PROJECT: CONNECTED COUNCILS
Nesta is an innovation charity with a mission to help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. They are dedicated to supporting ideas that can help improve all our lives, with activities ranging from early stage investment to in-depth research and practical programmes. Find out more about Nesta here
To create a set of 4 illustrations to accompany a series of fictional 'day in the life' case studies for a report titled Connected Councils. The report explores how councils can use digital tools, such as apps and online platforms, to transform the way they work and save a potential £14.7 billion every year. The case studies show what life might be like in 2025 for councils and their citizens.
I was given some guidance on the which aspects of the case studies were most relevant for each individual, but the style was completely open to my direction. A look at the Nesta website shows that they use quite a lot of illustration, with diverse and sometimes quirky styles, but tending always to be upbeat and colourful.
Senior Digital Producer , Sara Rizk at Nesta, commissioned me to create these illustrations for the report. From my perspective, the project went pretty smoothly but I was interested to find out her thoughts once the project was complete. Here are Sara's answers to a few questions:
I believe you originally found me via the AOI (Association of Illustrators) website, what was it that you particularly you liked about my work?
I liked the style/tone of the examples on the site and thought they fitted with our aims for the original piece of work we approached you for ( an earlier project I was unable to do through lack of availability)
How did you find the process, from the initial briefing through to the completion of your project?
The process was very clear. I found you very responsive to feedback on initial concepts and all the work was delivered well within our timeframes.
Are you happy with the final illustrations?
Yes very happy - the response internally has been incredibly positive and the artwork has added an extra layer of shareability to the written content.
Nesta use quite a lot of illustration, so you have probably worked with numerous illustrators for similar projects in the past. How do you think I compare to other illustrators you have worked with?
Very favourably - great on deadlines. You suggested alternatives to our brief where relevant, based on your own interpretation of the stories - which I valued. I also found your statement of work document very clear and meant we knew exactly where we stood with licences etc.
- Sara Rizk, Senior Digital Producer, Nesta
Pictured below are the initial sketches I produced at the start of the project, to show Sara, and to get her comments before proceeding to the final artwork stage. As for most illustrators, virtually all my illustration projects include a sketch stage - it is important for the client to have an idea of how the final illustrations might look and a clear idea of the proposed content, and for me it ensures I'm heading in a good direction and have included all the necessary elements. Client approval at this stage should help the whole project run smoothly, with no major surprises when presenting the completed illustrations.
In this instance, the only amends required were to make Martin look a bit older and Leila to have a more expansive network of people connected to her (and to ensure she looked in her mid-30's) - these minor comments I was able to address at the final artwork stage.