• vibhu

the illustrations of john w. tomac

Updated: Nov 5, 2019

(the above illustration is by john w. tomac, not me.)

today i discovered a really cool illustrator by the name of john w. tomac. formerly an art director and designer, he now does illustrations for news publications like the la times, washington post, and wall street journal. you can view his work here:

all of his illustrations have fantastic composition and color usage, but what really draws me into his work is how he creatively addresses the problems he engages with in his illustrations. in the above image, he addresses the lack of mental wellness for content moderators, who have to deal with disturbing and upsetting content like graphic images, messages, and other disturbing documentation. specifically, he focuses on the lack of empathy for moderators who are psychologically destroyed by what they see. his color usage and literal implementation of being "burnt out" by work gets this theme across effectively.

the fact that he deals with this topic is so important; i myself had never considered the damage that disturbing online content can do to those who manage it. i believe the job of any designer or artist is to expose both problems and solutions that go unseen, and Tomac does this fantastically. i hope to be this kind of illustrator both now and in the future.

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