Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Windermere Reflections illustrations

Cartoons are very popular with kids so it is not surprising I get asked to do a lot of illustrations and workshops for children. Sometimes these have a serious purpose, despite the fun approach.

One such project was with Windermere Reflections, the environmental charity based in Cumbria. They wanted to develop a series of characters to help explain how to protect the lake and environs around Windermere, England's biggest lake. Using an innovative approach, they had a competition to design the characters. I helped picked the winning entries from schools all over South Lakeland. I then went into the schools to run workshops in which we developed the characters further.

These characters have now appeared in booklets, slide shows and as Scratch animations which the children can animate for themselves.

This week I finished the most recent part of the project, illustrating a set of stories which will be shown in schools as slide presentations. Here are a few examples.

Lauren and Einstein, her teddy bear. Note the umbrella - it enables time travel, thereby trumping both Gene Kelly and Doctor Who.

 Lauren encounters Dermot the Destroyer - environmentally horrible dishwasher tablets.

Muddy Merv is a fantastic hit with the kids, possibly due to his resemblance to something unsavoury.

This is what th Windermere Reflections campaign is trying to prevent

And here's the result after all their hard work!

P.S. Windermere Reflections are responsible for this infuriatingly catchy song and video. Watch out for some of the cartoon characters in the video.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

A slot in the dark

ATMs are an indispensable part of modern life. Where would we be without the ability to stand on a rainy, windy street, cowering over a badly-lit keypad, tapping out a poorly-remembered code and hoping to catch our money before it is spat out into a puddle?

And now ATMs have provided us with an additional joy - skimming.

This simple technique involves fitting a fake keypad and a miniature camera to capture all your details as you withdraw money. Several incidents have occrued oin South Lakeland this week and they made the front page of The Westmorland Gazette.

Below are my four ideas on the subject, submitted to my steamed editor. But which did he pick to grace the Gazette's cover? Place your vote in the comments below.

And meanwhile, if you skip across to yesterday's blog you can find out what I've been doing in Wakefield for the last four months …