Saturday, 25 October 2014

Experimenting with Campaign Ad Ideas

Using the imagery I had created, I decided it was best to test them out in the appropriate contexts in order to convey a clear message to the audience.

Audience being the general public, I felt it was necessary to keep my ads simple and straight to the point even including well-known charities so people would recognise and understand the context and message of my illustrations.

With these ads, I wanted to focus on the decline in nature, using an image where the black space seemingly traps it into a small section, significant of how humanity pushes nature to the side and has complete control. The birds are reflective to the decline in wildlife population if humanity keeps abandoning nature in this way- without habitat there cannot be wildlife.

The text 'Don't let nature fade away' was used in an experimental way, gradually making the text smaller to give the illusion that it is in fact 'fading away'. The tag line is a simple message to help the audience become aware of the rise in habitat loss and decline in nature. Also, I have tested out two charity logos in the bottom corner of the advertisements in an attempt to create a sense of context.

Using an illustration based on badger culling, I wanted to use it in the best context to convey a strong message against badger culling, especially in the local area. The simple slogan 'stop the cull' is effective and straight to the point. Using a simple bold font (Ebrima) highlights the importance of the message. This tag line has actually noticeably been used in protest campaigns so will be recognisable to the activists already campaigning against this issue.

Initially I used a red tone for each word in the tag line, though as I wanted to make the word 'stop' stand out I decided to keep this red and make the rest of the text black. This seems to work a lot better than the original as it separates the text into the action and the issue.

Once again I have used a known charity logo in the corner to make to ad appear more professional and give the imagery context. However, please note than even though the charity is Yorkshire-based, currently there is no problem of badger culling in this area. Regardless, the charity has stated it supports the campaign against badger culling, as do all wildlife trusts:

Via Twitter:

As a budding illustrator, I feel that this new turn in my project fits the profession more adequately in the approach and the ad campaigns provide a realistic context for my illustrations. This idea of communication is important in illustration and previously I don't believe I portrayed this in the best way. 

My next stage will be to focus on badger culling as an issue and continue to research, develop and create illustrations which communicate a message effectively to the intended audience.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Animal Rights: Badger Culling

As a new twist in my project and a desire to find more substance in my work I decided to look into current issues concerning animal rights. Through a short search I found out that the most recent issue in the UK seems to be the legalisation of badger culling and over the past month this has been occurring for the second year running.

An article struck me as shocking by the Western Daily Press as the culling was described in a casual, desensitised manner:

"The chairman of Gloucestershire’s NFU, Andrew Guest, said the cull was ‘a mixed bag’, but sources at the NFU said it was believed the marksmen had reached their targets of 70 per cent of the badger population killed"

This comment 'a mixed bag' caused me to think visually and need to create an illustration.

Original pencil sketch of idea

Badger portrait

After the initial ideas, I scanned the imagery into Photoshop for further manipulation. I decided I would set myself a rule to keep human/ man-made forms in digital media and nature/ animals in traditional media. This would highlight the vulnerability of the badger in comparison with the human form and bin bag which take control in the image.

Outlining the human form and bin bag with the pen tool in Photoshop brings in the digital side of the illustration whilst the badgers are preserved in traditional pencil making them appear vulnerable and innocent.

Overall, I believe that this new direction in my work in positive and more illustrative. These illustrations could accompany an article, campaign poster or book. Trying to bring more context in my work has definitely improved my understanding of where I want my illustrations to be placed within the industry.

I will continue to develop on this idea of badger culling and apply my illustrations to appropriate contexts to see how they can fit into the professional industry.

You can see more of my illustrations on my website at

Thanks for reading,


Monday, 20 October 2014

Manipulating the Landscape (Photoshop)



After manipulating several primary source photographs in Photoshop, I felt that the outcomes were much stronger than the original imagery. As a general for most, I chose to define the urban landscape in black and white tones whilst keeping the natural aspects of the landscapes in colour, often bright and bold to emphasise the importance and beauty of nature. 

When vivid tones are used in unconventional ways, I believe this is when the images are most influential and strong. I hope to bring forth the importance of nature through tones in these images which I think I have achieved for some. In particular the 'Four Trees' images are very effective and while the trees are initially in the background, through the use of bright tones they are more prominent in the foreground, pushing the urban landscape into the background. Visually, this is what I have been wanting to achieve and believe that through development I am starting to portray my initial intentions.

Illustrating the Importance of Nature Against Man-Made Forms

Depicting the relationship between nature and man-made forms through removing the natural/ urban aspects to see how the landscape is affected.
Watercolour portraying a landscape with completely natural forms by deliberating taking out the urban landscape.

This piece is successful in the execution of the illustration, portraying nature as beautiful and definitely bringing it to the foreground. However, this illustration doesn't appear to explore the relationship with the urban landscape as it has been removed completely. To the viewer this is simply a beautiful illustration of a natural landscape, failing to convey the message intended.

Below, I have taken into consideration the lack of meaning behind my initial illustration. In Photoshop, I have brought back the urban landscape by layering over the watercolour onto the original photographs. This makes the viewer question the media used as well as the composition. In particular the bottom illustration seems most effective in communicating a message that perhaps nature is ghost-like, and almost fading away into the distance whilst the urban landscape stays prominent. Merging the two forms of media definitely seems more successful at this stage.

New University Project: Final Year

This post is long over-due, but better late than never they say!

So, I have started my final year at University (scary times!) and my first task was to decide on a project theme which could carry me through the whole year. No easy task although I was sure of my interests, it was just a case of crafting it so it would contain both visual and contextual substance.

Therefore, after much thought I decided that I would look into Animal Rights and the Environment, focusing on several aspects of this theme and developing them into a large body of work. As well as this, I have a desire to make sure my work is as professional as it can be at this stage, even though my first module consists of mainly research.

As an initial starting point I decided to research into local aspects of the theme, bringing the environmental side to the foreground and saving the Animal Rights aspect until I gathered some decent literary research.

Having a desire to be unique and create my own style, primary source research is important to me as an illustrator. Due to this, my first step was to go out and take my own photographs of the environment, with an aim to capture the relationship between the immediate urban landscape and nature:

These images were taken around Huddersfield and it soon became evident how man-made forms either take over certain areas of the landscape, or intrude on the natural beauty of the landscape which is already there. Another point I noticed was that much of the landscape will have been planted by men, so therefore is it natural? Or is it man-made nature?

Questions constantly popped up into my mind, and I so from this I am eager to bring nature into the foreground of beauty and push the urban landscape into the background as an attempt to regain some of what is left of nature. Even though I have questioned some of the natural aspects of the landscape, in my illustrations I will capture them in a beautiful, natural sense to highlight nature's importance in comparison to man-made forms such as roads, buildings and cars.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Carla Taylor Illustration: Website

After deciding it was finally time to become more professional and create my own website, I purchased a domain name, ''. I felt it was important to keep the website URL as simple as possible so it would be easier to find when searching.

Instantly I knew I wanted my website to be portfolio based and wanted my artwork to speak for itself in the site. Using WordPress, this simple and clean template was chosen as the best form to display my work. Social media links were added as well as some of my most recent collections of work. This blog was also included in a separate link to complete the main structure of the site.

Home Page

Portfolio Page: Taylor Made

Bio Page

Contact Page

After creating the website, I am happy with the final result. The work is the main highlight which I feel is the most important part of the site. As it is created through WordPress, I will be able to update it regularly. Having a website is important for demonstrating professionalism and in the art world, they are great for gaining potential clients and viewers.

See my website here

Thanks for reading,