Here is an image I just finished this afternoon for On Wall Street Magazine. The story was about working on a team. It had a "marriage" slant to it that thankfully I didn't have to bring to the final. My initial sketch had the fourth figure about to place a ring on the second figure's finger. I thought that the editor would want a reference to the "marriage" part of the headline but the AD said to drop the ring and replace it with money elements.
The image is about relationships that were not discussed in the article (it dealt with responsibilities and work ethic within a team). For the image, I suggested more of a complicated love interest. The second and fourth figures are the main couple, wary and unsure. The third figure is a rival, figure two's other lover, confident, sanguine, a rake. The first figure is a dejected wooer, ignored, the quiet one.
This was a refreshing break from my thesis work involving reference, returning to one of my stylized approaches. But I think the reference work still helps inform my stylized work here and there.