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,