4.1 World Affairs: Brexit Beets

I have not redone this project since sending to my tutor. In general I had far too many ideas and found it difficult to settle and focus. Another challenge is that political events and issues come and go so quickly – as soon as I have an idea it is already old.


Working with a contemporary news event, create an illustration that comments on it from a satirical perspective. Think about how you structure this image. What information do you need to give the viewer in order for them to understand the context in which this image should be read? In other words, how do you connect your image to your chosen event? Think about how you use symbolism and metaphor in the image.

Use caricature to help you identify who’s in your illustration. You may want to use collage to do this or work with your drawing

Test out your illustrations on somebody else. Did they understand what you were trying to do? You may want to modify your approach if they’re
struggling to connect with your work, or consider adding in a caption or dialogue through speech bubbles. This might help provide more context to
your work and refer to specific comments or quotations.

Other caricaturists

You might want to take a lead from William Hogarth, James Gillray or George Cruikshank on this, either by using well-established metaphors or making the connection between the contemporary and historical moment. If you decide to do this, don’t forget to cite them.

Original Plan

My original plan was to use the UN appointment of WonderWoman as UN Ambassador for women – something that was very much in the news when I started work for this project.


  • Bare breasted Ethiopian woman with child on her back and doing lots of chores has Wonderwoman flying in to help. Husband looking on and ogling.
  • Wonderwoman standing in front of a very large powerful Africa woman trader.
  • Wonderwoman flying into a muslim household where the girl is telling her father she wants to be an army general (as in the AlJazeera Afghanistan story)
  • UN men choosing Wonderwoman from a lineup


Cartoon ad promotion

UN presentation on appointment and women’s human rights


BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-37734623

UN News Centre: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=55367#.WAyU0MNri9J

But by the time I got to completing the project after a period travelling, the issue had already been resolved.

More recent idea: Brexit Beets

By then Brexit was in the news. Cambridge had voted overwhelmingly to remain. But I had been travelling through Norfolk and Suffolk who had voted heavily to leave, and there were posters everywhere. That was despite the heavy dependence of the whole economy on seasonal migrant labour from Eastern Europe – jobs no local people could either afford or want to do.

I got the idea of doing a vegetable-based cartoon – something like the simplified style of David Shriggley. For my Book Design course I had experimented with printing with beetroot and liked the different random expressions and shapes. Also just the shapes the sliced beetroot make on the paper – and the possibilities of broccoli and other vegetable trees – like the children’s programme ‘Rosie and Jim’ we used to watch again and again when my children were small – a sort of infantile knee-jerk response to foreigners. Obviously for a ‘Remain’ readership.

First attempts

I tried two versions in flat colour. But these need a lot more thinking through in terms of colours, text and typography.

And now the whole debate has moved on again…. These responses need to be very quick all the time.