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Why Editorial Art Is A Lot Like Marketing Art

October 2, 2019

I completed an editorial assignment last week, and it sparked the idea for today’s blog post.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Synopsis: It’s 1998. A California woman, a college senior, is working as an intern at the San Diego Union-Tribune. She spots a flyer in the lobby: REPORTERS NEEDED IN FORMER USSR. She decides to embark on a great adventure.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

I was a California native who had spent the last four years in sunny, self-absorbed Southern California. I was tall and athletic with a perpetual smile. I rode my bike or rollerblades everywhere, worked as a waitress at a bakery restaurant, and went for runs on the beach.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I lived on a street with a Spanish name that translated to “quiet road” and survived on frozen yogurt and bagels. The former USSR was about as far from Camino Tranquillo as it gets.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

young woman bundled up in winter clothes running from sunny California to cold Baltic Chernobyl nuclear power plant spewing atomic fallout in Ukraine

blank vertical space, 16 pixels highSome personal history:blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I started out doing magazine illustration. As magazines declined, I shifted over to marketing and advertising art. But I still do editorial work, and I do book illustration as well.

blank vertical space, 16 pixels highOne bit of advice I heard over and over again: pick a niche,
be a specialist– don’t try to market yourself as someone who does several different things.

blank vertical space, 16 pixels highI took that advice to heart for a long time. I told people: I create art for marketing and social media campaigns. That’s it. Period.

blank vertical space, 16 pixels highI thought it best not to mention editorial or book illustration. That was part of a previous life. Talking about it would hurt my credibility.

blank vertical space, 16 pixels highLately I’ve had second thoughts. Editorial art and marketing art have much in common. Consider the following:blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

▶︎ Both have the same goal: to get people’s attention, and get them to read the story.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

▶︎ Both are created for a particular target audience. (By contrast, stock art is generic.)blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

▶︎ In both cases, the art is created specifically for the story.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

▶︎ Editorial and marketing art both prioritize getting noticed, which means being different.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

▶︎ Both help you find new ways to tell your story, which is essential to growing your audience.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

▶︎ Both reflect on you and your brand. You cannot deliver a great user experience by tacking on generic art.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

▶︎ Getting noticed means taking risks, which means the art has to stand out. True for both editorial and marketing art.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

▶︎ Both kinds require rough sketches and revisions– because some ideas are better than others.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

▶︎ Both kinds of art can act as a talk trigger, creating word of mouth.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

▶︎ Both kinds of art need to inform the copy, and help communicate it to the reader.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

▶︎ Both need to create what marketing expert Andrew Davis calls a curiosity gap, and make the reader want to know more.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

▶︎ Both seek to inspire loyalty; to make your brand or publication a lifestyle choice.

blank vertical space, 24 pixels highEditorial art and marketing art: they both need to grab attention and make an emotional connection.

blank vertical space, 24 pixels highHere’s another illustration from that same assignment. You can read the full post here: Rumpus Exclusive: Journalists Invade Former Soviet Union.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

My unfamiliarity with cold climates, the former USSR, and professional jobs made packing rather challenging. I relied on the LL Bean catalogue for my coat, hat, gloves, and scarf. I figured a Maine company probably knew something about winter…blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Wags was a more reasonable, but just as necessary, purchase. A stuffed toy dog, Wags, I decided would be perfect to crush in my arms when I was scared and lonely and far from everyone and everything I knew. He cost twenty dollars, name included.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

rusty hammer sickle sign of obsolete Soviet Union roller blades fedora hat with Press card stuffed toy dogblank vertical space, 16 pixels high

*       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       * blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

About Mark: I’m an illustrator specializing in humor, editorial, branding, social media, and content marketing.
My images are different, like your brand needs to be.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

You can view my portfolio, and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Questions? Send me an email.blank vertical space, 40 pixels highRecommendation testimonial for Mark Armstrong Illustration from Daniel Tideman, Creative Director, 3amCreative LLC

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