Meet the illustrator who transformed ELLE’s 250th issue cover into a comic book

“My approach to art varies from project to project — it is usually very detailed, methodical, sometimes a little odd. I enjoy cartoons, comics and graphic strong lines, occasional minimalism — but always hand-drawn,” reveals illustrator and designer Janine Shroff, who collaborated with ELLE for our 250th cover issue. “What I like most about art is not knowing exactly how something will turn out. I challenge myself to draw better, think better and be more creative,” she says. And that’s the exact approach she followed while illustrating the cover. 

“I liked how simple the cover photography was. I wanted to give it a comic book effect while emphasising on the cover’s simple graphics through bold lines, the pattern of the star under cover girl Paloma Monappa’s eye and a limited colour palette that reflected the colours in the photo,” she explains. “I envisioned a crown or halo around Paloma’s head and the ELLE masthead as the perfect way of bringing focus to it.”


So, Janine printed the cover, drew over it, scanned that drawing back in and finally layered it over the cover. “I’ve played around with thick and thin line work previously in my sketch book, as well as with repeating pattern motifs and portraits and wanted to explore that here as a photo-collage. A comic book effect is what I envisioned in my mind,” she says.

The illustrator last worked with ELLE for its November 2015 issue that celebrated the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland, where she reinterpreted the Red Queen. She is currently working on a short comic for an Indian NGO about menstruation.

Explore her work here.

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