling. Each image recalls a previous, drab job, including the relationships forged and the monotony of the gruelling work.

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Vali Mintzi: Nour’s Secret Library

Although this work was commissioned, the illustrator used their personal experiences to inspire the work; living in the Middle East, and growing up in Communist Romania, where books were a place of escape from conflict and war.

this image is about not labeling a person.

Flora Bai: 1|1

1|1 is a visual essay about a girl who has a mirror on her face, a metaphor for ‘masking’. These illustrations symbolise what it’s like to reflect back others’ needs and wants, an extreme form of people-pleasing.

Alona Millgram: Growth

Alona’s digital illustration was inspired by her pregnancy, showing a moment of inner peace and patience during the slow process of being pregnant.

Han Meng: Untitled

These soft-pastel paintings were created during a period of self-isolation during the pandemic. These paintings were used to recreate the joy of painting after long walks outdoors, with joyful colour and soft pastels adding to the sense of being free.

Brizida Magro: Never Cease to Learn

This self-promotional image was created by the artist to celebrate her joy of reading books and personal growth through learning. The image is made using a combination of analogue and digital techniques.

Sailamaa: Art of Abundance – A Graphic Novel, Four Pages

Sailamaa’s short graphic novel is about economic austerity, and the particular personal impact this had. The poignant personal stories within the project address the illustrator’s anxieties around sharing food with others following growing up in a poorer household.