Well this year has started with a bang – I have created some large illustrated panels at the Booth Museum of Natural History, to showcase some of our most endangered animals and the habitats they live in.
At the end of last year, the lovely people at the Booth Museum in Brighton (where I also volunteer, see various posts below) asked if I would like to illustrate 3 long panels to go up in their Discovery Gallery for young children. Having never illustrated at anywhere near this scale before (the biggest panel was nearly 8 metres long!) and with the chance to get really stuck in to doing a tonne of drawing, I excitedly said yes!
The focus of the panels is endangered species, with a different landscape on each – rainforest, ocean and mountain. The panels are less than a metre tall off the floor, with the target audience being small children, so we wanted to keep it fun and colourful with loads of secondary creatures to spot and talk about. Where relevant we also included information about wider conservation issues, such as plastics in our oceans and palm oil causing deforestation.
Due to the ENORMOUS scale, I created the artworks a little differently to how I would normally work. I started with some very rough sketches, animal research and notes into a sketchbook. To get an idea of scale and how big to draw all the creatures, I also did a few rough drawings to scale on large sheets of paper in the gallery.
Using my sketches and to-scale drawings as a I guide, I then created all the artwork straight onto my computer using a graphics tablet and Photoshop. Once everything was finished and the text was added, it was sent off to be printed on huge vinyl stickers and then very expertly installed without any creases or wonky edges or anything (this seemed like the trickiest job of the entire thing!).
Here are a few photos of the panels in place at the museum:
I’d love to know what you think of the panels if you’ve visited! And let me know how long it takes you to find the stick insect too 🙂
Photos all taken by the brilliant Kate of Oh Someday, who overcame the challenges of curved panels and low lighting like a total pro.