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I started off this semester only knowing that I would be drawing. To me, that’s all that mattered.


Through the first half of the semester, I can divide my drawings into four groups: Objects, Spaces, People, and People in Space. The Objects are made up of the drawings where I picked exactly what I wanted to draw.


They didn’t interact with the edge of the page, and were done because I didn’t want to challenge myself in either material or subject matter. At first, I didn’t see them as successful, but as I made this book, I realized that they can be useful when used as smaller, supplementary drawings, like on this spread.


Spaces is made up of drawings of areas where the structures and large objects define the space. These drawings derailed my detailed-oriented drawing style, and I was forced to pick what I wanted to draw, not based on what was easy, but on what truly was vital to understanding where I was and what it felt like.


People consists of the drawings where people are the focus. It is their bodies, clothing, and features that are the majority of the mass of the drawings. They are what defines the space and what defines the experience.

While this wasn’t as challenging as drawing the spaces, it did push me in different ways, and was the beginning of my use of ballpoint pen.


My final group, the people in space, is made up of drawings where the space is created with both structures and people. I created a series of well designed, semi-finished drawings that illustrated a space and experience. I had the most fun creating these illustrations, and ultimately that’s what matters most.

Moving forward, I want to continue to push myself in subject matter, medium, and sense of design.


Firstly, I want to draw things that I’m not comfortable with, like landscapes, while also trying to go through the same decision making process that I did with the people in space group. I will also experiment with new mediums, especially ones that I won’t be able to control as well as pen or pencil, like paint and cut paper. Most importantly, I want to think about how to design my illustrations.

I want be mentally locked in when I’m drawing, asking myself questions like “Is this really so important that I need to draw it? How can I distort this a little so as to convey the message or experience I want?”


I started off this semester only knowing that I would be drawing. To me, that’s all that mattered.


But to be an effective illustrator, I can’t just be drawing. I also have to design.


This zine was designed by Michael Avery for Douglas Dowd’s Visual Journalism class in the Spring Semester of 2018 at Washington University in St Louis. Univers, by Adrian Frutiger, is the font used.

Profile for Michael Avery

All That Mattered  

Created after the first half of my Visual Journalism class, this zine examines my progress through the semester. The classes focus was onsit...

All That Mattered  

Created after the first half of my Visual Journalism class, this zine examines my progress through the semester. The classes focus was onsit...

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