editorial illustration the magazine Harper's bazaar India

Drawings for the story “Love during the time of social networks”

This is the kind of order that graphic artists cannot refuse! While enjoying my last weeks of traveling in Asia last March, I received a message on Instagram from my former client and friend Nonita Kalra. We met in Bombay for the first time 12 years ago. She was the editor of ELLE India magazine at the time, and we collaborated on articles and issues on social and fashion topics for 7 years. I developed for ELLE India a very simple and stylish style of drawing and they left me total carte blanche on the ideas and the creativity for my illustrations. I really enjoyed this artistic collaboration, and so my heart skipped a beat when I received the request from Nonita, who is now editor for Harper’s Bazaar India, the oldest but still at the forefront of magazines fashion, a true institution of international fashion. She had thought of me for a really hot topic!

editorial illustration of a man peacocking on a moto

New love practices?

Since the dawn of time, men and women have developed strategies and tactics of conquest and love parades. To Feed oneself is a need, Love too! Thus human life is subject to the dramatic or joyous dictatorship of their feelings and attractions, in their desperate search for the beloved.

With the advent of instagram and social networks, love practices have adapted: the exchanges are more virtual, and the ways to meet someone or to leave someone have been, for better or for worse, revolutionized!

Graphic and colored drawings

The editorial team of the magazine sent me a brief with a description of all the love practices that would be treated in the article and that need to be drawn.

I immersed myself in the texts of the file to try to understand and decrypt each practice. And after some rough sketches, sketches validated by the editor and the realization of illustrations in vector drawing done in my studio, this is what I’ve come up with:

Peackock: attracting attention

Like a peacock: it is the animal king of the love parade! Peackocking is showing off to attract attention.

I chose to draw a “good looking guy” with golden glasses, driving his motorcycle on the roads of seduction. At the back of him deploys beautiful peacock feathers with colorful graphics and patterns. It’s a great classic, a very old love practice, brought up to date and amplified by Instagram and his friends.

Ghost: To disappear

editorial illustration of a woman for the magazine Harper's bazaar India : ghosting

You live an exciting adventure, you are made for each other, you will spend your life together and … pouf! he or she disappears from your life! No more answers to your calls or texts … The void, the black hole … Only a ghost remains …

I chose to draw a woman sitting at a coffee terrace. On the table there are 2 glasses, but on the next chair, we see the image of a ghost instead of her ex-lover.

Stash: being with someone without sharing your life

Everything is wonderful! You are good together and start thinking about a longer, built relationship. But why doesn’t he introduce you to his best friend (s)? In fact, you are good together but he / she does not want you in his life … It will not be easy!

I chose to create a visual where we see a woman taking a selfie. But she carelessly pushes her lover so that he does not appear on her picture.

illustrator for Harper's bazaar India > "Modern love"

Orbit: the ghost that comes back to haunt you and watch you

The ghost of your ex (the Ghost evoked above), who disappeared several months ago, returns regularly to haunt you on social networks … He views your story, like some of your posts … He is no longer there but. .. He is always there. You need to turn over a new page but it surreptitiously means that he can come back from one moment to another … For this drawing I illustrated a piercing eye that’s looking at you through the lock.

illustration for Harper's bazaar India > "Modern love" catfishing

BreadCrumb: Sprinkle with emotional signs to maintain attention without the intention of it going further

When pickocking works, it gives a feeling of overpower: all those pretenders who like our photos! If they all want the same thing, they cannot all have it. It is then necessary to maintain the desire by sprinkling them here and there with little “likes” and other attentions.

I created the drawing of a woman who sprinkles sparingly her entourage with small emoticons such as smyleys.

Catfishing: pretending to be another with a photo

The first visual contacts are always based on photos on social networks. So sometimes users are easily tempted to put a picture of a few years ago (a few pounds lighter), to see a photo of a perfect illustrious but magnificent stranger! Catfishing is the art of pretending to be someone else with a photo.

To illustrate this practice, I figured a masked woman in high heels trying to catch a man with a fishing rod.


By Marc Falco for Solène Debiès