Liza Donnelly cartoon analysis


In this political cartoon, creator Liza Donnelly uses the visual technique of colorization, persuasive technique of pathos, and literary technique of repetition to criticize society and push forward the concept of pay gaps.

Like most of Liza Donnelly’s other pieces, this cartoon has a pastel color palette. However, unlike most other colored comics, this piece has a repetitive usage of the color blue. I find it interesting that although in different shades, the male and female characters are both wearing blue. In my interpretation, this is the author’s deliberate choice as she tries to convey that man and woman are the same under the skin and should therefore be treated equally as well. The blue clothes could also mean that the cartoon woman chose to wear blue to fit in in this male-dominant workplace as blue is known by the society as a “masculine” color. Liza Donnelley stimulates the audience’s deeper thinking and connects back to the main message by making conscious colorization choices.

Liza Donnelly also employs the rhetorical device of pathos, an appeal made to an audience’s emotions to evoke feelings, to persuade her audience further. The setting recreates an intimidating real-life workplace, and with the contrast between the man’s side of the table and the woman’s side, the audience is likely to agree with the woman’s speech more and even feel anger towards this social problem. Liza Donnelly is successful by using this technique as anger is a compelling emotion causing people actually to rethink and take actions towards problems.

At last, Liza Donnelly employs the literary device of repetition to create a shock factor and emphasize her message even more. I mentioned the shock element because of the sentence structure. People usually think after the word “or”, new subjects would be brought up. However, unexpectedly the woman repeated what she said before, combining the two words this time. Therefore, the readers would have a stronger impression of this cartoon’s topic as the words “cheap” and “qualified” are repeated in one sentence.

In conclusion, Liza Donnelly successfully sheds light on gender inequality, precisely the pay gap social issue, by effectively using the visual technique of colorization, the persuasive element of pathos, and the literary device of repetition.

Final Journal Reflection


After getting the prompt of pop art for this project, I brainstormed some concepts that I think are associated with the style. I think retro would be an element that’s engaged with pop art because the style started a while back. I also think the collision between modern technology and older ways of portraying it can be an interesting combination. As technology develops, now when we see an image on the computer, it is usually smooth with vibrant colors. However, going a little while back, you can often see the pixels in images. If you see a image with visible pixels today, you are likely to be attracted by it because of the contrast it has with everything else. Therefore, I thought pixel art can be an impactful and interesting style. I wanted to create a cartoon character that has me as the main inspiration because I wanted to create…

Meaning description:



Journal Assessment – Generating Ideas

  • Show all of the different brainstorming and sketching activities we did in class

There are more ideas, I’ll take the pictures when I get back on campus and update them.

  • Tell the story of all the different ideas you came up with!

Idea 1 was inspired by our generation’s addiction to social media and online devices. You can see a teenage girl letting herself drown in a sea of internet symbols. Although sinking in deeper and deeper, she still has a smile on her face.

Idea 2 was inspired old anime and retro pixel graphics.

  • What were your first ideas? How did you generate them?
  • What inspired you?
  • What did you have to find out about? Find and record (cite and print) in your Visual Arts Journal 10 visuals that show examples of popular culture
  • What were you happy with and what did you need to improve on?
  • How did your ideas show popular culture?

Independent Design Project

For our independent design project, I decided to create a poster for a dance competition. The goal is to attract more audience with this new design. Overall, I am pleased with how the poster turned out and the energy it has. During the process of creation, I was able to learn and experiment with new concepts. For example, in the starting phase, I created a survey with questions regarding to the relationship between aesthetic and attraction which helped me later with my creation.

Define & Inquire: Blog Reflection

  1. Your chosen design brief (design problem, user, constraints, etc) and a short description about why you selected this project to work on

I’m creating a poster for a Beijing high school dance competition. The design problem is that the current design is not appealing and doesn’t attract enough audience. Hopefully the piece I create will be more aesthetically appealing and also gives helpful information.

2. Your audience profile – a mood board or visual display of the different characteristics of your user/audience

Above is my brainstorm ideas branching off of the topic I chose. Because the audience are mostly young teens and the competition is for street dance, the color scheme is most likely bright and full of energy for example orange and radiance blue.

3. Evidence that you have created and shared some kind of survey to gather primary research on your user/audience

4. An embedded Padlet that shows a wide range of divergent inspiration, and evidence of information gathering (tools, materials, techniques that you think might help you solve the design problem)


5. A paragraph that describes your goals and next step.

My next step is to explore a particular potential style and to make the actual poster. Experiment with different fonts and color schemes. Possibly contact with the person that made the current poster.

Literature and social justice reflective blog post

In the first quarter of the course Literature and Social Justice, we looked at the topic of race specifically racial equality. In the reading we did, “Born a Crime”, the protagonist Trevor Noah’s recounts his childhood as his nation transitioned from apartheid, a white supremacist system of government based on racial segregation, forced labor, and the disenfranchisement of nonwhites, to a tenuous democracy led by the black majority. The book was both entertaining and educational. We also listened and looked in to some protest music which are songs related with movements to social change and analyzed how the artists were able to use literary elements to enhance the effects.

Overall, I think my performance was satisfactory. I contributed some good questions, however, I could back them up with more textual evidence. In the future, I should also contribute more to answering other people’s questions. I think I engaged with others pretty well and was respectful.

Reflecting on the student as a learner strands, I think I’m doing alright with the strands of attitude and collaboration. On the other hand, I need to improve on my responsibility. Procrastination is a bad habit I formed growing up and my goal moving forward is to overcome my laziness in the future to have a better performance.



Bookmark Design

  • What is the role of elements & principles in graphic design?

The elements, or principles, of visual design include Contrast, Balance, Emphasis, Movement, White Space, Proportion, Hierarchy, Repetition, Rhythm, Pattern, Unity, and Variety. These principles of design work together to create something that is aesthetically pleasing and optimizes the user experience. My chosen element was type. Type is a fundamental part of any design it appears in. It can be used as text to read, as a shape and as a visual element where the choice of typeface conveys an emotion or mood. Type, when used well doesn’t need a photograph or illustration to back it up.

  • What is this design task all about?

This task is about conveying a design principles through a simplistic everyday design – bookmark.

  • Why did you make your bookmark to look this way?

I wanted the bookmark to be not just aesthetically pleasing but fun in a way. So I messed with the size of the text a thought it would be interesting to crop out some parts of the text and see if the viewer would still be able to read the text. I also duplicated the texts to create a design so the focus is not on the meaning of the words but the art of typography.



Persona Poster


Explain how the style of your self-portrait reflects who you are

I chose to draw myself “Rick and Morty” style. “Rick and Morty” is a famous animation. The cartoon features Rick, a genius alcoholic and careless scientist, with his grandson Morty, a 14 year-old anxious boy who is not so smart. Together, they explore the infinite universes, causing mayhem and running into trouble. The cartoon is both funny and creative, it also makes the audience reflect upon themselves occasionally. I think these elements are fitting with my personality and therefore chose this style.

Explain some of the design decisions you made with your presentation poster

I did a duo on the bottom of the poster. The main reason was that I couldn’t choose from the two filters, but I also liked the contrast between the two versions so I decided to keep them both. They have very different vibes but in a good way. I kept the background black so the graphic can be the focus. The drip design on the edge is to cover the original square boarder of each image. There are a lot of neon elements in my poster because that is the overall theme.

Reflect on the successes of your poster and explain what you would do differently next time.

I really like how my portrait turned out and I think it looks good on the poster. However, I am not completely pleased with the composition of the texts, I would spend more time to think on it next time.

Portrait process:

Unit 2: Drawing Folio

  • How could observational drawing be a useful technique in the define & enquire phase of the design process?

Drawing has always been part of designing. Drawing is the path from a designer’s mind to what can be physically seen, it brings the ideas of a designer to real life.

  • Briefly describe what you did for the observational drawing part of the unit (drawing household objects)

Because observational drawings are more fundamental, we were asked to experiment with those first. For most tasks I drew with the objects I’m observing right in front of me.

  • Include images of all of your observational drawings

  • What is visualization drawing and what are the biggest challenges?

Visualization drawings needs some foundation of observational drawings in order to be done well. It requires creativity as well as skills. For me the biggest challenge is connecting my brain with my hand, exactly drawing out what I created in my mind.

  • Briefly describe what you did for the visualization drawing part of the unit (generating ideas for school logos/glasses concepts)

I had a rough idea of the theme I wanted to go with after I chose my prompt and then I brainstorm as I drew designs. I collected different elements in my brain that could fit the theme and prompt and generated a design that would look visually appealing.

  • Include images of all of your visualization drawings

  • Publish your post and share the link to this thread

Designer Persona 2020

Process :

Overall, I am satisfied with how my portrait turned out considering it was my first time using illustrator and I’ve had limited experience with online art. I really enjoyed the process of creating my portrait, I learned new skills as well as developed artist senses. However, I had difficulties with creating my poster due to technical issues, I, later on, overcame that by taking some short cuts and the poster turned out pretty well.

How does your poster’s aesthetic reflect who you are as a designer?

I chose a more realistic and detailed style for my portrait, it is my go-to style when creating art. I like to create fine lines and lots of details, I usually spend a lot of time on one piece of work. For my poster, I decided to keep it not too complicated and follow one theme, in this case, I chose repetitive flower patterns.


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