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Getting sketchy: Creating our July/August cover illustration

Our July/August health care issue features a cover illustration by yours truly.


I typically start with rough sketches and thumbnails to work through ideas quickly and find the best direction for a piece. In this case we wanted to show Dave Sanders, the CEO of Zoom+, challenging traditional health care models. With assistance from photographer Jason Kaplan, I explored the idea of having Sanders as a modern superhero battling the multi-headed hydra of the health industry.

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While exciting, the concept made Zoom+ appear a bit too powerful and the health care industry a bit too monstrous. So after much back and forth amongst the editorial team, we settled on a less alarming but still powerful image: Sanders leaping over a cluster of merging health care institutions. (Our second health care feature is about hospital and insurance M&A activity).

In Sanders' hand is the mobile application that is the access portal to Zoom+ services. 

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After gathering the proper images to use as a reference, I moved into the penciling phase. I then inked in the sketches, scanned to digital, cleaned them up and colored them in. At this stage, the drawing can be fine-tuned as necessary. For instance, I wasn't keen on the original reference image of Dave Sanders’ face (it was out of date),  so I corrected with a more recent photo.

Voila: a drawing that captures the optimism of the "disruptor" against the backdrop of legacy institutions that are themselves restructuring in a fast changing industry environment.

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