In editorial world, conceptional artwork seems to be the most valued piece of art. From tech magazines, to lifestyle ones, everyone is eager to get to know talented conceptual artists, as their artwork is able to tell a story or showcase context. Healthcare, financial or technology articles literary can’t breathe without it.

But how are such artworks being made? We had a quick chat about all conceptual with Katinka Reinke.

Hello Katinka, you are one of the rare species, which are most wanted by editorial clients, a conceptual illustrator.  Maybe not every reader understand what it is, can you maybe give us a glance to your thinking, how do you define conceptual illustration?

Conceptual illustration can make the core of a complex topic visible and emotionally accessible. It uses symbols and waives any decorative elements, so that every element in the picture has a function.

Katinka’s approach to education: you can see long steps, schoolbag and fragile girl. Which is exactly all you need to get the point.

Sort of like creating design  – combining function with visual. Are you using any design thinking techniques? What is your process of creating concept based illustration?

First I try to filter topic’s core and write down related keywords. Then I use Google’s image search to find out what kind of symbols and stereotypes already exist. Then the creative part begins.

I draw the symbols together and put them into a new context, creating several drafts from which I then pick the ones with the clearest message, the ones that best capture the topic’s core.
With this preselection and together with the Art Director I then decide which image idea will be used for the final illustration.

Wau! that’s one impressive technique. Katinka, we wish you only the best ArtDirectors!

I’m fascinated by polarities and want to create breaks in my illustrations and surprise the viewer with contrasts. It is very important to me to avoid stereotypes and to work hard to make our diverse society more visible.
See Katinka’s full portfolio