Reportage illustration is using drawing as a tool for visual journalism. It is the visual recording of an ongoing or contained situation, event or view of the human condition, often across a series of images, illuminating what is being depicted. The artists/illustrators act as witnesses to the extraordinary and the mundane, documenting aspects of contemporary life and culture, revealing aspects of, or offering a new perspective on familiar worlds or those which have previously been alien to the viewer (Brazel and Davies, 2014).
The illustrator acts as a journalist to document the unfolding events through their artwork. Contrary to that of a photographer or filmmaker, the event is documented through hand drawn imagery, allowing the artists’ thoughts to be directly translated to the surface of the picture without an intermediary medium (e.g a camera). This allows for a more personal or sensitive exploration of the subject that words alone cannot match. It is most commonly used in courtrooms, social events such as concerts and demonstrations, news reports and investigations or documentaries including wars and conflicts.