Project Proposal: Ugly Animals Idea Write Up

As required for all self written briefs we conduct, I had to write up my project ideas in the form of a proposal. I’ve done a quick draft to note down my ideas in black and white, it’ll most probably be rewritten or I might choose an entirely different project idea to actually go ahead with, but I thought I’d upload the first draft anyway!




Learning Agreement: Project Proposal Form



Course & Unit number: Illustration BA7

Name: Charli Vince


1. Project Proposal Title:

The Ugly Truth


2. Project Proposal Content:

For this project I intend to focus my efforts around the fact that the stranger, uglier animals of the world get very little attention in terms of conservation. Through research into the idea, I found an organisation, The Ugly Animal Preservation Society, which specialises in the awareness and protection of endangered, ‘ulgier’ species. I plan to work around this organisation, perhaps designing branding, advertising and/or information packs based around this organisation or one similar.

Visually, I’ll explore the animals themselves. With the aesthetics of the animals being the main focus, it only seems natural to maintain the audience’s attentions on the visual elements of the ‘ugly’ animals as well as, perhaps, juxtaposing this with the ‘cuter’ animals which generally get the funding and conservation.

It may well be worth exploring the statistics and numbers around the conservation of the animals as well, visualising these in an illustrative way to raise awareness of the situation(s).

I chose this project idea because I’ve felt strongly about the fact that the fluffy pandas and tigers of the world seem to reign over the crocodiles and fish, despite the latter needing just as much funding and aid as the former. I feel that I can fully engage with this project idea from a personal perspective and thus really see my work grow and built up into a successful final outcome.


3. Context and audience:

The primary purpose of this project is to raise some degree of awareness about the uneven distribution of funding towards various species and how this is, nearly always, because of the visual appeal of the species in question. I’ll be conducting plenty of research into the actual statistics around this and I’ll use my findings to generate the right type of imagery for the right type of audience.

I’m trying to aim at as wide an audience as possible, as most charitable causes do, so finding a niche isn’t so much of a problem. However, I will bear in mind that the people most likely to be interested in what I have to show them would be those who have a prior interest in conservation and the natural world. This can be reflected in an earthy colour palette or the initial focal point being an animal itself.

I’m hoping to be bringing to people’s attention the inequality in how and which species are protected, it’s something which isn’t getting nearly enough attention as it should and I’m hoping to be backing up those few existing organisations who support it as well as creating a unique approach for myself.


4. Research Sources:

As previously mentioned, I’ve found a couple of societies/organisations that focus on the subject I’m looking at. The Ugly Animal Preservation Society and EDGE. These two have proven themselves to be invaluable sources of the information I needed as well as an insight into what is being done in terms of awareness raising and events for this cause.

Nature books, animal anthologies and other sources of information on the animal world will also provide an ideal source of both reference material and information into the species themselves.

Norwich Museum, the Natural History Museum and Ulster Museum have also proven themselves to be an ideal opportunity to study and draw/generate imagery for the animals I’ll be looking into with first hand reference (as close as I can get to drawing the actual animals themselves).


5. Learning Methodology:

I plan to begin visual work on this project by studying the animals in question. As mentioned in the ‘research’ section, I will be gathering reference material from various sources, hopefully this studying and experimentation with the visuals of the animals themselves will help me find a narrower path to take the project down.

I’ll also be looking into existing illustrative work based around this subject matter and if that’s a bit scarce, I can look into scientific illustrators and naturalists who take note of their findings visually and see where that takes me.


Often I find myself getting too into the literal drawing of the subject a bit too much, I’m going to be putting extra focus on avoiding slipping into this habit for BA7, hopefully generating some more organic ideas earlier on in the project, leaving myself enough time to experiment thoroughly and explore different routes a bit more.


Previously I’ve had issues with working outside the sketchbook (as in I was reluctant to). I can visualise working in a larger scale being a useful exercise for this particular subject matter so maybe this will help me push myself out of the comfort zone of a sketchbook and more onto larger, less conventional materials and techniques.


6. Work for Assessment:

By conducting this project, I will hopefully gain some insight into what is required to fully engage an audience with an important cause and in a unique and illustrative way. I’ve previously seen many campaigns and events with either incredibly successfully or incredibly not so successful visuals to advertise and inform but have yet to try it myself. I’m hoping to learn a great deal about what is required in terms of balancing the serious and the appealing in order to get a message across but catching the audience’s attention in the first place. I feel this will really aid me should my work take a particularly commercial and/or advertising route at any point in my career.


In terms of what I hope to submit, I seem to be leaning towards the idea of informative packs or pieces of advertising, maybe in the form of leaflets/booklets or other small formats which could be distributed or displayed for the public to take in.



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