Batsford Prize for Illustration 2017 (Nature)

Ideas    |    Choice   |    Processes   |    Practitioners   |    Documentation

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Browsing for ideas

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This project is quite an interesting one for me as I would like to try out something new to approach this brief. I have already got a few ideas to start but first I wanted to understand the brief requirements, therefore I looked at the following link that explain the brief in full: Batsford Prize and How to enter.

To get an idea of what previous winners of the prize had done I looked at 2016 winners. And unfortunately due to my circumstances, I missed the deadline for this brief I was able to get an idea of what the judges selected for the 2017 winners. This gave me further inspiration for my own ideas.

I also had a look at the following images to inspire my process, the following are mostly a collection of beautifully crafted portraits, something to consider doing when approaching this brief.



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As the theme of this years prize is Nature, I had a look at illustrtions that reflected this in one form or another:

I love the above illustrations, and I feel I have even more ideas for my final piece(s) because of these.

Next I had a look at websites that informed me of our (as humans) relationship to nature, these were really helpful to inform my process:
Nature & Us
Humans Nature the Right Relationship
BBC article
Marxist Perspective

As I had done a lot of research on Climate Change for my dissertation a lot of my ideas on our relationship with it kept coming back to that. Therefore I looked at a few slogans and quotes that might inspire my images:

  • we have a solution – stop pollution
  • be nice, save the ice
  • stop is the only way, for the humans to stay
  • it will mean disaster if the temperature rises faster
  • think green if you know what i mean
  • when the earth gets hot, we will go cold
  • The above slogans were ones I found on Global Warming: Slogans and Sayings
    I quite liked these so I looked at a few more to get more ideas from the same website but on a different page: 40 Clever Environmental Slogans

  • be part of the solution, not part of the pollution
  • wind, water, sun: renewable energy for the long run
  • if not now, when? save the earth before it ends
  • litter makes the planet bitter
  • (image of bear) – i’m bear-y good at recycling
  • (image of horse) – no horsing around, save the earth
  • (image of dog) – the future is going to be ruff
  • big and small, lets save them all
  • National Geographic
    2/3’s of the world animals will be lost by 2020
    Save the Humans: Los Angeles
    Here’s what will happen this century if we don’t do anything about climate change
    What the World Would Look Like if All the Ice Melted
    Climate Change: What Happens after 2100?
    This Is What Earth Will Look Like in 100 Years… If we’re lucky.
    World’s coral reefs could disintegrate by 2100

    This sort of doom and gloom feel I got from climate change reminded me of biblical references to the apocalypse, I felt this would be an interesting to illustrate, therefore I looked further into this too:
    Four horsemen

    I used the above images a=for reference / inspiration when mocking up my final images.


    Processes & Techniques

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    To begin this project I wanted to do a more traditional process, therefore I looked into the following to see which I would like to do:

    However, when I decided upon my final idea for my pieces I found I wanted to develop it in illustrator as I felt that would be appropriate. I had a look at the following links to help with my ideas and for adding more textures and depth in my pieces:

    Add depth and texture in illustrator
    This will be really great to use in the future for adding textures, however when testing these out I found they weren’t quite the right textures I was after.

    Illustrator Tutorials
    Add texture and detail

    The above link gives many tutorials for illustrator that will be of use to me in the future. The following links I gathered from the above link that I thought might be helpful for this project:
    Add textures using smart objects

    How to create a sponge effect in illustrator
    Edit drawings with image trace

    Creating Custom Illustrator Brushes

    How to create watercolour texture in adobe illustrator

    To look at further tips and advice, I found the following links to give me some insight to expand my skillset in illustrator:
    11 Top Tips for working in illustrator
    21 Illustrator shortcuts to speed up your workflow
    60 Photoshop shortcuts



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    Svabhu Kohli

    Kohli’s absolutely stunning illustrations are filled with texture and detail, I love the use of colour in these illustrations. This has inspired me to think about my colour palettes and textures in my final pieces.

    Eloise Renouf

    Renouf’s simple pattern designs, I feel would be perfect for Batsford. I would like to try maybe doing some lino cuts inspired by Renouf’s designs. I think lino cuts would work really well in this style for my final pieces, I would like to see how they could be transferred onto fabrics, as that is something I have wanted to try.

    Alfred Basha

    Basha’s beautiful illustrations have double images, such as trees inside a bear – which I think is superb! I would love to try this out in my final pieces, having an image inside of an image.

    Clare Curtis

    I love how simple these images are designed and coloured, this has inspired me to try screenprinting or lino printing for my final images. I think using a simple selected colour palette would work especially well.

    Eiko Ojala

    Ojala’s wonderful papercut illustrations are formed with a superb use of colour and simple imagery. I love this style and even if I don’t create papercuts, I would like to keep my images simple like this.

    Marcel George

    George’s delicate illustrations of simple portraits includes a variety of beautiful colours and inferred patterns created with watercolours. I love these, I would like to try to do something similar for my final pieces.



    Documentation of working process

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    Death / Ice Melt:

    War / Deforestation:

    Pestilence / Pollution:

    Famine / Drought:


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