(C) Katia Engell
One of the things I love most about illustration is that, in order to create a piece that is not only accurate but meaningful and understandable too, you need to research the topic about which you are illustrating. Whether that means a shit ton of reference photos for your subject matter, or actual reading on certain topics and themes, I love love love how much random knowledge I accumulate through my projects.
Currently I have an assignment to illustrate with The Chaos Theory in mind. Reading about it has been really cool; it's a mathematical theory that compliments the idea that there are things so far out of our control, a certain level of interconnectivity that our brains can't yet understand fully, it's a mixture of logical thinking but acknowledging at the same time that there is a strong element of 'randomness' in life.
There's so much of it that applies to life. How every single tiny decision we make can affect us so so much down the road, in such a way that we won't even be aware of it later. How random occurences are entirely out of our control and can fuck up even the most carefully plotted plan. How the only way to be ready for the unpredictable is to be prepared to embrace what comes our way in life, one way or another.