In this continuing series, Utne Reader Art Director Stephanie Glaros explains the process behind an Utne Reader illustration.
One of the things I enjoy about art directing for Utne Reader is that many of the articles we print are about ideas, rather than concrete things. It’s a challenge that allows me to stretch my brain a bit and come up with visual solutions that are less literal and more conceptual. A good example of this is “No Talking in Class,” an article about how some college campuses are censoring speech critical of Islam for fear they might become targets of terrorism. I wanted an artist whose work is smart and somewhat abstract, and Anthony Russo definitely fits the bill. He provided me with a number of potential directions (my favorite four are below), but ultimately we went with the version above.
Since its inception in 1984, Utne Reader has relied on talented artists to create original images for stories that express powerful emotions, brilliant new ideas, and humorous storytelling. Browsing through back issues of Utne Reader is like a tour of “Who’s Who” in the illustration world. Artists like Gary Baseman, Brad Holland, Anita Kunz, Bill Plympton, and Seymour Chwast have graced our pages over the years, to name just a few.