“Why I bought my daughter heroin” for BBC magazine

by emmaillustrates

Some editorial illustrations for the BBC, illustrating a sad and amazing story of a family struggling to help their daughter cope with a drug addiction. You can read it here.

I made one lead illustration:

And six smaller illustrations to be spread throughout the story:

  

 

The initial brief for the main image was to illustrate the scene when the mother, in desperation, drives her daughter to buy drugs, but the focus changed slightly and it became the daughter suffering in withdrawal and the mother trying to soothe her. It made for a more simple image. It also needed to be clear enough to be easily understood when reduced down as a promotion on the main BBC News page. I wanted to make the best use of the “widescreen” landscape canvas, so standing figures or figures seated upright on a chair or bed wouldn’t work. The most effective option seemed to be for them to be seated on the ground. I made a pieta-like composition to both utilise the width of the layout and because the reflection of mother grieving over a child that it carries fitted well.

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